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A Bird Calendar for Northern India by Dewar

Produced by Ron Swanson

_BY THE SAME AUTHOR_ ANIMALS OF NO IMPORTANCE THE INDIAN CROW: HIS BOOK BOMBAY DUCKS BIRDS OF THE PLAINS INDIAN BIRDS JUNGLE FOLK GLIMPSES OF INDIAN BIRDS BIRDS OF THE INDIAN HILLS

_IN COLLABORATION WITH FRANK FINN_ THE MAKING OF SPECIES

A BIRD CALENDAR FOR NORTHERN INDIA

BY DOUGLAS DEWAR

LONDON: W. THACKER & CO., CREED LANE, E.C. CALCUTTA AND SIMLA: THACKER, SPINK & CO. 1916

WM. BRENDON AND SON, LTD., PRINTERS, PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND.

I am indebted to the editor of _The Pioneer_ for permission to republish the sketches that form this calendar, and to Mr. A. J. Currie for placing at my disposal his unpublished notes on the birds of the Punjab.

Full descriptions of all the Indian birds of which the doings are chronicled in this calendar are to be found in the four volumes of the _Fauna of British India_ devoted to birds; popular descriptions of the majority are given in my _Indian Birds_.

D. D.

HARROW, _January 1916_.

CONTENTS PAGE JANUARY . . . . . . 1 FEBRUARY . . . . . 18 MARCH . . . . . . . 33 APRIL . . . . . . . 61 MAY . . . . . . . . 79 JUNE . . . . . . . 103 JULY . . . . . . . 116 AUGUST . . . . . . 136 SEPTEMBER . . . . . 152 OCTOBER . . . . . . 165 NOVEMBER . . . . . 178 DECEMBER . . . . . 189 GLOSSARY . . . . . 199 INDEX . . . . . . . 201

JANUARY

Up--let us to the fields away, And breathe the fresh and balmy air. MARY HOWITT.

Take nine-and-twenty sunny, bracing English May days, steal from March as many still, starry nights, to these add two rainy mornings and evenings, and the product will resemble a typical Indian January. This is the coolest month in the year, a month when the climate is invigorating and the sunshine temperate. But even in January the sun's rays have sufficient power to cause the thermometer to register 70 degrees in the shade at noon, save on an occasional cloudy day.

Sunset is marked by a sudden fall of temperature. The village smoke then hangs a few feet above the earth like a blue-grey diaphanous cloud.

The cold increases throughout the hours of darkness. In the Punjab hoar-frosts form daily; and in the milder United Provinces the temperature often falls sufficiently to allow of the formation of thin sheets of ice. Towards dawn mists collect which are not dispersed until the sun has shone upon them for several hours. The vultures await the dissipation of these vapours before they ascend to the upper air, there to soar on outstretched wings and scan the earth for food.

On New Year's Day the wheat, the barley, the gram, and the other Spring crops are well above the ground, and, ere January has given place to February, the emerald shoots of the corn attain a height of fully sixteen inches. On these the geese levy toll.


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