(1734) Microhierax coerulescens coerulescens.
THE HIMALAYAS RED-LEGGED FALCONET.
Falco coerulescens Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed. i, p. 88 (1758) (Bengal). Microhierax eutolmus. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 432 (part.).
Vernacular names. Ching-fin-nyel (Lepcha); Daoling kashiba Cachari).
Description. Differs from the Black-legged Falconet in having the thigh-coverts and under tail-coverts deep ferruginous instead of black; there is a broad white collar on the hind-neck; the supercilium and forehead are more broadly white and there is more white on the face and ear-coverts; the lower plumage is more or less suffused with rufous throughout and the black of the flanks is more restricted in extent; the chin and upper throat are deep ferruginous. The inner primaries are spotted with white at the bases of the outer webs.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill slaty-blue, sometimes tinged greenish and black on the terminal half; legs and feet black.
Measurements. Wing, 98 to 106 mm., 100 to 112 mm. ; tail, 58 to 64 mm., 64 to 67 mm.; tarsus about 20 to 22 mm.; culmen, 11 to 12 mm., 12 to 13 mm.
Young birds have the forehead, supercilium, face and collar more or less ferruginous ; the breast is generally whiter and in quite young birds the feathers of the upper parts and wing-coverts are edged with pale rufous.
Distribution. The lower Himalayas and Terai from Human to Assam. From the latter Province there are in the British Museum specimens from Goalpara and Kamrup in Western Assam and others from the Garo Hills and Cachar in the South. In the West Himalayas it has been taken in Kuman (3) and from Naini Tal. The most Southern record is Sultanpur in the United Provinces.
Habits. Those of the genus.