News The steller sea eagle can be 8ft in wing-span

Sea eagle, which has an 8ft wingspan, disappeared on Saturday

Foraging may be all the rage, but can you live for a whole year on squirrels, weeds mushrooms – and garden snails?

It's remarkable how the threat of poverty can focus the mind. It had all started with such promise. After years working in London as a writer, I decided to follow in my grandparents' agricultural footsteps and get back into farming. They had grown hops in Herefordshire, where my family has lived for more than 500 years. My wife, Emma, is a city girl so it took me a long time to persuade her, but eventually she agreed. We found a farmhouse with some land and moved with our children.

Eric Simms: Ornithologist who presented 'The Countryside Programme' on the BBC for nearly 40 years

Eric Simms was for nearly 40 years a familiar voice as the presenter of BBC radio's The Countryside Programme. He produced or presented more than 7,000 radio programmes and made about 700 appearances on television. Simms was above all a devoted field ornithologist and a noted amateur authority on bird migration. He championed the familiar birds of town and street, especially the blackbird (whose song he chose for his appearance on Desert Island Discs), and was also an apologist for that much reviled bird, the street pigeon, whose canniness and adaptability he much admired.

Urban peregrines lay first egg of the year

Urban peregrine falcons are poised to capture the hearts of city dwellers once again this spring after a female laid the first city peregrine egg of 2009 in a Birmingham factory.

Darwin's Sacred Cause, By Adrian Desmond and James Moore

Did Darwin develop his theory of evolution for use as a weapon in the fight against slavery?

No one cooks pheasant, grouse and pigeon like Richard Corrigan. And now he's got a place of his own to prove it

Corrigan's Mayfair, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, London W1, tel: 020 7499 9943

Official: the Houses of Parliament really are full of vermin

Records obtained by <i>The Independent</i> reveal scale of infestation

Steamy stuff: Sophie Conran reveals her favourite soup and stew recipes

The nights may be drawing in, but the food writer Sophie Conran is on hand to supply warmth and comfort &ndash; in the shape of her favourite soup and stew recipes

Stars in his eyes: Restaurant Tristan, Horsham

Does everybody in the restaurant business think they deserve a Michelin star? The Tristan of this new eaterie is Tristan Mason, who used to cook at the Hare in Lambourn and picked up a star for his labours. He moved to the Orrery in London, which had a Michelin star when he joined but lost it on his watch, whatever that may mean. No sooner had he put his name over the door of what used to be Stan's, in Horsham's dinky, narrow East Street, than he was telling local papers: "I want to get my star and I want my three AA rosettes. I want to make it one of the best restaurants in England." Well, I dare say you do, Tris, but in what sense is it "your" star and "your" rosettes? Do you hear actors demanding, "I want to get my Oscar and my Baftas"? Do you hear me saying, "It's about time I had my Nobel and several Pulitzers"? I don't think so. Not out loud, anyway.

Children's Books Special: The best picture books

Nicola Smyth tests the latest crop of picture books on her giggly four year old

Observations: Weaving a new thread

Tapestry often seems banished to a no man's land between art, craft and design. But with the opening of a stunning new creative centre and a home for Dovecot – which houses Scotland's Dovecot Studios of tapestry weavers and rug tufters – this ancient art is coming out of the shadows. The premises, which opened last week, combine a centre for craft and design allied to a working studio making it the world's top place for tapestry. This gallery and workspace, created out of the shell of Edinburgh's Infirmary Street Baths, looks set to create quite a splash.

Origin of the thesis: At the bottom of Darwin's garden

His Galapagos voyages are legendary, but Charles Darwin made many of his greatest breakthroughs at the bottom of his own garden. By Simon Usborne

Songbirds develop super muscles for dawn chorus

Mozart is said to have been inspired by the repertoire of musical notes produced by his pet starling. Now scientists can explain how the songbird is able to control such a varied voice.

Wimbledon Diary: Forget the pigeons, take aim at the car park charity pests

The Diary was once shot in the ankle with an airgun pellet, and while it did sting a bit, it wasn't serious. Now is not the time to go into the details of the incident but the situation involved a Catholic priest, a big dog with scary teeth and the front yard of a presbytery in Kisumu in western Kenya, at night.

Letters: Big Brother Britain

State security machine reaches over the bank counter
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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album