729. BOOTED EAGLE.
Hieraetus pennatus (Gould), Syst. Nat. i. p. 272 (1788) ; (Naum.), xiii. p. 58, Taf. 343 ; (Gould), B. of E. i. pl. 9 ; (Dresser), v. p. 481, pls. 336, 337, 351, fig. 2 ; (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 253 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 344 ; (Tacz.) F. O. Sib. O. p. 25, H. minutus (Brehm), Vog. Deutschl, p. 29, Taf. 2, fig. 2 (1831).
Aigle botte, French ; Aguia pequena, Portug. ; Aguilucho, Aguila calzada, Span. ; Aquila minore, Ital. ; Zwergadler, German.
Male ad. (Spain). Forehead and lores white ; head and neck warm sandy isabelline, streaked with brown ; upper parts dark earth-brown, the scapulars and wing-coverts varied with sandy grey ; quills dark brown, secondaries tipped with whitish brown ; tail dark brown, tipped with pale isabelline, the outer feathers with obsolete darker bars ; under parts white, the breast streaked with reddish brown, flanks also faintly striped ; legs feathered to the toes ; bill bluish at the base, black at the tip ; cere and feet wax yellow ; iris light hazel. Culmen 1.5, wing 14.0, tail 8.5, tarsus 2.6 inch. Female similar but larger. This Eagle is subject to considerable variation in both sexes, some being darker and more rufous, others again blackish brown, and others again have a white shoulder patch more or less developed. Young birds are generally more rufous than the adult.
Hab. Southern Europe, rarer in Central Europe, commoner in the south-east and south-west ; Africa south to the Cape ; Asia Minor, Central Asia, India, Ceylon, and Burma ; of accidental occurrence in Dauria.
Frequents the woodlands and in its general habits somewhat resembles the Buzzards but is more active and predacious. It feeds on small mammals and birds, and is graceful and elegant on the wing, and not a shy bird. Its cry is a clear ke, ke, ke. It selects a high deciduous tree for its nest, constructing it of sticks with fresh green leaves or fresh pine-twigs for a lining. The eggs, usually two in number, are deposited late in April or in May, and are white tinged with greenish, rarely faintly marked with rufous, and are rather more coarse in grain of shell than those of the Goshawk ; in size they average about 2.21 by 1.79.
729. Hieraetus pennatus
729. BOOTED EAGLE.