Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
of the little parakeets near the house, they were gathering materials for nest-building, they were just as noisy as while flying.
The water-birds were always a delight. We shot merely the two or three specimens the naturalists needed for the museum. I killed a wood-ibis on the wing with the handy little Springfield, and then lost all the credit I had thus gained by a series of inexcusable misses, at long range, before I finally killed a jabiru. Kermit shot a jabiru with the Lüger automatic. The great, splendid birds, standing about as tall as a man, show fight when wounded, and advance against their assailants, clattering their formidable bills. One day we found the nest of a jabiru in a mighty fig-tree, on the edge of a patch of jungle. It was a big platform of sticks, placed on a horizontal branch. There were four half-grown young standing on it. We passed it in the morning, when both parents were also perched alongside; the sky was then overcast, and it was not possible to photograph it with the small camera. In the early afternoon when we again passed it the sun was out, and we tried to get photographs. Only one parent bird was present at this time. It showed no fear. I noticed that, as it stood on a branch near the nest, its bill was slightly open. It was very hot, and I suppose it had opened its bill just as a hen opens her bill in hot weather. As we rode away the old bird and the four young birds were standing motionless, and with gliding flight the other old bird was returning to the nest. It is hard to give an adequate idea of the wealth of bird life in these marshes. A naturalist could with the utmost advantage spend six months on such a