1227. Polioaetus humilis

1227. Polioaetus humilis.

Hodgson's Fishing-Eagle.

Haliaetus plumbeus, Hodgs. J. A. S. B. vi, p. 3G7 (1837), descr. nulla. Falco humilis, Midler & Schleg. Verhandl., Aves, p. 47, pl. 6 (1839-44). Ichthyaetus nanus, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xi, p. 202 (1842); xii, p. 304. Pontoaetus nanus, Blyth, Cat. p. 30. Pandion humilis, Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 54. Polioaetus plumbeus, Jerdon, Ibis, 1871, p. 336; Hume, N. & F. p. 43; A. Anderson, S. F. iii, p. 385; id. P. Z. S. 1876, p. 777, pl. lxxxii; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xiv, pt. 2, p. 192; Brooks, S. F. iv, p. 272 ; Hume, S. F. v, pp. 11, 129; id. Cat. no. 41 bis; Gurney, His, 1878, p. 456 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 9 ; Cripps, S. F. xi, p. 12; Oates in Hume's N. & F. 2nd ed. iii, p. 169; Sharpe, Yarkand Miss., Aves, p. 8. Polioaetus humilis, Brooks, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 73; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p. 454; Hume, S. F. v, p. 130; ix, p. 244; xi, p. 11; id. Cat. no. 41 ter; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 223. Haliaetus humilis, Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 17.

Coloration. Head and neck all round ashy, browner on the crown and nape; remainder of upper parts dark brown, the quills blackish; the middle tail-feathers brown throughout, generally darker on the last third and with pale tips; of the other tail-feathers the basal two-thirds are mottled brown and white, especially on the inner webs, and lighter beneath; breast ashy brown, more ashy in older birds ; the feathers of the head, neck, upper back, and breast more or less distinctly dark-shafted; abdomen and lower tail-coverts white.

Young birds are paler brown ; they want the grey on the head, and the breast-feathers have white shafts and ends.

Upper mandible blue-black; cere, gape, and lower mandible leaden blue; irides bright yellow; legs and feet white, washed with leaden blue ; claws black (A. Anderson).

Length of a Himalayan female 24.5 ; tail 9.2; wing 17.5; tarsus 3.1; bill from gape 1.7. Males very little smaller. Specimens from Assam and Cachar have generally a wing of 16 to 17 inches; Malay birds are much smaller.

Distribution. Along the base of the Himalayas from Kashmir to Assam, ranging into the plains as far as Delhi and Etawah in winter; in Assam and Cachar, probably throughout Burma, but rare there; in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, and Celebes,

The Himalayan race, the wing of which sometimes measures 19 inches, but generally 17 to 18, has been distinguished as P. plumbeus from the Malay race P. humilis, with a wing from 13.5 to 15.5; but there is no difference except size, and Cachar birds have intermediate dimensions.

Habits, &c. Similar to those of P. ichthyaetus. The nest is a huge structure of sticks in a high tree ; the eggs, two or three in number, are white and unspotted, measuring about 2.75 by 2.12, The birds breed in the Himalayas between January and May.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
1227. Polioaetus humilis
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Hodgsons Fishing Eagle
Lesser Fish Eagle
Haliaeetus humilis
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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