Interesting Fact: Today’s Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots.Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that “there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived”. Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween#History )
Interesting Fact: Butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year depending on the species. Many species have long larval life stages while others can remain dormant in their pupal or egg stages and thereby survive winters. The Melissa Arctic (Oeneis melissa) overwinters twice as a caterpillar. Butterflies may have one or more broods per year. The number of generations per year varies from temperate to tropical regions with tropical regions showing a trend towards multivoltinism. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly )
Interesting Fact: In winter, Yellow-rumped Warblers join flocks and switch to eating berries from fruiting shrubs. Sometimes the flocks are enormous groups consisting entirely of Yellow-rumped Warblers. If another bird gets too close, Yellow-rumped Warblers indicate the infraction by holding the body horizontally, fanning the tail, and raising it to form a right angle with its body. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow-rumped_Warbler/lifehistory )
Why don’t witches like to ride their brooms when they’re angry?
They’re afraid of flying off the handle!
Interesting Fact: The Northern Mockingbird frequently gives a “wing flash” display, where it half or fully opens its wings in jerky intermediate steps, showing off the big white patches. No one knows why it does this, but it may startle insects, making them easier to catch. On the other hand, it doesn’t often seem to be successful, and different mockingbird species do this same display even though they don’t have white wing patches. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/lifehistory )
Interesting Fact: Downy Woodpeckers nest in dead trees or in dead parts of live trees. They typically choose a small stub (averaging around 7 inches in diameter) that leans away from the vertical, and place the entrance hole on the underside. Nest trees are often deciduous and the wood is often infected with a fungus that softens the wood, making excavating easier. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/lifehistory )
Interesting Fact: Like most woodpeckers, Northern Flickers drum on objects as a form of communication and territory defense. In such cases, the object is to make as loud a noise as possible, and that’s why woodpeckers sometimes drum on metal objects. One Northern Flicker in Wyoming could be heard drumming on an abandoned tractor from a half-mile away. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Flicker/lifehistory )
Interesting Fact: Gadwall are dabbling ducks—they ride fairly high in the water and they tip forward to graze on submerged plants that they can reach with their outstretched necks. They rarely dive. Gadwall sometimes steal food from American Coots. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gadwall/lifehistory )