1753. Hieraetus pennatus

(1753) Hieraetus pennatus (Gmelin).
THE BOOTED EAGLE.
Hieraetus pennatus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. v, p, 70.
The Booted Eagle is found over the greater part of Southern Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia to North-West India, but in India it apparently rarely breeds, though as a visitor its range extends into Burma and even the Malay Peninsula. Wickham also records its occurrence in Burma but did not succeed in finding the nest.
So far as India is concerned the Booted Eagle seems to haunt pine or other forest on steep mountain-sides for nesting purposes, the only exception to this being a nest found by Osmaston at Srinagar near the top of a huge Chenar-tree, 120 feet from the ground.
The other nests found with eggs are only three in number. First, Theobald, one of Hume’s collectors, obtained a nest at Salem on the 27th February containing two eggs. The nest is said by Theobald to have been built “on a branch of a high banyan-tree (Ficus indica) about 40 or 50 feet from the ground. It consisted of dry twigs and was in shape a circular platform, with a slight depression in the centre, devoid of lining,”
In 1905 Rattray secured a nest with one of the parent birds near Murree, at an elevation of about 8,000 feet, containing two very hard-set eggs, on the 20th March, Of this nest he writes to me ; “The nest was in a tree growing out of the face of a steep rook-cliff ; it was large, and made of twigs and pieces of stick.”
Next, in 1912 Whitehead found a nest which he records (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxii, p. 108, 1914) : “A nest was found at 10,000 feet (above Kohat) on 22nd June, It was a huge platform of sticks lined with green pine-needles on the top of a blue- pine (Pinus excelsus). It contained a single plain white egg. There were two holes, and the contents were nearly dried up. However, the female was still incubating it. As I could not satisfactorily identify her I was obliged to about her” (the skin is now in the British Museum).
In addition to Osmaston’s nest, already referred to, Ward told me that Crump had come across a nest with egga in Kashmir, I believe near Gundabal.
I have also an egg in my collection said to have been taken in the Shan States on 14/4/14, but I can find no further details about this. Some very faint pencil writing on the egg seems to be in Harington’s hand.
All the Indian-taken egga are white or white very faintly and sparsely flecked with reddish, or grey at the larger end, but some European eggs have been found quite well freckled or blotched with reddish.
Six Indian eggs average 56.7 x 44.2 mm. : maxima 62.3 x 50.8 mm. ; minima 51.9 x 42.0 mm. Jourdain gives the average of 138 European eggs as 55.5 x 44.8 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1753. Hieraetus pennatus
Spp Author: 
Gmelin.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1753
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
56
Common name: 
Booted Eagle
M_ID: 
2771
M_CN: 
Booted Eagle
M_SN: 
Hieraaetus pennatus
Volume: 
Vol. 4
id: 
14930

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