Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Daily Book Graphics #143 / The Enemies of Birds

I bought this booklet at a Buffalo Museum of Science sale a couple of years ago. Published in 1916 by the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture, it describes the various enemies of native birds, particularly invasive species and domestic animals. It may seem surprising that people were sensitive to these issues so long ago, but bird enthusiasts certainly were. I have a field guide to birds from 1906 (by Chester A. Reed) that references the work of E.H. Forbush (the author of the above book) and declares that:
If a dog kills a sheep or a deer, he is shot and the owner has to pay damages; if a man is caught killing a bird, he pays a fine; but cats are allowed to roam about without restriction, leaving death and destruction in their wake. All homeless cats should be summarily dealt with, and all pets should be housed, at least from May until August, when young birds are able to fly.

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