A female Bat,[12] which reared her young under confinement, when any one looked into the cage "erected the fur on her back, and bit viciously at intruding fingers."

[10] Illust. Thierleben, 1864, B. i. s. 130.

Birds belonging to all the chief Orders ruffle their feathers when angry or frightened. Every one must have seen two cocks, even quite young birds, preparing to fight with erected neck-hackles; nor can these feathers when erected serve as a means of defence, for cock-fighters have found by experience that it is advantageous to trim them. The male Ruff (_Machetes pugnax_) likewise erects its collar of feathers when fighting. When a dog approaches a common hen with her chickens, she spreads out her wings, raises her tail, ruffles all her feathers, and looking as ferocious as possible, dashes at the intruder. The tail is not always held in exactly the same position; it is sometimes so much erected, that the central feathers, as in the accompanying drawing, almost touch the back. Swans, when angered, likewise raise their wings and tail, and erect their feathers. They open their beaks, and make by paddling little rapid starts forwards, against any one who approaches the water's edge too closely. Tropic birds[13] when disturbed on their nests are said not to fly away, but "merely to stick out their feathers and scream." The Barn-owl, when approached "instantly swells out its plumage, extends its wings and tail, hisses and clacks its mandibles with force and rapidity."[14] So do other kinds of owls. Hawks, as I am

[11] The Hon. J. Caton, Ottawa Acad. of Nat. Sciences, May, 1868, pp. 36, 40. For the _Capra, AEgagrus_, `Land and Water,' 1867, p. 37.

[12] `Land and Water,' July 20, 1867, p. 659.

[13] _Phaeton rubricauda_: `Ibis,' vol. iii. 1861, p. 180.

{illust. caption = FIG. 12--Hen driving away a dog from her chickens. Drawn from life by Mr. Wood. informed by Mr. Jenner Weir, likewise ruffle their feathers, and spread out their wings and tail under similar circumstances. Some kinds of parrots erect their feathers; and I have seen this action in the Cassowary, when angered at the sight of an Ant-eater. Young cuckoos in the nest, raise their feathers, open their mouths widely, and make themselves as frightful as possible. [14] On the _Strix flammea_, Audubon, `Ornithological Biography,' 1864, vol. ii. p. 407. I have observed other cases in the Zoological Gardens.Small birds, also, as I hear from Mr. Weir, such as various finches, buntings and warblers, when angry, {illust. caption = FIG. 13.--Swan driving away an intruder. Drawn from life by Mr. Wood.}

ruffle all their feathers, or only those round the neck; or they spread out their wings and tail-feathers. With their plumage in this state, they rush at each other with open beaks and threatening gestures. Mr. Weir concludes from his large experience that the erection of the feathers is caused much more by anger than by fear. He gives as an instance a hybrid goldfinch of a most irascible disposition, which when approached too closely by a servant, instantly assumes the appearance of a ball of ruffled feathers. He believes that birds when frightened, as a general rule, closely adpress all their feathers, and their consequently diminished size is often astonishing. As soon as they recover from their fear or surprise, the first thing which they do is to shake out their feathers. The best instances of this adpression of the feathers and apparent shrinking of the body from fear, which Mr. Weir has noticed, has been in the quail and grass-parrakeet.[15] The habit is intelligible in these birds from their being accustomed, when in danger, either to squat on the ground or to sit motionless on a branch, so as to escape detection. Though, with birds, anger may be the chief and commonest cause of the erection of the feathers, it is probable that young cuckoos when looked at in the nest, and a hen with her chickens when approached by a dog, feel at least some terror. Mr. Tegetmeier informs me that with game-cocks, the erection of the feathers on the head has long been recognized in the cock-pit as a sign of cowardice.

The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals Page 41

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Charles Darwin

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