a dwarfing effect upon it, but they were manifestly smaller than any of the gulls which molested them, and this I was not prepared for from the specimens which I have seen in museums or languishing in captivity. That they were ravens however, is, I think, certain from the very peculiar croaking note to which I have alluded, and which they uttered at this time almost constantly.
When I came to the island these birds had already hatched out their young, of which there were four lying in a loose cradle of what looked like sticks, but could not have been, since these were nowhere procurable. It was a mass of something having the general appearance of a battered and flattened rook's nest, but what the actual materials of which it was constructed were, I am unable to say. The nest was on a ledge half-way down the face of a huge precipice forming one side of a fissure in the coast-line — the mouth of an immature fiord — dug out in the course of ages by the slow but ceaseless sapping of the sea. From the summit of the opposite side I could look across at and down upon it, having. an excellent view. The young birds — five in number — who were well fledged, and within, perhaps, a fortnight of leaving the nest, lay in it very flatly with their wings half spread out, and so motionless that for some time, upon first seeing them, I almost thought they must be dead. The sudden yet softly sudden rearing itself up of one with an expressive opening of the beak — expressive of "surely, surely, it must be meal-time again now" — gave a delightful assurance that this was not the case, and