Dentists’ Diversions

Dr. J. W. Lopenthein, of Marquette, Mich., has found a nique way of Making friends with birds.

                It is rather a common experience to have the most friendly of all birds come and introduce himself to us, especially while lunching out in the open, and if we extend a welcome hand to this self invited guest holding within the palm a morsel of food, he will perch upon the finger and shake hands and lunch with us. No bird is more confiding and fearless than the friendly Chickadee and many pictures of a man or woman holding the friendly Chickadee have appeared in papers, magazines, and books.

Having experienced the kindly feeling and thrill that goes with the grip of a Chickadee, I decided to try and get a similar thrill from other birds in the neighborhood that did not seem to take so kindly to my physiognomy, and to devise ways and means whereby anybody can make friends with most of the common permanent bird residents.

I have frequently seen scarecrows erected in a cornfield or berry-patch used as a roosting place or perch by the very birds they were intended to scare away. Why not camouflage myself as a scarecrow fill my lap and hands with dainty morsels of food and have the birds come to me? Taking measurements of my dimensions, I started to build the scarecrow so that I could wear his garments.

An old potato crate served as a seat, next a cedar post 24 inches long was split through the center and placed on top of the crate to serve as legs. A groove was cut in the cedar post the width of a lath and a line with the center of the body to support the upper framework which consists of three pieces of lath two of which were 23 inches long and the one in the center about nine inches longer. These were tacked together with three pieces of lath 14 inches long. Three holes were drilled in each of the 23-inch lath, two each near the top and bottom and two in the center. Having no other wire on hand, six of Olga’s croquet arches placed in the holes served as ribs to produce the necessary fullness. An empty grape fruit can punctured at the bottom and slid over the center lath served as a neck and an empty coffee can treated in a similar manner and placed on top of the other can served as a foundation for the head.

The wardrobe consisted of two burlap sacks, a mask, a pair of colored glasses, a cap and a glove. A hole was cut in the bottom of one of the sacks large enough to pass the head through, and a puckering string served to draw it close to the neck. The other sack ripped down the side and bottom served as a blanket to cover up the lower limbs. A piece of burlap wrapped around the coffee can and pinned in place served to hold the mask, cap, and glasses. A strip of burlap wrapped around the neck served as a scarf. At first the glove and later the bare hand passed through a slit near the upper limb holding the food.

The picture is positive proof that even such scary and wary birds as sparrows and starlings will pay you a friendly visit at feeding time, providing the food they like is offered.