DOUBTS ABOUT BIRD PROTECTION.
A good deal of excited feeling is being stirred, especially among ardent friends of the birds, by the new consolidating Bill on Bird Protection. On the whole, to my thinking, it is a good Bill, for it is not possible at this date altogether to prevent boys and men from birds' nesting ; and a certain amount of latitude must be left, unless constant disobedience of the law is accepted. But some of its very strongly desire a spacious and yet simple law ; and nothing so good has been said as the proposal made half-humorously by " Cheviot" in the Field, though he writes as a " shooter," not an orni- thologist or humanitarian. His Bill would be as follows : " Henceforward Great Britain shall be a bird sanctuary ; and no one in it shall kill or take any wild bird or their eggs." To this he would append two lists, one of game birds, drawn up by a central authority, presumably, the other of "harmful birds," drawn up by the various county councils. " Hence- forward Great Britain shall be a bird sanctuary "— the savour of that phrase is wholly enchanting. The existing Bill has two weaknesses. One is that birds that are harmful in one place—say, greenfinches in the seed-growing districts of Essex—are useful in another ; and for this reason local control is needed. The second is that previously the county councils published their lists of birds and notices of close seasons in local papers and so did a good deal of propaganda work that will now be omitted. One way of making this good would be through the elementary schools. Why not appoint a lesson for delivery at each opening of the close season ?