VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of www.breeds.ca Informational Site Network Informational
Privacy
Home

Domestic Animals

Dog Breeds   -   Dogs   -   Cats  -   Fish  -   Guinea Pigs

Farms Animals

Mules   -   Cattle

Wild Animals

Ducks   -  Birds   -  Bee Keeping   -  Bee Hunting   -  Fur Animals

Most Viewed

The Bullfinch
Look at the bright colours of this beautiful little bird: y...

The Flamingo
Is not this a beautiful bird, though rather singular in its...

The Swan
You are no doubt well acquainted with this beautiful bird, ...

The Kestrel
This picture represents the kestrel, one of the smallest an...

The Eagle
The Eagle is often called the King of Birds, and therefore ...

The Albatross
This is the largest of all sea-birds, and you are not very ...

The Duck
There is so much that is interesting to tell you about the ...

The Vulture
This strange looking bird is also a bird of prey; but it fe...

The Robin Redbreast
Every little boy and girl well knows this pretty little bir...

The Quail
The quail is the smallest of the poultry tribe, and is a pr...


Least Viewed

[illustration: The Goose]
Amongst the Romans this bird was held sacred to Juno, their s...

The Pheasant
This beautiful bird comes originally from the East, and tak...

The Magpie
The Magpie is a very pretty and cunning bird. It is easy to...

The Lapwing
This little bird which is often called the Pewit, from its ...

The Goose
Have you not often heard people say "as silly as a goose"? ...

The Owl
This solemn looking bird is seldom to be seen by day. It is...

The Quail
The quail is the smallest of the poultry tribe, and is a pr...

The Robin Redbreast
Every little boy and girl well knows this pretty little bir...

The Duck
There is so much that is interesting to tell you about the ...

The Vulture
This strange looking bird is also a bird of prey; but it fe...



The Albatross








This is the largest of all sea-birds, and you are not very likely to
make acquaintance with him except in a picture. For though the albatross
has been seen in our latitudes, yet the southern seas are his native
home. There he spreads his long wings and floats over the ocean like a
white sea-king. The greater part of his feathers are white, but the head
and back are shaded with grey. There are many kinds of albatross, but
the great Wandering Albatross, as it is called, is the largest, and
though the body is not much bigger than that of a pelican, the wings,
which are long and narrow, have been known to measure as much as
fourteen feet across when fully expanded, or spread out. Must he not
look a noble bird, sailing as he does calmly round and round, far up in
the air, over those southern seas? From the length of his wings, the
albatross has some little trouble in raising himself from the surface of
the water, where he often floats at rest. He has to skim along half
flying and half running for some distance, until his wings are clear of
the water; then he soars away, seldom flapping his wings, but rising,
sinking, and floating through the air, as if kept up by some internal
power. As he seldom is obliged to flap his wings he does not get tired
of flying, and can remain on the wing for a very, very long time,
pursuing his prey, or enjoying the sailing motion through the air.



The albatross feeds on fish or on smaller sea-fowl, and is a very
voracious bird; that is, he will eat a great quantity, and devours in a
greedy way. His chief food consists of flying-fish, as they are called.
The flying-fish is a little like the common herring, but much prettier,
for it is covered with bright blue and silver scales, and its fins are
also a brilliant azure. It does not really fly. That is, it has no
wings, but it has very large strong fins attached near its gills, by
means of which it can spring out of the water and dart some distance
through the air. This fish is very nice eating, _particularly_ good, and
it is sought after very eagerly by larger fish. And not only by fish;
the water-fowl who are large enough to eat it, are always on the watch
for the flying-fish, and as the poor thing springs from the water to
enjoy the bright sunshine and fresh air, or perhaps to escape some of
its under-water foes, especially the dolphin who is one of its deadliest
enemies, it frequently finds itself snapped up by the albatross before
it can return to its native element. The albatross loves also to follow
in the wake of ships. For any offal or garbage thrown overboard is
welcome to its hungry maw, and sailors do not often destroy this bird.
When one is taken, however, they hesitate not to make such use of it as
they can; and the large web feet, when cleaned and opened, are favourite
tobacco pouches. I have one by me that was taken from a large albatross
caught on the voyage from Australia. In Kamtschatka the albatross is
caught by the natives and made useful. For in the summer, flocks of
these birds make their way up into the northern latitudes, as is
supposed in order to prey on the shoals of fish which migrate thither.

The albatross is caught by means of a hook baited with a fish. The
"intestines are blown and used as buoys for nets, and the long hollow
wing bones as tobacco pipes," but the flesh is not good to eat. The
albatross has been seen fully 1000 miles from any shore. Its power of
wing must therefore be very great, but when tired it can walk on the
water with its strong webbed feet, and the sound of its tread is said to
be heard at a great distance. In the breeding season the albatross
retires in company with other sea-birds, particularly the penguin, to
some rocky shore to build its nest. The penguins' and albatrosses' nests
are always found in company, but the penguin robs his neighbour in order
to get the scanty materials which are necessary for his own nest. The
male albatross takes turns with his mate in hatching the young.

A poor sailor once fell over board from a man-of-war in the Southern
Indian Ocean. In an instant he was attacked by two or three
albatrosses, and though the ship's boat was immediately lowered to his
assistance, nothing of him could be found but his hat, which was pierced
through and through by the strong beak of the albatross, the first blow
having no doubt penetrated to his brain and killed him.





Next: The Owl

Previous: The Bullfinch



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK


Viewed 1248


Untitled Document