743. Shout-toed Eagle.
Circaetus gallicus (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. 1. p. 295 (1788) ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 13 ; Dresser, v. p. 563, pls. 349, 350 ; Sharpe, Oat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 280 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 355 ; C. brachy¬dactylus, (Wolf), Taschenb, deutsch. Vogelk, i. p. 21 (1810) ; Naum. i. p. 236, Taf. 15.
Aigle Jean le blanc, French ; Guincho da tainha, Portug. ; Aguila parda, Aguila del huevo solo, Span. ; Biancone, Ital. ; Natternadler, Schlangenadler, German ; Agarb abiad, Arab. ; Sampmar, Hindu. ; Sapmaril, Beng,
Male ad. (Italy). Upper parts dark earth-brown with a faint purplish gloss, some of the feathers with darker centres ; quills dark brown on outer web and tips, white on inner web, barred on the secondaries ; tail brown, with darker liars and tipped with white ; lores, forehead, chin, and sides of head covered with long black bristles ; under parts white, the throat and breast striped, the flanks sparingly barred with brown ; under tail-coverts white ; tarsi bare, covered with almost hexagonal scales, those on the feet smaller and rounder ; beak blackish horn ; cere yellowish flesh- colour ; legs dirty flesh-colour ; iris yellow. Culmen 2.05, wing 20.4, tail 11.4, tarsus 4.1 inch. Female similar but larger. The young bird has the wing-coverts with paler margins, the throat more marked with brown, the lower throat and breast almost uniform dark earth-brown, and the breast broadly barred with brown.
Hab. Southern Europe, rare in central Europe and only a straggler further north ; Africa south to Kordofan and Senaar ; Palestine and central Asia east to North China, and occurring throughout India.
In habits it has much in common with the Buzzards, and on the wing it is very Buzzard-like, but is readily distinguishable by its white under parts. It feeds on snakes, lizards, crabs, frogs, large insects, small mammals and weakly birds, and to some extent on fish. Its note is a plaintive, rather wild cry. It is a tree-breeder, but its nest has been found on the ground. The nest is constructed of sticks and twigs lined with coarse grass, and it lays, in April or May, a single egg which is roundish in shape, white with a faint greenish tinge, the shell rather rough and granulated, and measures about 2.65 by 2.19.
743. CircAetus gallicus
743. Shout-toed Eagle.