Clip Posted February 12, 2022 Share Posted February 12, 2022 On 2/5/2022 at 11:29 PM, SirVive said: Excerpt from an old book I was enjoying once again the other day. Its called Far Away and Long Ago. An interesting story in general and a lot of birding mixed in. "One evening I told him and our eldest brother that I had seen a strange thing in a bird which had led me to find out something new. Our commonest species was the parasitic cowbird, which laid its eggs anywhere in the nests of all the other small birds. Its colour was a deep glossy purple, almost black; and seeing two of these birds flying over my head, I noticed that they had a small chestnut-coloured spot beneath the wing, which showed that they were not the common species. It had then occurred to me that I had heard a peculiar note or cry uttered by what I took to be the cowbird, which was unlike any note of that bird; and following this clue, I had discovered that we had a bird in our plantation which was like the cowbird in size, colour, and general appearance, but was a different species. They appeared amused by my story, and a few days later they closely interrogated me on three consecutive evenings as to what I had seen that was remarkable that day, in birds especially, and were disappointed because I had nothing interesting to tell them. The next day my brother said he had a confession to make to me. He and the elder brother had agreed to play a practical joke on me, and had snared a common cowbird and dyed or painted its tail a brilliant scarlet, then liberated it, expecting that I should meet with it in my day's rambles and bird-watching in the plantation and would be greatly excited at the discovery of yet a third purple cowbird, with a scarlet tail, but otherwise not distinguishable from the common one. Now, on reflection, he was glad I had not found their bird and given them their laugh, and he was ashamed at having tried to play such a mean trick on me!" It would have had me going for sure. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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