1270. Poliohierax insignis.
Poliohierax insignis, Walden, P. Z. S. 1871, p. 627; id. Ibis, 1872, p. 471; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p. 370; Sclater, S. F. iii, p. 417; Blyth, Birds Burnt, p. 59; Wardi. Bams. Ibis, 1877, p, 454; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 2; Tweedd. in Rowley's Orn. Misc. iii, p. 169, pl.; Hume, Cat. no. 16 bis ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 213. Lithofalco feildeni, Hume, P. A. S. B. 1872, p. 70. Polihierax feildeni, Hume Oates, S. F. iii, p. 19.
Coloration. Male. Crown, nape, and sides of head and neck light grey, with narrow black shaft-stripes; ear-coverts paler and silky; back, scapulars, and wing-coverts blackish grey; rump and upper tail-coverts white; quills black, with large white spots on their inner webs, larger towards the base; middle pair of tail-feathers black throughout, all the others broadly barred black and white and tipped white; lower parts white.
Female. Head and nape above and at the sides chestnut; frontal band, narrow supercilium, and area below the eye grey with black streaks ; remainder of plumage as in the male.
Young birds have the head and back brownish grey with dark shaft-stripes; the quills and tail dark brown, marked as in adults, except that there are a few round white spots on the middle pair of rectrices; lower parts pale rufous, with long brown shaft-stripes on the breast and upper abdomen. Some of the immature markings, such as a few streaks on the breast and white spots on the median rectrices, are sometimes retained by birds in adult plumage.
Anterior portion of bill bluish black; cere, gape, and both mandibles as far as the nostrils orange-yellow; eyelids and orbital skin orange ; irides brown; legs orange; claws black (Oates).
Length of male 10.5 inches ; tail 5; wing 5.5 ; tarsus 1.4; mid-toe without claw .9 ; bill from gape .75: of a female, length 11, wing 6.
Distribution. This curious Hawk has been found in Burma around Thayet Myo, where it is not rare, at Toungngoo, in Northern Tenasserim near Myawadee, and in the Thoungyin valley. The only other recorded locality is Western Siam. Habits, &c An excellent account has been given by Feilden, who discovered this bird at very nearly the same time as Wardlaw Ramsay. The flight is peculiar and jerky, and the movements resemble those of a Magpie. This species frequents dry open forest or scrub, perching on dead trees by preference, and feeding chiefly on insects, with an occasional mouse, snake, or lizard. The breeding-season is about March; the eggs are unknown, but Col. Bingham tells me that he has found the nest, which is built of sticks and placed in a tree.