1711. Gyps indius nudiceps

(1711) Gyps Indicus nudiceps Stuart Baker.
Gyps indicus nudiceps, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 17.
This Vulture takes the place of the preceding bird in the Indo-Gangetic plain. It occurs all along the lower ranges of the Himalayas from Kashmir to Eastern Assam and in the plains to their South as far as the rivers named and also in the Northern triangle at the upper regions of the two. It is very common in Eastern Bengal and Assam, occurs in Burma, and is said to extend into the Malay States.
Jones records its breeding at Ambala (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soe. vol. xxiv, p. 358, 1916) and Gill in the United Provinces near Benares (ibid. vol. xxvii, p. 951, 1921), Parker’s description of the nesting of G. indicus given in Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs' also refers to this bird.
I found many nests of this Vulture in Western Assam and in Eastern Bengal, where the birds were numerous enough to enable one to examine a dozen to twenty nests in a morning, the more so in that the birds often bred in colonies of half-a-dozen or more, although I never found more than one nest in a tree. The birds always selected large trees in which to build and seemed to prefer Mango-trees to any others, though I also found them in Peepuls and other kinds as well, In the Mikir Hills a colony of seven or eight pairs bred in a long clump of trees, the names of which I did not know, about a hundred yards wide by two hundred long. The nests were all 25 to 40 feet from the ground, but were all quite easy to get at with a little patience, and all held fresh eggs on the 16th and 17th January. Sometimes these Vultures make their nests on single great trees growing in the middle of a village, while one pair actually selected a huge Peepul standing in the very centre of the Chandpur Bazaar in the Sylhet District. They prefer the vicinity of human habitations, doubtless for scavenging purposes, though I have also found them breeding in open country well away from all signs of mankind. As a rule the nests are high up and sometimes quite at or near the tops of very lofty trees ; occasionally, however, I have seen the nests at about 20 feet up in heavily foliaged trees such as Banyans and various Fici.
The nests are like those of other Vultures but are, perhaps, smaller in proportion and very compactly built, being made of leafy branches which tangle closely in with one another. In most nests there is no real lining but in one nest I found the tattered remnants of a sheep’s skin and in another there were a lot of rags.
Parker remarks also on the “compactness” of the nests of these Vultures in describing some he examined at Mogra in the 24th Parganas which were all built on great Cotton-trees, then leafless and bare on 11th February. At this date there were young birds, but on the 20th January he secured two egga.
Wests measured fay myself were about 30 inches wide by about 15 to 20 inches deep, one extra large one being a little over 3 feet across. The birds return to the same nesting-site and, generally, to the same nest, for many years in succession.
The season for laying is from November to the end of February, but in Burma Macdonald took a much incubated egg in October.
As usual the eggs are often an unspotted white, though very often they are flecked and blotched with light reddish, while really well marked eggs are by no means rare, and I have one or two which are quite richly marked at the larger end with numerous blotches of dark reddish-brown.
In shape the eggs vary from normal oval to a very broad oval but, as a series, they average longer in proportion than the eggs of Pseudogyps.
One hundred eggs average 84.7 x 63.6 mm. : maxima 91.8 x 65.4 and 78.8 x 68.3 mm. ; minima 76.1 x 62.8 and 78.4 x 59.9 mm.
Both sexes assist in building the nest and in incubation.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1711. Gyps indius nudiceps
Spp Author: 
Stuart baker.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Northern Long Billed Vulture
Indian Vulture
Gyps indicus
Vol. 4
Term name: 

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