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"puff and flap" by a bird
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tonbei
2018-09-14 07:21:29 UTC
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I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.


Dozens of Canada geese have congregated around an old sycamore tree. They sit in the grass like
dark, long-necked gourds, and puff and flap and peck for food.
(The Last Precinct by P. Cornwell)

When you say "puff and flap" to describe a behaviour of a bird, what behaviour would it be like?
"flap" here means a bird flapping its wings as I understand, but I couldn't get a picture of "puff".
Cheryl
2018-09-14 09:32:52 UTC
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On 2018-09-14 4:51 AM, tonbei wrote:
> I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
>
>
> Dozens of Canada geese have congregated around an old sycamore tree. They sit in the grass like
> dark, long-necked gourds, and puff and flap and peck for food.
> (The Last Precinct by P. Cornwell)
>
> When you say "puff and flap" to describe a behaviour of a bird, what behaviour would it be like?
> "flap" here means a bird flapping its wings as I understand, but I couldn't get a picture of "puff".
>
Sometimes birds puff themselves out; make themselves look bigger by
puffing out their chests or fluffing up their feathers. I think I've
read that the feather-fluffing also helps them keep warm - but I know
there are posters who know far more about birds than I do!

--
Cheryl
Jerry Friedman
2018-09-14 21:22:29 UTC
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On Friday, September 14, 2018 at 3:32:57 AM UTC-6, Cheryl P wrote:
> On 2018-09-14 4:51 AM, tonbei wrote:
> > I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
> >
> >
> > Dozens of Canada geese have congregated around an old sycamore tree. They sit in the grass like
> > dark, long-necked gourds, and puff and flap and peck for food.
> > (The Last Precinct by P. Cornwell)
> >
> > When you say "puff and flap" to describe a behaviour of a bird, what behaviour would it be like?
> > "flap" here means a bird flapping its wings as I understand, but I couldn't get a picture of "puff".
> >
> Sometimes birds puff themselves out; make themselves look bigger by
> puffing out their chests or fluffing up their feathers. I think I've
> read that the feather-fluffing also helps them keep warm - but I know
> there are posters who know far more about birds than I do!

Yes, some birds fluff out their feathers to keep warm, but I'm not
sure Canada Geese do. I suspect it's more along the lines of your
first suggestion, specifically the slightly raised wings seen here:

https://www.onthewingphotography.com/wings/2017/01/19/feisty-canada-geese-threat-displays/

Canada Geese also make a hissing sound in response to predators,
but from a glance at the book, I think the narrator was looking through
a window at geese that weren't all that close.

--
Jerry Friedman
bill van
2018-09-15 06:03:43 UTC
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On 2018-09-14 21:22:29 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:

> On Friday, September 14, 2018 at 3:32:57 AM UTC-6, Cheryl P wrote:
>> On 2018-09-14 4:51 AM, tonbei wrote:
>>> I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
>>>
>>>
>>> Dozens of Canada geese have congregated around an old sycamore tree.
>>> They sit in the grass like
>>> dark, long-necked gourds, and puff and flap and peck for food.
>>> (The Last Precinct by P. Cornwell)
>>>
>>> When you say "puff and flap" to describe a behaviour of a bird, what
>>> behaviour would it be like?
>>> "flap" here means a bird flapping its wings as I understand, but I
>>> couldn't get a picture of "puff".
>>>
>> Sometimes birds puff themselves out; make themselves look bigger by
>> puffing out their chests or fluffing up their feathers. I think I've
>> read that the feather-fluffing also helps them keep warm - but I know
>> there are posters who know far more about birds than I do!
>
> Yes, some birds fluff out their feathers to keep warm, but I'm not
> sure Canada Geese do.

They do seasonal migrations away from places that get cold in winter,
although I'm sure
they could manage a little feather-fluffing on a cool day. In benign
climates, such as Vancouver,
they stay year-round.

> I suspect it's more along the lines of your
> first suggestion, specifically the slightly raised wings seen here:
>
> https://www.onthewingphotography.com/wings/2017/01/19/feisty-canada-geese-threat-displays/
>
>
> Canada Geese also make a hissing sound in response to predators,
> but from a glance at the book, I think the narrator was looking through
> a window at geese that weren't all that close.

I see Canada geese every day of the year. They graze in the parks in my
neighbourhood. The only time
I've seen one hiss or otherwise display a threat towards humans has
been during nesting season.

There are, I think, some dominance things going on among the geese themselves
and with other water fowl. That flattened-neck posture in the link
above is familiar to me.
They bully the ducks in local ponds, and they make way for the swans.

There are no natural predators of Canada geese in Vancouver other than
an occasional urbancoyote, and the local parks board controls coyotes
to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
ignore us
and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.

bill
Lewis
2018-09-15 11:18:01 UTC
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In message <pni7bv$gat$***@dont-email.me> bill van <***@shaw.ca> wrote:
> On 2018-09-14 21:22:29 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:

>> On Friday, September 14, 2018 at 3:32:57 AM UTC-6, Cheryl P wrote:
>>> On 2018-09-14 4:51 AM, tonbei wrote:
>>>> I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Dozens of Canada geese have congregated around an old sycamore tree.
>>>> They sit in the grass like
>>>> dark, long-necked gourds, and puff and flap and peck for food.
>>>> (The Last Precinct by P. Cornwell)
>>>>
>>>> When you say "puff and flap" to describe a behaviour of a bird, what
>>>> behaviour would it be like?
>>>> "flap" here means a bird flapping its wings as I understand, but I
>>>> couldn't get a picture of "puff".
>>>>
>>> Sometimes birds puff themselves out; make themselves look bigger by
>>> puffing out their chests or fluffing up their feathers. I think I've
>>> read that the feather-fluffing also helps them keep warm - but I know
>>> there are posters who know far more about birds than I do!
>>
>> Yes, some birds fluff out their feathers to keep warm, but I'm not
>> sure Canada Geese do.

> They do seasonal migrations away from places that get cold in winter,
> although I'm sure
> they could manage a little feather-fluffing on a cool day. In benign
> climates, such as Vancouver,
> they stay year-round.

>> I suspect it's more along the lines of your
>> first suggestion, specifically the slightly raised wings seen here:
>>
>> https://www.onthewingphotography.com/wings/2017/01/19/feisty-canada-geese-threat-displays/
>>
>>
>> Canada Geese also make a hissing sound in response to predators,
>> but from a glance at the book, I think the narrator was looking through
>> a window at geese that weren't all that close.

> I see Canada geese every day of the year. They graze in the parks in my
> neighbourhood. The only time
> I've seen one hiss or otherwise display a threat towards humans has
> been during nesting season.

> There are, I think, some dominance things going on among the geese themselves
> and with other water fowl. That flattened-neck posture in the link
> above is familiar to me.
> They bully the ducks in local ponds, and they make way for the swans.

> There are no natural predators of Canada geese in Vancouver other than
> an occasional urbancoyote, and the local parks board controls coyotes
> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
> ignore us
> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.

We have a lot of geese in Denver most of the year. I'm not sure if they
are Canada geese as I do not know the difference between a Canadian and
a non-Canadian goose.

They are all birds, so I mostly avoid them.

--
I SAW NOTHING UNUSUAL IN THE TEACHER'S LOUNGE Bart chalkboard Ep. 8F17
Jerry Friedman
2018-09-15 15:46:34 UTC
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On 9/15/18 5:18 AM, Lewis wrote:
> In message <pni7bv$gat$***@dont-email.me> bill van <***@shaw.ca> wrote:
...

>> There are no natural predators of Canada geese in Vancouver other than
>> an occasional urbancoyote, and the local parks board controls coyotes
>> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
>> ignore us
>> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.
>
> We have a lot of geese in Denver most of the year. I'm not sure if they
> are Canada geese as I do not know the difference between a Canadian and
> a non-Canadian goose.

Canada Geese have black necks and white cheeks. Other apparently tame
geese in Denver are almost certainly imported from the Old World.

> They are all birds, so I mostly avoid them.

Sorry if that was too much ornithology.

--
Jerry Friedman
Jerry Friedman
2018-09-15 15:48:00 UTC
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On 9/15/18 9:46 AM, Jerry Friedman wrote:
> On 9/15/18 5:18 AM, Lewis wrote:
>> In message <pni7bv$gat$***@dont-email.me> bill van <***@shaw.ca>
>> wrote:
> ...
>
>>> There are no natural predators of Canada geese in Vancouver other than
>>> an occasional urbancoyote, and the local parks board controls coyotes
>>> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
>>> ignore us
>>> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.
>>
>> We have a lot of geese in Denver most of the year. I'm not sure if they
>> are Canada geese as I do not know the difference between a Canadian and
>> a non-Canadian goose.
>
> Canada Geese have black necks and white cheeks.
...

I meant to cancel that instead of sending it. There's a complication,
the Cackling Goose, which I'm sure you're not interested in.

--
Jerry Friedman
Richard Tobin
2018-09-15 15:52:34 UTC
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In article <pnj9jg$dlv$***@news.albasani.net>,
Jerry Friedman <***@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I meant to cancel that instead of sending it. There's a complication,
>the Cackling Goose, which I'm sure you're not interested in.

You are, as usual, correct.

-- Richard
Jerry Friedman
2018-09-15 16:15:00 UTC
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On 9/15/18 9:52 AM, Richard Tobin wrote:
> In article <pnj9jg$dlv$***@news.albasani.net>,
> Jerry Friedman <***@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> I meant to cancel that instead of sending it. There's a complication,
>> the Cackling Goose, which I'm sure you're not interested in.
>
> You are, as usual, correct.

You're much, much too kind.

--
Jerry Friedman
charles
2018-09-15 15:53:48 UTC
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In article <pnj9h0$dlv$***@news.albasani.net>, Jerry Friedman
<***@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On 9/15/18 5:18 AM, Lewis wrote:
> > In message <pni7bv$gat$***@dont-email.me> bill van <***@shaw.ca>
> > wrote:
> ...

> >> There are no natural predators of Canada geese in Vancouver other than
> >> an occasional urbancoyote, and the local parks board controls coyotes
> >> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
> >> ignore us and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their
> >> droppings.
> >
> > We have a lot of geese in Denver most of the year. I'm not sure if they
> > are Canada geese as I do not know the difference between a Canadian and
> > a non-Canadian goose.

> Canada Geese have black necks and white cheeks. Other apparently tame
> geese in Denver are almost certainly imported from the Old World.

Canada Geese are seen in the Old World, too. So those others might be
immigrants rather than imports.

--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
"I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of boredom" Thomas Carlyle
Jerry Friedman
2018-09-15 17:13:40 UTC
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On 9/15/18 9:53 AM, charles wrote:
> In article <pnj9h0$dlv$***@news.albasani.net>, Jerry Friedman
> <***@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> On 9/15/18 5:18 AM, Lewis wrote:
>>> In message <pni7bv$gat$***@dont-email.me> bill van <***@shaw.ca>
>>> wrote:
>> ...
>
>>>> There are no natural predators of Canada geese in Vancouver other than
>>>> an occasional urbancoyote, and the local parks board controls coyotes
>>>> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
>>>> ignore us and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their
>>>> droppings.
>>>
>>> We have a lot of geese in Denver most of the year. I'm not sure if they
>>> are Canada geese as I do not know the difference between a Canadian and
>>> a non-Canadian goose.
>
>> Canada Geese have black necks and white cheeks. Other apparently tame
>> geese in Denver are almost certainly imported from the Old World.
>
> Canada Geese are seen in the Old World, too.

Most of the ones in Europe are descended from imported birds.

> So those others might be immigrants rather than imports.

They might. In particular, three American species of goose are common
enough in Denver that my "almost certainly" was almost certainly too
strong. I was thinking they wouldn't seem tame the way urban Canada
Geese often do.

--
Jerry Friedman
Peter Moylan
2018-09-16 07:38:44 UTC
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On 16/09/18 01:46, Jerry Friedman wrote:
> On 9/15/18 5:18 AM, Lewis wrote:

>> They are all birds, so I mostly avoid them.
>
> Sorry if that was too much ornithology.

There are plenty of topics discussed in AUE that are interesting to some
people and boring to others. (Perhaps that's even true for every topic
we've ever covered.) That's normal, in my opinion.

--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Jerry Friedman
2018-09-15 15:40:46 UTC
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On 9/15/18 12:03 AM, bill van wrote:
> On 2018-09-14 21:22:29 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:
>
>> On Friday, September 14, 2018 at 3:32:57 AM UTC-6, Cheryl P wrote:
>>> On 2018-09-14 4:51 AM, tonbei wrote:
>>>> I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Dozens of Canada geese have congregated around an old sycamore tree.
>>>> They sit in the grass like
>>>> dark, long-necked gourds, and puff and flap and peck for food.
>>>> (The Last Precinct  by P. Cornwell)
>>>>
>>>> When you say "puff and flap" to describe a behaviour of a bird, what
>>>> behaviour would it be like?
>>>> "flap" here means a bird flapping its wings as I understand, but I
>>>> couldn't get a picture of "puff".
>>>>
>>> Sometimes birds puff themselves out; make themselves look bigger by
>>> puffing out their chests or fluffing up their feathers. I think I've
>>> read that the feather-fluffing also helps them keep warm - but I know
>>> there are posters who know far more about birds than I do!
>>
>> Yes, some birds fluff out their feathers to keep warm, but I'm not
>> sure Canada Geese do.
>
> They do seasonal migrations away from places that get cold in winter,
> although I'm sure
> they could manage a little feather-fluffing on a cool day. In benign
> climates, such as Vancouver,
> they stay year-round.

Even in distinctly less benign climates, such as Minnesota. As I
understand it, a lot of year-round Canada Geese are in introduced
populations.

>>  I suspect it's more along the lines of your
>> first suggestion, specifically the slightly raised wings seen here:
>>
>> https://www.onthewingphotography.com/wings/2017/01/19/feisty-canada-geese-threat-displays/
>>
>>
>> Canada Geese also make a hissing sound in response to predators,
>> but from a glance at the book, I think the narrator was looking through
>> a window at geese that weren't all that close.
>
> I see Canada geese every day of the year. They graze in the parks in my
> neighbourhood. The only time
> I've seen one hiss or otherwise display a threat towards humans has been
> during nesting season.

That agrees with what I read. I couldn't tell from my quick look at the
book what season it took place in.

> There are, I think, some dominance things going on among the geese
> themselves
> and with other water fowl. That flattened-neck posture  in the link
> above is familiar to me.

Until I saw that page, I thought it was courtship. Well, courtship can
look like dominance behavior in other species too.

> They bully the ducks in local ponds, and they make way for the swans.
>
> There are no natural predators of Canada geese in Vancouver other than
> an occasional urbancoyote,

And maybe the occasional Bald Eagle. Gulls take eggs and goslings.

> and the local parks board controls coyotes
> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
> ignore us
> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.

At some point the local parks board may decide it has to control geese,
though you'd know whether that would run into much popular opposition.

--
Jerry Friedman
bill van
2018-09-17 00:21:34 UTC
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On 2018-09-15 15:40:46 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:
>
>> and the local parks board controls coyotes
>> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
>> ignore us
>> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.
>
> At some point the local parks board may decide it has to control geese,
> though you'd know whether that would run into much popular opposition.

Culling wild populations is highly controversial around here, and the
elected directors of the Vancouver parks board lean
toward non-intervention. There are huge fights from time to time when
the provincial government
authorizes a wolf hunt -- with rifles from helicopters -- to protect
caribou herds. It looks like there is
another one brewing because our wild salmon runs are in decline and the
populations of harbour seals and
sea lions -- which compete with fishing fleets for the salmon -- are at
record-high levels.

bill
Peter T. Daniels
2018-09-17 02:47:05 UTC
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On Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 8:21:37 PM UTC-4, bill van wrote:
> On 2018-09-15 15:40:46 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:

> >> and the local parks board controls coyotes
> >> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
> >> ignore us
> >> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.
> > At some point the local parks board may decide it has to control geese,
> > though you'd know whether that would run into much popular opposition.
>
> Culling wild populations is highly controversial around here, and the
> elected directors of the Vancouver parks board lean
> toward non-intervention. There are huge fights from time to time when
> the provincial government
> authorizes a wolf hunt -- with rifles from helicopters -- to protect
> caribou herds.

Or maybe Sarah Palin straying across the border? You could shoot her down
and prosecute for illegal immigration.

> It looks like there is
> another one brewing because our wild salmon runs are in decline and the
> populations of harbour seals and
> sea lions -- which compete with fishing fleets for the salmon -- are at
> record-high levels.

That's why God invented orcas.
bill van
2018-09-17 03:51:29 UTC
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On 2018-09-17 02:47:05 +0000, Peter T. Daniels said:

> On Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 8:21:37 PM UTC-4, bill van wrote:
>> On 2018-09-15 15:40:46 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:
>
>>>> and the local parks board controls coyotes
>>>> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
>>>> ignore us
>>>> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.
>>> At some point the local parks board may decide it has to control geese,
>>> though you'd know whether that would run into much popular opposition.
>>
>> Culling wild populations is highly controversial around here, and the
>> elected directors of the Vancouver parks board lean
>> toward non-intervention. There are huge fights from time to time when
>> the provincial government
>> authorizes a wolf hunt -- with rifles from helicopters -- to protect
>> caribou herds.
>
> Or maybe Sarah Palin straying across the border? You could shoot her down
> and prosecute for illegal immigration.
>
>> It looks like there is
>> another one brewing because our wild salmon runs are in decline and the
>> populations of harbour seals and
>> sea lions -- which compete with fishing fleets for the salmon -- are at
>> record-high levels.
>
> That's why God invented orcas.
bill van
2018-09-17 03:58:51 UTC
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On 2018-09-17 02:47:05 +0000, Peter T. Daniels said:

> On Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 8:21:37 PM UTC-4, bill van wrote:
>> On 2018-09-15 15:40:46 +0000, Jerry Friedman said:
>
>>>> and the local parks board controls coyotes
>>>> to protect small pets and children. Our local geese have it good. They
>>>> ignore us
>>>> and we try to ignore them while trying not to step on their droppings.
>>> At some point the local parks board may decide it has to control geese,
>>> though you'd know whether that would run into much popular opposition.
>>
>> Culling wild populations is highly controversial around here, and the
>> elected directors of the Vancouver parks board lean
>> toward non-intervention. There are huge fights from time to time when
>> the provincial government
>> authorizes a wolf hunt -- with rifles from helicopters -- to protect
>> caribou herds.
>
> Or maybe Sarah Palin straying across the border? You could shoot her down
> and prosecute for illegal immigration.
>
>> It looks like there is
>> another one brewing because our wild salmon runs are in decline and the
>> populations of harbour seals and
>> sea lions -- which compete with fishing fleets for the salmon -- are at
>> record-high levels.
>
> That's why God invented orcas.

Alas, the local orcas -- a number of related family groups that eat
only fish --
are in dire trouble. Their geographical and dietary limitations mean they might
be headed for extinction.

Mammal-eating orcas will eat anything from seals to whales and they roam,
so they are in much better shape. Northern fish-eating orca pods are also
doing fine because the northern salmon runs are in good shape.

The problem here on B.C. south coast is probably climate-change related. Salmon
are cold-water fish and their spawning grounds -- along the Fraser
River and its
tributaries -- are significantly warmer than they were a few decades
ago. Also, local
waters are somewhat polluted and there is a huge amount of shipping. Ships
are very loud underwater and they mess with the orcas' echo-loation of prey,
among other things.

bill
Default User
2018-09-15 19:18:40 UTC
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bill van wrote:

> I see Canada geese every day of the year. They graze in the parks in
> my neighbourhood. The only time I've seen one hiss or otherwise
> display a threat towards humans has been during nesting season.

One of the facilities at Megacorp where I was located for a time was
cooled with a chilled-water system. Part of that was a pond where warm
water was routed and sprayed into the air to help cool it.

So here was a year-round ice-free pond, lots of grass, and landscaping
for building nests. All inside a fence that would keep dogs and most
cats out. Basically goose heaven. So a resident population grew
substantially.

Sometimes a mating pair would decide to nest by an entrance and the
male would then threaten the people going in and out of the building.
Security reported that nothing could be done until the eggs were laid.
Then "they" (I'm not sure who exactly) could move the nest and the
birds would stay with it. They would also sterilize the eggs by shaking
them.


Brian
Peter T. Daniels
2018-09-15 19:58:31 UTC
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On Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 3:18:42 PM UTC-4, Default User wrote:

> One of the facilities at Megacorp where I was located for a time was
> cooled with a chilled-water system. Part of that was a pond where warm
> water was routed and sprayed into the air to help cool it.
>
> So here was a year-round ice-free pond, lots of grass, and landscaping
> for building nests. All inside a fence that would keep dogs and most
> cats out. Basically goose heaven. So a resident population grew
> substantially.
>
> Sometimes a mating pair would decide to nest by an entrance and the
> male would then threaten the people going in and out of the building.
> Security reported that nothing could be done until the eggs were laid.
> Then "they" (I'm not sure who exactly) could move the nest and the
> birds would stay with it. They would also sterilize the eggs by shaking
> them.

ITYM "kill." or "abort." or "terminate."
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-09-14 11:24:07 UTC
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On Friday, 14 September 2018 08:21:31 UTC+1, tonbei wrote:
> I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
>
>
> Dozens of Canada geese have congregated around an old sycamore tree. They sit in the grass like
> dark, long-necked gourds, and puff and flap and peck for food.
> (The Last Precinct by P. Cornwell)
>
> When you say "puff and flap" to describe a behaviour of a bird, what behaviour would it be like?
> "flap" here means a bird flapping its wings as I understand, but I couldn't get a picture of "puff".

Here you go then. Hundreds of pictures of 'puff'.

https://tinyurl.com/birdpuffs
tonbei
2018-09-15 04:39:34 UTC
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I imagined that "puff" means here birds bloat themselves by breathing in.
Lewis
2018-09-15 11:15:26 UTC
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In message <2b169651-6cb6-472c-998b-***@googlegroups.com> tonbei <***@infoseek.jp> wrote:
> I imagined that "puff" means here birds bloat themselves by breathing in.

The characteristic of the bird puffing is making itself look larger by
standing its feathers, much like a cat or a dog does with its fur.

--
"I know she's in there," said Verence, holding his crown in his hands in
the famous Ai-Señor-Mexican-Bandits-Have-Raided-Our-Village position
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