A history of British birds

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Page 4 - A northern diver, taken alive, was kept in a pond for some months, which gave us an opportunity of attending to its manners. In a few days it became extremely docile, would come at the call, from one side of the pond to the other, and would take food from the hand.
Page 232 - No bird is of such use to the islanders as this: the Fulmar supplies them with oil for their lamps, down for their beds, a delicacy for their tables, a balm for their wounds, and a medicine for their distempers.
Page 72 - ... and other gregarious fishes, cannot at that time avoid their enemy, who is floating in the midst of profusion. In the act of respiration, there appears to be always some air propelled between the skin and the body of this bird, as a visible expansion and contraction is observed about the breast ; and this singular conformation makes the bird so buoyant that it floats high on the water, and does not sink beneath the surface, as observed in the cormorant and shag.
Page 74 - ... must greatly contribute to its buoyancy both in air and water, it is well adapted for residing in the midst of the most tempestuous sea, floating on its surface in perfect security, and following those shoals of fish, on which depends its whole existence : thus, when all others are compelled to seek shelter in bays and creeks, the gannet is enabled to brave the severest weather in all seasons, without attempting to near the shore. This contrivance may also be of the most important service to...
Page 72 - ... visible expansion and contraction is observed about the breast; and this singular conformation makes the bird so buoyant, that it floats high on the water, and not sunk beneath its surface as observed in the Cormorant and Shag. The legs are not placed so far behind as in such of the feathered tribe as procure their subsistence by immersion: the Gannet, consequently, has the centre of gravity placed more forward, and, when standing, the body is nearly horizontal like a Goose, and not erect like...
Page 25 - ... had been secured. It Is the nature of this bird, as well as of most of those birds which habitually dive to take their prey, to perform all their evolutions under water with the aid of their wings ; but Instead of dashing at once Into the midst of the terrified group of small fry, by which only a few would be captured, It passes round and round 65916— 19— Bull.
Page 145 - Pewit, which, being of the migratory kind, came annually to certain pooles in the estate of the Right Worshipful Sir Charles Skrymsher, Knight, to build and breed, and to no other estate in, or neer, the county, but of this family to which they have belonged ultra hominum memariam, and never moved from it, though they have changed their station often.
Page 238 - might they curse the midnight lighthouse that, star-like, guides them on their watery way; or the buoy that warns them of the sunken rocks below, as this harmless wanderer, whose manner informs them of the approach of the storm, and thereby enables them to prepare for it.
Page 256 - Sometimes on alighting, which It does plumply, the Mottled Owl Immediately bends its body, turns Its head to look behind it. performs a curious nod, utters its notes, then shakes and plumes itself, and resumes its flight in search of prey. It now and then, while on the wing, produces a clicking sound with Its mandibles, but more frequently when perched near its mate or young. This I have thought...
Page 146 - Moss, though containing two gentlemen's land, yet (which is very remarkable) the Pewits did discern betwixt the one and the other, and build only on the land of the next heir, John Skrymsher, Esq., so wholly are they addicted to this family.

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