This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Gyrfalcon (Falco gyrfalco) feeding, chiefly on ptarmigans, hares, and water-fowl, has been shot in the British Islands. The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) chiefly inhabits wild districts, and nestles among rocks. It preys on grouse, partridges, ptarmigans, pigeons, rabbits, etc. The Merlin (Falco aesalon) a beautiful and remarkably swift and spirited little falcon, about 1 ft. long and weighing about 6 oz., frequents moors, and constructs its nest in rocky places or in a bush, even heather. The eggs, four in number, are reddish, mottled brown. It feeds chiefly upon small birds, and young game birds fall a prey to it. The Goshawk (Falco palumbarius) is rare in Britain, and feeds upon hares, squirrels, pheasants and other large birds. The Kite (Milvus regalis) and the Buzzard (Buteo vulgaris) are too rare to call for special remark in this connection. Indeed, all the species enumerated in this paragraph are so detested for their havoc in the poultry yard and amongst game as to receive no quarter from the poultry rearer and game preserver, hence rare in the British Islands.