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The animals, too, afford us certain presages; dolphins, for instance, sporting in a calm sea, announce wind in the quarter from which they make their appearance.1 When they throw up the water in a billowy sea, they announce the approach of a calm. The loligo,2 springing out of the water, shell-fish adhering to various objects, sea-urchins fastening by their stickles upon the sand, or else burrowing in it, are so many in- dications of stormy weather: the same, too, when frogs3 croak more than usual, or coots4 make a chattering in the morning. Divers, too, and ducks, when they clean their feathers with the bill, announce high winds; which is the case also when the aquatic birds unite in flocks, cranes make for the interior, and divers5 and sea-mews forsake the sea or the creeks. Cranes when they fly aloft in silence announce fine weather, and so does the owlet,6 when it screeches during a shower; but it is heard in fine weather, it presages a storm. Ravens, too, when they croak with a sort of gurgling noise and shake their feathers, give warning of the approach of wind, if their note is continuous: but if, on the other hand, it is smothered, and only heard at broken intervals, we may expect rain, accompanied with high winds. Jackdaws, when they return late from feeding, give notice of stormy weather, and the same with the white birds,7 when they unite in flocks, and the land birds, when they descend with cries to the water and besprinkle themselves, the crow more particularly. The swallow,8 too, when it skims along the surface of the water, so near as to ripple it every now and then with its wings, and the birds that dwell in the trees, when they hide themselves in their nests, afford similar indications; geese, too, when they set up a continuous gabbling,9 at an unusual time, and the heron,10 when it stands moping in the middle of the sands.

1 Theophrastus, Cicero, and Plutarch state to a similar effect; and it is corroborated by the experience of most mariners.

2 The ink-fish; Sepia loligo of Linnæus. See B. ix. c. 21.

3 Virgil says the same, Georg. i. 378.

4 "Fulicæ." See B. x. c. 61, and B. xi. c. 44.

5 Virgil says the same of the diver, or didapper,Georg. i. 361; and Lucan, Pharsalia, v. 553.

6 Both Theophrastus and Ælian mention this.

7 It is not known what bird is here alluded to, but Fée is probably right in suggesting a sort of sea-mew, or gull.

8 This is still considered a prognostic of rain. Fée says that the swallow descends thus near to the surface to catch the insects on the wing, which are now disabled from rising by the hygrometric state of the atmosphere.

9 This is confirmed by experience.

10 On the contrary, Lucan says (Pharsalia, B. v. 1. 549), that on the approach of rain, the heron soars in the upper regions of the air; and Virgil says the same, Georg. i. 364.

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