1197. Neophron ginginianus.
The Smaller White Scavenger Vulture.
Vultur ginginianus, Lath. Ind. Orn. p. 7 (1790). Neophron percnopterus, Blyth, Cat. p. 33, pt.; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 6, pt.; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 12 ; nec L. Neophron ginginianus, Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 233; Hume, Rough Notes, p. 31; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 12; xii, pt. 2, p. 230; Blanford, J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 165; Hume, N. & E. p. 9; id. S. F. i. p. 150; id. Cat. no. 6; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p. 18 ; Legge, S. F. iii, p. 195; id. Birds Ceyl. p. 2 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 196; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 29 ; Butler, ibid. p. 369 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 333; Barms, Birds Bom. p. 7; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 213.
Sufed Gidh, Kal Murgh, H.; Tella borawa, Tel.; Manju Tiridi, Pittri Gedda, Papa, Papa parundu, Tam.
Coloration. Adult. Plumage almost throughout white; winglet and primaries black, the latter grey outside, brown inside towards the base; secondaries whity brown or grey on the outer web outside, blackish brown elsewhere ; tertiaries pale brown throughout. A brownish or greyish tinge on the scapulars and wing-coverts, and sometimes elsewhere, is a sign of immaturity. The neck-hackles are often stained rusty.
Young birds are at first blackish brown, the scattered down on the head and throat black, then pale tips appear on some of the neck-hackles and breast-feathers and on the smaller wing-coverts, giving a speckled appearance ; the back, breast, and greater wing-coverts are mottled with whitish blotches. The change to the adult plumage is gradual.
Bill in adults horny yellow; cere and sides of head and throat yellow ; irides dark brown; legs dirty yellow ; claws pale horny. In young birds the bill is dark ; naked parts of head and throat grey; legs and feet cinereous.
Length about 24; tail 9.5; wing 18.25; tarsus 3.1; mid-toe without claw 2.5; bill from gape to tip 2.4.
Distribution. India generally, from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, only found as a straggler in Ceylon; wanting in Lower Bengal and to the eastward, replaced in the north-west by the next species; found in the "Western Himalayas up to 7000 or 8000 feet.
Habits, &c. This bird, in India, haunts towns and villages, and lives largely on human excrement. It also eats carrion, but is not commonly seen feeding on dead animals. It breeds from February to May, making a nest on rocky or earthy cliffs, on buildings or on large trees, and lays usually two eggs, generally richly spotted and blotched with brownish red and measuring about 2.6 by 1.98. The nest is a loose pile of sticks, generally rudely lined with rags, sometimes with straw, cotton, or hair, or green leaves.