Genus CIRCUS

General form slender. Bill moderate or weak, compressed, the culmen curving from the margin of the cere to the hooked tip; the margin of the upper mandible slightly festooned; nostril large, oval, in the anterior part of the cere, overhung and partly concealed by the bristles of the lores. A ruff of small, soft, closely-set feathers, much more conspicuous in some species than in others, extends across the throat and up each side of the neck behind the ear-coverts. "Wings long and pointed; tail long, even at the tip or rounded. Tarsi long and slender, feathered at the base only, with transverse shields in front and smaller polygonal scales behind ; toes moderate ; claws much curved and sharp.

The Harriers are a well-defined group of Hawks, easily recognized by their flight' and appearance. All Indian species are migratory, and, with rare exceptions, cold-weather visitants, though one kind doubtless breeds in Northern India, and another may do so occasionally. They make nests on the ground or amongst reeds in marshes, and lay bluish-white eggs, generally unspotted, but occasionally with a few brownish-red spots.

Species of Circus are found in almost all tropical and temperate countries. Six are met with in India and Burma.

Key to the Species.

a. Outer web of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quills, but not of 5th, notched.
a1. Tarsus more than 2.5 long………………………C. macrurus, p. 381.
b1. Tarsus less than 2.5 long………………………C. cineraceus, p. 383.
b. Outer web of 5th quill notched.
c1. Straight from end of cere on culmen to tip of bill measures less than 0.75.
a2. Upper parts ashy………………………C. cyaneus, ad., p. 384.
b2. Upper parts to rump black………………………C. melanoleucus, ad.,
c2. Upper parts brown, more or less edged with buff or rufous. [p. 385.
a3. Upper tail-coverts pure white………………………C. cyaneus, ad., p- 384.
b3. Upper tail-coverts not entirely white.
a4. Coverts along forearm white or buff………………………C. melanoleucus, ad.,
b4. Coverts along forearm brown. [p. 385.
a5. Abdomen buff, with darker shaft-stripes………………………C. cyaneus, young, p. 384.
b5. Abdomen rufous-brown………………………C. melanoleucus, young,
d1. From cere on culmen to tip of bill is more than 075. [p. 385
d2. Abdomen white unstriped or buff with dark shaft-stripes………………………C. spilonotus, p. 388.
e2. Abdomen dark or rufous-brown, or rufous with dark stripes………………………C. aeruginosus, p. 387.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
Genus CIRCUS
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1895
Page No: 
380
M_ID: 
3019
M_SN: 
Circus
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
1736

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