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Accipitridae

The Accipitridae, one of the three families within the order Accipitriformes, are a family of small to large birds with hooked bills and variable morphology based on diet. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals, with a number feeding on carrion and a few feeding on fruit; the Accipitridae have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found on all the world's continents and a number of oceanic island groups. Some species are migratory. Many well-known birds, such as hawks, kites and Old World vultures are included in this group; the osprey is placed in a separate family, as is the secretary bird, the New World vultures are usually now regarded as a separate family or order. Karyotype data indicate the accipitrids analysed are indeed a distinct monophyletic group, but whether this group should be considered a family or one or several order on their own is a question still to be resolved; the accipitrids have been variously divided into some five to 10 subfamilies. Most share a similar morphology, but many of these groups contain taxa that are more aberrant.

These are placed in their respective position more for lack of better evidence than anything else. It is thus not surprising that the phylogenetic layout of the accipitrids has always been a matter of dispute; the accipitrids are recognizable by a peculiar rearrangement of their chromosomes. Apart from this, morphology and mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data give a confusing picture of these birds' interrelationships. What can be said is that the hawks, kites and Old World vultures as presently assigned in all likelihood do not form monophyletic groups: According to the molecular data, the Buteoninae are most poly- or paraphyletic, with the true eagles, the sea eagles, the buteonine hawks representing distinct lineages; these appear to form a group with the Milvinae and Circinae but the exact relationships between the lineages are not at all robustly resolvable with the present data. The Perninae and the Elaninae are older lineages, as are the Old World vultures; the latter are likely poly- or paraphyletic, with some aberrant species like the bearded and Egyptian vultures standing apart from the naked-necked "true" vultures.

The Accipitridae are a diverse family with a great deal of variation in shape. They range in size from the tiny pearl kite and little sparrowhawk, both of which are 23 cm in length and weigh about 85 g, to the cinereous vulture, which measures up to 120 cm and weighs up to 14 kg. Wingspan can vary from 39 cm in the little sparrowhawk to more than 300 cm in the cinereous and Himalayan vultures. In these extreme species, wing chord length can range from 113 to 890 mm and culmen length from 11 to 88 mm; until the 14th century these huge vultures were surpassed by the extinct Haast's eagle of New Zealand, estimated to have measured up to 140 cm and to have weighed 15 to 16.5 kg in the largest females. In terms of body mass, the Accipitridae are the most diverse family of birds and may be in terms of some aspects of linear size diversity, although lag behind the true parrots and pheasant family in length diversity. Most accipitrids exhibit sexual dimorphism in size, unusually for birds, it is the females that are larger than the males.

This sexual difference in size is most pronounced in active species that hunt birds, such as the Accipiter hawks, in which the size difference averages 25–50%. In a majority of species, such as generalist hunters and rodent-, reptile-, fish-, insect-hunting specialists, the dimorphism is less between a 5% to 30% size difference. In the carrion-eating Old World vultures and snail eating kites, the difference is non-existent, though sometimes the female may average heavier; the beaks of accipitrids are hooked. In some species, there is a notch or'tooth' in the upper mandible. In all accipitrids, the base of the upper mandible is covered by a fleshy membrane called the cere, yellow in colour; the tarsi of different species vary by diet. The plumage of the Accipitridae can be striking, but utilises bright colours. Overall they tend to be paler below. There is sexual dimorphism in plumage, when it occurs the males are brighter or the females resemble juveniles. In many species juveniles have a distinctly different plumage.

Some accipitrids mimic the plumage patterns of other eagles. They may attempt to resemble a less dangerous species to fool prey, or instead resemble a more dangerous species in order to reduce mobbing by other birds. Several species of accipitrid have crests used in signalling, species without crests can raise the feathers of the crown when alarmed or excited. In contrast most of the Old World vultures possess bare heads without feathers; the senses of the Accipitridae are adapted to hunting, in particular their vision is legendary. The sight of some hawks and eagles is up to 8 times better than that of humans

Turner M. Marquett

Turner Mastin Marquett was a Nebraska Republican politician best known for being the first house representative for the state. Marquett was born near Springfield, Ohio, in 1831 and attended Springfield High School and Wittenberg College, he graduated from Ohio University in 1855 and moved to Plattsmouth, Nebraska in 1856. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1859, practiced in Plattsmouth. Marquett was a member of the Nebraska Territorial assembly from 1857 to 1859, in the Territorial council in 1860 and 1861, he ran and won as Delegate from the Territory of Nebraska to the Fortieth United States Congress, but since Nebraska was accepted as a state in 1867, the election was voided. He ran for the at large seat for Nebraska, but because of the exact date of admission, he was only able to serve as a representative for two days, he resumed his practice in Plattsmouth, moving to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1874. He was general attorney for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad from 1869 until December 22, 1894, when he died in Tampa, Florida.

He was buried at Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln. "Marquett, Turner Mastin". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved February 13, 2006. "Marquett, Turner Mastin". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 13, 2006. Turner M. Marquett at Find a GraveThis article incorporates facts obtained from: Lawrence Kestenbaum, The Political Graveyard This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov

Howard Landing Ferry

The Howard Landing Ferry is a cable ferry that operates between Ryde and Ryer Island, crossing Steamboat Slough in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in Solano County, California. The California Department of Transportation operates the vehicle roll-on/roll-off service, classified as part of California State Route 220; the ferry operates 7 days a week. Boat operators are on duty 24 hours a day to provide service to individual passengers and motorists crossing Steamboat Slough; the ferry is served by the vessel J-Mack, a 92-foot-long by 32-foot-wide cable drawn ferry that can carry up to six vehicles. There is a 15-ton weight limit, tractor-trailers are prohibited, the length limit is at the discretion of the Coast Guard. Ryer Island is connected via highway 84 on the other Caltrans delta ferry, to the southwest via the Ryer Island Ferry towards Rio Vista, north via a bridge towards West Sacramento