Subfamily FALCONINAE

As already pointed out, this subfamily contains the bulk of the Accipitrine birds. The following key to Indian Genera is not so satisfactory as could be wished, but many of the most important generic characters are not easily expressed in a few words.

Key to the Genera.

A. Bill without any pointed tooth on upper mandible opposite end of lower mandible; a festoon commonly present farther back.
a. Lores with bristles or feathers termi¬nating in bristles.
a1. Tarsus feathered throughout : size mostly large. (Eagles.)
a2. Claws much curved, hind claw longer than inner.
a3. Primaries exceeding secondaries by more than length of tarsus.
a4. No elongate occipital crest. a3. Culmen straight at base, then curving ………………………AQUILA, p. 332.
b3. Culmen curving from cere ………………………HIERAETUS, p. 342.
b4. An elongate occipital crest; abdomen chestnut in adults………………………LOPHOTRIORCHIS, [p. 345.
b3. Primaries exceeding secondaries by less than length of tarsus SPIZAETUS, p. 348.
b2. Claws but little curved, inner longer than hind claw………………………ICTINAETUS, p. 346.
b1. Tarsus not feathered throughout.
c2. Tarsus reticulated throughout, no scutellae broader than high.
c3. Tarsus long, more than 1 1/2 times length of bill from gape to point.
c4. Scales on tarsus subequal throughout: size of bird large. (Serpent-Eagles.)
c5. Head not crested………………………CIRCAETUS, p. 355.
d3. Feathers of nape and sides of neck lengthened to form a crest………………………SPILORNIS, p. 357.
d4. Scales in front of tarsus larger than behind: size small. (Buzzard Eagles.) ………………………BUTASTUR, p. 362.
d3. Tarsus short, less than 1 1/2 times length of bill from gape………………………ELANUS, p. 379.
d2. Tarsus with some scutellae broader than high.
e3. Size large: tarsi very long and thick, scutellated in front and either reticulated behind or irregularly scutellated; scales beneath toes rough and pointed. (Sea-Eagles.)
e4. Claws grooved beneath………………………HALIAETUS, p. 366.
f4. Claws rounded beneath ………………………POLIOAETUS, p. 369.
f3. Size moderate : tarsus scutellated in front hut not behind.
g4. Tarsus short; bill from gape more than half tarsus. (Kites.)
e5. Tail slightly rounded at the end………………………HALIASTUR, p. 372.
f5. Tail forked………………………MILVUS, p. 374.
h4. Tarsus long; bill from gape less than half tarsus……………………… (Harriers.) CIRCUS, p. 380.
g3. Size moderate or small: tarsus scutellated behind.
i4. Bill from gape half length of tarsus or less. (Hawks.)
g5. Bill from gape f to f length of mid-toe without claw.
a6. No crest………………………ASTUR, p. 396.
b6. A small occipital crest………………………LOPHOSPIZIAS, p. 400.
h5. Bill from gape about half mid-toe without claw………………………ACCIPITER, p. 402.
k4. Bill from gape more than half tarsus. (Buzzards.)
i5. Lower part of tarsus naked all round………………………BUTEO, p. 389.
k5. Tarsus feathered in front to base of toes, naked and scutellate behind………………………ARCHIBUTEO, p.. 395.
b. Lores very broad, densely feathered, without bristles *. (Honey-Buzzards.)
c1. Loral feathers scale-like; bill not much compressed ………………………PERNIS, p. 405.
d1. Loral feathers not scale-like; bill excessively compressed, culmen sharp………………………MACHAERHAMPHUS, [p. 408
B. Bill with two teeth on each side of upper mandible, opposite end of lower………………………BAZA, p. 408.
C. Bill with one tooth on each side of upper mandible..
c. Tail half to two-thirds as long as wing.
e1. Size moderate; wing never under 6. (Falcons.)
e2. Tail rounded, not graduated.
h3. 2nd quill longest, 1st much longer than 4th
l4. Sexes alike; foot long, mid-toe 1.25-2.25………………………FALCO, p. 412.
m4. Sexes dissimilar; foot small, mid-toe about 1 ………………………ERYTHROPUS, p. 424.
i3. 2nd and 3rd quills subequal, also 1st and 4th………………………AESALON, p. 426.
f2. Tail graduated, middle tail-feathers exceeding outer by an inch or more; upper parts largely brick-red: sexes dissimilar………………………TINNUNCULUS, p. 428.
f1. Size very small, wing under 5………………………MICROHIERAX, p. 432.
d. Tail nearly as long as wing : sexes dissimilar ………………………POLIOHIERAX, p. 434.
* This distinction is very unsatisfactory. Generally Hieraetus may be distinguished by having the middle toe longer than the bill from gape, whereas in Aquila the latter is the longer, but this does not hold good with Aquila maculata and A. chrysaetus.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
Subfamily FALCONINAE
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1895
Page No: 
330
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
1689

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