The Chiffchaff is a common and widespread leaf warbler, named for its
distinctive onomatopoeic song, which breeds in open woodlands
throughout northern and temperate Europe and Asia. It is a migratory
passerine which winters in southern and western Europe, southern Asia
and north Africa. Greenish-brown above and off-white below, it is named
for its simple chiff-chaff song. It has a number of subspecies, some of
which are now treated as full species. The female builds a domed nest
on or near the ground, and assumes most of the responsibility for
brooding and feeding the chicks, whilst the male has little involvement
in nesting, but defends his territory against rivals, and attacks
potential predators. A small insectivorous bird, it is subject to
predation by mammals, such as cats and mustelids, and birds,
particularly hawks of the genus Accipiter. It may also acquire external
or internal parasites. Its large range and population mean that its
status is secure, although one subspecies is probably extinct.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament of the Commonwealth of
England by force, eventually replacing it with the Barebone's
French chemist Louis Pasteur and physiologist Claude Bernard completed
the first test on pasteurization.
Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Humanum Genus, denouncing
Freemasonry, the doctrine of a separation of church and state, and many
other principles, some of which are today equated by most people with
the founding ones of the United States.
British Member of Parliament Enoch Powell made his controversial
"Rivers of Blood" speech in opposition to immigration and
anti-discrimination legislation, resulting in his removal from the
Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold embarked on a massacre, killing
13 people and wounded over 20 others before committing suicide at
Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, USA.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Resembling an overbearing woman; shrew-like.
2. Resembling an Amazon; of a woman with great bravery, strength, or
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The true secret in being a hero lies in knowing the order of things.
... Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. Quests may
not simply be abandoned; prophecies may not be left to rot like
unpicked fruit; unicorns may go unrescued for a very long time, but not
forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.
--Peter S. Beagle
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