Pernis Cuv., Regne An., i, p. 322 (1817).
Type, Falco apivorus Linn,
The genus Pernis is distinguished from all other Accipitrine genera by having the lores and the sides of the head, forehead and chin covered with small scale-like feathers, with no bristles or prolonged shafts.
The bill is weak, rather long and not much hooked, the festoon being small or absent; the nostrils are long, narrow and oblique, the upper margin membranous. The wings are long, the third and fourth subequal and the fifth a little shorter; tail moderately long and slightly rounded; the tarsus is stout, short and feathered on the upper half in front, the naked parts covered with small hexagonal scales; toes long, covered above with bony transverse shields, all divided except the last two or three ; claws long and slightly curved, the middle one dilated on the inner side.
The genus is found in Europe and Africa to Central Asia extending to the Malay Archipelago and China.
Key to Species.
A.Black subterminal and median bands nearly as wide as paler bands................P. ptilorhynchus, p. 165.
B.Black subterminal and median bands much narrower than paler bands...............P. apivorus, p. 168.