“Towering” of Grouse, Partridges, &c

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Abstract

MOST of your readers doubtless know what is meant by the towering of game-birds; but, for the sake of those who do not, I will begin by describing the facts. When a partridge, for instance, is hit while on the wing by a few pellets of shot—perhaps only by one or two—the flight may continue for a variable distance; but, if the bird is a “towerer,” a slight irregularity soon begins to show itself, after which the flight rapidly becomes more and more laboured, till eventually the bird ceases its onward motion altogether. The direction of the flight now changes from the horizontal to the perpendicular, and with a rapid fluttering sort of action the bird rises to a variable height, when all motion suddenly ceases, the animal falls like a stone, and the sportsman then knows that when he finds his partridge twill be lying dead on the exact spot where he “marked it down.”

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ROMANES, G. “Towering” of Grouse, Partridges, &c. Nature 15, 116–117 (1876) doi:10.1038/015116d0

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