A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman

By Diane Ackerman

Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand journey of the area of the senses comprises conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a pro nostril in ny, in addition to dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic delicacies and the song performed by way of the planet Earth.

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Stick Shaking may also occur. Bending forward with bills pointed down, the birds grasp nest material and shake their heads rapidly from side to side. Again, necks may cross and overlap, with the male on top. This behaviour is similar to Head Shaking, except for the involvement of twigs. Another mutual display of paired birds is the Head Quiver. Standing upright with head feathers erect, a bird twitches its head several times. Generally the display is performed by both sexes in succession or simultaneously.

BREEDING The timing of the dry season differs in various parts of the American Wood Stork's range. In southern Florida, historically, they used to begin nesting mostly at the beginning of the dry season, in November-December, but more recently they often begin in January-March, or even, although often not successfully, as late as May. In 1988, nesting at Corkscrew Swamp extended into July because of unusually dry conditions. In most years, the rainy season begins in May or June and any remaining nesting is aborted as the adult storks are unable to find sufficiently concentrated food sup- 40 American Wood Stork plies.

In trials on captives, birds temporarily deprived of frontal vision fed as efficiently as those with unaltered vision. It Stands or Walks slowly with its bill placed in the water and gaped 7-8 cm. It Foot Stirs by pumping the foot up and down on the substrate near the Groping bill (Rand 1956) and may Wing Flash on the same side as the pumping foot; it then repeats with the other foot and wing, sometimes taking a step or two and turning in a circle. While Walking, it will withdraw its bill from dense vegetation but keep it submerged in open water.

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