B IRDS seem to be the happiest creatures on earth, yet they have none of what we call the comforts of life.
They have no houses to live in, no beds to sleep on, no breakfast and dinner provided for them.
This book is to tell something about them; where they live and what they eat, where they sleep, how they get their beautiful dress, and many other things. But no one can tell all about their lives and habits, for no one knows all their ways.
Men who study dead birds can tell how they are made, how their bones are put together, and how many feathers there are in the wings and tail. Of course it is well to know these things. But to see how birds live is much more interesting than to look at dead ones.
It is pleasant to see how mother birds build their nests, and how they take care of their nestlings. It is charming to see the young ones when they begin to fly, and to know how they are taught to find their food, and to keep out of danger, and to sing, and everything young birds need to know.
Then when they are grown up, it is interesting to find out where they go in winter, and why they do not stay with us all the year round.
One who goes into the field to watch and study their ways will be surprised to find how much like people they act. And after studying living birds, he will never want to kill them. It will seem to him almost like murder.