1240. Buteo leucocephalus.
The Upland Buzzard.
Butaquila leucocephala, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 81 (1844), descr. nulla. Buteo leucocephalus, Hodgs. P. Z. S. 1845, p. 37; Gurney, List Diurn. Birds of Prey, pp. 62, 134; Hume, Cat. no. 46. Buteo aquilinus, Hodgs., Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiv, p. 176 (1845); xv, p. 2; Jerdon, B. J. i, p. 90; id. Ibis, 1871, p. 339 ; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 175; Hume, S. F. iv, p. 366. Buteo hemilasius, Temm. & Schl. Faun. Japon., Aves, p. 18, pl. vii (1845-50) ; Schleg. Mus. P.-B. ii, Buteones, p. 3; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p. 182 ; Gurney, Ibis, 1876, p. 369. Buteo asiaticus, Lath, apud Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 244; Hume, Rough Notes, p. 283. Buteo ferox, apud Sharpe, Cat. B. M. p. 178, pt., pl. viii; nec Gmel.
Nearly allied to B. ferox, but larger, and as a rule greyer above; the bill and feet larger and the claws more powerful; the tarsus is feathered in front for two-thirds of its length, and the naked terminal third is covered with small or moderate-sized scales, not with transverse scutae; the tarsus is generally scutellate behind, but less than in other Buzzards, and is sometimes reticulated throughout.
Coloration above rather pale greyish brown, with more or less rufous on .the feathers of the nape and upper back, scapulars, wing-coverts, and upper tail-coverts ; white bases of feathers often conspicuous on the head and neck, which are sometimes white streaked with brown ; quills as in B. ferox, but there is no grey on the outer webs of the primaries ; tail brown above, with dark bars, paler below, whitish near the shafts and towards the base, sometimes bordered with rufous; lower parts white, the throat streaked with brown ; upper breast and abdomen with large brown spots irregularly distributed, sometimes edged with rufous ; lower breast as a rule white; the upper breast, flanks, and thigh-coverts often entirely brown, and sometimes, as in Hodgson's type, the whole breast and abdomen. No rufous or fuliginous phase is known.
Bill bluish horny; irides white; legs and feet wax-yellow (Henderson) : cere greenish yellow ; irides light buff (Shanghai Mus. label).
Length of a female 25.5; tail 10.75 ; wing 19-20 ; tarsus 3.5; mid-toe without claw 1.8 ; bill from gape 2.
Distribution. Eastern Siberia, Japan, and China, a few stragglers finding their way into the Himalayas. There are two Himalayan specimens in the Hume collection—one, from Native Sikhim, closely resembling Hodgson's original specimen; the other, obtained by Dr. Henderson in November on the Pir Panjal range, south of Punch, in Kashmir. At first Hume looked on this bird as a variety of B. ferox, but he subsequently recognized its distinctness.