[Daily article] February 5: White-breasted nuthatch

The white-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) is a small songbird
that breeds in old-growth woodland across much of temperate North
America. It is a stocky nuthatch with a large head, short tail, powerful
bill, and strong feet. The upperparts are pale blue-gray, and the face
and underparts are white. It has a black cap and a chestnut lower belly.
The nine subspecies differ mainly in the color of the body plumage. Like
other nuthatches, the white-breasted nuthatch forages for insects on
trunks and branches and is able to move head-first down trees. Seeds
form a substantial part of its winter diet, as do acorns and hickory
nuts that were stored by the bird in the fall. The nest is in a hole in
a tree, and a breeding pair may smear insects around the entrance as a
deterrent to squirrels. Adults and their young may be killed by hawks,
owls, and snakes, and forest clearance may lead to local habitat loss,
but this is a common species with no major conservation concerns over
most of its range.

Read more:

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1637:

The speculative bubble for rare tulip bulbs (catalog pictured)
in the Dutch Republic burst, marking the decline of tulip mania.

1869:

Prospectors in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia, discovered the
largest alluvial gold nugget ever found, known as the “Welcome
Stranger”.

1909:

Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announced the creation of
Bakelite, the world’s first synthetic plastic.

1958:

A Mark 15 nuclear bomb disappeared off the shores of Tybee
Island, Georgia, after it was jettisoned during a practice exercise when
the bomber carrying it collided in midair with a fighter plane.

2008:

Eighty-seven tornadoes occurred over the course of the Super
Tuesday tornado outbreak across multiple U.S. states, causing 56 deaths
and over $1 billion in damage.

_____________________________
Wiktionary’s word of the day:

shoot one’s cuffs:
To straighten one’s arms with a sudden movement to make the cuffs of
one’s shirt appear beyond the sleeves of one’s coat or jacket.

___________________________
Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The strange alchemy of time has somehow converted the Democrats
into the truly conservative party of this country — the party
dedicated to conserving all that is best, and building solidly and
safely on these foundations. The Republicans, by contrast, are behaving
like the radical party — the party of the reckless and the embittered,
bent on dismantling institutions which have been built solidly into our
social fabric.  
–Adlai Stevenson

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