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#115973 - 11/14/03 04:37 PM Ornithology 101  
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wwh Offline
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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


#115974 - 11/14/03 04:42 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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


#115975 - 11/14/03 05:38 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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 06:04 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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


#115977 - 11/15/03 10:23 AM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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


Bingley
#115978 - 11/15/03 03:56 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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 04:18 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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


#115980 - 11/15/03 04:20 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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.


#115981 - 11/15/03 04:48 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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.


#115982 - 11/15/03 04:51 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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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