1758. Nisaetus cirrhatus limnaetus

(1758) Nisaetus cirrhatus limnaetus Horsf.
THE CHANGEABLE HAWK-EAGLE.
Spizaetus cirrhatum limnaetus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. v. p. 87.
Limnaetops cirrhatus limnaetus, ibid. vol. viii. p. 658.
This race of Hawk-Eagle takes the place of the typical form over the Sub-Himalayan Terai from Garhwal to Eastern Bengal and Assam, breeding from the plains up to an elevation of about 6,000 feet, though more often between 1,000 and 3,000 feet.
In Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs’ there are records of this bird’s breeding in Samnuggar (Parker), Thayetmyo (Feilden) and Furreed¬pore (Cripps). Since then Whymper has taken eggs in Kuman, Hopwood and Mackenzie in the Upper Chindwin and Arakan, and the writer in the Assam Hills.
Thompson’s notes probably refer to some other Eagle, and I do not quote them. The site selected by the birds for their nest is quite typical of the species ; high up, 40 feet or more, in some great tree either in forest or in the open, but nearly always beside a stream, small or big. Feilden, who found many nests, says that they select a site “in the fork of the largest and most inaccessible tree they can find, invariably, so far as I know, overhanging the bed of a stream." Hopwood, who also took several eggs, endorses this, while the only nest I have personally found was built about 40 feet up in a huge tree in forest, standing on the bank of a tiny stream. A nest taken by Parker was built “on a mango-tree, one of a rather scattered group growing in the old mud-forts in Samnugger on the E. B. Railway, close to a cart-track through the forest.” Cripps found a nest in a still more unusual place, i. e., on a tree in the middle of a small market-place near a factory.
The nest is quite typical, a platform of large sticks, finished off with smaller twigs and branches and lined with green leaves. The depression for the eggs is said generally to be shallow, but in the nest found by me it must have been nearly 8 inches deep, the nest itself being about feet across by over 1 deep.
The lining is invariably of fresh green leaves, sometimes mixed with twigs to which the leaves still adhere. This lining seems to be renewed from time to time until the eggs are hatched. Under the only two eggs I have taken—both from the same nest—were quite fresh leaves, though the eggs were slightly set. The nest is said to be rough and untidy and rather carelessly put together.
The nests are used for many consecutive years ; the one from which I obtained my eggs was said to have been in existence for twelve years, and the birds were still there, four years later, when I left the district. Two years running I took the first egg laid on the same date, the 14th January, and each year the bird laid again and hatched and brought up the young one.
These Eagles sometimes start laying in December, but the prin¬cipal months are February and March, while a few lay in April.
The eggs are quite typical ; one only is laid, and it cannot be dis¬tinguished from those of the other races, though they average larger.
Sixteen eggs average 69.8 x 51.9 mm. : maxima 74.1 x 55.6 mm. ; minima 62.0 x 51.2 and 67.0 x 48.2 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: 
1758. Nisaetus cirrhatus limnaetus
Spp Author: 
Horsf
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1758
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
64
M_ID: 
2724
M_SN: 
Nisaetus cirrhatus limnaeetus
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
14938

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