Gyps pallescens, Flume.
4 bis. :- Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 442 ; Deccan and South Mahratta country; Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 369; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 54.
THE LONG-BILLED PALE-BROWN VULTURE.
Length, 36 to 39 ; expanse, 85 to 90 ; wing, 23 to 25.5 ; tail from vent, 10 to 11; tarsus, 3.5 to 4 ;bill from gape, 2.65 to 2.95; weight, 11 to 14 lbs.
Bill and cere pale greenish, yellowish horny on culmen and blackish. towards tips of mandibles; bare skin of head and face dusky ashy-leaden ; irides brown; legs and feet dingy ashy-leaden; margins of scales whitish ; claws creamy-horny.
In the perfect adult brownish-white hair-like feathers are thinly sprinkled over the head, nape, cheeks, and throat; the upper half of the back and sides of the neck are perfectly bare; the crop-patch is closely covered with silky tight-fitting, dark hair-brown feathers; the whole of the rest of the lower surface is a pale whity-brown, becoming almost a pure white towards the vent and lower tail-coverts; the ruff is full, soft, and pure white, of very downy feathers, the webs much disintegrated; the whole mantle is pale earthy-brown, the centres of the lesser, and all but the tips and margins of the larger scapulars being dark hair-brown.
The lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts white, tinged with pale earthy brown, many of the feathers, however, especially of the longer tail-coverts, being brown at the base, but so broadly tipped and margined with the paler color that little of the brown shows ; the primaries and tail-feathers are deep chocolate-brown; the secondaries and tertiaries hair-brown, more or less suffused on their outer webs with pale dingy earthy or fulvous-brown.
A quite young bird has the top and back of the head, and upper part of the back of the neck, thickly covered with white down; the rest of the head and neck, as in the adult; the crop-patch much lighter than in the adult, is covered with pale, dove-colored brown feathers; the rest of the lower surface is pale brown, becoming albescent towards the vent, each feather broadly centred (most conspicuously so on the sides and breast), with dingy white; the ruff, of long, linear lanceolate feathers, is a very pale fulvous-white, faintly margined with brown; the mantle a somewhat pale hair-brown, every feather narrowly, but conspicuously, centred with fulvous-white; the quill-feathers and tail-feathers chocolate-brown, darkest on the primaries and rectrices; the lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts are nearly pure white, only a few of the longest being tinged with brown.
In an intermediate stage the crop-patch is intermediate in color between that of the adult and of the young, as is also the color and character of the ruff, and indeed of the whole plumage.
This bird differs at all ages' from bengalensis in having fourteen instead of twelve rectrices. :- Hume, " Rough Notes."
With the exception of Sind, this Vulture is common throughout the Presidency. It breeds on cliffs during December and January; the egg is usually very pale greenish-white, but is occasionally spotted and blotched with' pale-reddish or faint purplish-brown. They average 3.61 in length by 2.72 in breadth.