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Birds and Man

W. H. Hudson

Book Overview: 

During the later part of his life Hudson lived in southern England, where he was involved very early on with the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). Birds and Man is a slow moving work where Hudson discusses his love of birds, and the need for better protection of them.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Page_43">[Pg_43] about they fly close to and examine it for a few moments, then dart away; if it comes too near the nest they will attack it, or threaten an attack. When examining their nests I have had humming-birds dash into my face. The action is similar to that of a stingless, solitary carpenter bee, common in La Plata: a round burly insect with a shining steel-blue body: when the tree or bush in which this bee has its nest is approached by a man it darts about in an eccentric manner, humming loudly, and at intervals remains suspended motionless for ten or fifteen seconds at a height of seven or eight yards above his head; suddenly it dashes quick as lightning into his face, inflicting a sharp blow. The bee falls, as if stunned, a space of a couple of feet, then rises again to repeat the action.

There is certainly a wide difference between so simple an instinctive action as this, which cannot be regarded as intelligent or conscious, and the actions . . . Read More