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Icona February 1, 2015

February 1: Feast day of St. Brigit of Kildare (Western Christianity); Black History Month begins in Canada and the United States; LGBT History Month begins in the United Kingdom

West facade of the United States Supreme Court Building

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Hakuhō Shō

Ongoing: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant War in Ukraine
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Rod McKuen Colleen McCullough Charles H. Townes
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Illustration of S. przewalskii in worn plumage, by J.G. Keulemans

Przevalski's nuthatch (Sitta przewalskii) is a bird species in the family Sittidae. Long regarded as a subspecies of the white-cheeked nuthatch (Sitta leucopsis), it nevertheless differs significantly in morphology and vocalizations. It is a medium-sized nuthatch, measuring about 13 cm (5.1 in) in length. Its upper body is a dark gray-blue. The cheeks and throat are a white buff-orange, turning to a rich cinnamon on the underparts. The bird is endemic to areas in southeastern Tibet and west central China, inhabiting coniferous mountain forests. The species was first described in 1891 from a specimen collected in China's Haidong Prefecture. The name commemorates the Russian explorer Nikolaï Prjevalski, who discovered the species in 1884. Little is known about its ecology. It was awarded the rank of full species in 2005, separating it from the white-cheeked nuthatch. As of 2014, S. przewalskii does not have a full threat-status evaluation by BirdLife International or the IUCN. A 2014 phylogenetic study found the species to be at the base of the nuthatch evolutionary tree, dispelling a hypothesis that S. przewalskii could belong to the same species as S. carolinensis. (Full article...)

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Portrait miniature of Frances Jocelyn, Viscountess Jocelyn

Michigan State University