(1824) Baza jerdoni jerdoni.
Lophastur jerdoni Blyth, J. A. S. B., xi, p. 464 (1842) (Malacca). Baza jerdoni. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 411.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description *.—Male. Centre of crown, nape and long occipital crest black, the latter with narrow white tips; sides of crown, sides and back oi: neck black, each feather broadly edged with rufous; narrow rim of feathers above and below the eye black, below the latter a white patch; lores and sides of head ashy, or ashy mixed with rufous ; back to rump dark brown ; the feathers blackish on the terminal quarter, the scapulars, innermost secon¬daries and upper tail-coverts showing definite deep brown bands; tail brown with three dark bands, the terminal broadest and darkest; wings dark brown, the greater coverts and quills banded with blackish, the latter tipped paler in freshly moulted specimens and with the inner webs white below the notch contrasting strongly with the dark bands ; chin and throat rufous, white in the middle with a bold mesial line of black; breast rufous-brown, black-shafted and with white edges and bases ; remaining underparts banded rufous-brown and white, the former edged with blackish; under wing-coverts barred rufous and white, the greater coverts very pale ; axillaries like the flanks.
Colours of soft parts. Iris golden-yellow; bill plumbeous-black, the base bluish-slate, the tip and culmen quite black; cere pale bluish-plumbeous to almost black; legs and feet chrome-yellow or "white slightly tinged with blue" (Hume) claws horny-black; " tarsus china-white " (Stevens).
Measurements. Wing 327 (Sumatra) to 360 mm. (Sikkim); tail 210 to 244 mm.; tarsus 35 to 40 mm.; culmen 29 to 30 mm.
Female. Similar to the male but paler above; below the plumage is creamy or fulvous-white, with pale rufous streaks on the chin, throat and breast and bars of the same colour on the rest of the lower plumage ; the mesial streak on chin and throat is much less defined; the forehead, sides and fore-crown are pale fulvous streaked with rufous, the centre of the hind-crown darker and the crest black, tipped with white; tail with three bars and a broken fourth, concealed by the coverts.
Young birds are like the adult females, though the young males soon become darker above; the tail has four or sometimes five distinct bands and the bases of the feathers are much mottled with white.
Still younger birds bare the feathers of the upper plumage fringed with white; the wing-coverts light rufous-brown fringed with white; the lower parts are paler and still more feebly barred and streaked than in the female; the tail has five dark bars, the basal one partly concealed.
Distribution. Sikkim to Eastern Assam, Burma, Malay Peninsula to Sumatra.
Nidification. Blyth's Baza breeds in Sikkim between 2,000 and 6,000 feet, possibly a good deal higher, from April to June, making a nest only differing from that of the last species in being larger. Two nests were found in the Darjeeling district by Primrose and Morrison, the one at 2,000 feet the other at 6,000, built in lofty forest-trees just on the edge of tea-cultivation. Each nest contained two eggs, well incubated, which measure 44.8 x 35.0, 44.0 x 36.7, 44.3 x 37.2 and 45.7 x 37.0 mm. They are unspotted chalky-white and much stained.
Habits. Very little on record and it has always been considered a very rare bird though probably this is because it is very crepuscular and haunts very dense forest. In Assam we often saw it. Stevens records seeing it many times at Rangagora and in North Lakkimpur, Coltart and I saw it several times at Magherita, Primrose saw it in Goalpara and again in the Darjiling Terai. In its habits it does not differ from Baza leuphotes but it seems to soar less. It feeds much on lizards and frogs, many of the former of considerable size, and on insects, larvae and eggs.
* Messrs. Robinson and Kloss have dealt very fully with this Baza, 'Ibis,' 1911, p. 25. Their conclusions as to age and sex differences seem sound and are now adopted.