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Wake-Robin

John Burroughs

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Horse and cow hair are plentifully used, imparting to the interior of the nest great symmetry and firmness as well as softness.

Passing down through the maple arches, barely pausing to observe the antics of a trio of squirrels,—two gray ones and a black one,—I cross an ancient brush fence and am fairly within the old hemlocks, and in one of the most primitive, undisturbed nooks. In the deep moss I tread as with muffled feet, and the pupils of my eyes dilate in the dim, almost religious light. The irreverent red squirrels, however, run and snicker at my approach, or mock the solitude with their ridiculous chattering and frisking.

This nook is the chosen haunt of the winter-wren. This is the only place and these the only woods in which I find him in this vicinity. His voice fills these dim aisles, as if aided by some marvelous sounding-board. Indeed, his song is very strong for[56] so small a bird and unites in a remarkable degree brillian. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Wake-Robin (1871) was the first of over thirty books written by John Burroughs. Regarded as the father of the American nature essay, Burroughs was one of the most popular authors of his time. His writing journey begins while a clerk in Washington DC during the Civil War, recounting tales of birds...more

A fun trip afield with John Burroughs while birding. His enthusiasm shows through in all chapter. He records a lot of subjective bird behavior which is of interest to those seeking birds in the outdoors. Also a fair amount of descriptive text on identification by song, plumage, and habitat.

It's really all about birds.....more

I just moved to the Catskill Mountains, and regularly drive to Roxbury, just 30 minutes from my new home. I read this, my first Burroughs collection (but not my last) so I could learn how to start seeing this beautiful area. It's always thrilling to read a writer who has his or her own lenses, es...more

A laundry list of birds Burroughs observed, their habits and habitats.