A white spot on the nape.
Falco Nisus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. i. p. 56. Sparrow-Hawk, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. i. p. 32. pls. 13 and 13*. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. i. p. 44.
Entire length (male) twelve inches, (female) fifteen inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) eight lines, (from the gape) ten lines and a half; of the tarsus two inches five lines; of the middle toe, claw included, one inch ten lines; of the tail seven inches six lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing nine inches three lines: breadth, wings extended, (male) two feet, (female) two feet four inches.
(Adult male). Upper parts bluish ash-colour: above the eye an indistinct pale line, conducting to a white spot on the nape: under parts white, with transverse waves of deep brown; on the throat a few longitudinal streaks: tail grayish ash, with broad brownish black bars: bill bluish gray, the tip black: cere greenish yellow: feet and irides bright gamboge-yellow. (Female). All the upper parts blackish brown, passing into blackish gray: throat whitish, with fine longitudinal dusky streaks; rest of the under parts reddish white, undulated with transverse bars of dusky brown. (Young). Upper parts brown, the feathers with pale reddish edges: some whitish spots on the shoulders: under parts yellowish white, with transverse reddish bars; or whitish, with brown bars: irides grayish: feet livid yellow. (Egg). Pale bluish white, blotched and spotted with dark red brown: long. diam. one inch seven lines; trans, diam. one inch four lines.
Common throughout the country. Preys upon the smaller quadrupeds and birds, and is very destructive to partridges. Builds in trees, forming a shallow nest of slender twigs. Lays from three to six eggs. This species is remarkable for the great difference of size between the male and female.