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CARRIE ELLA MILLER
an Introduction by
PROFESSOR J. Y. STANTON
Carrie Ella Miller
Prof. Stanton on the College Campus
TO PROFESSOR J. Y. STANTON, WHO HAS BEEN THE
INSPIRATION OF ALL MY BIRD STUDY,
WHOSE SUGGESTION PROMPTED THE
WRITING OF THIS PAMPHLET,
AND WHOSE CRITICISM
The object of this pamphlet is to furnish a list of birds that may be seen in this vicinity if one goes afield to make the acquaintance of the feathered songsters, and to give the approximate time of their arrival.
It is not its object to be technical or classical or to give descriptions, for all have access to books that furnish abundant knowledge of birds. What I offer is a careful record of personal observations and experiences, hoping to stimulate a desire in others to learn something of ornithology from nature, for it can not be satisfactorily learned from books alone.
My natural ear is attuned to music, so many of my remarks will be on the songs of birds, for to me as to John Burroughs "What is a bird without its song? It seems to me that I do not know a bird till I have heard its voice."
Introduction by Prof. Stanton
With the Birds in Summer
Guide to the Arrival of Birds
Professor J. V. Stanton
of the inhabitants of Androscoggin County are greatly interested in
its birds. Probably there are more bird-lovers in it than in any
other county of New England in proportion to the number of
inhabitants. For this reason alone it is very desirable that we have
a catalogue of the birds that may be seen in the county. Since I
knew of no one more capable of making such a catalogue than Miss
Carrie E. Miller I suggested the idea to her. In whatever she
undertakes Miss Miller is one of the most energetic and persevering
persons with whom I am acquainted. She has acquired her remarkable
familiarity with the birds of this county in the early morning
and late afternoon, for while she has been studying the birds she has
been employed every day as a clerk in one of our city banks. Miss
Miller has been greatly aided in her favorite pursuit in possessing
an ability to distinguish the notes and songs of birds such as few
possess. I ought to add that there is much more in Miss Miller's
pamphlet than a mere catalogue of birds.
During the summer vacation days of my childhood in the country I became acquainted with the robin, "ground sparrow," bobolink, kingbird, "yellow-hammer," and cuckoo.
I took my first step in ornithology hearing the hermit thrush, when studying botany.
After my interest in the hermit thrush there were other birds I wanted to know. Burroughs says "Take the first step in ornithology (to me it was hearing the thrush), and you are ticketed for the whole voyage. There is a fascination about it quite overpowering," understood only by those who have had the experience. Every walk, every sojourn in camp or at the farm means so much more, for "the cawing of a crow makes one feel at home and a new song drowns all care."
After struggling along for a few years making slow progress, I had the good fortune to be invited to join the college class on their walks with Prof. Stanton. Then observation really began, for under his guidance every bird student must receive knowledge and inspiration.
For several seasons the experience expressed in Van Dyke's poem, "School," has been mine.
"I put my heart to school
In the woods where veeries sing
And brooks run clear and cool,
In the fields where wild flowers spring.
"'And why do you stay so long,
My heart, and where do you roam?'
The answer came with a laugh and a song, —
'I find this school is home.'"