Upper plumage (male) bluish ash, (female) reddish brown: third primary much longer than the others: secondaries with three black transverse bars: wings reaching to the extremity of the tail.
Falco cineraceus, Mont, in Linn. Trans, vol. ix. p. 188. Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. 1. p. 76. Ash-coloured Harrier, Selb. Must. vol. 1. p. 70. pi. 11. Ash-coloured Falcon, Mont. Orn. Diet, and Supp. vrith Jig, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. 1. p. 37.
Entire length seventeen inches: length of the hill (from the forehead) ten lines, (from the gape) eleven lines and a half; of the tarsus two inches three lines; of the tail eight inches two lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing thirteen inches nine lines. Female.
(Adult male). Head, throat, breast, and all the upper parts of the body, deep bluish ash: belly, sides, and thighs, white, with longitudinal rust-coloured streaks: primaries black; secondaries ash-gray above, paler beneath, with three transverse dusky bars, one of which is visible externally: under wing-coverts barred with reddish brown: two middle tail-feathers brownish gray; the rest cinereous, their inner webs barred with reddish brown: bill bluish black: irides and feet yellow. (Adult female). Crown of the head reddish brown, with dusky spots: nape yellowish red, sometimes approaching to white: above and below the eye a pale fascia: upper parts of the body deep brown, the feathers with reddish edges: lower part of the rump, and tail-coverts, white, streaked with pale orange-brown: all the under parts bright ferruginous, with the shafts of the feathers somewhat darker, appearing like fine slender streaks: tail with the two middle feathers of an uniform brown; the rest with brown and ferruginous bars. (Young of the year). Upper plumage much resembling that of the adult female: under parts of an uniform rust-red colour, without any spots or streaks: irides brown. (Egg). White: long. diam. one inch seven lines; trans, diam. one inch four lines.
First discovered by Montagu in Devonshire: has since been occasionally met with in the North of England, and likewise in the fens of Cambridgeshire. Nest placed on the ground; often amongst furze: the eggs, which are generally four in number, are hatched about the second week in June.