Pandion haliaetus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 129 (1766) ; (Naum.), i. p. 841, Taf. 16 ; Hewitson, i. p. 19, pl. vi. ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 12 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. i. pl. 12 ; Newton, i. p. 30 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 449 ; Dresser, vi. p. 139, pls. 386, 387 ; Bidgway, p. 255 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 52 ; Blanford, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 314 ; Saunders, p. 359 ; Lilford, i. p. 11, pl. 8 ; P. carolinensis (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 263 (1788) ; P. leucocephalus, Gould, P.Z.S. 1837, p. 138.
Balbusard, French ; Aguia pesqueira, Portug. ; Aguila pescador, Span. ; Falco pescatore, Ital. ; Fischadler, German ; Visch-arend, Dutch ; Fiskeorn, Dan. and Norweg. ; Fiskljuse, Swed. ; Kuollifalli, Tschiftscha, Lapp. ; Kalasaaski, Finn. ; Skopa, Russ. ; Bou-haut, Moor. ; El Mansur, Ketaf, Arab. ; Machariya, Machamanga, Hindu. ; Misago, Jap.
Male ad. (Sweden). Head white, the crown striped with blackish brown, which forms almost a patch before and above the eye ; nape feathers elongated, lanceolate, tipped with blackish brown and washed with yel¬lowish ; ear-coverts and a stripe to hind-neck blackish brown ; upper parts dark brown, the back faintly glossed ; quills blackish brown, marked with white on the basal part of the inner webs ; tail dark brown, the outer feathers dull white on the inner webs and dark banded ; under parts white, the breast faintly marked with pale and dull ochreous brown ; outer toe reversible ; under surface of toe rough, covered with small pointed scales ; feathers wanting the accessory plumule ; bill blackish horn ; cere bine-grey ; legs pale plumbeous ; iris bright yellow. Culmen 1.9, wing 19.3, tail 8.7, tarsus 2.2 inch. Female similar but larger, and generally has the breast more marked with brown. The young bird has the head and neck more varied with blackish brown, the feathers on the upper parts and wings margined or tipped with white, the tail more conspicuously barred, and tipped with white, and the under parts washed with rufous isabelline.
Hab. Europe, north to Lapland, not breeding in Ireland ; Asia, east to Japan ; Africa, south to Natal; Australia ; New Zealand ; America from the high north, south to Brazil.
Frequents the vicinity of inland lakes and rivers, or the sea-coast, where it can obtain fish which swim near the surface of the water, for it feeds exclusively on fish, which it obtains by plunging down from a considerable altitude. Sometimes it strikes too large a fish, and I have seen one which on so doing was carried out to sea and drowned. Its call-note is a some¬what clear kai, kai, kai, or a harsh krau. It usually nests on trees, occasionally however on rocky islets or old buildings, and in some countries it nests in communities. The nest is a bulky structure of sticks, worked together with turf and roots, and lined with moss, and the eggs, generally 3, sometimes 4, in number, are deposited in April or May. These are richly blotched with dark chestnut-red surface-markings and a few purplish grey shell-spots or blurs, on a dull white, bluish white, or buffy white ground, and vary a good deal in size, but average 2.40 by 1.76. American eggs run a trifle larger, and are recognizable by their strong musky smell.
775. Pandion haliAetus