Editor [possibly Miles Greenleaf]. January 30, 1916. Youngsters and Songsters [Bird Study]. Omaha Sunday World-Herald 51(18); 4-E. A bird editorial.
Youngsters and Songsters.
Almost before you know it there will be a bluebird on the fence and the advance guard of springtime will have arrived. The juncos and brown creepers will gradually disappear with the snow and in their place will be a grand army of more brilliantly colored songsters to make the summer beautiful. In the stark twigs and branches and upon the flinty frozen ground will develop dense masses of foliage to hide from prying human eyes the homes and honeymoons of countless pairs of newly mated birds.
Before this sweetest of all periods in outdoor life it would indeed be well to prepare the youngsters for the songsters.
Fortunately there are but few lads and lassies who now interest themselves in the despicable fad of egg collections, a hobby born of ignorance in the child and tolerated by grown-ups for the same insufficient reason.
Unless all present signs fall in the future, the children of this community will now be interested in the study of the songsters, rather than in killing them or despoiling their homes. The schools have taken up this highly important and enjoyable branch of education, while the city government is lending a mighty hand in the parks and along the boulevards. Bird sanctuaries in the cemeteries are already assured and it is now up to the parents to help in the grand work.
The Audubon society of Nebraska is making a strenuous effort to increase its junior membership throughout this city and state, which means that there will be many delightful "field days" in the woods during the summer weeks, and that the feathered folks will discover themselves welcome indeed in these parts. Several bird clubs have already been organized and the campaign seems as sure of success as the cause is righteous and humane.
One has but to take the kiddies on a single hike through the jungles to convince them that there is far more fun in looking for birds than there is in destroying them, and that the observation of birds' nests from day to day is much more engrossing than stealing the eggs and violating the songsters' home thereby.
Let the oldsters and youngsters enjoy this cleanly and useful outdoor study course together. Once started, they will never turn back, for in every human soul there is that longing for the primeval solitude and wholesomeness that is found only in the fields and woods, with the birds and other wild things there.
And now, before the first green sprout has appeared and the first bud has burst, it is the time to prepare.