Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

Editor. April 29, 1897. [Untitled editorial on the slaughter of song birds.] Wheeler County Independent 7(14): 1. An editorial.

[Editorial on the Slaughter of Song Birds.]

The season opens with a magnificent display of mosquitoes and a brilliant prospect for a large supply of bugs of all kinds this summer—especially humbugs. Nebraska is notorious for bugs as well as for defaulting officials, and one reason, perhaps, of her over-supply of insects is found in our rather limited number of birds. Insectivorous birds are not very plentiful in this country and the idiotic shooting of such birds at this time of year is one reason why they do not increase more rapidly. Hunters from abroad and the small boy with a shot gun are deadly agents in this inhuman and needless slaughter and probably imagine that their ability to knock over an inoffensive songster and bring the little form mangled and bleeding to the earth at a distance of a few yards with a gun that scatters the leaden hail over a space six feet square shows skill and manliness, but it doesn't. It is not a training of the eye or the nerve. It is simply the crushing out of existence of a little animal by a larger one, with all the shameful advantages on the side of the larger. Parents should see that their boys are more profitably employed or at least that they try their marksmanship on more legitimate game.