“The Tyrant Fly-catcher, or, as it is commonly named, the Field Martin, or King Bird, is one of the most interesting visitors of the United States, where it is to be found during spring and summer, and where, were its good qualities appreciated as they deserve to be, it would remain unmolested.  But man being generally disposed to consider in his subjects a single fault sufficient to obliterate the remembrance of a thousand good qualities, even when the latter are beneficial to his interest, and tend to promote his comfort, persecutes the King Bird without mercy, and extends his enmity to its whole progeny.  This mortal hatred is occasioned by a propensity which the Tyrant Fly-catcher now and then shews to eat a honey-bee, which the narrow-minded farmer looks upon as exclusively his own property, although he is presently to destroy thousands of its race, for the selfish purpose of siezing upon the fruits of their labours, which he does with as little remorse as if nature’s bounties were destined for man alone.”

–J. J. Audubon, Ornithological Biography, I (1831), 403 [excerpted].

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