The length of the male of these birds is twelve inches; that of (he female fifteen ; the former differs both in size and colour from the latter. The female builds her nest in hollow trees, high rocks, or lofty ruins, sometimes in the old nest of a crow, and generally lays four or five eggs, marked at the pointed end with reddish spots.
The Sparrow hawk is obedient and docile: by keeping him awake three or four days successively in a hoop, till he become almost delirious, he may afterwards be easily trained to hunt partridges and quails. In a wild state, however, these creatures commit great depredations on pigeons, poultry, ra bits, hares, etc. so that the following method of catching them will probably be acceptable to many readers.
A hawk-cage, made upon a plan similar to that of a goldfinch trap-cage, but larger, and baited with two house-sparrows, should be exposed in a fine clear morning, on a hedge, or some other open place, and left out till late in the evening. By this simple contrivance, those predatory birds might be easily taken; and either destroyed, or preserved for the purposes of hawking ; an amusement that has lately been abandoned in this country, and therefore requires no descrip-tion.