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


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#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.


#115983 - 11/15/03 05:12 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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 05:43 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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


#115985 - 11/15/03 09:15 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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 08:24 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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 ...


#115987 - 12/08/03 09:41 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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.




#115988 - 12/09/03 11:18 AM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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/


#115989 - 12/09/03 04:59 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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!


#115990 - 12/09/03 05:55 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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And raven pie would not be a delicacy to rave about.


#115991 - 12/10/03 07:57 AM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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....


#115992 - 12/10/03 02:55 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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!


#115993 - 12/10/03 05:23 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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Two ravens Prescott?


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


#115995 - 12/10/03 06:34 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly--and lo! the Bird is on the Wing.


#115996 - 12/10/03 07:36 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like an apple.


#115997 - 12/10/03 07:43 PM Re: Ornithology 101  
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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.


#115998 - 12/11/03 09:03 AM Re: Ornithology 101  
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the time fly genome sequence

Ha!


#115999 - 12/11/03 10:51 AM Re: Time Flies  
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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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