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NOTE OF THE WEEK.
By DONALD MACDONALD.
\*»uting from Tera, awij bick m the Mallee Mi s Rd le Mci ennnu mikes «onie comments upon biidkoering which ought to letrne »vide ml lreq lent publiât» becmse the» help so manj people who ait tuturi!!» neither cruel nrr callous to zcarlju-at thru »îcwpoint It women »»ho keep birds m tiptmt» sa» s Miss MrLenii III could be pcr«uidcd to tikt i bu 1 s »ic view it the po-ition and in ii» se then oin motin s would the» nit dwiovir tint liiv entiti-itton thev ma» lind at tlie CM ci so ot the bo mt if ul tici tures who »nu mten lei lor a lift ot free dom is just sim r --dtii-hiiess
Whit is tlic Unction ibout a cipti»cy rheic is none tor the !>ndlo»ci Win keep i bud ciptnc »»hen vi ith i shallow box -.»»in_.li ti ni Hie brinth ot a tree i fe»» » n 1« n m »our o»»n do« r »on mi» M»c t!i ni a pin nf water md i fti» cuimbs oi siips neilin!» asstirtd tint with quietness ind pntience vou will m a little »»bile luve fcithoird friends in numbers coming to von with confidence To feel the thull fiom the peck of the tm> bill as it takes food from »our hand surpasses anj pleasure tint the poor captive m a cage
mi» c» cr v teld
'In The itnii' for »Tanuarj, 1028, Mr Junes Polhill, of Perth, writes -' V bird in the band is- i pithetie thing-either a limp and diooping bundle of feathers with a loose ntck ind a glazed eve or else a qui» ei ing handful of feir, so fluttering and poign mt that no sensitive hands can con- tinue to be its pi ison walls But a bird in the bush' It is a very battery of life in little compis« md in its own haunts skil fullv masked fiom the marauder, there ma» bo Ivncs md a love match and a breath citching beiut> of live blue shells in that cupola of tv» igs "
THE KANGAROOS LE".P
Onh a little while oço a bov asked for some records of the height and distance covered by a leaping kangaroo In a com creation about kan garoo latcli, Captain R h Baker, of larpent, ulm lila a small mob of them, .aid that the original male of (ho herd »»hen about three quarter« grown cleared a fence 5ft tin hlg-h and measurement of the trick» «honed that from take off to hnding it covered 21ft Din-tbe lcip being «"Iglitlv up hill
Captiln Baker added tint bis late friend Sir If I lum r, of Birregurra, told lum of a re markablc leap carefully measured during a kan garoo hunt man} »ears ago at Murroon With a fair sited log In the uav, and the leap slightly down lilli the kangaroo-also a three-quarter grown male-covered 41ft Gin
i \\ Whittcron considers it strange that sea cribs ire ncier to be obtained In a Melbourne fiih 6hop and »londers whether there are any 1-rgc ones on the Victorian coast In Moreton Hay Queensland they have the sand crab, and in tht tidil rliers the so-called mud crab Both of thtsc ure verj good to cat, especially
the sand crib
On the Victorian coast, especially westward towards Portland \»e hare the prcat red King crab Icare lgo I had the 6hcll of a ginnt specimen givtn to me by ilr Owen, a Queens cliff fisleiman who got it on one of the islands in Bass «.tuite About Lome I ha»c speared cribs in the Bnme sea pools as the era} fish were snarol In hut although »orj s»»ect to cat, thci «re so much smaller than the cravfisli that onI> an occasional large one is sent to market a» a curio.il}
BOY 4M) GbV
I Bail, of Bot Hill asks at what ige a bov ia allo»ved lo n«o i -hot gun That Is a matter for his parents to decide as the law onlj forbids him to carrj the «mall pea rifle if he is under IS »cars of a,e because it is a »»eapon which seems to be a te., jet has often proved capable of killing a
If a very small bo» were seen earning a shot gun of anv kind i policeman might forbid him to «lo eo for the sufficient reason that it «as a dancer to olhei pi opie Agc does not determine just »»hen a boy nny be trusted with a gun be cause so much depends upon the boy
OT*A 41 COAST SPORT
Those »»ho have inquired lately about fishing and shooting camps on the Otway coasts at such places as \V»e River and Port Campbell will
appreciate a thoughtful and sporting offer Mr J J S Tanner, of D3 Naples road, ifentone, oHers I to gl»e in.one interested the advantage of his know ledge of dlffircnt spots, both about the nature of the sport and the best means of getting to
1 wa- a.skcd about sex marks for tlie hen bird» of the little Budgerygah parrot», and could give none, apart from the hen birds being rather smaller. ' E.l). (Essendon) says that one of the bird deiilcis In the Eastern Market told him that the little trinpo of colour at the top of the beak was purple in i he male and brown or flesh coloured in the female, though in all young birds the colour of both sexes may bo brown.
Can any reader who may have kept tlieîe beau- tiful birds in an avlaiy tell "Bird Lover" (Surrey Hills) something of their manner of nesting? One of her pair has a habit of sitting down upon any bunch of green stuff thrown into the aviaty.
.SMALL GARDEN SNAIL.
Tho small snail sent lor identification from the Central school, North Fitzroy, can accommodate itself to life either on land or in the water. It is called Melania; in form a spiral, long in pro- portion to its width, though never much longer than one-third of an inch. A little colony of them may exist in a moist corner of the garden for many years, but never spread, so while they some- times damage plants they are never a pest.
A TREASURE HUNT,
lou have all heard through history or Captain Donald Maclean how our forefathers used to go buccaneering to the Indies !n the brave days of old. AVheuever they were "hard up" or "stony broke"-as the argot of those degenerate day« hath it-they used to declare war against anybody who had saved up great store of gold plate, silver ingots, Caribbean pearls, or Spanish gold doub- loon«, and go alter tho treasure. History is re- peating itself-the reverse way. A band of West indian adveiitiiier«*- pleasantly disguised as a cricket team-is coming here this summer, and the liuccauecit, will catch you, too, if j-ou don't
You have lic.iul about flic pirate«,
And the Imtjrimecis of old.
Who went c-iuining to Hie Indice
Alter plate and ¡Spanish gold ; Hut the Indies now advcutuie
Upon quite another lack,
And they'ie «ailing foi Australia
Just to get the bullion back,
'J hey aie after Bradman'« thousands
And the records that he got.
We liad IwHer walch Hie Ashes,
Or they'll maybe grab the lot.
Come the Great and Small Antille«,
With the crossboncs at the lore. On the give and take adventure.
Hint our fathers worked of yole.
With history thus repeated,
We'll lie neeiling once again Of some Murrumbidgee Morgan,
With a band of desperate men. And that low and rakish schooner
Such as pirates always had, To go cruising after ashes
VA here they're kept-at Trinidad.
IN -THE OPEN AIR.
I "ilirdlover" (Surrey Hills), who is much in | tere*tcd in nature stud}", is able to verify the
suggestion that zebra finches (chestnut-cared) keep on nesting through the winter, although her experience is limited to nest-building. She bought somo last spring, and in the aviary they at once begati nesting. When there were as many young hatched and reared as she wished to keep she pulled down the ueste, believing that it would stop further nesting, as it was about the end of the sc-ason. As they continued building she gave away all the hen birds, but the males kept on restoring the nests however frequently thej- were pulled down.
Without being at all positive about it, I got tho idea at Lancaster that ou very frosty nights these tender little rebras clustered in numbers for shelter and warmth into some of their old, nesta in the orange trees.
The swans of tho Botanic Gardens aio often mentioned in these notes. At the pond in the University grounds a swan is also sitting on a clutch of six eggs.
As compared with thoso of other countries South Atrlca, for example-the scorpions of Aus- tralia arc very small, and one sent by "Natural- ist" from Coleraine a few days ago was by a good deal (he largest I have seen-at least twice the size of the scorpion commonly found under bark or a stone. The sling is venomous and very painful.
"Birdiovcr" (Armadale) was so pleased at find- ing a blackbird again nesting in a shrub in her garden where tlie nest ' had liecii ravaged bj- » vagrant cat last year that she tried to arrange some wire netting about the branch for its pro- tection. Apparently her motivas were misunder- stood, because on!}" oin- egg vvss laid in the nest. That has «ince disappeared, and the nest sceras to
When birds abandon a nest they never in any circumstances remove eggs which it may contain
to a new nest.
LORIKEETS AND NECTAR.
Just how the lorikeets discover a flowering eucaljpt in places which parjols do not usually frequent has often puzzled mc. Long ago I noticed that if some eucaljpt-for choice oue of those very rich in nectar-bloomed in the heart of the city the musk lorikeets soon occupied it, though, absorbed in their banquet among the boughs, tiley ore never heard and not often seen. Their silence then is in curious contrast to their shrieking flight note as they stream like arrows through the hush. The beauty and belle of the family is the lustrous lainbovv, which ive once knew as
the blue mountain.
ACHURON VALLEY FISHING.
1 luve not liad much experience of fishing the streams jn tlie Ache-ion Valley between Narbethong
and ilaij'svillc, bul enough to be aware that about I tlie c-nd'ol i-eplember two anglers of Elwood mat [ in ordinary renditions get good sport theie. The, tiout .ne gillie, but not very large, ami fishing noni M.nvsv¡II. on,- lus a choice c1 the Taggerty, . Mcv-e-n-on, ,in,I .Vc-'itiuii down tovvatd*. Buxton, i Hie Little Uiver at 'laggeity is, ! have heard,
a good .-pot 5,,r spring fishing, and in behind |
MarvMÜle- tlie Big Uiver-el.loin ft-!u*I-has some, fine rainbows. II»- ih.ivvbick to nilling Ae-heion| stream« U dial von .ne so often «hut out from, good trout water by delire walls of buckberry.