23 JANUARY 1926, Page 20

Mr. Guthrie Smith writes interestingly on the habits of birds

in New Zealand in Bird Life on Island and Shore (Black- wood. 25s.). Of the nest of a Saddleback that he observed, he says : " . . . the hen was so wrapt; in the ecstasy of brooding that she allowed me to lift the kit from its nail and carry her forth still sitting to show to my companions. She appeared perfectly unconcerned, her plumage fluffed out to the utmost, her side feathers made to cover completely the outer margin of the nest. It was a critical period when the greatest warmth was required. The beak of one chick already protruded from the shell; the 'second egg was' chipped.- Un- alarmed, she was returned to her comfortable quarters.' -A pleasant book, accurate in observation and-vivid in description.