28 DECEMBER 1878, Page 3

The tendency to augur a bard winter, from the arrival

of birds which usually winter in countries far north of us, is, we think, with the Rev. F. 0. Morris, himself a great observer of the habits of birds, generally a mistake. What such arrivals do prove, is not what is going to be, so much as what has already happened in these northern regions,—the birds flying before the cold, rather than taking precautions against it before they feel it. No doubt this may imply a severe winter for us, as well as for these northerly regions, especially if northerly winds prevail, as they are very apt to do when there is unusual cold, and therefore an unusually dense atmosphere, to the north of us, which rushes in on the rarer atmosphere of our more humid climate. But that is only saying that the birds fly from weather which is not unlikely to extend itself to us, not that they anticipate severe weather before they feel it. When robins come into our houses, we do not take it as proving that a long frost is coming, but only that a bard frost is already there ; and we suspect that the northerly birds fly south for precisely the same reasons for which the robins enter our houses when they find the col d insupportable out of doors.