1206. Aquila hastata.
The Small Indian Spotted Eagle.
Morphnus hastatus, Less. Voy. Belanger, p. 217 (1834). Limnaetus unicolor, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 128 (1843). Spizaetus punctatus, Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S. xiii, p. 164 (1844). Aquila hastata, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 7 ; id. Cat. p. 27; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 62; Blyth, His, 1866, p. 241; Hume, Rough Notes, p. 180; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 265; Jerdon, Ibis, 1871, p. 245; A. Anderson, P. Z. S. 1872, pp. 69, 622 ; 1875, p. 23, pl. iii; id. His, 1875, p. 199; Brooks, S. F. i, pp. 293, 327; id. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 240; Sharpe (A. maculatae subsp.), Cat. B. M. i, p. 248; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 378; vii, p. 198; Gurney, Ibis, 1877, p. 329; Cripps, S. F. vii, p. 244; Hume, Cat. no. 30; Reid, S. F. x, p. 450; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 188; id. in Hume's N. & F. 2nd ed. iii, p. 136; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 9; Davidson, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. iii, p. 213. Spizaetus hastatus, Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 34. Aquila fusca, Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 63; nec Gray.
Jiyadar, Gutimar, Phari-tisa, H.
Coloration. Adult. Very dark brown, often with a purple gloss; lanceolate feathers of crown and nape often pale-tipped, but with dark rather than pale shaft-stripes; feathers of back, rump, wing-coverts, and breast also with rather darker shafts in general; primaries black; tail-feathers dark brown, often with traces of narrow bars.
Young birds have small buff or whitish spots on the nape, upper back, and smaller coverts, a few larger white spots on the median coverts, and there are narrow white tips to the larger coverts; the secondaries and tail-feathers are rather closely barred with grey; upper tail-coverts barred white and light brown; the breast and sometimes the abdomen, thigh-coverts, and lower wing-coverts have buffi shaft-stripes; abdomen generally paler; lower tail-coverts buffi ; thigh-coverts, if not striped, whitish. The striation on the underparts is lost after the first moult, but the spots of the upper plumage do not entirely disappear till the bird is three or four years old.
Bill plumbeous blue at base, black at tip: cere, gape, and feet yellow; irides hazel-brown.
Length of male about 24; tail 9.5 ; wing 18 ; tarsus 3.8 ; bill from gape 2.3: the female very little larger.
Distribution. This species is only known to occur in India, where it is a permanent resident. It is common in parts of the Gangetic plain, but rare to the westward, unknown in Sind, more common in the Gangetic delta, and especially in Eastern Bengal. A specimen was obtained by Blyth from Arrakan ; Jerdon states that he met with this species once or twice in Southern India; and it has been observed breeding in Eaipur, Sambalpur, and Mysore.
Habits, &c. Very similar to those of A. maculata. The present species was observed by Mr. Frith in Mymensingh to plunder the nests of Sturnopastor contra. It breeds in April and May, and lays generally a single egg, sometimes two, in the usual stick-nest on a high tree. An egg measures 2.6 by 1.95.