Scops pennatus, Hodgs.
74. :- Ephialtes pennatus, Hodgs. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 136 ; Butler, Deccan; Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 376 ; Murray's Verebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 95; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 59 ; Hume's Scrap Book, p. 386.
THE INDIAN SCOPS OWL.
Length, 7.5 to 8.25; expanse, 15.5 to 19 ; wing, 5 to 6 ; tail, 2.5 to 3 ; tarsus, 1 ; bill from gape, 0.8.
Bill dusky-greenish, yellowish beneath; irides pale yellow ; legs and feet fleshy-grey or dingy fleshy.
Above ashy-grey, more or less tinged with rufous or rufous- grey ; the feathers dark shafted, finely mottled with brown, and with a white subterminal spot; wings more rufescent, and without the white spots, except on the outer scapulars, as usual
and on some of the greater-coverts; quills rufescent, with darkish double bars, the interval between the bars dusky or mottled, and the light spaces, or ground color, on some of the outer primaries rusty-white in some specimens; or, it may be
said, that the quills are dusky-rufescent, mottled with pale bands; the tail rufescent, with double bars, in some mottled almost throughout;' beneath the feathers streaked dark-brown and banded with white, and mottled rufous-grey and brown, mostly grey on the upper part, and white on the lower part of the abdomen; tarsal feathers barred and mottled; disc ashy-white, with a few darker specks, and the shafts of the frontal bristles white; ruff marked with dull brown and rufous.
In the rufous phase, the upper parts are uniform bright golden chesnut-red, with black shafts, inconspicuous on the back, more distinct on the forehead, ear plumes, and shoulders of the wings ; outer edges of scapulars whitish ; disc rufous with some of the feathers white shafted; ruff deep brown, with the outer feathers black tipped or black ; beneath deeply tinged with the hue of the back, but with more or less white on the belly and under tail-coverts; the breast and sides of the belly with brownish central black streaks, the latter with transverse pencillings; four faint bars on the inner webs of the tail-feathers, and the primaries also indistinctly barred with dusky, or mottled brown. The young bird has all the feathers duller red, more black shafted, and there is much white on the lower surface, and the disc has a good deal of white ; the scapulars are white externally, with black tips; and the bars on the quills and tail-feathers are more distinct, brown, and mottled.
The Indian Scops Owl occurs sparingly throughout the district, excepting, perhaps, Guzerat; it is of retiring habits, frequenting forests and well-wooded districts; it is, I believe, a permanent resident, but I am not aware of its eggs ever' having been taken anywhere within our limits.