category:Flight shooting


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    The second Order of Birds, which comprehends both the Pic? and Passeres of Linn?us, is essentially distinguished from the rest of the class by the structure of the feet, which are formed for perching. Those of the Scansorial tribe in particular, to which all the species to be here noticed belong, have two of the toes directed forwards, and the remaining two directed backwards, in such a manner as to enable them to grasp the branch of a tree or other similar objects with peculiar firmness, and consequently to climb with more than usual agility. This section comprehends some of the most gorgeously coloured and splendid among birds, as well as those[216] which evince the highest degree of intelligence, in the imitation especially of the human voice, for which they have been celebrated from the earliest times.
    India and the larger Asiatic Islands appear to be its native country; but nothing certain is known of its habits in a state of nature: in captivity it is sullen and irascible, and evinces no affection for its keeper, appearing in fact totally insensible to the attentions which it receives.


    1.It is rarely that the Lion of the Cape district ventures to attack a man, unless provoked, or impelled by urgent hunger. The colonists, however, who are very great sufferers (especially in their horses, for whose flesh he seems to have a peculiar taste) by his frequent visits, are his most determined and deadly foes, and omit no opportunity of wreaking their vengeance upon him for the injuries which he has inflicted upon their property. The frontier boors in particular, who are more exposed to his ravages, and who, being well trained to hunting, are most of them excellent marksmen, appear to take a peculiar pleasure in attacking the Lion, even when they[22] meet him almost singly. They, however, more frequently make up parties for the chase, which is unquestionably attended with no little danger, even when the huntsmen are numerous and experienced; for although the Lion on such occasions almost always takes to his heels, and endeavours to make his escape without confronting his pursuers; yet, when he finds that flight is in vain, he turns upon them with a fierceness and determination that nothing could withstand, were it not for the well proved superiority possessed by them in the formidable rifle, which, on such an emergency, they know how to direct with a steady and almost unerring aim.
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