This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Under date of April 13th, a correspondent from Washoe Co., Nevada, says "Oar season is peculiar. We thought our spring was come, and the spring birds were of the same opinion. They had scarcely arrived before a deep fall of snow caught us. It was a pity to see the poor things as they flew against the windows as if begging protection. Some orioles, meadow larks and others we let in, and tried to save, but they all died".
It is remarkable how readily birds die under strange conditions. The Editor was once riding on the cow-catcher of a locomotive of the Union Pacific Railroad, soon after it was opened, and perhaps before the birds had been used to the locomotive. For some reason the meadow larks seemed to endeavor to fly a race with the engine, trying to keep just ahead. The engine went faster than the birds flew, and as we overtook them, many were caught in a soft hat. They all seemed entirely dead on the instant of being caught. In order to be satisfied that it was not from the actual force, the hat would be drawn back on the instant of contact, in a manner well known to those experienced in ball-catching. Death evidently resulted from nervous shock. During the past winter chipping sparrows were caught in rabbit traps by the editor's boys. Instead of turning them out again into the dreary snow field, they were put into cages. Though they ate freely, and seemed glad to appease their hunger, they died in a few days.