1762. Spizaetus nipalensis kelaarti

(1762) Spizaetus nipalensis kelaarti.


Spizaetus kelaarti Legge, Ibis, p. 202 (1878) (Ceylon); Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 354.

Vernacular names. Rajaliya (Cing.) ; Rasali, Kalaya (Tam.).

Description. Similar to the preceding bird but paler; the scapulars and wing-coverts more definitely edged with white or whitish-fulvous; the underparts are strikingly paler and the shafts on the white bands are white also, not brown as in the Nepal Hawk-Eagle.

Colours of soft parts as in the preceding race.

Measurements. wing 427 to 453 mm.; wing 442 mm.; tail 276 to 289 mm.; tarsus 107 to 109 mm.; culmen about 42 mm.

Young birds go through the same changes as occur in Hodgson's Hawk-Eagle and, like them, have a stage in which the tail instead of being barred is all brown with white mottlings at the bases of the inner webs of the outer tail-feathers.

Distribution. Ceylon, Travancore and the Malabar coast into the Nilgiris and hill-ranges of Mysore.

Nidification. The discovery of this bird's breeding is due to Stewart, who took many of their nests and eggs in Travancore. He found them nesting between 1,000 and 4,000 feet, building great structures of branches high up in lofty trees, both in deciduous and evergreen forest. Like other forms of the genus, this Eagle often kept two nests going but even when the first eggs were regularly taken they continued sometimes to lay again in the same nest and that for three or four years running. At other times they went off to the second nest and laid in that. The eggs are white tinged with grey or yellowish and sometimes very sparingly speckled with light red. Twenty-two eggs average 69.1 x 54.6 mm.: maxima 73.4 X 55.2 and 68.9 X 56.0 mm.; minima 65.3 x 54.8 and 68.1 x 53.3 mm. The breeding-season lasts from December to the first week in March.

Habits. Very much the same as those of S. n. nipalensis but this subspecies is not quite so bold in defence of its home and young and though it swoops continually will seldom really strike anyone climbing the tree on which its nest is built. Its flight is very swift and powerful but like others of the genus it generally pounces on its prey by pursuit from a perch on a tree and not by a swoop when soaring above.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.5 1928.
Title in Book: 
1762. Spizaetus nipalensis kelaarti
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Legges Hawk Eagle
Legge's Hawk-Eagle
Nisaetus kelaarti
Vol. 5
Term name: 

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