The Wonder Is,
How This Plowing Of The Surface Of The Water Can Be So Well Performed
As To Yield A Meal, For It Is Usually Done In The Dark.
Like Most Aquatic Feeders, They Work By Night, When Insects And Fishes
Rise To The Surface.
They have great affection for their young,
its amount being increased in proportion to the helplessness of the offspring.
There are also numbers of spoonbills, nearly white in plumage;
the beautiful, stately flamingo; the Numidian crane, or demoiselle,
some of which, tamed at Government House, Cape Town, struck every one
as most graceful ornaments to a noble mansion, as they perched on its pillars.
There are two cranes besides - one light blue, the other also light blue,
but with a white neck; and gulls (`Procellaria') of different sizes abound.
One pretty little wader, an avoset, appears as if standing on stilts,
its legs are so long; and its bill seems bent the wrong way, or upward.
It is constantly seen wading in the shallows, digging up
little slippery insects, the peculiar form of the bill enabling it
to work them easily out of the sand. When feeding, it puts its head
under the water to seize the insect at the bottom, then lifts it up quickly,
making a rapid gobbling, as if swallowing a wriggling worm.
The `Parra Africana' runs about on the surface, as if walking on water,
catching insects. It too has long, thin legs, and extremely long toes,
for the purpose of enabling it to stand on the floating lotus-leaves
and other aquatic plants.
Enter page number
Page 390 of 1070
Words from 111880 to 112143