(1808) Astur soloensis.
Falco soloensis Horsf., Trans. Linn. Soc, xiii, p. 137 (1821) (Java). Astur soloensis. Blanf. & Oates. iii, p. 400.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Upper plumage ashy-black, the feathers edged with black and the scapulars with large white central spots or patches; central tail-feathers immaculate, outer paler, faintly barred with blackish and tipped white; extreme bases of primaries pure white in the oldest birds, barred with dark brown in younger ones; sides of head and throat grey; lower surface white, the throat narrowly streaked with dark grey; breast tinged with vinous rufous in the oldest birds ; the youngest birds with adult upper parts, have the whole breast, flanks and upper abdomen quite deep rufous, the vent, thighs and under tail-coverts almost white with faint rufous-brown bars; between the two extremes every stage of colour is to be seen.
Colours of soft parts. Iris pale yellow or straw-colour; bill horny-plumbeous, black-tipped and yellowish at gape; cere and eyelids light yellow; legs and feet orange-yellow.
Measurements. Wing 175 to 196 mm.; tail 120 to 139, once 147 mm.; tarsus about 39 to 44 mm.; culmen 17 to 19 mm.
Young birds are very like those of Astur badius; the chin, throat and breast tire streaked with brown or rufous-brown, the streaks becoming bars on the abdomen, vent and thigh-coverts; under tail-coverts pale buff or white; the upper parts are rather darker than in A. badius.
Distribution. Southern China to New Guinea, the Indo-Chinese countries; the Malay Archipelago, Malay States, South Tenasserim and a straggler into Eastern Burma. Abbott and Kloss found it common in Katchal and on the Great and Little Nicobars.
Habits. This seems to be more of a jungle-form than any of the other races during the Winter months, but in China it is some¬times seen in quite open country. Hume saw it in the densest forests in the Andamans and Bingham got it in teak-forest in Tenasserim. It feeds principally on frogs and lizards but certainly sometimes tackles birds of some size as it was seen pursuing a Golden Oriole.