1704. Pandion haliaetus haliaetus

(1704) Pandion haliaetus haliaetus (Linn.).
THE European OSPREY.
Pandion haliaetus haliaetus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 3.
The Osprey has a very wide breeding range over almost the whole of Europe and Northern Asia, nesting as far South as the Himalayas and occasionally even in the plains adjacent to them. Livesey has seen Ospreys in pairs fishing on the Inli Labe, in the Southern. Shan States, in May and June, and it is practically certain that they must breed somewhere in the vicinity.
Although this fine bird occurs regularly in the Summer in the Himalayas very little is on record about its breeding in these mountains. Parker took a single egg from a nest in the Botanical Gardens in Calcutta hut, although the egg eventually came into my possession, there wore no details with it, though the egg is, of course, unmistakable. In Cachar a pair bred for many years on some high ground in the centre of the Chutla bheel, a vast swamp covering a huge area in the Rains and almost drying up in the months of March and April. This nest, from which I obtained three eggs on the 14th April, was a huge affair of sticks and branches measuring about 4.1/2 feet across and nearly the same in depth. It was built about 40 feet up in a thinly foliaged tree and was conspicuous for miles around. There was no lining beyond rather smaller twigs and leaves and one filthy piece of wool. The villagers said that these birds had bred there for at least 40 years, and they continued to breed for two years more, when one of the birds, a grand female, was unfortunately shot by a planter when out Snipe-shooting. I have been told of a nest said to have been found in the Sunderbands but cannot guarantee that the identi¬fication was correct.
In Turkestan Ludlow speaks of the bird as very common. He writes (Ibis, 1933, p. 689) that he saw six nests, four containing young, one three eggs, while the sixth was not examined. This was on the 19th May and at the junction of the Mointa and Tekkes Rivers.
In Europe they lay from about the end of April to the end of May in the Southern parts of their range and from the end of May to the middle of June in the more. Northern. I obtained quite fresh eggs on the 23rd June in Northern Lapland, while D. Meinertz¬hagen took one pair in the South of that country on the 30tb April.
Jourdain gives the measurements of one hundred European eggs as follows:—Average 61.6 x 46.3 mm. : maxima 69.0 x 46.0 and 68.4 x 50.3 mm. ; minima 50.4 x 41.3 and 55.2 x 40.2 mm.
My Cachar eggs measure 61.1 x 46.0, 62.0 x 45.2 and 61.0 x 46.8 mm.
The eggs are certainly among the most beautiful of all Raptores’ eggs and vary very greatly inter se, Most eggs have a white, buffy white or creamy white ground, very boldly blotched and splashed with primary markings of chestnut-red, deep red, or red- brown. Under these are numerous secondary markings of lavender grey, inky purple or livid grey. In many eggs the secondary markings suffice to give a very purple tint to the whole egg, while in a few they preponderate and are mingled with reddish mottlings obscuring almost the entire ground. Nearly always the blotches are larger and more thickly laid on at the larger end and I have one or two eggs in which they are practically confined to that end. A few egga are more like huge eggs of the Peregrine, the whole surface freely covered with bright chestnut-red but, as a rule, only one egg in a clutch is so marked. One egg of a pair taken by Wolley has the ground pale brick-pink smudged with dull pale greyish brick-red, the other being a normally marked handsome egg. A clutch of three taken by Baron Carpelan in Lapland has one egg like an extremely handsome egg of a Peregrine, one with a pink ground mottled with purple, red and grey, and the third with a cream ground very richly mottled with deep red. A pair taken by myself in Lapland has the ground a rose-pink, but this, I believe, is very rare.

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: 
1704. Pandion haliaetus haliaetus
Spp Author: 
Linn.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1704
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
1
Common name: 
Osprey
M_ID: 
2535
M_SN: 
Pandion haliaetus haliaetus
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
14878

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