Punch,  47 (1864), 213.

The Goshawk and the Hen Harrier (To the Honourable Grantley Berkeley)

Bob Moody


Letter, Spoof


Hunting, Ornithology, Taxonomy, Class, Reading, Museums

    Written in a style of a rustic who identifies Grantley Berkeley as a 'Spoortsman' and himself as a poacher, and discusses the differences between a 'patridge and a sparrer'. Anticipating Berkeley's greater knowledge of this question, he notes the sportsman's familiarity with the Hampshire goshawks which are also confused with hen harriers. Explains that he and Berkeley should 'know summut about hawks' and how the owl, 'the bird o'widsom [...] knows a hawk from hen harrier' and wonders why 'English gentlemen' are unaware of this difference. Thinks that the ancestors of such gentlemen, people who 'spent their time in hawkun', would not be impressed by their descendants' inability to distinguish a hen harrier from a goshawk. Explains that ancient barons regarded goshawks as 'first-rate' hawks and could distinguish them from 'long-winged hawks', 'short-winged hawks', and hen harriers. Boasts that he has 'got a new book' which has helped him distinguish the goshawk from the hen harrier and urges Berkeley to inspect the stuffed birds at the British Museum in order to help him make the correct distinction.

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