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to become more and more popular as it is more widely known; and it may be extensively and profitably planted. The Sheldon is another fine pear, of recent introduction, and of first quality. The tree is a good upright grower, and rather early bearer. The fruit does not keep as well as the Beurre d'Anjou, nor is it particularly attractive, but will be appreciated, when eaten, by all lovers of good pears; and the public should buy it. The Lawrence is a late fall or early winter pear, of good quality; and it grows fair, and colors up finely with very little care. Its beautiful lemon-color will sell it, and it has the merit of ripening with very little care. The Vicar of Winkfield is a pear of second-rate quality, but is, notwithstanding, a very profitable variety, especially for cooking-purposes, and sometimes for eating; for it will, in some seasons and in some locations, give specimens that will prove nearly first-rate. If it is allowed to overbear, the fruit will be poor, green, and flavorless. The tree is very hardy, and the variety does equally well on quince and standard. Of all the varieties that can be most profitably grown as dwarfs, the Duchesse d'Angouleme stands, perhaps, at the head of the list. The size of the fruit, with its fair quality and good appearance, will sell it in any market at a good price. Many contend that this variety will do well as a standard; but experience will show otherwise. The Beurre Clairgeau is a very handsome pear, and grows to great size. It seems to do better as a dwarf than a standard. The Urbaniste, coming along before the Duchesse, should not be left out of even a small collection, either for home-use or market. The variety is a long time coming into bearing; but, when it has reached a mature age, it yields large and constant crops of fine, fair fruit, that will always command a good price from those who can appreciate a good fruit. Other varieties might be named; for there are many more that many will claim can be profitably grown, and some will declare that they will prove superior to those enumerated. It is difficult to give a list that will suit all soils or locations. The man who plants pear-trees for the most profit will confine himself to five varieties, or, on no account, exceed ten; and will be content to let the curious pomologist and amateur test the hundreds or thousands of varieties now on the list, with all the new ones that are yearly brought before the public. It may not be out of place here to add a brief list of pears, in a brief way, that may be satisfactorily raised for home-use. The number of varieties for this purpose should be more extensive than the former list One object in thus planting should be to have as wide a range of flavors as possible, as well as to embrace all the other good qualities that can possibly be obtained. One other thought should be kept constantly in mind in planting for home-use, — that of a succession of fruit from very early to very late. Among the very earliest comes the Madeleine; a rather poor pear, of which it might answer to have a single tree. Better, though very small, is the Doyenne d'Ete1: then the Supreme de Quimper, Rostiezer, Tyson, Bloodgood, Pinneo, St . Ghislain, Beurr6 Giffard, and Brandywine, are all good pears in their season, and should find a place in such a collection. The same may be said of Dearborn's Seedling, Clapp's Favorite, Bartlett, Belle Lucrative, Flemish Beauty (rather sparingly), Beurru Bosc, Abbott, Sheldon, Louise Bonne de Jersey, Duchesse d'AngoulSme (on quince), Seckel, Marie Louise, Urbaniste, Mt. Vernon, Beurre' Hardy, Lawrence, Beurr£ d'Anjou, Dana's Hovey, Beurrd d'Aremberg (slow grower), Catillac (for cooking), Vicar of Winkfield, Winter Nelis, Beurr^ Diel, and Glout Morceau in some locations. There are many other good varieties, of course, that can be added to this list, including some of the newer pears of great promise; such as Rogers, Goodale, Edmonds, Ellis, Wellington, Caen de France, fimile d'Heyst, Gen. Todtleben, and others. The above list will not be suitable to every variety of soil and location, but is probably the very best for one's own use. In briefly presenting this list of pears, it is proper to say that those have mostly been selected that by experience have been found to give satisfactory results ; and no one can go far astray in adopting it
J. F. C. Hyde.
THE HORTICULTURAL VALUE OF THE CROW.
Perhaps no branch of American rural economy has been so little investigated as the food of our native birds. In Europe, within a fewyears, the attention of scientific men has been turned to the subject: but the information they have been able to obtain, although valuable, cannot, of course, be applied, otherwise than by a series of analogies, to this country; and the economical value of most of our species is as yet almost entirely unknown to us. This ignorance is owing, principally, to the difficulty attending such investigations, — the killing of great numbers of birds in all the seasons when they are found with us, which is absolutely necessary, but which is extremely distasteful to most persons; and it has been aggravated somewhat by the contradictory statements of various persons in different localities regarding the food of some species that they have had the means of observing.
Of these birds, none have given rise to more controversy than the Corvidae, in which are placed our crows and jays; and I propose to discuss briefly here this interesting topic, and bring a few facts and arguments, founded on reason or actual observation, to show their actual value on the farm.
Until very recently, I have been the earnest advocate of these birds, and have believed that the benefits they render much more than balance the injuries they inflict; but I must say, that, after careful consideration, my faith in their utility is sadly shaken.
At the outset, I will say that I have kept specimens in captivity; and have, by actual observation, proved that at least eight ounces of such food as frogs, fish, &c., are eaten daily by our common crow. Of course, like other birds, it can live on a very limited allowance; but I think that the above is a reasonable amount: however, to be absolutely within bounds, we will fix the food of the crow to be equal to five ounces of animal matter per diem. Beginning, then, with the new year, we will follow the life of this bird through all the seasons, and then compare the results arrived at together, good and bad.
During the months of January, February, and March, when the face of the country is covered with snow, the insects being dormant, and the small birds away to more southern districts, most of the crows migrate from New England; and the few that remain depend upon a scanty subsistence of seeds of wild plants and weeds, acorns, apples that have been left on the trees in the orchard, and frozen; and they occasionally capture a field-mouse that strays from its nest in the stubble-field or swamp. The life of the crow during these months is one continued starvation; and the expression, "poor as a crow," may be applied to it, as well describing its condition. It succeeds in finding a few cocoons of Lepidopterous insects; meets occasionally with a caterpillar or beetle; and, on the whole, its labors during these months may be called beneficial; although the good resulting from them is of so little amount, that we might safely regard them as neutral. But, to be beyond the chance of doing it an injustice, we will assume, that, during the three months above mentioned, the crow does as much good as during the whole month of April.
Let us adopt, in this discussion, a system of numerals to signify the relative values of this bird through the year; taking the unit i to represent the labors of each day. The crow is therefore valuable, during January, February, and March, 30 units: and, in April, is unquestionably 30 units more; for its food then consists almost entirely of noxious insects in their different forms. It is perfectly safe to say that it would destroy a thousand insects in making up the amount of food that I mentioned above; and it is not improbable, that, during this month, it actually eats that number daily.
During the first half of May, its labors are undoubtedly beneficial; for its food still consists almost entirely of insects: but after the middle of that month, when the small birds have begun to lay their eggs and hatch their young, the crow divides its diet pretty equally between them and the insects. Now, it is not apparent, at the first glance, how immensely injurious it becomes the moment it begins to destroy the eggs and young of our small birds; but we may demonstrate it to an approximation. We will allow, that, during the latter part of May, half of its food consists of injurious insects and other vermin: it is therefore beneficial in the whole month about 23 units. But it is perfectly reasonable to say that it destroys at least the eggs or young of one pair of sparrows, four in number; one pair of warblers, four in number; and one pair of thrushes or starlings, four in number: for I have known one pair of Canada jays to kill and devour the half-grown young of four families of snow-birds (Junco hyemalis) — sixteen birds in all — in one forenoon; and have seen a pair of crows, in two visits to an orchard, within a half-hour's time, destroy the young birds in two robins' nests.
Now let us see what the injury amounts 'to that it does in destroying the four eggs or young of the sparrows, warblers, and thrushes. It is a well-known fact, that the young of all our small birds, whether insectivorous or graminivorous in the adult stage, are fed entirely on insects. Bradley says that a pair of sparrows will destroy 3,360 caterpillars for a week's family supplies. For four weeks, at the lowest estimate, the young of our sparrows are fed on this diet; and the family that the crow destroys would, in that time, eat at least 13,440 noxious insects; and as they feed more or less upon this same diet during their stay with us, killing certainly as many as fifty insects each, daily, the family would devour 200 per diem, or, before they leave us in September, as many as 20,000. The warblers are entirely insectivorous, and we can certainly allow them as great destructive capacity as the sparrows. The four that the crow destroys would have devoured, before they leave us in autumn, at least 30,000 caterpillars and other insects. A pair of thrushes has been actually seen to carry over a hundred insects, principally caterpillars, to their young in an hour's time: if we suppose that the family mentioned above be fed for only six hours in the day, they would eat six hundred per diem, at least, while they remain in the nest; which being three weeks, the amount would be 12,600; and before they leave us in the fall, allowing only fifty each per day,— a very small number,—they would, in the aggregate, kill 20,000 more.
Now, we find that the crow in one day destroys birds that would, together, eat 96,040 insects before they would leave us for their winter homes, or about ninety-six times as many as it would eat in a day if its food consisted entirely of them. It is therefore injurious, during the last half of May, — keeping our original calculation in view, — 598 units.
During the whole month of June and the first half of July, while its family are in the nest, it is at least doubly destructive; for its young are possessed of voracious appetites, requiring an abundance of food to supply them. Allowing, then, that, of its and their diet, half consists of insects during this period, it is beneficial about 46 units; but, as at least one-half of the other half consists of young birds and eggs, it is injurious during the same period at least 96 units daily, or 4,320 units for June and the first half of July. The remaining quarter of its and their food during this time consists of berries and various small seeds, and reptiles; and this diet may be considered as of neutral importance, economically speaking.
During the last half of July, and through August and the first half of September, its diet consists of about half insects and mice; and the balance, of berries and small fruits. It is therefore, during this time, beneficial