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Image from page 400 of “Birds that hunt and are hunted : life histories of one hundred and seventy birds of prey, game birds and water-fowls” (1902)
Image from page 400 of “Birds that hunt and are hunted : life histories of one hundred and seventy birds of prey, game birds and water-fowls” (1902) by Internet Archive Book Images
Title: Birds that hunt and are hunted : life histories of one hundred and seventy birds of prey, game birds and water-fowls
Year: 1902 (1900s)
Authors: Blanchan, Neltje, 1865-1918
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, Page & Co.
Contributing Library: Smithsonian Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: Smithsonian Libraries
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Text Appearing Before Image:
nia and Falkland Islands. Casual in New England. Season—Permanent resident, except at extreme northern limitof range. Floating high in air, with never a perceptible movement ofits widespread wings, as it circles with majestic, unimpas-sioned grace in a great spiral, this common buzzard of oursouthern states suggests by its flight the very poetry of motion,while its terrestrial habits of scavenger are surely the very proseof existence. In the air the bird is unsurpassed for grace, as,rising with the wind, with only the slightest motion of its great,flexible, upturned wings, it sails around and around, for hours at atime, at a height of two or three hundred feet; then descending ina lor»g sweep, rises again with the same calm, effortless soaringthat often carries it beyond our sight through the thin, summerclouds. Humboldt recorded that not even the condor reachesgreater heights beyond the summits of the Andes than thisbuzzard, which often joins its South American relative in its 304
Text Appearing After Image:
Vultures dizzy sport. Since the buzzard is gregarious, there are usuallya dozen great birds amusing themselves by wheeling throughspace in pursuit of pleasure, and abandoning themselves to theamusement with tireless ecstasy. Is it not probable that somuch exercise is taken to help digest the enormous amount ofcarrion bolted ? For this reason, it is thought, the wood ibis soarsand gyrates. Other birds have utilitarian motives for keeping in theair; several of the hawks, for example, do indeed sail about in asimilar graceful spiral flight, notably the red-tailed species, buta sudden swoop or dive proves that its slow gyrations weremade with an eye directly fastened on a dinner. The crowsoars to fight the hawk that carries off its young; the king-bird dashes upward to pursue the crow; but, amidst the quarrelsand cruelties of other birds, the turkey buzzard sails serenelyon its way, molested by none, since it attacks none, andmakes no enemies, feeding as it does, for the most part, oncarr
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