1205. Aquila maculata.
The Large Spotted Eagle.
Falco maculatus, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i, p. 258 (1788). Aquila clanga, Pall. Zoogr. Bosso-Asiat. i, p. 351 (1811); Sharpe (A. maculate subsp.), Cat. B. M. i, p. 248; Gurney, Ibis, 1877, p. 329; Davids. & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 74; Ball, ibid. p. 197 ; Hume, Cat. no. 28; Bingham, S. F. viii,p. 190; Doig,ibid. p.370 ; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 372; Reid, S. F. x, p. 7 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 186; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 138; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 28 ; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. iii, p. 212; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 8. Aquila vittata, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 81 (1844), descr. nulla. Aquila naevia, Blyth, Cat. p. 27 ; Horsf. &c M. Cat. i, p. 45; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 59; Hume, Rough Notes, p. 162 ; id. S. F. i, p. 158 ; Jerdon, Ibis, 1871, p. 244; Anderson, P. Z. S. 1871, pp. 686, 689; 1875, p. 22; Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 63; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 445 ; Walden, Ibis, 1876, p. 339. Aquila maculata, Brooks, S. F. iv, p. 268; Blanford, His, 1894, p. 287.
The Spotted Eagle, Jerdon ; Kaljanga, H.; Bukayari Jiyadha, Beng.; Nella gedha, Tel.
Coloration. Adult. Dark, almost blackish brown, with a slight purplish gloss on the mantle ; primary-quills black ; tail unbarred, but washed with grey towards the end above; head and neck all round paler, the tips, and sometimes broad shaft-stripes to the lanceolate feathers of the crown and nape, lighter brown; feathers on tarsus and upper and lower tail-coverts mixed with whitish, and sometimes chiefly white ; base of all feathers, including wing and tail-feathers, white.
Young birds are also dark brown, and differ chiefly from adults in having the upper back and smaller wing-coverts marked with elongate paler greyish-brown spots, these spots are largest and whitish on the smaller scapulars and median coverts; longer scapulars, larger coverts, and secondaries with large buff tips; lower back and rump pale brown, with dark edges to the feathers; Upper tail-coverts whitish; tail black, grey, or mottled towards the end and pale-tipped; lower plumage with light brown shaft-stripes varying in breadth and tint; vent and lower tail-coverts buff. Some birds are pale brown beneath.
Bill bluish grey, dusky at tip ; cere, gape, and feet orange-yellow. Irides brown (Hume). Nostrils round and large; plumage soft.
Length of a male about 26 inches; tail 10.5 ; wing 19.5; tarsus 4; bill from gape 2.5 : of a female—length 27.5; tail 11.5 ; wing 20.5.
Distribution. Throughout the greater part of the Palaearctic region. Common throughout India and Northern Burma in damp tracts near water; not found in Ceylon, and rare in Tenasserim.
Habits, &c. A sluggish bird, living chiefly on frogs in India, but occasionally preying on small mammals, lizards, &c. It breeds on trees from April to June in Northern India, and as far south as the Tapti, and appears to lay a single greyish-white egg, profusely spotted and blotched with yellowish brown, and measuring about 2.65 by 1.98. Elsewhere two to three eggs are said to be laid.