Terns are seabirds in the family Sternidae that are found worldwide,
generally near the sea, rivers or wetlands. They are slender, lightly
built birds with long forked tails, narrow wings, long bills and
relatively short legs. Most species are pale grey above and white below,
with a contrasting black cap, but the marsh terns, the Inca tern and
some noddies have dark plumage for at least part of the year. The sexes
are identical in appearance. They are birds of open habitats that
typically breed in noisy colonies and lay their eggs on bare ground with
little or no nest material. Many terns are long-distance migrants, and
the Arctic tern, migrating each year between the Arctic and Antarctic,
may see more daylight in a year than any other animal. They are long-
lived birds and are relatively free from natural predators and
parasites, but most species are declining in numbers through habitat
loss, polluted waters, human encroachment and predation by introduced
mammals. Three tern species are classed as endangered, and the Chinese
crested tern is critically endangered. International agreements provide
a measure of protection, but adults and eggs of some species are still
used for food in the tropics.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tern>
Today's selected anniversaries:
The United Kingdom formally annexed the Tristan da Cunha
archipelago, ruling it from the Cape Colony in South Africa.
A recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan's The Lost
Chord (audio featured), one of the first recordings of music ever made,
was played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison's
phonograph in London.
After a secret meeting off the Canadian coast, British Prime
Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued
the Atlantic Charter, establishing a vision for a post-World War II
world despite the fact that the United States had yet to enter the war.
The film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is still in
limited release today, making it the longest-running theatrical release
in film history, premiered in Los Angeles.
Helios Airways Flight 522 crashed into a mountain north of
Marathon and Varnava, Greece, killing all 121 people on board.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (transitive, obsolete) To set on fire; kindle.
2. (intransitive, obsolete) To take or catch fire.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time
comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure,
but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the
world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes,
which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the
new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed,
finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the
pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the
still larger cause of humanity.
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