Far Away And Long Ago A History Of My Early Life By W. H. Hudson








































































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Then, as to the vulture, it was not a true vulture nor a strictly true
eagle, but a carrion-hawk - Page 90
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Then, As To The Vulture, It Was Not A True Vulture Nor A Strictly True Eagle, But A Carrion-Hawk,

A bird the size of a small eagle, blackish brown in colour with a white neck and breast suffused with

Brown and spotted with black; also it had a very big eagle-shaped beak, and claws not so strong as an eagle's nor so weak as a vulture's. In its habits it was both eagle and vulture, as it fed on dead flesh, and was also a hunter and killer of animals and birds, especially of the weakly and young. A somewhat destructive creature to poultry and young sucking lambs and pigs. Its feeding habits were, in fact, very like those of the raven, and its voice, too, was raven-like, or rather like that of the carrion-crow at his loudest and harshest. Considering the character of this big rapacious bird, the _Polyborus tharus_ of naturalists and the _carancho_ of the natives, it may seem strange that a pair were allowed to nest and live for years in our plantation, but in those days people were singularly tolerant not only of injurious birds and beasts but even of beings of their own species of predaceous habits.

On the outskirts of our old peach orchard, described in a former chapter, there was a solitary tree of a somewhat singular shape, standing about forty yards from the others on the edge of a piece of waste weedy land. It was a big old tree like the others, and had a smooth round trunk standing about fourteen feet high and throwing out branches all round, so that its upper part had the shape of an open inverted umbrella.

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