Bubo coromandus, Lath.
70. :- Urrua coromanda :- Jerdon's Bird's of India, Vol. I, p. 130; Butler, Guzerat ; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 450 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 94; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 58 ; Hume's Scrap Book, p. 371.
THE DUSKY-HORNED OWL.
Jangli Ghugu, Hin.
Length, 22 to 23.5 ; expanse, 54 to 57 ; wing, 15.75 to 16.5 ; tail, 8 to 9; tarsus, 2.2 to 2.4; bill from gape, 1.9 to 1.7.
Length, 23 to 25 ; expanse, 56 to 60; wing, 17 to l7.5 ; tail, 8.75 to 9.25 ; tarsus, 2.3 to 2.6; bill from gape, 1.6 to 1.7.
Bill greyish at base, horny-yellow on culmen and tip; irides deep yellow; feet sparsely feathered; claws horny-brown.
Upper parts; except primaries and tail-feathers, earthy-brown.; in some specimens greyer, in others more umber, often considerably darker on the head ; lesser scapulars, and interscapulary region, and often many of the scapulars and lesser-coverts with harrow, ill-defined, dark-brown shaft stripes ; all the feathers more or less vermicellated very finely with excessively narrow, irregular, imperfect wavy bars of a paler color, producing a freckled appearance. This pale color is, in some, a dull fulvous-white, in others grey, in others pale greyish-brown ; in some, this marking is very conspicuous ; in others it is almost obsolete, especially about the shoulders; the long ear-tufts, which in some specimens are fully 275 inches long, are of the same dark-brown as the narrow, central shaft stripes, which brown varies much in shade, in different specimens, being in some very dark, almost black, in others a moderately dark hair-brown. There are large white or pale yellowish white patches on the outer webs of the exterior scapulars, and towards the tips of most of the larger and median-coverts; the tail is a dull rufous-fawn, nearly pure white towards the tip, with four, and on the central feathers, generally five, broad, transverse, umber-brown bands, darker in some, lighter in others, and the pale inter-spaces on the central. tail-feathers are much freckled, and in some cases entirely suffused with the same color ; this freckling, occurs, though in a less degree, on the succeeding feathers, the interspaces growing clearer and brighter as they recede from the centre; the primaries are similar to the tail-feathers, the tips infuscated or freckled like the central ones, and the interspaces clearer and brighter towards the bases.
The lower parts are greyish-white, with a faint yellow tinge everywhere, expect on the middle of the throat, each feather with a narrow dark shaft stripe, and with numerous very fine wavy and freckled transverse greyish-brown bars, or vermicillations ; the extent and depth of color of these delicate markings vary much, in different specimens, in some almost entirely obscuring the ground color on the breast and abdomen.
Tibial and tarsal plumes yellowish or pale fulvous-white, in some specimens with faint longitudinal, dark-brown streaks and in others with narrow, clouded, imperfect, transverse bars of the same color.
The Dusky-horned Owl is abundant in Central India, and in parts of Rajpootana ; it is not uncommon in Sind, but occurs more rarely in Guzerat, and has not yet been recorded from the Deccan or South Mahratta country.
It greatly affects the clumps of trees and mango topes that occur so abundantly in the vicinity of villages and along the banks of rivers and canals. It breeds during the months of December and January, and occasionally later. The nest composed of sticks is often of enormous size, owing to its being used for several successive seasons ; it is generally placed in a fork of a large tree, but occasionally on a horizontal branch, or in the depression at the junction of three or four large branches. The eggs, generally two in number, are coarse in texture,' creamy-white in color, and average about 233 inches in length by about 1.9 in breadth.
A fresh and an incubated egg will often be found in the same nest, so that they must begin to sit as soon as the first egg is laid. I think this habit is somewhat general amongst the Owls, as I have noticed the same fact with Bubo bengalensis and Carine brama.