The Trocaz Pigeon is a pigeon endemic to the island of Madeira. It is a
mainly grey bird with a pinkish breast; its silvery neck patch and lack
of white wing markings distinguish it from its close relative and
probable ancestor, the Common Wood Pigeon. It is about 40–45 cm
(16–18 in) long with a 68–74 cm (27–29 in) wingspan. Its call
is a characteristic six-note cooing, weaker and lower-pitched than that
of the Wood Pigeon. Despite its bulky, long-tailed appearance, it has a
fast, direct flight. A scarce resident breeder in laurisilva forests, it
lays one white egg in a flimsy twig nest. It was formally described in
1829 by Karl Heineken, a German medical doctor and ornithologist, who
recognised it as different from the now-extinct local form of the Common
Wood Pigeon. Its numbers fell sharply after human colonisation of the
Madeira archipelago, and it vanished altogether from Porto Santo Island.
The major cause of its population decline was habitat loss from forest
clearance, but hunting and nest predation by introduced rats were also
contributory factors. Protection of forests and a ban on hunting have
enabled numbers to increase, and the species is no longer considered
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trocaz_Pigeon>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Shahrbaraz usurped the throne of the Sasanian Empire from
Ardashir III, but was himself deposed only forty days later.
Filipino natives led by chieftain Lapu-Lapu (statue pictured)
killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and more than forty
Spanish soldiers at the Battle of Mactan.
An explosion destroyed the steamboat SS Sultana on the
Mississippi River, killing an estimated 1,800 of the 2,400 passengers.
Milton Margai took office as the first Prime Minister of Sierra
Leone upon the nation's independence from the United Kingdom.
The Airbus A380, the largest passenger airliner in the world,
made its maiden flight from Toulouse, France.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A poet or bard who is divinely inspired.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The current opinion that science and poetry are opposed is a
delusion. ... Think you that a drop of water, which to the vulgar eye is
but a drop of water, loses any thing in the eye of the physicist who
knows that its elements are held together by a force which, if suddenly
liberated, would produce a flash of lightning? Think you that what is
carelessly looked upon by the uninitiated as a mere snow-flake does not
suggest higher associations to one who has seen through a microscope the
wondrously varied and elegant forms of snow-crystals? Think you that the
rounded rock marked with parallel scratches calls up as much poetry in
an ignorant mind as in the mind of a geologist, who knows that over this
rock a glacier slid a million years ago? … The truth is, that those
who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the
poetry by which they are surrounded.
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