Just For Kids

May 04, 1998|By Patricia Chargot | Patricia Chargot,Knight Ridder/Tribune

Thanks, Mom!

Mother's Day is when children in the United States pay tribute to their moms. Americans send a whopping 150 million cards to moms on this day!

Mother's Day is generally credited to Anna Reeves Jarvis, who did a lot of volunteer work, including starting a Mother's Friendship Day to reunite families after the Civil War. Her daughter, also named Anna, wrote to newspapers and politicians asking for a national holiday.

President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day a national holiday in 1914.

What did the cheeseburger say to the pickle?

You're dill-icious!

What do you call an owl with a sore throat?

An owl that doesn't give a hoot!

Why is a stoplight red?

You would be, too, if you had to change in front of people!

Amazing Animal

There are 30 million different kinds of animals on Earth.

Here's one that's amazing:

What is it?

The wattled crane is one of 15 species of cranes, wading birds that are known for their large size and graceful courting dances. It's even taller than Japan's red-crowned crane - nearly 6 feet high, with an 8-foot wingspan.

How did it get its name?

xTC The gray-and-white bird has a red, warty-looking wattle hanging off its bill. It's bright red during mating season, lighter red off-season. The birds can make their wattles shorter or longer, though no one knows why, or what the wattles are for.

Where does it live?

The wattled crane is one of Africa's four crane species. It can be found in south - central Africa, including parts of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Angola and South Africa.

Is it endangered?

Yes. The wattled crane is the most endangered African crane. There are said to be 3,000 to 15,000 left in the wild, though most scientists feel the real number is somewhere in between. Another 80 birds live in North American zoos, in Boston, San Diego, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Fort Worth, Texas.

Why is it endangered?

The bird is very sensitive to human disturbances of all kinds. When people come across a nest in the wild, the birds become so upset they may abandon their eggs.

What else?

It likes to live in flood plains - areas covered by shallow water - where it can fish and hunt amphibians. But the flood plains are being drained by humans for farming.

Why is it unusual?

It builds more than one nest - up to four. It will use one nest one year and another the next. It may reuse an old nest at any time. No one knows why.

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