Published by Ken Dunn - Dunway Enterprises
|The origin of birds
has been a contentious topic within evolutionary biology for many years,
but more recently a scientific consensus has emerged which holds that birds
are a group of theropod dinosaurs that evolved during the Mesozoic Era.
A close relationship between birds and dinosaurs was first proposed in the nineteenth century after the discovery of the primitive bird Archaeopteryx in Germany and has been all but confirmed since the 1960s by comparative anatomy and the cladistic method of analyzing evolutionary relationships.
The ongoing discovery of feathered dinosaur fossils in the Liaoning Province of China has shed new light on the subject for both specialists and the general public. In the phylogenetic sense, birds are dinosaurs.
PHOEBE - DOWNY
WOODPECKER - YELLOW-BELLIED WOODPECKER
TYRANT FLYCATCHER; BEE MARTIN;
If the pugnacious propensity of the kingbird is the occasion of its royal name, he cannot be said to deserve it from any fine or noble qualities he possesses.
He is a born fighter from the very love of it, without provocation, rhyme, or reason. One can but watch with a degree of admiration his bold sallies on the big, black crow or the marauding hawk, but when he bullies the small inoffensive birds in wanton attacks for sheer amusement, the charge is less entertaining. Occasionally, when the little victim shows pluck and faces his assailant, the kingbird will literally turn tail and show the white feather.
His method of attack is always when a bird is in flight; then he swoops down from the telegraph pole or high point of vantage, and strikes on the head or back of the neck, darting back like a flash to the exact spot from which he started. By these tactics he avoids a return blow and retreats from danger. He never makes a fair hand-to-hand fight, or whatever is equivalent in bird warfare.
It is a satisfaction to record that he does not attempt to give battle to the catbird, but whenever in view makes a grand detour to give him a wide berth.
The kingbird feeds on beetles, canker-worms, and winged insects, with an occasional dessert of berries. He is popularly supposed to prefer the honeybee as his favorite tidbit, but the weight of opinion is adverse to the charge of his depopulating the beehive, even though he owes his appellation bee martin to this tradition.
One or two ornithologists declare that he selects only the drones fur his diet, which would give him credit for marvelous sight in his rapid motion through the air. The kingbird is preeminently a bird of the garden and orchard.
The nest is open, though deep, and not carefully concealed. Eggs are nearly round, bluish white spotted with brown and lilac. With truly royal exclusiveness, the tyrant favors no community of interest, but sits in regal state on a conspicuous throne, and takes his grand flights alone or with his queen, but never with a flock of his kind.
About Birds - Site Index
Neighbors - Part 1 - Bird
Neighbors - Part 2
Bird Neighbors - Part 3 - Bird Neighbors - Part 4
Bird Neighbors - Part 5 - Bird Neighbors - Part 6
Bird Neighbors - Part 7 - Bird Neighbors - Part 8
Bird Neighbors - Part 9 - Bird Neighbors - Part 10
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