(1798) Buteo vulpinus*.
Falco vulpinus Gloger, Das Aban. der Vog., p. 141 (1833) (Africa). Buteo desertorum. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 393 (part.).
Vernacular names. Dang-pang-ti-on, Pang-ti-ong-nok (Lepcha). Description. Above brown, the feathers edged rufous except on the rump and upper tail-coverts; the head more rufous; tail rufous with pale edge to the tip, the shafts of the feathers white, a dark subterminal band and generally one or two more bands showing on the outer tail-feathers ; wing-coverts like the back; primaries blackish-brown, white below the notch on the inner webs, the inner primaries also showing blackish cross-bars on these parts ; lower parts rufous, the chin paler and streaked with dark brown; the remaining underparts showing pale bars and spots except on the thigh-coverts, which are practically uniform.
Colours of soft parts. Iris yellow to hazel; bill dark lead-colour, lighter on the base and gape, cere yellow; legs and feet yellow. The feathering on the tarsus varies. Normally only the upper frontal third is covered, occasionally half. The naked portion is scutellated in front, rarely reticulated.
Measurements. wing 350 to 377 mm.; tail 180 to 191 mm.; tarsus 68 to 72 mm.; culmen 29 to 31 mm. wing 378 to 392 mm.; tail 182 to 201 mm.; tarsus 68 to 73 mm.; culmen 30 to 31 mm.
Younger birds have the lower parts whitish, very pale buff or creamy ; the feathers of the chin to breast with black shafts and the whole much marked and barred irregularly with light rufous-brown ; thighs normally all rufous-brown.
Some individuals are less rufous in general tone and have the tail much browner.
Distribution. Western Asia to the Western Himalayas ; South-East Europe, Asia Minor and Palestine. In "Winter South to Africa, Arabia and India and, casually, into Western Europe as far as the British Isles.
Nidification. It is probable that most of Theobald's Buzzards' eggs recorded in Hume's 'Nests and Eggs' are those of this bird, I have others taken by Buchanan on the North-West-Frontier and by Ward in Kashmir. These all agree well with one another as also with undoubted eggs from South Russia and Western Asia. Their small size, rather longer shape and generally poor colour are very striking. In India they build both on trees and cliffs, the nests and eggs being small replicas of those of the Long-legged Buzzard. Twenty eggs (omitting Theobald's) average 53.3 x 42.8 mm.: maxima 57.0 X 45.1 mm.; minima 48.3 X 43.8 and 53.0 x 39.2 mm. The breeding-season commences in March and ends in early June, being a month or more earlier in the South than in the North.
Habits. Those of the genus.
* See Kirke-Swann, ' A Monograph of the Birds of Prey' part vi, p. 372. 1926. Here Swann shows that vulpinus is probably a good species and not a race of Buteo buteo—a conclusion with which I agree.