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sometimes changing its color; it thus proceeded till, having gained a deeper part, it darted away, leaving a dusky train of ink to hide the hole into which it had crawled. While looking for marine animals, with my head about two feet above the rocky shore, I was more than once saluted by a jet of water, accompanied by a slight grating noise. At first I could not think what it was, but afterward I found out that it was this cuttle-fish, which, though concealed in a hole, thus often led me to its discovery. From the difficulty which these animals have in carrying their heads, they cannot crawl with ease when placed on the ground.
THE CORMORANT-THE PENGUIN.
One day, in the Falkland islands, I observed a cormorant playing with a fish which it had caught. Eight times successively the bird let its prey go, then dired after it, and although in deep water, brought it each time to the surface. In the Zoological Gardens I have seen the otter treat a fish in the same manner, much as a cat does a mouse: I do not know of
any other instance where Dame Nature seems so intentionally cruel. Another day, having placed myself between a penguin (Aptenodytés clemersa) and the water,
I was much amused by watching its habits. It was a brave bird, and till reaching the sea it regularly fought and drove me backward. Nothing less than heavy blows would have stopped bim; every inch he gained he firmly kept, standing close before me, erect and determined, while all the time rolling his head from side to side, in a very odd manner, as if he could only see distinctly out of the lower front part of each eye. This bird is commonly called the jackass-penguin, from its habit, while on shore, of throwing its head back ward, and making a loud, strange noise, very like the braying of an ass; but while at sea, and undisturbed, its note is very deep and solemn, and is often heard in the night-time. In diving, its little wings are used as fius; but on the land, as front legs. When crawling, on four legs as it were, through the tussocks or on the side of a grassy cliff, it moves so very quickly that it might easily be mistaken for a quadruped. When at sea and fishing, it comes to the surface for the purpose of breathing with such a spring, and dives again so instantaneously, that I defy any one at first sight to be sure that it was not a fish leaping for sport.
This day (April 27th, 1834) I shot a condor. It meas. ured, from tip to tip of the wings, eight and a half feet, and from beak to tail, four feet. This bird is known to have a wide geographical range, being found on the west coast of South America, from the Strait of Magellan along the Cordi. llera as far as eight degrees north of the equator. A line
of cliff near the mouth of the Santa Cruz is frequented by these birds; and about eighty miles up the river, where the sides of the valley are formed by steep basaltic precipices, the condor reappears.
From these facts it seems that the condors require perpendicular cliffs. In Chile they haunt, during the greater part of the year, the lower country, near the shores of the Pacific, and at night several roost together in one tree; but in the early part of the summer they retire to the most inaccessible parts of the inner Cordillera, there to breed in peace.
I told by the country people in Chile that the condor makes no sort of nest, but in the months of November and December lays two large white eggs on a shelf of bare rock. It is said that the young condors cannot fly for an entire year; and, long after they are able, they continue to roost by night and bu nt. hy day with their parents.
The old birds generally live in pairs; but among the inland basaltic cliffs of the Santa Cruz I found a spot where scores must usually haunt. On coming suddenly to the brow of the precipice, it was a grand spectacle to see between twenty and thirty of these great birds start heavily from their resting place and wheel
away in majestic circles.
Having gorged themselves with carrion on the plains below, they retire to these favorite ledges to digest their food. In this part of the country they live altogether on the guanacos which have died a natural death, or, as more commonly happens, have been killed by the pumas.
I believe, from what I saw in Patagonia, that they do not, on ordinary occasions, extend their daily excursions to any great distance from their regular sleeping.places.
The condors may oftentimes be seen at a great height, soaring over a certain spot in the most graceful circles. On some occasions I am sure that they do this only for pleasure; but on others, the Chileno countryman tells you that they are watching a dying animal, or the puma devouring its prey. If the condors glide down, and then suddenly all rise togeth. er, the Chileno knows that it is the puma, which, watching the carcass, has sprung out to drive away the robbers. Be. sides feeding on carrion, the condors frequently attack young goats and lambs; and the shepherd-dogs are trained, when. ever the birds pass over, to run out, and, looking upward, to bark violently. The Chilenos destroy and catch numbers. Two methods are used: one is to place a carcass on a level piece of ground within an enclosure of sticks, having an opening, and, when the condors are gorged, to gallop up on horseback to the entrance, and thus enclose them; for when this bird has not space to run, it cannot give its body sufficient momentum to rise from the ground. The second method is to mark the trees in which, frequently to the number of five or six together, they roost, and then at night to climb up
noose them. They are such heavy sleepers, as I have myself witnessed, that this is not a difficult task. At Valparaiso I have seen a living condor sold for sixpence, but the common price is eight or ten shillings. In a garden, at the same place, between twenty and thirty were kept alive.
When an animal is killed in the country, it is well known that the condors, like other carrion-vultures, soon learn of it, and congregate in a manner not yet explained. In most cases, too, the birds have discovered their prey and picked the skeleton clean before the flesh is in the least degree tainted. Remembering the experiments of Mr. Audubon on the little smelling powers of carrion-hawks, I tried, in the above-mentioned garden, the following experiment: the condors were tied, each by a rope, in a long row at the bottom of a wall, and having folded up a piece of meat in white paper, I walked backward and forward, carrying it in my hand at the distance of about three yards from them, but no notice whatever was taken. I then threw it on the ground, within one yard of an old male bird; he looked at it for a moment with attention, but then regarded it no more. With a stick I pushed it closer and closer, until at last he touched it with his beak; the paper was then instantly torn off with fury, and at the same moment every bird in the long row began struggling and flapping its wings. Under the same circumstances it would have been quite impossible to have deceived a dog
Often, when lying down to rest on the open plains, on looking upward I have seen carrion-hawks sailing through the air at a great height. Where the country is level, I do