No. 47. Buteo Plumipes, HODGSON.
? Buteo Japonicus (SCHLEGEL. Fauna Japon. Aves, Tab. VI et VII A.)
THE HARRIER BUZZARD.
This is another species of which we have no satisfactory knowledge. One single specimen exists in Mr. Hodgson's collection, in the British Museum. The following are Mr. Blyth's remarks on this species in the Ibis for 1866.
" Mr. Hodgson's specimen in the British Museum is certainly of a uniform dark brown ; but most Buzzards vary exceedingly in colour, and I see no reason why B. Japonicus should not be identified with B. plumipes, notwithstanding that Mr. Swinhoe expressly asserts, that the former never acquires the dark plumage, of the oviduct, of B. vulgaris (P. Z. S. 1863, p. 260). Only that one specimen was procured by Mr. Hodgson ; so that undoubtedly, it must be considered an exceedingly rare straggler within the area of his researches. My B. pygmaeus (J. A. S. B. XIV. p. 217), which Dr. Jerdon thought was not unlikely to prove identical with plumipes, is the same as Poliornis Poliogenys " (Vide No. 48 Bis.) Dr. Jerdon, quoting, I suppose, though he does not say so, from Mr. Hodgson, (for he had never seen the bird,) remarks, that this is certainly an osculant form, having the bill and wings of a Circus, with the short feet of a Buzzard, but Mr. Blyth, more correctly, I think, demurs to any such osculant form, and says " This species I have never seen, but must confess to theoretical doubts, of its truly connecting Circus with Buteo; the latter genus and Aquila on the other hand, are very closely allied, in fact, but slight modifications of the same immediate subtype, and species of intermediate character, might have been looked for.