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#115973 - 11/14/03 11:37 AM Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear WW: here is a site that I think you may enjoy. It is intended for beginners, which I need. Dickens frequently mentions rooks. All I know about them is that they look like crows, but are slightly larger. I wonder why I never saw a rook in MA, or here in CA. I have found no anser yet, but this URL looks like a good place to begin:
http://www.mobirds.org/Ezine/Ornithology101/Ornithology101.htm


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#115974 - 11/14/03 11:42 AM Re: Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
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I have a Peterson bird CD, but haven't installed it on this computer. But here is Peterson's online URL, worth browsing:
http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/peterson/petersonhome.cfm


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#115975 - 11/14/03 12:38 PM Re: Ornithology 101
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
two nice sites, Dr. Bill. thanks. though I was hoping the the Peterson site would be searchable, and not just a catalog...
I looked perfunctorily, for roc. I had always thought of them as a large crow, or raven-type. would that be your rook as well?

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#115976 - 11/14/03 01:04 PM Re: Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
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Posts: 13858
Dear etaoin: sorry about that. I didn't realize it was so limited. His CD is quite good, and with it I think goes access to some of his online stuff, but I haven't tried it.
I was hoping someone might know why rooks' range seems so limited. I remember the bill is different, which may limit their choice of nutriments. But why should they be common in UK, but not in MA?

Here's a site from Wales,UK, with a picture, showing whitish patch at base of bill, which should make them easy to tell from crows, if North American ones are like this.
http://www.fishing-in-wales.com/wildlife/birds/rook.htm


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#115977 - 11/15/03 05:23 AM Re: Ornithology 101
Bingley Offline
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Rocs and rooks are completely different. The rook is, as you say, eta, a large crow. A roc is a legendary gigantic bird Sinbad had a run-in with. They could carry off elephants back to the nest as food for their fledgelings.

Bingley
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#115978 - 11/15/03 10:56 AM Re: Ornithology 101
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
ah, thanks, Bingley! I was remembering the roc in The Hobbit that helps Bilbo. I tried doing a search, but there were too many pages of "roc" bands and Xena references...

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#115979 - 11/15/03 11:18 AM Re: Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear etaoin: having nothing better to do, I searched for "Tolkien roc", and learned that in his youth he had participated in development of a new language called "nevbosh", in which 'roc' meant 'ask' borrowed from Latin "rogo". For Tolkien devotees only:
http://ib.no/People/hnohf/nevbosh.htm


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#115980 - 11/15/03 11:20 AM Re: Ornithology 101
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
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Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
In reply to:

They could carry off elephants back to the nest as food for their fledgelings.


But then that bull elephant would just beat off their little roc peckers with his big one. I like to use what I've learned here.


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#115981 - 11/15/03 11:48 AM Re: Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I searched for "Arabian Nights roc carry elephant" and found Second Voyage of Sinbad the Seaman, almost at end:
"Voyagers and pilgrims and travelers declare that this beast called karkadan will carry off a great elephant on its horn and graze about the island and the seacoast therewith and take no heed of it till the elephant dieth and its fat, melting in the sun, runneth down into the rhinoceros's eyes and blindeth him, so that he lieth down on the shore. Then comes the bird roc and carrieth off both the rhinoceros and that which is on its horn, to feed its young withal. "

The roc carries a rhinoceros who has an elephant impaled on it horn to feed its young. So Shanks understated, rather than exaggerated, the payload of the roc.


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#115982 - 11/15/03 11:51 AM Re: Ornithology 101
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Good research, wwh! And I do like your use of the word 'payload' here. Will use it myself first chance I get.


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#115983 - 11/15/03 12:12 PM Re: Ornithology 101
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
Bill, I couldn't get your link to work, but got this: http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/vice.htm. that's a fun site, thanks for finding it! sometimes we can't find what we're looking for because we don't know the right question!

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#115984 - 11/15/03 12:43 PM Re: Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear etaoin: Funny, it now won't work for me. But in Yahoo Search box I entered "Tolkien nevbosh" and the site came up.
Try that. Bill


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#115985 - 11/15/03 04:15 PM Re: Ornithology 101
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
thanks, Bill. I found the main site, since both of our sites come from the same source: http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/index.html lots and lots of stuff there!

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#115986 - 12/08/03 03:24 PM Re: Ornithology 101
Capfka Offline
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Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 1624
Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
They say that the government of Britain will fall if the rooks leave the Tower of London. To ensure that this won't happen, the government unsportingly clips their wings. What the tour guides don't tell you is the reason why the rooks were ever there in the first place. They used to feed on the dismembered corpses of executed criminals. I suspect that they now only get to eat disgraced cabinet ministers. Or, at least, I wish that were the case ...


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#115987 - 12/08/03 04:41 PM Re: Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Capfka: How would you like a rook pie (mentioned as a delicacy in Dickens novel) made from Tower rooks fed surplus cabinet ministers?

From the Pickwick Papers:

The boy shouted, and shook a branch with a nest on it. Half a
dozen young rooks in violent conversation, flew out to ask what
the matter was. The old gentleman fired by way of reply. Down
fell one bird, and off flew the others.

'Take him up, Joe,' said the old gentleman.

There was a smile upon the youth's face as he advanced.
Indistinct visions of rook-pie floated through his imagination.
He laughed as he retired with the bird--it was a plump one.




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#115988 - 12/09/03 06:18 AM Re: Ornithology 101
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
They are actually ravens at the Tower of London - a much bigger bird altogether. This is quite an amusing presentation:

http://www.toweroflondontour.com/kids/


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#115989 - 12/09/03 11:59 AM Re: Ornithology 101
Capfka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 1624
Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
Dixbie, I read your post with indignation. Then I reread mine. You are quite right of course. It was a slip of the brain/finger co-ordination process. Ravens they are. Big, fat, well-fed looking things too!


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#115990 - 12/09/03 12:55 PM Re: Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
And raven pie would not be a delicacy to rave about.


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#115991 - 12/10/03 02:57 AM Re: Ornithology 101
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Big, fat, well-fed looking things too!

"I suspect that they now only get to eat disgraced cabinet ministers."


Well - with such a rich diet....


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#115992 - 12/10/03 09:55 AM Re: Ornithology 101
Capfka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 1624
Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
We're currently hoping for a disgraced Prime Minister. Although he's a bit on the lean side. But we'd settle for the deputy as an entree ... the ravens must be fed appropriately!


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#115993 - 12/10/03 12:23 PM Re: Ornithology 101
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Two ravens Prescott?


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#115994 - 12/10/03 01:06 PM Re: Ornithology 101
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
I don' see nuthin' bout no Charlie Parker in here! Who called this Ornithology?


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#115995 - 12/10/03 01:34 PM Re: Ornithology 101
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly--and lo! the Bird is on the Wing.


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#115996 - 12/10/03 02:36 PM Re: Ornithology 101
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like an apple.


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#115997 - 12/10/03 02:43 PM Re: Ornithology 101
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Didn't they just work out the fruit fly genome sequence? And aren't they starting on the time fly genome sequence soon? They're going to unravel this mystery in just a few years.


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#115998 - 12/11/03 04:03 AM Re: Ornithology 101
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
the time fly genome sequence

Ha!


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#115999 - 12/11/03 05:51 AM Re: Time Flies
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
I didn't even know Bill Cosby was a noted entomologist till I heard of his ground-breaking book:

http://books.reviewindex.co.uk/reviews_uk/0593015061.html


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