Letters

Published on 01 December 1908 in Letters

SIRS,–My friend, Lehrer Precht, of Bremen, tells me the following tale, which I have every reason to believe is quite authentic :–It appears t h a t during the hard frost experienced at the beginning of J a n u a r y last a labourer caught a fine female Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) in the following way : On the outskirts of Bremen (Germany) there are large fields, flooded during the winter. On a small island in the midst of such a field lay the Peregrine, her wings frozen to the ground holding her a prisoner. Around her lay the remains of Wild Duck, Partridges, and Pheasants, while above hovered her mate. On examination both legs were found to be broken b y shot, the right thigh in two places. These injuries had been inflicted at least a fortnight before, for union between the ends of the broken bones h a d been almost completed, and an open wound was suppurating freely. Several pellets of No. 8 shot was extracted. Since both legs were disabled the bird was powerless to obtain food, so during the whole period the bird was fed by her trusty mate, and was, when killed, in good condition. Having perforce to roost on the ground, her feathers became frozen to the d a m p surface. The above story explains a fact which has puzzled Precht for years. H e was skinning a Goshawk, and noticed t h a t the humerus had been broken by

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