720. Pied Harrier.
Circus melanoleucus (Forster), Ind. Zool. p. 12, pl. ii. (1781) ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 29 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 61 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 120 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 385.
Pahatai, Hindu. ; Thane-Kya, Burm.
Male ad. (India). Head, neck, breast, back, the middle wing-coverts, and a band to the end of the wing glossy black ; scapulars black marked with grey ; outer primaries black but not so glossy ; rump and upper tail-coverts white ; the latter faintly barred with grey ; tail grey tipped with white ; edge of wing and least wing-coverts white, the rest of the wing grey ; lower breast and under parts with the under wing-coverts pure white ; bill bluish at the base, otherwise blackish ; cere dusky yellow ; legs orange-yellow ; iris bright yellow. Culmen 1.0, wing 13.7, tail 8.5, tarsus 3.2 inch. The female is larger, has the black in the plumage replaced by dark brown, the crown and nape feathers with rufous margins, the ruff of dull white feathers with brown shaft-stripes well defined, the tail grey with blackish brown cross-bars, and the under parts white, the throat and breast broadly, the abdomen narrowly striped with dark brown. The young bird has the under parts rufous brown darker streaked, the nuchal patch whitish, streaked with brown, the outer tail-feathers rufous in ground colour and no grey on the wings.
Hab. The eastern part of India ; Burma ; Mongolia ; south¬eastern Siberia ; northern China; Cochin China ; Siam ; Malacca, and the Philippines.
Affects the plains, especially damp swampy localities, and rice-fields. Its food, like that of its allies, consists of reptiles, frogs, insects, small rodents, and birds. Its nest, a somewhat slight structure resembling that of C. cineraceus, is placed on the ground, usually in a damp or swampy locality, and the eggs, 4 to 5 in number, which are usually deposited in June resemble those of C. cineraceus, and measure about 1.69 by 1.37.
720. Circus melanoleucus
720. Pied Harrier.