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Bird Lime


This substance so called to which we have above alluded, and which

is sold in our bird marts under that name, is a viscid, sticky

preparation, closely resembling a very thick and gummy varnish.

It is astonishingly sticky, and the slightest quantity between

the fingers will hold them together with remarkable tenacity. What

its effect must be on the feathers of a bird can easily be imagined.

r /> This preparation is put up in boxes of different sizes, and may

be had from any of the taxidermists or bird-fanciers in any of

our large towns or cities. Should a home made article be required,

an excellent substitute may be prepared from the inner bark of the

slippery elm. This should be gathered in the spring or early

summer, cut into very small pieces or scraped into threads, and

boiled in water sufficient to cover them until the pieces are soft

and easily mashed. By this time the water will be pretty much boiled

down, and the whole mass should then be poured into a mortar and

beaten up, adding at the same time a few grains of wheat. When

done, the paste thus made may be put into an earthen vessel and

kept. When required to be used, it should be melted or softened

over the fire, adding goose grease or linseed oil, instead of water.

When of the proper consistency it may be spread upon sticks or

twigs prepared for it, and which should afterwards be placed in

the locality selected for the capture of the birds.

An excellent bird-lime may be made also from plain linseed-oil,

by boiling it down until it becomes thick and gummy. Thick varnish

either plain or mixed with oil, but always free from alcohol, also

answers the purpose very well. The limed twigs may be either set

in trees or placed on poles and stuck in the ground.

If any of our readers chance to become possessed of an owl, they

may look forward to grand success with their limed twigs. It is a

well known fact in natural history that the owl is the universal

enemy of nearly all our smaller birds. And when, as often happens,

a swarm of various birds are seen flying frantically from limb to

limb, seeming to centre on a particular tree, and filling the air

with their loud chirping, it may be safely concluded that some sleepy

owl has been surprised in his day-dozing, and is being severely

pecked and punished for his nightly depredations.

Profiting from this fact, the bird catcher often utilizes the owl

with great success. Fastening the bird in the crotch of some tree,

he adjusts the limed twigs on an sides, even covering the neighboring

branches with the gummy substance. No sooner is the owl spied by

one bird than the cry is set up, and a score of foes are soon

at hand, ready for battle. One by one they alight on the beguiling

twigs, and one by one find themselves held fast. The more they flutter

the more powerless they become, and the more securely are they held.

In this way many valuable and rare birds are often captured.