Great Nebraska

Naturalists and Scientists

Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union

Letters, 1917, January

1916, Jan. 26

January 26, 1917.

Mrs. C. V. Davis,
Milford, Nebraska.

My Dear Madam:
Mrs. A. E. Davisson in charge of Women’s Clubs with the Extension Service of the College of Agriculture has recently written me quoting a statement from you to the effect that a fourteen-year old boy delights in killing birds in your back yard and that you would like material and suggestions to deal with this case. Mrs. Davisson further asks me to reply to your inquiry.
Although you could probably terrify this boy sufficiently to prevent his killing birds on your premises it would probably not prevent his doing so elsewhere, so nothing would be gained by this method. For a boy of this age it is much more productive of good results to instruct him in the aesthetic and economic value of birds and if possible to build up a real interest in them in him. I suggest that you find out where he attends school and endeavor to get his teacher to pay particular attention to bird life during the coming spring. I enclose a circular of an elementary course in bird study prepared especially for use in the Women’s Clubs of the state but which could easily be adapted for the purpose of the teacher especially if the Audobon educational leaflets are used. If his parents or some one could interest him in naming the birds by means of C. A. Reed’s little Bird Guide also, it is probable his desire to kill them would disappear. I also enclose couple of

a little circular setting forth the great economic value of our life, the information contained therein being designed to help in an appreciation of this important service by adults as well as children. It would also be well if the parents as well as the children could be interested in this matter.
While it is likely that the above methods would result in stopping the bird killing there are some types of children on whom it would have no effect. In such cases the only recourse is through parental discipline or, where the parents are indifferent to or sympathetic with the boys acts, a conviction under the law prohibiting the killing of song birds in this state.
Yours very truly,