1191. Otogyps calvus.
The Black Vulture or Pondicherry Vulture.
Vultur calvus, Scop. Del. Flor. et Faun. Insub. ii, p. 85 (1786); Hume, Hough Notes, p. 8; Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 232; Adam, S. F. i, p. 367 ; A. Anderson, P. Z. S. 1871, p. 676; 1875, p. 17; Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 64. Vultur ponticerianus, Lath. Ind. Orn. i, p. 7 (1790); Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 77; Jerdon, Mad, Jour. L. S. x, p. 63; Gray in Hardw. Ill. Ind. Zool. i, pl. 15, fig. 1. Otogyps calvus, G. R. Gray, Gen. B. i, p. 6; Blyth, Cat. p. 32; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 2; Jerdon, B. I. i, p.7; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 230; Hume, N.& E. p. l; Davidson, S. F. ii, p. 336; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. i, p. 14; Brooks, S. F. iii, p. 228; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 441; vii, p. 179; ix, p. 369; Blanford, S. F. v, p. 245 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 1; Davidson & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 72 ; Gurney, ibid. p. 170; Ball, ibid. p. 196; Cripps, ibid. p. 240; Hume, Cat. no. 2; Bingham, S. F. viii, p. 190; ix, p. 142; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 217; Doig, ibid. p. 370; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 29; Davison, S. F. x, p. 331; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 2; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 171; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed". iii, p. 209; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 3; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. i, p. 38; iii, p. 206.
Raj-gidh, Mulla-gidh, Bhaonra, H.; Lung-nong-loong, Lepcha; Raj Sagun, Beng.; Nella Borawa, Tel.; Rannapanta, Yerkli.
Coloration. Adult. Scattered black hairs on the nape and sides of the head and on the throat, more closely set around the ear-orifice; head above and neck bare; plumage generally glossy black, brownish on the scapulars, lower back, and rump; secondary quills brown with black tips; ruff inconspicuous, black, the feathers white at the base; crop-patch dark brown, surrounded, except anteriorly, by white down ; upper thighs and anterior part of flanks white and downy.
The young are brown above and below ; feathers of the breast and abdomen with paler edges; under tail-coverts whitish; the ruff of rather longer brown feathers. The crown of the head is covered with white down.
Bill dark brown; cere, skin of head and neck deep yellowish red, a conspicuous naked patch on each side of the crop and a large naked oval area in front of each thigh the same; irides red-brown or yellow; legs dull red (legs china-white, Oates).
Length about 32; tail 10.5; wing 23 ; tarsus 4.5; mid toe without claw 3.5; bill from gape to tip 2.75.
Distribution. Throughout India and Burma, but not in Ceylon, ranging to the south-east into the Malay Peninsula, Siam, and Cochin China. Pare in the Punjab and Sind, but found in the lower Himalayas.
Habits, &c. This fine Vulture is nowhere very abundant, usually one or two come to feed on a carcase with scores of Gyps indicus, G. tenuirostris, or Pseudogyps bengalensis ; these, being smaller and weaker, give way before the present species, which is consequently known as the King Vulture. It breeds on trees from the latter end of January to the middle of April, making a large platform of sticks, and laying a pure white egg (spots and streaks are of very rare occurrence in this species) that measures about 3.34 by 2.6.