(1725) Falco subbuteo centralasiae.
THE CENTRAL ASIAN HOBBY.
Falco subbuteo centralasiae Buturlin, Orn. Mitt,, ii, p. 175 (1911, Tianschan). Falco subbuteo. Blanf. & Oates, hi, p. 422 (part.).
Vernacular Names. Morassani (Oude).
Description. Similar to the preceding race but paler and, on an average, rather larger.
Colours of soft parts as in the typical race.
Measurements. Wing, 250 to 275 mm., 277 to 286 mm.
Distribution. Central Asia, South to the Himalayas. Kirke-Swann refers to this race a specimen from Assam. Buchanan, Rattray and Osmaston obtained it breeding in Murree and Kashmir and Jones took nests in and near Simla.
Nidification. This Hobby breeds in the Himalayas from 6,000 feet, at which height Jones obtained young birds near Simla, to 14,000 feet in Tibet. It lays three or four eggs, quite indistinguishable from those of the British bird. The twenty I have seen and measured average 41.4 x 33.0 mm.: maxima 43.4 x 31.9 and 40.8 x 34.2 mm.; minima 39.3 X 31.7 and 40.0 x 31.4 mm. Nests with eggs have been taken from the 29th May to the 7th July, whilst Jones found well-fledged young on the 16th August. This race, like the others, makes use of the old nests of other birds for breeding-purposes, but seems to select trees well inside heavy forest as well as those on the outskirts.
Habits. Except that it is more essentially a frequenter of the interior of forests rather than of their outskirts the habits of this Hobby are typical of the species. The young birds found by Jones eventually died, or were killed by their parents and partly eaten.