21 JANUARY 1928, Page 14


One of Solomon's four cardinal mysteries—if we may consider " eagle " as a picturesque word for bird—is being marvellously illustrated if not probed by modern investi- gators. They have recently reaped a very large harvest by the method of ringing ; and the rings have brought information about the longevity of birds as well as their migrations. Mr. Witherby has done wonders in Britain, as others in Europe ; but the European " ringers " differ a good deal in method from the American, of whom much that is interesting is told in the first number of the National Geographic Magazine, published in Washington. Government economic biologists have taken a hand, as might our Empire co-operationists, and have had the chance to give a scope to the inquiry scarcely possible to any individual. Of the two most amazing trans- oceanic journeys on record, one, took place wholly within the British Empire. A kittiwake, ringed in North Britain, was found in Newfoundland. The other is yet more remarkable : a tern ringed in U.S.A. was found dead on a West African river.

* * * *