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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Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
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Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor