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districts chiefly depend for their sustenance during the summer. About three weeks after their first appearance, the Canada geese disperse in pairs throughout the country, between the fiftieth and sixty-seventh parallels to breed, retiring at the same time from the shores of lIudson's Bay. They are seldom or never seen on the coasts of the arctic sea ; in July, after the young

birds are hatched, the parents moult, and vast numbers are killed in the rivers and small lakes, when they are unable to fly. When chased by a canoe, and obliged to dive frequently, they soon become fatigued, and make for the shore with the intention of hiding themselves, but as they are not fleet they fall an easy prey to their pursuers.

In autumn they again assemble in flocks on the shores of Hudson's Bay for three weeks or a month previous to their departure southward.” In the territories of the Hudson's Bay Company, these birds are barrelled for use, and the feathers are imported into England. Those taken on the approach of the cold season, during their southward migration, in Canada, and within the states, are frozen in their feathers, and preserved for winter consumption.

Though the ordinary European tame goose is kept in North America, the Canada goose is also kept there as a domestic bird, and is said to thrive better than the former. In France and England it has also become domiciled, and interbreeds with the common goose; the hybrids are highly esteemed for the

very superior flavour and delicacy of their flesh. Bewick observes that the Canada goose, now one of our domestic birds, “is as familiar, breeds as freely, and is in every respect as valuable as the common goose. It is said to be extremely watchful, and more sensible of approaching changes in the atmosphere than our ordinary species.

The Chinese goose or swan goose (anser Cygnoïdes) in its general form, the length of its neck, and the protuberance at the base of its beak, reminds us of the swan, and appears to take an intermediate station between the geese and swan tribes. It rather exceeds the ordinary goose in size, and freely breeds with it, so that the pure race is less frequently to be seen than formerly, at least the mixed breed has more frequently come under our notice. The Chinese goose is originally from China and other parts of Asia, and also from Africa.

It is the Oie de Guinée of Buffon. Individuals are sometimes to be met with almost purely white, with a brown mark down the back of the neck. As an ornament of ponds and lakes, in pleasure grounds, these birds are little inferior to the swan, and it is chiefly for this purpose that they are kept. We have, however, seen them, and particularly the mixed breed, in farm yards.

THE TAME SWAN, OR MUTE SWAN.--The tame swan (cygnus olor) may perhaps come within the list of domestic birds, for though it lives and breeds at large on our rivers and sheets of water, it is not an indigenous species, in our island, nor is it one of our migratory visitors. Moreover, it is in all cases under ownership, and guarded by express laws relative to its preservation. It is, in fact, a “bird royal,” in which no subject can have property, so long as it is on a public river or creek, except by an express grant.

The present species, in a wild condition, is a native of Siberia, north-eastern Europe, and the adjacent parts of Asia, migrating southwards in winter, when it occasionally visits Italy. On the Caspian Sea, through Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, and Syria, it is abundant

in winter; and swans unnumbered, as in the time of Homer, may still visit Cayster’s* springs, and there “stretch their long necks and flap their rustling wings."

At what period the swan became reclaimed and naturalized in western Europe and the British Isles, we have no means of ascertaining, certainly it was at a remote date; and as the laws we have alluded to prove, this noble bird was held in peculiar esteem. From a digest of the British statutes relative to the swan in the Penny Cyclopædia, we take a few extracts, to show their general tendency. The crown alone has the right of granting a property in swans on a public river, and conceding this privilege a swan-mark is also granted, for distinguishing the particular “ game” or flock of swans, from others on the same river. Sometimes the crown, instead of granting a swan-mark, confers the still further prerogative right of seizing within a certain district all white or adult swans not marked. “Thus the abbot of Abbotsbury, in Dorsetshire, had a game of wild swans in the estuary formed by the isle of Portland and the Chesil Bank. The swannery at Abbotsbury

* A river in Asia Minor near Ephesus.

is the largest in the kingdom, and though formerly much more extensive, it still numbers many hundreds of these birds, forming an object of considerable attraction and interest to those who visit this part of the coast. It is now vested in the earl of Ilchester, to whose ancestor it was granted on the dissolution of the monasteries.”

The city of Oxford has a game of swans by prescription, but we do not know that any are now kept.

On the Thames, the Dyers' and Vintners' Company, with the crown, divide the games of swans between them. The royal mark on the beak is made on the skin of the upper mandible with a knife.

The Dyers’ Company have the swan-mark consisting of a single notch or nick on one side of the beak ; that of the Vintners' Company consists of a mark on each side of the beak. Hence the sign of the swan with two nicks, converted in the present day into two necks.

The adult male swan is called a cob, the adult female a pen,


young a cygnet. The cygnets when hatched are clothed with brownish gray down, and do not acquire

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