Martin Johnson Heade

“If Nature intended that the bird should live on insects, she must also have intended to confer its depredations to the flower in question, as such a formation would make it a very inconvenient instrument for capturing them in ordinary places; while on the other hand the flower might yield the bird exclusive sustenance in honey, as all other species are denied participation of its sweets by the peculiar construction of its deep corolla…. While scientific men have traveled hundreds of miles through the wild malarious regions of the tropics in their anxiety to add to the knowledge of this seemingly insignificant but most brilliant and attractive little creature. To one who is in the least degree attuned to poetic feeling, they have a singularly fascinating power, which the subtlest mind is unable to explain, but which all who have studied them must acknowledge to have felt."  - Martin Johnson Heade, Notebook on Hummingbirds, c. 1864 and c. 1881



"They are so thinned out that even if not another one was killed there would scarcely be enough to raise another family. If sportsmen could only be induced to keep their guns in the cases this season, there might be some show of birds next fall, but of course they will not, and the only way to recruit their ranks will be to pass another restricting law for two or three years." - Didymus, the penname of Martin Johnson Heade, Forest and Stream, Nov 16, 1882


"Between the frosts, taxidermists, and milliners, I fear they'll be almost exterminated in a few years." - Didymus, Forest and Stream, June 25, 1891


 “No man who has the right to call himself a sportsman would engage in this plume hunting traffic even if he could "clean up" five thousand. The plume birds of Florida have been thoroughly cleaned up and professional bird butchers are scattered all through South America." -Didymus, Forest and Stream, July 27, 1895