WILD WINGS by Frank S. Stuart


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Here -- for the year round migrating pattern of the wild ducks- is a companion piece to the entrancing City of the Bees, published in 1949. Again Frank Stuart has caught the poetry and drama of this mysterious aspect of nature and has told the story in such convincing terms that one feels he has himself seen every phase. At the start, some ducks are lured into a net for banding; their story ends with the author -- a year later -- identifying some of the banded pintails, and reconstructing the story of the months between. He captures the sense of instinct and what seems like reasoning as the urge is on for the Spring migration north. He tells of the perils of the flight, the adventures that overtake the particular trio he has chosen for his tale- pintails, duck and drake, and a stranger with the flight, a mallard, ""courting"" the pintail duck. Storm over sea and land, ice and snow, dangers from four footed perils in the forests, from insecurities of nesting places, from falcon, eagle, hawk in the air; the mating, nesting, raising of the young; the period of humiliation when molting takes away the power of flight -- these are some of the phases that belong to the march of time. Much of the incident is of necessity imaginary, but all of it might have happened and it makes enchanting nature reading.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1951
Publisher: McGraw-Hill