(1737) Neohierax insignis insignis.
Poliohierax insignis Walden,P.Z.S., 1871,p. 627 (1872) (Tounghoo). Poliohierax insignis. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 435 (part.).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description.— Adult male. Upper part and sides of head light grey, paler still on the hind-neck and a little darker on the back, lesser and median wing-coverts, each feather with a black central streak; rump and upper tail-coverts pure white; tail-feathers black, the lateral feathers boldly barred with white, the central with only a few incomplete bars; greater and primary coverts and quills dark brown, the inner webs with broad white bars which extend to the outer webs on central primaries; below white, the sides of the head, the breast and flanks heavily streaked with blackish.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown : bill horny-black, the base of the lower mandible and a patch on either side of the base of the upper mandible yellowish; cere yellow ; legs and feet yellow, claws horny-brown.
Measurements. Wing, 138 to 143 mm., 148 mm.; tail, 118 to 124 mm., 129 to 132 mm.; tarsus 36 to 38 mm.; culmen, 15 to 16 mm., 17 to 18 mm.
Female. Similar to the male but with the crown and mantle dark chestnut; the forehead and supercilia are white coarsely streaked with black.
Young birds are like the male but the females soon acquire some chestnut on the nape, from whence it spreads over the rest of the head and mantle; the underparts are more heavily streaked and with brown rather than with black.
Distribution. Practically the whole of Burma from the lower Chindwin to, but not including, Tenasserim.
Nidification, A clutch of eggs sent to Dr. H. N. Coltart from the Rangoon district were said to have been taken from a stick-nest in a low tree. The eggs were a grey-white and very similar in appearance to those of Astur badius except in size. They were unfortunately in fragments and could not be measured. Bingham also found it breeding and says that it made a nest of twigs and sticks.
Habits. This Falconet frequents clearings in the dry forests of Burma, perching high up on a bare branch of a tree whence it makes sallies after its prey, which seems to consist entirely of locusts, grasshoppers and various other insects. Its flight is described as dipping and very like that of a Magpie.