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ing over their victims, practised by some others of their tribe. These birds breed and roost in the long thick heather, having their nest on the ground; the eggs, which are whitish, are from four to five in number. As the trap is not always successful, the gun must be resorted to; and this rarely fails, although it may sometimes require time and patience, except in the breeding season, to obtain a favourable opportunity of using it. There are two plans, either of which may be adopted with success. The one is to find out the roosting place, which can be done by watching their flight in the evening, and when you have found that, to go there before sunset and await their arrival, taking care to conceal yourself in such a manner as not to be seen. You may then have a good chance of killing them, as the pair are frequently together. The other plan is to find out their daily beats, as they generally take day by day the same course; and when you have found this, select the best place you can for concealment, from which you may be likely to have a fair shot. You may have a chance the first day, or may be obliged to wait a week or ten days before one occurs; the morning and the evening are the best time. Just before the breeding season, when you are certain of finding two together, it is not a bad plan, on finding out the roosting place, to endeavour to kill only the female, and not return again till after an interval of three days, when you will find that the cock has brought another female. I have known a keeper, by adopting this plan, kill seven female birds, and thus get rid of the whole breed in the vicinity for at least one season.
If traps be used for this bird, they may either be baited, or merely placed and concealed on those spots in the line of the bird's daily course where he has been seen to rest. There are always certain prominent points where he is in the habit of settling for the purpose of reconnoitring, and these are easily discovered by watching him in his flight . If the trap be baited, a lark will often be found to answer the purpose. This must be laid very neatly on the plate of the trap, with open wings and breast exposed, every part of the trap being carefully concealed, having in the first instance been let into the ground, so as to lie evenly and horizontally with the surface. Two or three traps, baited and set in this manner in some prominent parts in the line of the bird's daily course, may frequently be successful. This plan may be adopted simultaneously with the gun, as every means ought to be adopted to get rid of this most destructive bird, especially on the moors, where the mischief done by it is so extensive, that I am persuaded if half a dozen of ,them were left unmolested on the very best moors, in the spring of the year, till the month of August, that the whole breed of grouse would be almost entirely destroyed.
The Blue, or Peregrine Falcons, are equally destructive to game on the moors; but they are not so common as the hen harrier. These birds build in the wildest parts of the mountains, in the highest and most inaccessible rocks, and can be shot in the breeding season, by awaiting their arrival at their nests in concealment. The hen bird is very handsome; the back of the head and near it is of a darkish blue; outside of the wings, lighter blue, and in the centre of the back and towards the points of the wings; the under part of the neck white; the breast buff, covered with darkish spots, the lower part with dark streaks. Its weight from two pounds to two pounds and a half. Length between the extreme points of the wings, from 38 to 42 inches; from the beak to the end of the tail 17 inches. The legs and claws are amazingly strong and powerful; the legs yellow, the claws black ; the beak is short and strong, the upper part curved and pointed, longer than the lower part; both are jagged and denticulated. At the root of the beak there is a yellow rim nearly half an inch in depth; there is also a yellow rim or border round the eyes, which are large.
I must not omit to mention the Merlin, which,
although a small hawk, is very mischievous, and does considerable damage amongst grouse and partridges; and although it only weighs half a pound, will knock down a black cock. It is extremely active and astonishingly quick in flight. Both the cock and female are handsome, but the cocji is the handsomer of the two; his head, back, and outside of the wings are of a darkish blue; the throat white, with some brown and reddish feathers between the white of the throat and the blue of the head; the breast is of a brownish red. The female is of a lighter blue on the head, back, and outside of the wings; the breast buff coloured, streaked with brown; the beak short, the upper one curved and sharp: the claws long and very sharp. Length from point of beak to end of tail 13 inches; the tail 6 inches. These birds build in fir trees, and may be easily shot in the breeding season.
The Kestrils do but little damage to game, living chiefly on mice; they also feed their young with them. They, however, sometimes take small birds; and, should they encounter any young partridges or young pheasants, they will take them. These are easily shot in the breeding season.
The Sparrow Hawk is a very destructive bird, especially fatal to partridges and young pheasants. The female is larger, heavier, and of greater length than the cock bird. They are very sharpsighted, and quick in flight, and active in their movements; they skim along the surface of the ground with amazing rapidity, pouncing upon their game almost as soon as found, and seldom miss their aim. They are rarely to be seen on the moors, but generally frequent inclosures. They build in low trees; sometimes in a white or black thorn bush. The cock bird is about the same length as the merlin, but a little larger and heavier; the hen bird is 3 or 4 inches longer, and much heavier.
The Kite, although comparatively little destructive of game, deserves some notice; being a finelooking, handsome bird, particularly distinguished from the rest of the tribe by his forked tail, which he seems to use as a rudder, after having attained his lofty aerial position, soaring without a perceptible effort, and sometimes apparently motion^ less. The acutenessof his sight may be ascertained and judged of, if we watch his descent from his lofty position to some prey which he has been surveying on discovery from an almost incredible distance, either in the shape of mice, young game, leverets, or sometimes, if pressed by hunger, carrion, or dead fish, if near the sea shore. Of the latter, some authors tell us they are very fond. They are not either so swift or so active as the other more rapapious hawks, and therefore sel