23 MARCH 1918, Page 13


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTITOR:9 SIR,—On Saturday, March 9th, the children of Mr. Hugh Clarke, the largest farmer in this parish, told their mother that they had heard the cuckoo. She naturally fancied that they had been taken in by the voice of a boy, and thought no more about it. On the following day, however, Mr. Clarke, his wile, his brother, and one of the sidesmen of our church all distinctly heard the cuckoo's note. It was also heard on March 9th in Glevering Park, a. distance of about two and a half miles from this village. The cuckoo is not generally heard here until towards the end of April.

—I am, Sir, &c., T. F. MATHER. Parham Vicarage, Wickham Market.

{T,he only real evidence in a case of this kind is seeing the bird, just as the only unanswerable evidence in a case of murder is the production of the body. It is true that by an expert ear human imitations of the cuckoo are easily recognizable. Children who imitate cuckoos almost invariably dwell on the second syllable, whereas the cuckoo dwells on the first. There are, however, many instruments for imitating the calls and notes of birds which are lifelike in their exactness.—En. Spectator.]