This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
Happily the goldfinch lives, thanks to the keen eye kept on bird-catchers by policemen, if for nothing less than to set a pattern to Parish and District Councils in keeping down thistle and sowthistle seeds that are allowed to perfect on waysides, waste places, and vacant plots and broadcasted by wind over miles of country. Even the bird milliner is suffering from a dearth of this bird's beautiful plumage, so effectively carried out by County Council officials are the Wild Birds' Protection Acts. Thus the goldfinch is once more becoming plentiful in some districts, and though much depleted by wary bird-catchers to meet the demand for cage birds by bird-fanciers, who are often loudest in acclaiming against enslaving the wild birds of the country, the bird works mightily in the behalf of the tree-lover and the fruit-grower during its breeding season, and afterwards in destroying countless weed-seeds of the worst description. It loves apple orchards because of the caterpillars and other pests the trees provide for rearing their young, and, unfortunately, no other birds are so easily caught in trap cages by means of a call bird and baited with canary and hemp seed, when fully fledged.
In this way the fruit-grower often acts, especially if a cage-bird fancier, and by sale of captured birds or by crossbreeding can make money, yet withal clamours for the protection of hawks to save the fruit crops from bud-destroying and fruit-pilfering birds.