[Daily article] March 10: Mangrove swallow

The mangrove swallow (Tachycineta albilinea) is a bird in the swallow
family that breeds in coastal regions of Mexico and Central America. It
is a seasonal breeder and is territorial when breeding, much like the
related tree swallow. Its nests are frequently found near water, no more
than 2 metres (7 ft) above the ground. It usually forages close to the
nest when feeding its chicks, but will go much further when foraging for
itself. In between foraging attempts, it perches near water. It subsists
primarily on a diet of flying insects, including dragonflies and bees,
unusually large prey for a bird of its size. It has blue-green
upperparts, white underparts, a white streak above the eye, and blackish
flight and tail feathers. This swallow’s song is a soft trilling, with a
rolled jeerrt call, and a sharp alarm note. With a slowly decreasing
population of at least 500,000 individuals, the mangrove swallow is
classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for
Conservation of Nature.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


Alexander Graham Bell made his first successful bi-directional
telephone call, saying, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”


First World War: The Battle of Neuve Chapelle opened, the first
deliberately planned British offensive of the war.


Facing likely electoral defeat, former Cuban President
Fulgencio Batista staged a coup d’état to resume control.


Astronomers using NASA’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory discovered
a faint planetary ring system (false-color image pictured) around


Tung Chee-hwa, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong,
announced his resignation following widespread dissatisfaction with his

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. A plant of the Brassicaceae family, Raphanus sativus or Raphanus
raphanistrum subsp. sativus, having an edible root.
2. The root of this plant used as food. Some varieties are pungent and
usually eaten raw in salads, etc., while others have a milder taste and
are cooked.
3. With a distinguishing word: some other plant of the Raphanus genus or
Brassicaceae family.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  If there is an invisible church, then it is of the great paradox,
which is inseparable from morality, and which must be distinguished from
the merely philosophical. People who are so eccentric that they are
completely serious in being and becoming virtuous understand one another
in everything, find one another easily, and form a silent opposition
against the prevailing immorality that pretends to be morality. A
certain mysticism of expression, which joined with romantic fantasy and
grammatical understanding, can be something charming and good, often
serves as a symbol of their beautiful secrets.  
–Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

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