NOW that the Sea Eagle and the Osprey are extinct, mainly through the depredations of egg-collectors, and the Golden Eagle is only tolerated in parts of Scotland where sportsmen find the bird useful in thinning down the grouse and hares that interfere with deer-stalking, the Peregrine Falcon is the grandest bird of prey we have left in England. The following account is based on field notes made during three successive springs at the same eyrie, and as their full relation involves a lot of monotonous reiteration, I will try and combine the salient facts of all three years in their proper order, so as to give a connected account from the date of hatching to the time when the young leave the eyrie. The full notes will, I hope, appear later in the Zoologist. My friend, Smith Whiting, whose bird photographs are a joy to all his intimates, holds strong views against the publication of any accounts of rare birds, as this, in his experience, only serves to betray them to egg-collectors, who really, in their lust for the eggs of such, seem to be born stamp collectors who have, unfortunately, missed their true vocation. I do so, however, in the hope that my narrative may raise new friends for the Peregrine Falcon and other rare birds, and so lead to their better protection. A simple method these may employ is to wet each egg and then scrawl all over it with a violet marking-ink pencil. This has no prejudicial effect on incubation, but renders the egg useless to collectors, as the violet marks are more indelible than the natural blotches.
To those who, like myself, have never seen a wild Peregrine before those figured here, I may say that it is a bird about the size of a rook or crow; that when seen on the ground its general build and style of walk suggest a parrot; and that, as it flies, it looks like a pigeon with rather a long tail.