The Mauritius Blue Pigeon is an extinct species of blue pigeon formerly
endemic to the Mascarene island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean east of
Madagascar. It has two extinct relatives from the Mascarenes and three
extant ones from other islands. It had white hackles around the head,
neck and breast and blue plumage on the body, and it was red on the tail
and the bare parts of the head. These colours were thought similar to
those of the Dutch flag, a resemblance reflected in some of the bird's
names. It was 30 cm (12 in) long and larger and more robust than any
other blue pigeon species. It could raise its hackles into a ruff, which
it used for display. Its call sounded like "barf barf" and it also made
a cooing noise. It fed on fruits, nuts, and molluscs, and was once
widespread in the forests of Mauritius. The bird was first mentioned in
the 17th century and was described several times thereafter, but very
few accounts describe the behaviour of living specimens. Several stuffed
and at least one live specimen reached Europe in the 1700s and 1800s.
Only three stuffed specimens exist today, and only one bird was ever
depicted when alive. The species is thought to have become extinct in
the 1830s due to deforestation and predation.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauritius_Blue_Pigeon>
Today's selected anniversaries:
American Revolutionary War: American forces under the command
of George Washington repulsed a British attack at the Battle of the
Assunpink Creek near Trenton, New Jersey.
Luis Muñoz Marín became the first democratically elected
Governor of Puerto Rico.
Vietnam War: The Viet Cong won its first major victory in the
Battle of Ap Bac.
English serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper",
was arrested in Sheffield, ending one of the largest police
investigations in British history.
The Stardust space probe flew by the comet Wild 2 and collected
particle samples from its coma, which were later returned to Earth.
An explosion at a coal mine in Sago, West Virginia, US, trapped
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Wiktionary's word of the day:
(informal) A person who seldom or never speaks; a taciturn or
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to
those of us who do.