“In the Shade of the Flycatcher”, or “On Parenting”

“The flycatcher… builds every year in the vines that grow on the walls of my house. A pair of these little birds had one year… placed their nest on a naked bough, perhaps in a shady time, not being aware of the inconvenience that followed. But a hot, sunny season coming on before the brood had half fledged, the reflection of the wall became insupportable, and must inevitably have destroyed the tender young, had not affection… prompted the parent-birds to hover over the nest all the hotter hours while, with wings expanded, and mouths gaping for breath, they screened off the heat from their suffering offspring.”

– Gilbert White (year: 1789)


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