1762. Nisaetus nipalensis kelaarti

(1762) Nisaetus nipalensis kelaarti Legge.
THE CEYLON FEATHER-TOED HAWK-EAGLE.
Spizaetus nipalensis kelaarti, Fauna. B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v. p. 91.
Limnaetops nipalensis kelaarti, ibid. vol. viii. p. 685.
This Eagle is confined to Ceylon and the South-West ranges of hills from the Nilgiri and other ranges in Mysore down the Malabar coast to Travancore.
Dobson has taken its nest once in Ceylon at an altitude of about 4,000 feet but, with that exception, Stewart appears to be the only person ever to have taken, eggs and nests. Most of his nests were taken between 1,000 and 3,000 feet on the Travancore hills in dense evergreen virgin forest, and only occasionally in deciduous forests where the trees grow to an immense size and there is considerable undergrowth. Apparently the birds have not the same affection for the vicinity of water shown by the Northern race, but one or two nests are said to have been taken from trees “close to streams” and one “on the banks of a forest stream,” The nests are built at a great height from the ground and the labour entailed in getting up to them is immense, clever as the hill tribes arc in constructing spike and bamboo ladders. Dobson writes of his nest being 100 feet from the ground in a tall Gum-tree, while Stewart found a nest "over 100 feet from the ground in a Cotton-tree,” another “over 80 feet from the ground in huge, densely foliaged tree,” and again, “at least 100 feet up in a mighty forest tree near a stream.”
The nests are, of course, just like those of true nipalensis, great structures of sticks and branches lined with green leaves and, like nipalensis, this Hawk-Eagle often has two nests, using some¬times the one sometimes the other.
Unlike nipalensis, however, this bird, does not show savageness and extreme pluck in the defence of its eggs or young. It is not such a coward as cirrhatus but, after a few half-hearted swoops, seldom very close to the would-be robber, the birds generally desist and fly away. If an egg is taken the female will occasionally lay again either in the same nest or in her alternative one, and no amount of robbery seems to drive her away altogether.
The breeding season lasts from early December to the end of March, though most eggs are laid in January. The usual single egg is laid, never more.
In appearance the eggs are very like those of cirrhatus and vary from pure white or grey-white, which is unusual, to the same lightly freckled or speckled with reddish. A few eggs are marked with large smears or indefinite blotches of pale reddish but Stewart has taken none handsomely marked like those of nipalensis.
Thirty-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.

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: 
1762. Nisaetus nipalensis kelaarti
Spp Author: 
Legge.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1762
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
68
Common name: 
Ceylon Fear Toed Hawk Eagle
M_ID: 
2733
M_CN: 
Legge's Hawk-Eagle
M_SN: 
Nisaetus kelaarti
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
14942

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith