BIRD LIFE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
the sea to feed its young, and we can watch the whole performance. The old bird, with head down, wide-open mouth and flapping wings, is surrounded by scuffling, fluttering young, which put their heads one by one into its mouth and seize the savoury morsels from its pouch. The newly-hatched young have bare, purplish skins, and are ugly as juvenile harpies. The whole affords a scene of novel though malodorous interest.
Apart from the true sea-fowl, there are other birds which share their haunts, living sometimes upon the most neighbourly terms with the toilers of the deep, at other times as undesirable hangers-on of whose presence the colony would gladly be rid. To the latter class belongs the Peregrine Falcon, which may often be found breeding in a haunt of sea-birds in the midst of the most thickly-populated ledges. Its harsh outcry is heard above the general clamour and as it passes with a bold sweep out to sea, sometimes making a feint of stooping at a slow, heavy flying cormorant to the consternation of the latter, the lazy gulls are soon left behind. Aloft, Kestrels show the silvery underside of their wings as they glide and swerve, having as neighbours the Rock Dove and the sable Chough. The Rock Dove, ancestor of our tame pigeons, is so often found intermixed with stock escaped from neighbouring dove-cotes, and more or less reverted to type, that we shall scarcely find the