Birds of an Iowa Dooryard (Bur Oak Book) by Althea R. Sherman

By Althea R. Sherman

Written within the early a part of this century, Birds of an Iowa Dooryard is stuffed with meticulous and witty observations of species either avian and human.

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Additional resources for Birds of an Iowa Dooryard (Bur Oak Book)

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So the chimney swift notes were not published during her lifetime, and Bent did his chimney swift article without the benefit of her research. He did, however, make passing reference to her indictment of house wrens, the battle that split bird lovers into factions. In 1925 three articles by Sherman on the subject appeared. " It was not the house wren she opposed but the artificially high numbers that were thriving because every backyard bird lover had been erecting house wren boxes. House wrens, she wrote, were far more destructive to songbirds than house sparrows.

Within the past fourteen years the advent of a hitherto absent species, the Cardinal, has been watched with intense interest by all bird lovers. The brilliant colors of the Cardinal attract the attention of almost everyone. This, taken together with its winter habit of coming to dooryard or chickenyard, has helped in the collecting of data concerning its northward movement and its slow spreading across the northern portion of Iowa. In some places it has become a common breeding species, "as common as the Robin" in the estimation of some people.

Dr. Emily Amelia, her older unmarried sister, returned to the homestead in 1902 to practice rural medicine, horse-and-buggy style. For better or worse, the two sisters lived together there for the rest of their lives. To hear Althea tell it, it was mostly for worse; Amelia, as she pre- Page 2 ferred to be called, was as tightfisted as her father had been. He had left them both a substantial income, but while Amelia pinched every penny, Althea was known for her generosity to educational, religious, and charitable institutions.

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