735. Imperial Eagle.
Aquila heliaca, Savigny. Obs. Ois. de l’Egypte, p. 82, pl. xii. (1809) ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 5 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 238 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 17 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 334 ; A. imperialis (Bechst.) Orn. Taschenb, p. 553 (1812) ; (Naum.) i. p. 201, Taf. 6, 7 ; A. crassipes, Hodgs, in Gray’s Zool. Misc. p. 81 (1844) ; A. mogilnik (Gmel.) Nov. Com. Petrop, xv. p. 445 (1771) ? ; Dresser, v. p. 521, pls. 343, 344.
Aigle Imperial, French ; Kaiseradler, German ; Aquila imperiale, Ital. ; Mogilnik, Karagousch, Russ. ; Akab, Urga, Persian ; Iumiz, Hindu, ; Frus, Bengal.
Male ad. (Bulgaria). Head and neck above dull yellowish isabelline, the forehead marked with dark brown, the nape tinged with rufous ; rest of the plumage blackish brown, some of the scapulars pure white ; tail dark grey, with a broad terminal blackish brown band, and finally tipped with light brown ; under tail-coverts light brown ; bill bluish, darker at the tip; cere and feet pale yellow ; iris brownish yellow. Culmen 2.85. wing 23.5, tail 11.6, tarsus, 3.9 inch. Female similar but larger. The young bird is brownish yellow, striped with dark earth-brown ; wings and tail dark brown, the latter tipped with light brown ; secon daries tipped with yellowish white ; chin and throat unstriped. Between this plumage and the adult all stages are to be met with.
Hab. South-eastern Europe ; Asia Minor and Palestine ; east Africa south to Nubia and Abyssinia ; Asia east to south¬eastern Siberia, Mongolia, and China ; in India no further east than Bengal (Furreedpore).
In habits this Eagle is a heavy and sluggish bird, and resembles a Buzzard more than any nearer allied species.
It frequents the plains and steppes, where it feeds on small mammals and birds, frogs, lizards, and carrion. Its nest, which is placed in a tree is a heavy structure of boughs and sticks, lined with twigs, grass, wool, or other soft material, or with green leaves, and in April or May 2 eggs are deposited, which are dull white somewhat sparingly clouded with pale purplish red, and blotched with pale rufous, and average in size 2.95 by 2.28.
I still believe that Gmelin’s Falco mogilnik is referable to this species, but as ornithologists hold such different views on this subject I have deemed it advisable to use Savigny's name heliaca about which there can be no doubt.
735. Aquila heliaca
735. Imperial Eagle.