Genus BUTASTUR

This is a genus that was at one time placed amongst the Buzzards, but, despite some resemblance in habits, the differences in the characters of the tarsus and in the eggs show that the alliance is not real. In the two characters named, the members of the present genus, or Buzzard-Eagles, as they have been termed, come nearest to Circaetus, from which, however, they differ in size and plumage, shape of wing, and proportions of toes.

In Butastur (Poliornis of Kaup) the size is small, scarcely exceeding that of a Crow. The bill is compressed and the culmen curved from the base; the commissure generally has a festoon, sometimes a well-marked one; the nostrils are oval and oblique. The wings are long, reaching nearly to the end of the tail, which is slightly rounded; the 3rd quill is longest, the 4th nearly equal to it, the 2nd and 5th considerably shorter and not very different in length, the first four emarginate inside. Tarsus naked, without transverse shields, covered with imbricate scales that are rather larger in front; toes short. There is no difference in size between the sexes.

Four species are known, one of which is African, the other three occur in India or Burma.

Key to the Species.

a. Tail more or less rufous, with narrow dark cross¬bars or none.
a1. Quills chiefly brown above………………………B. teesa, p. 362.
b1. Quills chiefly rufous above………………………B. liventer, p. 364.
b. Tail not tinged with rufous, and with broad dark cross-bands broader than the interspaces in adults………………………B. indicus, p. 365.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
Genus BUTASTUR
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1895
Page No: 
362
M_ID: 
3075
M_SN: 
Butastur
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
1717

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