1220. Butastur teesa.
The White-eyed Buzzard-Eagle.
Circa teesa, Franklin, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 115. Astur hyder, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 79. Buteo teesa, J. E. Gray in Hardw. Ill. Ind. Zool. ii, pl. 30; Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S. x, p. 76. Butastur teesa, Hodgs. J. A. S. B. xii, p. 311; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p. 295; Blanf. Eastern Persia, ii, p. 113 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 19; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 199; Doig, S. F. viii, p. 370; Hume, Cat. no. 48; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 33 ; Butler, ibid. p. 374; Beid, S. F. x, p. 10 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 195; id. in Hume's N. E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 158; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 44; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 153. Poliornis teesa, Kaup, Class. Saugth. Vog. p. 122 (1844); Blyth, Cat. p. 21; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 40; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 92; Hume., Rough Notes, p. 286; A. Anderson, P. Z. S. 1872, p. 78; 1875, p. 25; Hume, 8. F. i, p. 169 ; iii, p. 31; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 447.
The White-eyed Buzzard, Jerdon ; Tisa, H.; Buda-mali gedda, Tel.; Yellur, Yerkli.
Coloration. Adult. Upper parts brown, often tinged with rufous, the feathers with dark shafts; a white nuchal patch formed by the bases of the feathers; narrow forehead and lores white; median wing-coverts much mottled and sometimes barred with white; quills brown above, whitish beneath, pure white towards the base, generally with dark bars towards the tips; the primaries with blackish ends; upper tail-coverts usually more rufous than back; tail-feathers either rufous or brown, with a rufous tinge above, whity brown below, each with a subterminal blackish patch, and in most birds with narrow subdistant blackish bands, which apparently grow indistinct with age and disappear in old birds; chin and throat white, with three dark brown stripes, one median, two others forming a border to the white on each side; sides of head and neck and breast brown; the breast-feathers dark-shafted, becoming spotted and banded with white on the lower breast and abdomen, and passing into white, more or less banded with pale rufous, on the lower abdomen, thigh-coverts, and lower tail-coverts.
In the young the feathers of the crown and nape have rufous or buff edges, or the head is buff or white with dark shaft-stripes on the crown; there is a broad buff or white supercilium; the ear-coverts are partly or wholly brown; wing-coverts much mixed with white; and the lower parts are white or buff, with dark shaft-stripes on the throat, breast, and upper abdomen. Gular stripes wanting or very narrow. The passage into the adult plumage is gradual, in one stage arrow-head markings replace the stripes on the lower plumage.
Cere, gape, and base of lower mandible orange, terminal portion of both mandibles black; irides pale yellowish white in adults, brown in young birds ; legs and feet dingy orange-yellow.
Length about 17; tail 7 ; wing 11.5; tarsus 2.3 ; mid toe without claw 1.3; bill from gape 1.3.
Distribution. Common throughout the greater part of India, in open plains and cultivated country, in low scrub and occasionally in high jungle, but not in hill-forest; rare in Malabar and Lower Bengal and in Southern India generally, and wanting in Ceylon and in the Himalayas ; not rare in the desert regions of Western India and in Baluchistan; to the eastward this species is found throughout Pegu and probably Northern Burma generally, extending to Northern Tenasserim.
Habits, &c This is a bird with a quick flight, compared by Jerdon to that of the Kestrel. It may generally be seen seated on trees or bushes or the ground, and it feeds on small mammals and reptiles, frogs, crabs, and insects. It has a peculiar plaintive cry. The nest is of sticks, without lining, and placed in a thick tree, very often a mango: 3 eggs, or sometimes 4, are laid about April; they are, as a rule, nearly white, but spotted eggs have occasionally been found. The eggs measure about 1.83 by 1.53.