1169. Bubo coromandus.
The Dusky Horned Owl.
Strix coromanda, Lath. Ind. Orn. i, p. 63 (1790). Urrua coromanda, Hodgs. J. A. S. B. vi, p. 373; Jerdon,B. I.i, p. 130; id. Ibis, 1871, p. 345; Hume, N. & E. p. 63; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 450; v, p. 217; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xlvii, pt. 2, p. 12. Urrua umbrata, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiv, p. 180 (1845). Bubo umhratus, Blyth, Cat. p. 35. Bubo coromandus, Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 75; Hume, S. F. i, p. 164; Adam, ibid. p. 369; Sharpe, Cat. R. M. ii, p. 35 ; Butler, S. F. vii, p. 180; Ball, ibid. p. 201; Cripps, ibid. p. 254; Hume, Cat. no. 70; Reid, S. F. x, p. 15; Davidson, ibid. p. 291; Taylor, ibid. p. 455; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 151; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 101; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 407; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 66. Ascalaphia coromanda, Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 253; Hume, Rough Notes, p. 371; A. Anderson, P. Z. S. 1872, p. 81; 1876, p. 316; Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 65.
Coloration. Whole plumage above and below greyish brown with dark shaft-stripes, the feathers finely mottled and vermiculated with whitish ; more white on the lower surface, which is paler than the upper in consequence; a few white or buff spots on the outer webs of the outer scapulars and on some of the larger and median primary-coverts; lores white, with black shafts ; aigrettes darker than crown; quills and tail brown, with pale mottled cross-bands and tips.
Bill greyish white or pale lavender, the tips and culmen pale yellowish horny; irides deep yellow (not orange); claws black (Hume).
Length 23; tail 8; wing 16; tarsus 2.5 ; bill from gape 1.65.
Distribution. The greater part of the Indian Peninsula. This Owl is common in the North-west Provinces and throughout the greater part of the Gangetic plain, being far from rare in Eastern Bengal. It has been obtained, though rarely, from the Punjab and Sind, but not farther west. To the eastward it has been recorded from the N. Khasi hills, Assam, Tipperah, and Arrakan, but not Manipur, nor farther south. Sharpe found a specimen in the Paris Museum from China. It occurs in the better watered parts of Bajputana, in Khandesh, Raipur, Chutia Nagpur, the Carnatic, and Mysore, but not in the Bombay Deccan or Concan, Western Ghats, Malabar coast, nor in Ceylon.
Habits, &c. This dull-plumaged bird inhabits well-wooded and watered tracts, where it lives on small mammals, birds, frogs, lizards, &c. A. Anderson mentions seeing one pursue a heron. It also kills and eats crows. Like its congeners it is by no means exclusively nocturnal. The call is characteristic, resembling, according to Butler, wo, wo, wo, wo-o-o-o, and is chiefly heard in the rains. It breeds from December to February, depositing generally two eggs in a stick nest, more or less lined with green leaves and a few feathers or a little grass. Sometimes the deserted nest of an Eagle or some other bird is utilized, and occasionally the eggs are laid in a hollow tree. They are creamy white (Anderson once obtained a coloured pair), and measure about 2.33 by 1.89.