1195. Gyps tenuirostris.
The Himalayan Long-billed Vulture.
Vultur tenuiceps, Hodgson in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 81 (1844). descr nulla. Gyps tenuirostris, Hodgson M S., Gray, Gen. B. i, p. 6 (1844), deter nulla ; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 326 (1878); id. Cat. no. 4 ter; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 219. Gyps indicus, apud Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 9, partim ; Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 232; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p. 10, pt.; Blyth &Walden, Birds Burm. p. 64 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 1; Hume, Cat. no. 4; id. S. F. xi, p. 2; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 169; id. in Hume's N. & F. 2nd ed. iii, p. 202.
Sagun, Beng.; Gut, Lepcha.
Very similar to the last, but distinguished by having no feathers at all on the head and scarcely any down on the neck, by the general Coloration of the plumage being darker, the legs and feet somewhat longer, the bill more slender, the nostril apparently less elongate and broader, and the colours of the soft parts different.
Bill brownish dusky horny, the culmen yellowish horny; cere horny black; irides deep brown; skin of head and neck dark muddy; tarsi and toes black ; claws dusky or horny black (Hume).
Length about 38.5; tail 10.5 ; wing 24; tarsus 4; middle toe without claw 4.3; bill from gape 2.85.
The Indian Peninsular form, and not the present species, must retain the name indicus, for Sonnerat in his original description of " Le Grand Vautour des Indes" (to which the specific name indicus was applied by Scopoli) wrote that the head is covered with fine down resembling hair (la tite est couverte d'un petit duvet qui ressemble a du poil). Hume has distinguished the Himalayan Vulture, G. tenuirostris, from that of Bengal, Assam, and Burma, on account of the slender bill and head of the former; but I feel doubtful whether the difference is constant.
Distribution. Throughout the lower Himalayas and near their base as far west as Kashmir, also in Bengal, Assam, and Burma, as far south as Moulmein; and according to Blyth in the Malay Peninsula also. The limits of this and the last species are not clearly known.
Habits, &c. This Vulture breeds on trees in Bengal in January and February, making the usual large nests of Roughs freshly broken off. The single egg is nearly pure white, and measures about 3.5 by 2.73.