The Juvenile Offering

The Juvenile Offering

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1848 edition. Excerpt: ...who wrote an express treatise on the natural history of the eider-duck, their first object, after pairing, is to procure a suitable place for their nest, preferring the shelter of a juniper-bush where it can be had, and where there is no juniper, contenting themselves with tufts of sea-grass, bundles of sea-weed cast up by the tide, the crevices of rocks, or any hollow place which they can find. Some of the Icelandic proprietors of grounds, in order to accommodate them, cut out holes in rows on the smooth sloping banks, where they would not otherwise build, but of which they gladly take possession when thus scooped out. It is not a little remarkable that, like several other seabirds, they almost always select small islands, their nests being seldom, if ever, found on the shores of the mainland, or even of a large island. The Icelanders are so well aware of this, that they have expended a great deal of labour in actually forming islands. Both the male and the female eider-ducks work in concert in building their nest, laying a rather coarse foundation of drift grass, dry tangle, and sea-weed, which is collected in some quantity. Upon this rough mattress the female eider spreads a bed of the finest down, plucked from her own breast, and by no means sparingly, but, as Brunnich informs us, heaping it up, so as to form a thick puffed roll quite round the nest. When she is compelled to go in quest of food, after beginning to sit, she carefully turns this marginal roll of down over the eggs, to keep them warm till her return. It is worthy of remark, that though the eider-duck lays only five or six eggs, ' it is not uncommon to find more than even ten and upwards in the same nest, occupied by two females, which live together in perfect concord.'...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 44 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 95g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236916921
  • 9781236916921