Eastern Goshawk (Astur gentilis schvedowi)

(1801) Astur gentilis schvedowi.

 

The Eastern Goshawk.

Astur palumbarius schvedowi Menzb., Orn. Georg. Eur. Buss, in Mem., p. 439 (188.2) (Transbaikalia) Astur palumbarius. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 397 (part.).

Vernacular names. Baz , Jarra (Hind.).

Description. Similar to the Common Goshawk but much darker, purer grey above, with very little or no tinge of brown except on the wing-quills.

Colours of soft parts as in the preceding bird.

Measurements. wing 290 to 323 mm.; 353 to 362 mm. A fine female obtained by La Touche in Chihli had a wing of 35S mm.

Young birds not distinguishable from those of A. g. gentilis.

Distribution. Northern and Central Asia from Transbaikalia to Japan, South to the Himalayas, the Tibetan plateau and the North-West Chinese ranges. In Winter Northern India, Burma and China.

Nidification. The Eastern Goshawk breeds from Japan to the Western Himalayas. Thompson told Hume "that they breed from March to June, building on trees a large circular nest of coarse twigs in which they lay three or four nearly pure white eggs. They confine themselves peculiarly to the interior of the deep, precipitous, woody valleys, lying close to the snowy peaks." Whymper found a nest with young during the end of March in the Garhwal hills, curiously enough, at an elevation of under 3,000 feet. The female Goshawk attacked a man most bravely who was sent up to look into the nest and was with great difficulty kept away, nearly knocking him out of the tree in one of her dashes. Two eggs brought to Hume by a native but believed to be authentic measure 55.9 x 45.3 and 55.3 x 43.1 mm. This Hawk breeds in Assam, as I once had a young one brought to me said to have been caught at 7,000 feet but we never found a nest.

Habits. Those of the species. In India they seem to feed much on various kinds of pheasants and pigeons.

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