* * * * BLACKBIRD versus THRUSH. In some gardens
this year—and in some wider regions— the blackbirds abound and thrushes are wholly absent. For example, in a lovely Herefordshire garden this week I neither saw nor heard a single thrush. Blackbirds sang to distraction at all times of day, and I found half a dozen of their nests within a short space. A controversy on the subject of the two birds prevails. Some allege that the blackbird, being the lustier and more bellicose bird, drives out the thrush. There is an old French proverb to the effect that if you cannot get one you must be content with the other ; but this French maxim is a gourmet's, not a naturalist's. I can hardly believe that there is any enmity between the two. In my own garden thrushes and black- birds are both, as usual, flourishing and building and singing side by side ; and I have never caught either bird in the act of interfering with the other. The exclusive presence of the blackbirds must be due to another cause.