History of Animals

Author: Aristotle  | Date: 350 BC


A great number of birds also go into hiding; they do not all migrate, as is generally supposed, to warmer countries. Thus, certain birds (as the kite and the swallow) when they are not far off from places of this kind, in which they have their permanent abode, betake themselves thither; others, that are at a distance from such places, decline the trouble of migration and simply hide themselves where they are. Swallows, for instance, have been often found in holes, quite denuded of their feathers, and the kite on its first emergence from torpidity has been seen to fly from out some such hiding-place. And with regard to this phenomenon of periodic torpor there is no distinction observed, whether the talons of a bird be crooked or straight; for instance, the stork, the owzel, the turtle-dove, and the lark, all go into hiding. The case of the turtle-dove is the most notorious of all, for we would defy any one to assert that he had anywhere seen a turtle-dove in winter-time; at the beginning of the hiding time it is exceedingly plump, and during this period it moults, but retains its plumpness. Some cushats hide; others, instead of hiding, migrate at the same time as the swallow. The thrush and the starling hide; and of birds with crooked talons the kite and the owl hide for a few days.


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Chicago: Aristotle, "Book 8, Chapter 16," History of Animals, trans. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson Original Sources, accessed December 2, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4TEAPIU695CALZ2.

MLA: Aristotle. "Book 8, Chapter 16." History of Animals, translted by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Original Sources. 2 Dec. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4TEAPIU695CALZ2.

Harvard: Aristotle, 'Book 8, Chapter 16' in History of Animals, trans. . Original Sources, retrieved 2 December 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4TEAPIU695CALZ2.