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now let loose against it, and as the hubara has become weary, it cannot defend itself so well as at first, and is commonly killed this time at least; but it often happens that it completely baffles the hawks and escapes altogether. The strength and courage of the hubara, and the change of hawks, makes this sport very exciting to those who are fond of such pursuits.
The mode in which the other falcon takes its prey is also rather curious. Before it is carried out for hunting, the falconer fits to its thighs a pair of leathers with the greatest possible care. I wondered at this when I first saw it, and was rather amused by the resemblance which I fancied the leathers to bear to a pair of breeches. I asked what it meant; but the man only said, “Wait a' bit, and you will see.” And so I did. It often happens that the hare which the bird seizes is strong enough to drag it along the ground in its efforts to escape. Thus while the falcon has the claws of one foot fastened in the back of its prey, the other foot is dragged along on the ground until he can lay hold of a tuft of grass, by which he is enabled to stop the course of his victim. In this way, the very strong efforts of the hare to escape
are such as would probably tear the bird asunder, if it were not for those leathers which at first seemed so strange. Very often, however, the falcon kills the hare, or disables it from running away, at the first pounce; and he has then been known to attack with great boldness and drive away greyhounds which have attempted to seize the hare he had killed.
Pheasants and partridges, like our own, are very common in Persia, in the plains of which there is also found, in large numbers, a peculiar sort of partridge called the “ black breast” both by the Turks and Persians. It has a warty skin round the eyes; and is furnished with a strong convex bill, with the nostrils under the feathers. The feet are black, and the fore part of the leg, which is very strong, is covered with short feathers; the inside of the toes is rough, and there is a small spur on the feet of both males and females. The male bird is of a brown colour spotted with black; and the female of a dirty yellow mixed with brown. Round the forepart of the body, or the breast, is a band of black feathers, more distinct in the male than in the female. All the lower part of the body is black. The flesh, which is considered very good eating, is of two colours-black near the bone, and white on the exterior.
J. I am sure I should not think black flesh good eating.
U. O. Black is frequently only a strong word for very dark, and so I used it. The flesh of the fine bird called “ black cock,” found in our northern moorlands, is, in like manner, of a white and a dark colour. The “ black breasts” fly in flocks, and have a soft note while they are on the wing. They do not, like the common partridge, run after they are once settled. They are shy and cautious when a person attempts to approach them on foot with a gun; but they do not mind a person on horseback.
Quails are in great abundance at the proper season; and I mention them for the sake of describing the very curious way in which the Persians take them. They stick two poles in their girdles, and place upon them either their outside coats or a pair of trowsers, as you see in this picture. (Shows a drawing.)
J. How comical they look, as if they had horns !
U.0, That is the very thing intended. The men hope to pass off themselves upon the silly birds
for ante. Disguised in any manner, they prowl a r the feices with a hand met; mi sie mal, which is sok alarmeri zi a for more resembling a krast, tha a man, love the fowler to approach
Nu as to be able to run the ses over it. The great number of birds which the men take in this way is amazing. A gentleman, with whom I travelled at one time, observed the great abundance d quails, and one morning went out to shoot them. He was a good sportsman, and shot several; but a chepherd boy, whom he met as he retumed, Langhed at him, and to show that his own way of dealing with the quails was the best, immediately put up his horns, and in a very short time took more birds alive than my friend had been able to kill in several hours.
Nearly all the varieties of water fowl are found in different parts of Persia. I do not remember anything remarkable to mention of any of them except the stork. This bird, which finds protection from man in every country, is treated by the Turks and Persians with particular respect. It builds its large round nest upon the highest points of all buildings, whether public or private, and the number of these nests upon the towers, turrets, and cupolas has a very curious appearance. It is remarkable that sparrows are fond of making their nests in the cavities and rough points of those of the storks. Nothing is more common in many parts of Persia than to see a colony of these small birds established on the perpendicular sides of a stork's nest. The Persians have most of our principal song-birds; except the goldfinch and the linnet, which I do not remember ever to have seen in their country. But blackbirds, thrushes, and nightingales are very common. The Persians almost idolize the nightingale, which they call bul-bul, and it makes a great figure in their poetry, in which they prettily enough consider the bird as the lover of the rose, At the city of Shiraz, in particular, the gardens abound with these
«Sweet birds, that shan the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy," The emulation of nightingales is now, I believe, a fact well established. The Persians say that they are often known to expire while contending with skilful musicians not only in the variety but the loudness of their notes. When they hear the instrument, they come to the neighbouring trees, sometimes remaining still, and warbling with all their might; at other times, they flutter from branch to branch, as if desirous of approaching the