1193. Gyps himalayensis.
The Himalayan Griffon.
Gyps fulvus, apud Blyth, Cat. p. 32, partim; id. J. A. S. B. xxiv, p. 253, note; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 3; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 8, pt.; nee Vultur fulvus, Gmel. Gyps himalayensis, Hume, Rough Notes, p. 12 (1869); id. N. & E. p. 3; Jerdon, Ibis, 1871, p. 235; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p 8 ; Brooks, S. F. iii, p. 228; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 323; id. Cat. no. 3 ter; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 218; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 38 Scully, ibid. p. 416; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 405 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 200. Gyps nivicola, Servertzov, Turkest. Jevotn. p. 111, pl. vii (1873).
Coloration. Adult. Hair-like feathers on the head and down on neck white or yellowish white; feathers of ruff loose-textured, whitish along the shafts, pale brown on the sides ; back and wing-coverts whity brown, rather unevenly coloured, with traces of pale shaft-stripes ; lower back whitish or white; rump and upper tail-coverts buff; scapulars and greater wing-coverts dark brown with pale tips; quills and tail-feathers blackish brown, the inner quills with pale ends ; crop brown, streaked paler ; rest of lower parts light brown or buff with broad whitish shaft-stripes; under tail-coverts pale buff.
Young birds are dark brown above and below, with strongly marked whitish shaft-stripes on all body-feathers and wing-coverts, the shaft-stripes being very broad on the ruff and the lower parts; wing- and tail-feathers nearly black.
Bill pale horny green ; cere pale brown ; irides brownish yellow ; legs and feet dingy greenish grey or white (Hume). The 4th primary is the longest.
Length about 48; tail 16; wing 30; tarsus 4.6; mid-toe without claw 4.3; bill from gape 3.3.
Distribution. Throughout the Himalayas from Cabul to Bhutan,, but only observed on the mountains. This species is also found farther north in Turkestan and Northern Tibet, and probably in other ranges of Central Asia.
Habits, &c. This is distinctly a mountain Vulture, and breeds from the end of December to the first week in March. It makes the usual platform of sticks, or sometimes occupies an old Eagle's nest, on the face of a cliff, and lays a single egg, sometimes greyish white, more often blotched and streaked with red-brown, and measuring about 3.76 by 2.75.