by Caroline Crowninshield Bascom
While she was obviously kind-hearted and well-meaning, tenderly caring for her charges, it was also obvious that she was unfortunately ignorant about what the birds needed. This is my guess, because I'm not an expert myself, but I was surprised to read that she fed many baby birds a steady died of bread or crackers soaked in milk, that she gave birds she assumed had asthma sugar cubes dipped in whiskey, and many other birds got table fare on a regular basis, whatever they seemed to fancy. One bird she didn't know the name of but described in detail (I think it was a starling) became ill after eating some roses, was dosed with alcohol and promptly died. They also met with frequent accidents from swallowing string, or being attacked by her cat (which she constantly let into the room, with stern but unheeded verbal reprimands) and many simply died from unknown causes or escaped out windows the first chance they got.
All in all, it seemed from reading between the lines a dismal success rate, though she never lost her enthusiasm and conviction that she was doing well by them. It is fun to read about the birds' antics, her attempts at training them to sing along to the piano or come when called by their names. But I couldn't help feeling a bit sorry for them all, in spite of her evident fondness for them and desire to help.
Rating: 2/5 190 pages, 1905