The Mascarene martin is a passerine bird in the swallow family that
breeds in Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands. The nominate subspecies
occurs on Mauritius and Réunion and has never been found away from the
Mascarene Islands, but a smaller Madagascan subspecies is migratory and
has been recorded wintering in East Africa or wandering to other Indian
Ocean islands. The Mascarene martin is small with grey-brown underparts
becoming white on the throat and lower abdomen, dark grey-brown
upperparts and a slightly forked tail. The underparts are heavily
streaked with black. It nests in small colonies anywhere with suitably
sheltered sites for constructing a nest. It has a heavy flight with slow
wingbeats interspersed with glides, and frequently perches on wires. It
feeds on insects in flight, often hunting low over the ground or
vegetation. A number of internal and external parasites have been
detected in this species. Tropical cyclones can adversely affect
populations on the smaller islands, but the Mascarene martin is a
locally common bird with an apparently stable population and is classed
as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for
Conservation of Nature.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mascarene_martin>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Aelia Eudoxia, empress consort of Byzantine emperor Arcadius,
died from complications of childbirth.
American Revolutionary War: British forces under the command of
General Sir Henry Clinton captured Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery, and
then dismantled the Hudson River Chain.
Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, causing a crisis that permanently damaged their relations
with Russia and the Kingdom of Serbia.
The first successful feature sound film The Jazz Singer,
starring Al Jolson, was released.
A violent crackdown by Thai military and police units on
students and protestors on the grounds of Thammasat University and at
Sanam Luang in Bangkok led to 46 deaths, and a military coup against the
government of Prime Minister Seni Pramoj.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Withered; lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Change is the principal feature of our age and literature should
explore how people deal with it. The best science fiction does that,