734. Tawny Eagle.
Aquila rapax (Temm.), Pl. Col. i. livr. 76, pl. 445 (1828) ; Blanf. Geol. and Zool. Abyss. p. 295 ; Dresser, v. p. 513, pl. 341 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. p. 242 ; A. noevioides (Cuv.), Regne Anim. i. p. 326 (1829) ; A. albicans, Rupp. Neue Wirbelth., p. 34, pl. 13 (1835) ; von Erlanger J. f. O. 1898 Taf. vii.
Sagr el arneb, Arabic ; Chok, Coo Vogel, in S. Africa.
Female ad. (Africa). Head, neck, back, and rump creamy ochreous, sparingly marked with deep brown ; scapulars and wing-coverts deep brown, with a purplish gloss and blotched with pale ochreous brown ; quills blackish brown, secondaries with obsolete greyish bars on the inner web : tall deep brown, tinged with grey, the middle feathers obsoletely barred ; under parts warm creamy ochreous, the throat, flanks, and abdomen broadly striped with warm brown ; bill horn-blue ; cere and feet yellow ; iris brown. Culmen 2.5, wing 20.0, tail 10.0, tarsus 3.6 inch. The male is similar but smaller. The adult bird varies from the above to warm rufous brown above and below, the tail and wings blackish brown, and the young bird is pale brownish isabelline, but slightly striated, the quills and tail deep blackish brown, the latter tipped with fulvous.
Hab. Africa generally, south to the Cape Colony ; Turkey and Palestine ; of doubtful occurrence in south-western Europe.
In habits it differs but little from its allies and is a some¬what heavy bird, preferring carrion, frogs, fish, and even worms, to hunting after larger birds and mammals, but it will capture hares and rabbits, and often robs the sportsman of wounded game, its call-note is (fide von Erlanger) ichtioh, ichtioh. Its nest is a large heavy structure of boughs, twigs, and dry grass, and is placed on a tree. The eggs, which are deposited in April or May, in Abyssinia in June or August, and on the Blue Nile in January, are white, more or less richly spotted and blotched with pale purplish red and deep rufous and measure about 2.81 by 2.22.
There are two forms of this eagle, one tawny, and the other (Aq. albicans) pale clay ochreous, but intermediate specimens occur.
734. Aquila rapax
734. Tawny Eagle.