03 February 2014

Kill English Sparrows Without Mercy

Wichita can no longer be seen from the railroad of from the river for the forest of trees in which her streets and homes are now embowered. The result is, where we had a few birds ten years ago scattered along the margins of the two rivers, our sleeping chambers are now made redolent, in the first lights of each day, by the commingled music of thousands of feathered songsters that build, and bill, and plume, and sing o'er roof, by lattice and in every tree which surrounds. It is delightful and remarked by all strangers. Prominent among the songsters is the southern mocking bird, the thrush, the golden oriole, the finch, the red bird and several other commoner birds, including the lonely, cooing wild dove and the plaintive, chirping robin red breast. But all these gay singers and happy nest builders are to be driven off. Somebody has brought on a brood of those nasty little scavengers, and pesky gutter rooters known as the English sparrow, and turned them loose in this city. Last year there were but three or four, now there are two or three dozen pair chirping and sniffling like a chick dying of the gapes, in the trees hereabouts. Kill the last one of them for all other birds flee before these pugnacious little wretches, whose innocent looks hide the instincts of concentrated bull dog. They are more to be dreaded than the army worm or potato bug, and when they get a good hold they never let up. Don't allow one on your premises, but scotch them over the head with a club as you would an offending flea or pugnacious billy goat.

May 10, 1883. Kill 'em without mercy. Wichita Eagle 12(7): 3.