No. 71. Huhua Nipalensis. HODGSON.
THE FOREST EAGLE OWL.
Nothing seems to be known' about the nidification of this species.
I have never myself killed the bird, nor can I throw any light upon the question of the identity or distinctness of the Northern Nipalensis and the Southern Pectoralis, Jerdon. Dr. Jerdon himself is now, I believe, inclined to consider them distinct. Mr. Blyth made the following remarks on these two races, and the allied H. Orientalis (Horsf. in the Ibis for 1866.) " The Bubo pectoralis of Casein's ' Catalogue of Strigidae' is distinguished from his B. Nipalensis, which latter is placed as a synonym of B. Orientalis, and is moreover from the Himalaya. Now Huhua Nipalensis is a very much larger bird than H. Orientalis, and is, otherwise conspicuously distinct from it The only question that remains is, whether H. Pectoralis of Jerdon, figured in the ' Madras Journal of Literature and Science' (Vol. X. p. 89, pl. 1,) from Southern India, be distinct from H. Nipalensis of the Himalaya. A juvenile Tenasserim specimen of this genus forwarded by Col. Tickell to the Asiatic Society's Museum, Calcutta, was incorrectly assigned by me to H. Orientalis (J. A. S., B. XXVIII. p. 411) as corresponding to the description of Strix Sumatrana, Raffles, (Trans. Linn. Soc Vol. XIII. p. 279) and also Temminck's figure of the immature plumage of Orientalis (P. C. 289) ; but I erroneously added H. Nipalensis and H. Pectoralis as synonyms, as again in the Ibis for 1863, p. 26. The same nestling bird was described* by Col. Tickell as Ptiloskelos Amherstii. It should be referred decidedly to H. Nipalensis."
* The following is Tickell's description of the young bird.
" Nestling - : Sex not distinguishable.
Length, 15.5. Wing, 10.5. Tarsus, 1.75. Femur, 4.25. Bill, 1.81. Iris sepia. Bill and feet, pale flesh colour, the latter with a yellowish tinge. Claws, blackish horny. Head, neck and body, including scapulars and wing coverts dirty white tinged more or less deeply with orange tawny. Each feather marked near its end with an arrow-headed bar of sepia. Head and nape with spots of the same. On the breast these marks take the form of wide, broken bars, lapping round the neck. Wing coverts also, irregularly barred. All the plumage is immature and deciduous, but the remiges (which usually at once assume the permanent colouring) are ashy sepia, barred broadly and softly with full sepia, with marbled interspaces. Downy plumes of legs white."