Genus CIRCUS

Genus CIRCUS.

Circus Lacep., Mem. de l'Inst., iii, p. 506 (1806).

Type, Falco cyaneus Linn.

The genus Circus contains the well-marked group of Raptores known as Harriers. Their principal superficial character consists of a ruff of small closely-set feathers, conspicuous in some species, less distinct in others, which extends across the throat and up each side of the neck; the bill is weak and compressed, a small festoon present and the culmen curved from base to tip ; the nostril is large, broadly oval and is overhung by the loral bristles ; the wing is long and pointed, the third primary longest and the first about equal to the sixth or seventh; the tail is long and either square or very slightly rounded; the tarsi are long and slender, feathered next the thigh only; toes slender with sharp well-curved claws. The genus is found throughout the temperate and tropical world. Blanford's key cannot be improved on.

Key to Species.

A.Outer web of 2nd, 3rd and 4th quills only, notched.
A.Tarsus over 69 mm............... C. macrourus, p. 128.
B.Tarsus under 66 mm............... C. pygargus, p. 130.
B.Outer webs of 2nd to 5th quill notched.
c.Bill from cere to tip under 29 mm.
a1. Upper parts ashy............... C. cyaneus, ad., p. 131.
b1. Upper parts to rump black…………….C. melanoleucus, ad., p. 132.
c1. Upper parts brown with paler edgings.
a2. Upper tail-coverts pure white…………C. cyaneus, ad., p. 131.
b2. Upper tail-coverts not all white.
a3. Coverts along- forearm white or buff...............C. melanoleucus, ad., p. 132.
b3. Coverts along forearm brown.
a4. Abdomen buff with dark stripes...............C. cyaneus, juv., p. 131.
b4. Abdomen rufous-brown………………..C. melanoleucus, juv., p. 132.
d.Bill from cere to tip over 29 mm.
a1. Abdomen plain white, or buff with dark shaft-stripes…………C. spilonotus, p. 135.
b1. Abdomen dark or rufous-brown or rufous with dark stripes……C. aeruginosus, p. 134.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Reference: 
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.5 1928.
Title in Book: 
Genus CIRCUS
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Year: 
1928
Page No: 
127
M_ID: 
3019
M_SN: 
Circus
Volume: 
Vol. 5
Term name: 
id: 
4417

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith