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177 




BIOLOGY 
LIBRARY 



LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 




PURPLE HERON. 



LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 
EDITED BY R. BOWDLER SHARPE, LL.D., F.L.S., &c. 



A HAND-BOOK 

TO THE 

BIRDS 



OF 



GREAT BRITAIN 



BY 

R. BOWDLER SHARPE, LL.D., 

ASSISTANT KEEPER, SUB-DEPARTMENT OF VERTEBRATA, 
ZOOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT, BRITISH MUSEUM. 



VOL. III. 



LONDON: 

EDWARD LLOYD, LIMITED, 
12, SALISBURY SQUARE, FLEET STREET. 

1896- 



BIOLOGY 
UBRARY 



PRINTED BY 
WYMAN AND SONS, LIMITED, 



PREFACE. 



I HAVE nothing to add to the prefatory remarks in the pre- 
vious volumes, and am only too pleased to find that I have 
no heterodox views to defend, nor any criticisms to reply to. 

It only remains, therefore, to thank my kind friends who 
have helped me in the preparation of the present volume. 
It has been a somewhat tedious task, as the general habits of 
Wading Birds are so much alike, that it is difficult to find 
anything to say about them that has not been excellently done 
by the late Mr. Henry Seebohm or by Mr. Howard Saunders. 
Many of the descriptions of the Waders are taken from my re- 
cent work on the group in the " Catalogue of Birds," and I hope 
that these will be found instructive to the numbers of ornitholo- 
gists who are interested in Shore-Birds and Waders generally. 
I have also endeavoured to quote works on natural history not 
familiarly known in this country ; and the notes on the habits 
of some of the North American species, taken from the writings 
of Mr. E. W. Nelson and Mr. D. G. Elliot, will be found to 
be of some interest, and the latter's recent book on North 
American Shore-birds has frequently been laid under con- 
tribution in the following pages. 

R. BOWDLER SHARPE. 
Feb. 26, 1896. 



910515 



Q7S. 



BIOLOGY 
LIBRARY 



PRINTED BY 
WYMAN AND SONS, LIMITED. 



PREFACE. 



I HAVE nothing to add to the prefatory remarks in the pre- 
vious volumes, and am only too pleased to find that I have 
no heterodox views to defend, nor any criticisms to reply to. 

It only remains, therefore, to thank my kind friends who 
have helped me in the preparation of the present volume. 
It has been a somewhat tedious task, as the general habits of 
Wading Birds are so much alike, that it is difficult to find 
anything to say about them that has not been excellently done 
by the late Mr. Henry Seebohm or by Mr. Howard Saunders. 
Many of the descriptions of the Waders are taken from my re- 
cent work on the group in the " Catalogue of Birds," and I hope 
that these will be found instructive to the numbers of ornitholo- 
gists who are interested in Shore-Birds and Waders generally. 
I have also endeavoured to quote works on natural history not 
familiarly known in this country ; and the notes on the habits 
of some of the North American species, taken from the writings 
of Mr. E. W. Nelson and Mr. D. G. Elliot, will be found to 
be of some interest, and the latter's recent book on North 
American Shore-birds has frequently been laid under con- 
tribution in the following pages. 

R. BOWDLER SHARPE. 
Feb. 26, 1896. 



910515 



SYSTEMATIC INDEX. 



PAGE 

ORDER ANSERIFORMES (continued) i 

FAMILY ANATID^: I 

SUB-FAMILY FULIGALINCE ... I 

CXXXII. NETTA, Kaup i 

I. rufina (Pall.) 2 

CXXXIII. NYROCA, Flem 5 

1. ferina (L.) 5 

2. nyroca (Giild.). ... ... ... ... ... 9 

CXXXIV. FULIGULA, Steph 12 

1. fuligula (L.) 12 

2. marila(L.) 16 

CXXXV. CLANGULA, Leach 19 

I. clangula (L.). 20 

CXXXVI. CHARITONETTA, Stejn 24 

i. albeola (L.) 24 

CXXXVII. HARELDA, Steph 26 

i. glacialis (L.) 26 

CXXXVIII. COSMONETTA, Kaup 30 

I. histrionica (L.) ... ... ... 3 1 

CXXXIX. HENICONETTA, Gray 34 

I. stelleri (Pall.) 34 

CXL. SOMATERIA, Leach. 37 

1. mollissima (L.). ... ... ... ... 37 

2. spectabilis (L.). ..- 4 1 



Vll 



iii SYSTEMATIC INDEX. 



PAGE 



CXLI. CEDEMIA, Flem 43 

1. nigra (L.) 43 

2. fusca(L.). 46 

3. perspicillata (L.). ... ... 48 

SUB-FAMILY MERGING 5 r 

CXLII. MERGUS, L 51 

I. albellus(L.) 52 

CXLIII. LOPHODYTES, Reichenb 55 

I. cucullatus (L.). ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 56 

CXLIV. MERGANSER, Briss 58 

1. merganser (L.). ... ... ... ... ... ... 58 

2. serrator (L.). ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 61 

ORDER ARDEIFORMES 65 

SUB-ORDER ARDE^E 65 

CXLV. PHOYX, Stejn 66 

I. purpurea(L.) 66 

CXLVI. ARDEA, L 69 

I. cinerea, L. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 69 

CXLVII. HERODIAS, Boie 73 

I. alba(L.) 74 

CXLVIII. GARZETTA, Kaup 76 

I. garzetta (L.). ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 77 

CXLIX. NYCTICORAX, Rafin 80 

I. nycticorax (L.). ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 80 

CL. ARDEOLA, Boie. 83 

I. ralloides (Scop.). 83 

CLI. BUBULCUS, Bp 86 

I. lucidus (Rafin.) 86 

CLII. ARDETTA. Gray 88 

I. minuta (L.) 88 

CLIII. BOTAURUS, Steph 91 

1. slellaris (L.). ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 92 

2. lentiginosus (Mont.). ... ... ... ... ... ... 95 



SYSTEMATIC INDEX. ix 

PAGE 

SUB-ORDER CICONII 97 

CLIV. CICONIA, Briss 97 

1. ciconia (L.). ... ... ... ... ... 97 

2. nigra(L.) IOO 

SUB-ORDER PLATALES 103 

FAMILY IBIDID.^ 103 

CLV. PLEGADIS, Kaup ... 103 

I. falcinellus (L.). ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 104 

FAMILY PLATALEIM; 106 

CLVI. PLATALEA, L 107 

I. leucerodia, L. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 107 

ORDER GRUIFORMES no 

SUB-ORDER GRUES in 

CLVII. GRUS, Pall in 

I. grus (L.). in 

CLVIII. ANTHROPOIDES, Vieill. 114 

i. virgo (L.). 114 

ORDER CHARADRIIFORMES 115 

SUB-ORDER OTIDES 115 

CLIX. OTIS, L 115 

I. tarda, L ... ... ... ... ... ... 116 

CLX. TETRAX, Leach 119 

I. tetrax (L.) 120 

CLXI. HOUBARA, Bp 123 

I. macqueeni (J. E. Gray). 123 

SUB-ORDER (EDICNEMI 126 

CLXII. CEDICNEMUS, Temm 127 

i. oedicnemus (L.). ... ... ... ... ... ... 127 

SUB-ORDER CURSORII 130 

CLXIII. CURSORIUS, Lath 130 

I. gallicus (Gm.). ... ... ... 131 



X SYSTEMATIC INDEX. 

PACK 

CLXIV. GLAREOLA, Briss 133 

I. pratincola (L.) *33 

SUB-ORDER CHARADRII 136 

FAMILY CHARADRIIM; 137 

SUB-FAMILY CHARADRIINA; 137 

CLXV. SQUATAROLA, Leach I3 8 

I. helvetica (L.) 138 

CLXVI. CHARADRIUS, L 143 

1. pluvialis, L. ... .. *43 

2. dominicus, P. L. S. Mull 147 

CLXVII. OCHTHODROMUS, Reichenb. ... 15 

I. asiaticus (Pall.). J 5 

CLXVIII. EUDROMIAS, Brehm. I5 2 

i. morinellus (L.) J 5 2 

CLXIX. OXYECHUS, Reichenb 155 

I. vociferus (L.) I 5S 

CLXX. /EGIALITIS, Boie 158 

1. hiaticola (L.) I5 8 

2. dubia (Scop.) 162 

3. alexandrina (L.)- l66 
CLXXI. VANELLUS, Briss. -.170 

I. vanellus(L.) 170 

CLXXII. CH/ETUSIA, Bp. *73 

I. gregaria (Pall) '73 

SUB-FAMILY ARENARIIN/E. .176 

CLXX III. ARENARI A, Briss ..176 

I. interpres (L.) 176 

SUB-FAMILY II^MATOPODIN/E. ... 180 

CLXXIV. H^EMATOPUS, L 180 

I. ostralegus, L. ... J 8i 

SUB-FAMILY HIMANTOPODIN^E 184 

CLXXV. RECURVI ROSTRA, L 184 

i. avocetta, L l8 5 



SYSTEMATIC INDEX. X' 

PAGE 

CLXXVI. HIMANTOPUS, Briss " 188 

I. himantopus (L.). 188 

SUB-FAMILY PHALAROPIN^) 192 

CLXXVII. CRYMOPHILUS, V 193 

i. fulicarius (L.) 193 

CLXXVIII. PHALAROPUS, Briss 197 

I. hyperboreus (L.). ... ... ... 197 

CLXXIX. STEGANOPUS, V 201 

I. tricolor, V ... 202 

SUB-FAMILY SCOLOPACIN/E . ... 205 

CLXXX. SCOLOPAX, L 205 

I. rusticula, L. ... ... ... ... ... 205 

CLXXXI. GALLINAGO, Leach ... 210 

1. major (Gm.) 211 

2. gallinago (L.) 215 

CLXXXII. LIMNOCRYPTES, Kaup 220 

i. gallinula (L.) 220 

CLXXXIII. LIMICOLA, Koch 223 

I. platyrhyncha (Temm. ). . . . ... ... ... 223 

CLXXXIV. PELIDNA, Cuv ... 227 

i. alpina (L.) 228 

CLXXXV. TRINGA, L ... 231 

I. canutus, L. ... ... ... 232 

CLXXXVI. ARQUATELLA, Baird ... 236 

I. maritima (Gm.). ... ... ... ... .. 236 

CLXXXVII. ANCYLOCHILUS, Kaup 239 

I. subarcuatus (GiAld.) ... ... ... ... 240 

CLXXXVIII. HETEROPYGIA, Cones 242 

1. fuscicollis (V.) 242 

2. acuminata (Horsf.). ... ... 244 

3. maculata (V.) 247 

CLXXXIX. LIMONITES, Kaup 250 

I. minuta (Leisl.) 250 



xii SYSTEMATIC INDEX. 

PAGE 

2. minutilla (V.) 255 

3. temmincki (Leisl.). 2 57 

CXC. CALIDRIS, Illig 260 

I. arenaria (L.) 260 

CXCI. TRINGITES, Cab ... 264 

I. sub-rufkolhs (V.) 264 

SUB-FAMILY TOTANIN/E 266 

CXCII. BARTRAMIA, Less. 267 

I. longicauda (Bechst.) ...267 

CXCIII. PAVONCELLA, Leach 270 

I. pugnax (L.) 270 

CXCIV. RHYACOPHILUS, Kaup. 275 

I. glareola (L.) 275 

CXCV. GLOTTIS, Koch 279 

I. nebularius (Gunn.) 280 

CXCVI. TRINGOIDES, Bp 282 

1. hypoleucus (L.).... 283 

2. macularius (L.).... ... ... 287 

CXCVII. HELODROMAS, Kaup 289 

1. ochropus (L.). ... ... 2 89 

2. solitarius (Wils.) 292 

CXCVIII. TOTANUS, Bechst ... 295 

1. fuscus(L.) 2 9S 

2. calidris (L.) 299 

3. stagnatilis, Bechst 3 2 

4. flavipes(Gm.) 33 

CXCIX. MACRORHAMPHUS, Leach 305 

i. griseus (Gm.). ... ... 36 

CC. LIMOSA, Briss 39 

1. lapponica (L.) 39 

2. limosa(L.) ... 3'3 

CCI. NUMENIUS, Briss 3*7 

1. arquatus (L.) 3 ! 7 

2. phatopus (L.). ... 

3. borealis (Lath.) 326 



LIST OF PLATES. 



TO FACE PAGE 

LIX. Scaup Duck ... 16 

LX. Long-tailed Duck 27 

LXI. Harlequin Duck.... ... ... ... ... ... 31 

LXIL Eider Duck 37 

LXIIL Surf Scoter 49 

LXIV. Red-breasted Merganser 61 

LXV. Purple Heron (Frontispiece) 

LXVI. Common Heron.... ... ... ... ... ... 69 

LXVIL Little Egret 77 

LXVIIL Little Bittern 89 

LXIX. Common Bittern. 93 

LXX. White Stork 97 

LXXL Glossy Ibis 105 

LXXII. Spoon-bill 109 

LXXIII. Common Crane 113 

LXXIV. Great Bustard 117 

LXXV. Little Bustard 121 

LXXVI. Stone Curlew 127 

LXXVIL Pratincole 133 

LXXVIII. Ringed Plover 159 

LXXIX. Lapwing 171 

LXXX. Turn-stone 177 

LXXXL Oyster-catcher 181 

LXXXII. Avocet 185 

LXXXIII. Black-winged Stilt 189 

LXXXIV. Grey Phalarope 193 

LXXXV. Wood-Cock 205 

LXXXVL Jack Snipe 221 

LXXXVIL Dunlin 229 

LXXXVIIL Ruff. 273 

LXXXIX. Fig. i. Common Sandpiper. 

Fig. 2. Spotted Sandpiper 283 

XC Spotted Red-shank 295 

XCL Black tailed God wit 313 

XCIL Common Curlew 317 

XCIII. Nestlings 329 



BRITISH BIRDS. 

ORDER ANSERIFORMES (Vol. ii. p. 223: continued}. 
FAMILY ANATID^E (Vol. ii. p. 224 : continued}. 

THE DIVING DUCKS. SUB-FAMILY FULIGULIN.E. 

THESE Ducks are distinguished by Count Salvadori by the 
character of the hind-toe being furnished with a very broad 
lobe. Four Sub-families have this peculiarity : viz., the Soft- 
tailed Diving Ducks (Fuliguli*&\ the Stiff-tailed Diving Ducks 
(Erismaturincc), the Torrent-Ducks (Merg<incttina\ and the 
Mergansers (Mergince). Of these the first and the last have 
British representatives. All the Diving Ducks appear to have 
a post-nuptial plumage, when the males become more or less 
like the females, during the time that they moult their quills. 
Unfortunately for the purposes of the present work, they are so 
seldom shot during this period, that I have, in the National 
Collection, no specimens from which to describe these changes. 

THE RED-CRESTED POCHARDS. GENUS NETTA. 
Netta^ Kaup, Natiirl. Syst. p. 102 (1829). 

The single species which comprises this genus is remarkable 
for its very full crest, and for the prominent indentations of 
the upper mandible. It belongs to the section of the Diving 
Ducks which have a " mirror " on the wing, the primaries not 
being uniform dark brown or blackish, but partly whitish, with 
the tip brown (cf, Salvadori, torn. cit. p. 326). 

II B 



2 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

I. THE RED CRESTED POCHARD. NETTA RUFINA. 

Anas rujina, Pallas, Reise, ii. App. p. 713 (1773). 

Aythya rufi.na, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 109 (1852). 

Fuligula rvfina, Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 559, pi. 435 (1873); 

B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 128 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. 

Br. B. iv. p. 403 (1884); Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 567 

(1885) ; Saunders, Man. p. 431 (1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. 

Br. B. part x. (1889). 
Netta rufina, Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 328 (1895). 

Adult Male. Back light drab-brown, including the mantle, 
upper back, and scapulars ; lower back, rump, and upper tail- 
coverts black ; a white patch on each side of the mantle ; 
wing-coverts dull ashy, those round the end of the wing white ; 
bastard-wing and primary-coverts also ashy; primaries ashy- 
brown externally, as well as at the tips of the inner webs, with a 
sub-terminal black bar on the latter, the inner webs otherwise 
white, forming a large " mirror," extending on to the outer 
webs of the inner primaries, which are white excepting for their 
blackish tips ; secondaries also white, with a sub-terminal bar of 
ashy ; the inner ones pearly-grey, the innermost brown, like the 
scapulars ; tail ashy-grey ; crown of head much crested, cinna- 
mon ; lores, sides of face, and throat vinous-chestnut ; a band 
down the hind neck, sides of neck and upper mantle, as well as 
the under surface of the body black, rather browner on the 
abdomen ; sides of body white, the feathers adjoining the 
black colour vermiculated with dusky; the flank- feathers light 
brown at the ends; axillaries and under wing-coverts white; 
" bill brilliant crimson, sometimes a little inclining to vermi- 
lion ; nail brown or white, tinged with brownish-horn or pink 
horny, brown or yellow at tip ; feet dingy salmon-colour or 
reddish-orange, dusky on the joints and blackish on the webs ; 
iris varying from brown to red, in very old birds " (A. O. 
Hume}. Total length, 21 inches; oilmen, 2*15; wing, 10-3; 
tail, 27; tarsus, r6. 

Adult Female. Different from the male. Light brown above, 
paler' on the scapulars, which have whity-brown ends ; lower 
back and rump dusky-brown, the upper tail-coverts paler 
brown ; wing-coverts light brown ; quills as in the male, but 
the white on the inner web of the primaries not quite so ex- 



THE RED-CRESTED POCHARD. 3 

tended and more ashy; crown of head slightly crested and 
rufous-brown, extending down the hind-neck, where it becomes 
more ashy; lores, sides of face, and throat .pale ashy-grey; 
remainder of under surface of body white, the sides of the 
body and flanks pale earthy-brown ; under wing-coverts and 
axillaries white, the lower primary-coverts and quill-lining pale 
ashy ; " bill black, reddish or orange towards the tip, and more 
or less so along the lower and on the edges of the upper 
mandible" (A. O. Hume}. Total length, 19 inches; culmen, 
i'8; wing, io'o; tail, 27; tarsus, 17. 

Nestling. Uniform brown above, with an olive tinge, and 
with a slightly indicated spot of yellow on each side of the 
lower back ; lores, eyebrow, sides of face, and under surface of 
body pale yellow ; through the eye a streak of dusky-olive ; 
abdomen whiter ; sides of body brown, with an olive tinge. 

Young Birds. Resemble the old female, and have the bill 
and feet similarly coloured. According to Mr. Hume, these 
vary in young males from olivaceous-orange to pale olive-yellow, 
reddish-brown, or dusky with a reddish tinge. 

Hybrids. The present species has been known to cross 
with the Rosy-billed Duck {Metoponiana peposaca) and with the 
Mallard. 

Characters. The lobed hind-toe, the white wing-speculum, 
and the chestnut crest in the male distinguish the species. 
The female has the speculum more grey, but has no sign of 
vermiculations on the back ; the axillaries are white. 

Range in Great Britain. An accidental visitor, chiefly in win- 
ter. It has occurred mostly on the eastern shores of England, 
but the National Collection contains one example from Pem- 
brokeshire, and the species has been met with once in Devon- 
shire and once in Cornwall. One Scotch record is known : 
viz., from Argyllshire, and one from Co. Kerry, in* Ireland. 

Kange outside the British Islands. This Duck seldom occurs 
away from Southern and Central Europe, and is only a rare 
visitor to Holland, Belgium, or France, and has occurred but 
once in Denmark. Its eastern range appears to extend to 
Turkestan, though it is plentiful in Southern Russia, and in 
winter it visits the Mediterranean countries, the Black and 

B 2 



4 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

Caspian Seas, and the Indian Peninsula, being very abundant 
in the last-named locality. 

Habits. The Red-crested Pochard is a fresh-water Duck, and 
frequents open sheets of water and broads, where there are 
fringes of reeds or overhanging trees, and being a capital 
diver, it loves places where the water is deep. Its favourite 
haunts, says Mr. A. O. Hume, who has given an excellent 
account of this species in his " Game Birds of India," are deep 
broads, " where the feathery water-weed beds do not reach 
within several feet of the surface, not the comparatively shallow 
ones, where the same weeds lie in thick masses coiled along 
the surface." Mr. Hume observes that habitually these Ducks 
keep in moderately-sized flocks of from ten to fifteen, but 
occasionally on very large pieces of water they are seen in 
thousands. Of their food he writes : " Although mainly vege- 
tarians, they indulge more in animal food than the Pochard. I 
have found small frogs, fish-spawn, shells (both land and 
water), insects, grubs, worms, and, on three or four occasions, 
tiny fish, mixed with the vegetable matter, sand, and pebbles 
that their stomachs contained. ... I examined one male 
which had entirely gorged itself on fishes about an inch in 
length. 

"Though constantly seen feeding by day, when in suitable 
situations, they also feed a good deal during the night, and 
those individuals, whose day-quarters happen for the time to 
be on waters that yield little food, leave these at dusk for more 
prolific haunts. They are strong but heavy fliers, and are slow 
in getting under way. ... I have sometimes found them 
out of the water, on the land a yard or two from the water's 
edge, grazing and picking up small shells and insects, and they 
then walk better than the other Pochards. . . . Their 
call-note, not very often heard by day unless they are alarmed, 
is quite of the Pochard character, not the quack of a duck, but 
a deep grating ' kurr.' Occasionally the males only, I think, 
emit a sharp sibilant note a sort of whistle, quite different from 
that of the Wigeon, and yet somewhat reminding one of that. 
. . . They have a very characteristic wing-rustle, which, 
though resembling that of the Pochard, is louder and harsher ; 
their wings are short, and rapidly agitated, make a very distinct, 
palpitating, rushing sound, by which even a single bird, pass- 



THE POCHARDS. 5 

ing anywhere near one in the stillness of the night, can gener- 
ally be recognised." 

Nest. Placed close to the water, and made of decayed 
stems of rushes and dead leaves. 

Eggs. Eggs seven to nine in number, of a bright green 
colour when fresh, but fading, after being blown, to greenish- 
white. Axis, 2-3-2-4 inches; diam., 1-65-175. 

THE POCHARDS. GENUS NYROCA. 

Nyroca, Fleming, Phil. Zool. ii. p. 260 (1822). 

Type, N. nyroca (Giild.). 

The genus Nyroca, according to Count Salvadori, differs 
from Netta in having the indentations not prominent on 
the upper mandible. The bill does not widen out towards 
the tip, and is not so broad or so short as in the next genus, 
Fuligula. 

I. THE POCHARD. NYROCA FERINA. 

Anas feruia. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 230 (1766). 
Aythya ferina, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 103 (1852). 
Fuligula ferina. Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 551, pi. 434 (1878); 

B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 130 (1883); Seebohru, Br. B. iii. 

P- 575 (1885); Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 413 

(1885); id. Man. Br. B. p. 429 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. 

Br. B. part xiii. (1890). 
Nyroca ferina, Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 335 (1895). 

Adult Male. General colour above light grey, everywhere 
finely vermiculated with wavy cross-lines of dull ashy, less dis- 
tinct on the lower back, and absent on the rump and tipper 
tail-coverts, which are black ; tail grey, minutely freckled with 
dusky ; wing-coverts like the back, but rather more finely 
freckled, these being less distinct on the greater series, which 
are uniform grey except at the tips ; bastard-wing and primary- 
coverts dusky ; primaries dusky-grey externally, blackish near 
the tip of the inner webs, which are lavender-grey for the most 
part, forming a " mirror " ; secondaries light grey, edged with 



O LLOYD S NATURAL HISTORY. 

white at the ends, and slightly freckled with dusky, the inner 
ones with black margins, the innermost like the back and 
similarly freckled ; head, neck, and throat deep chestnut ; 
the fore-neck, as well as the sides of the neck and hind- 
neck, black, forming a broad collar; the chest black, varied 
with grey vermiculations ; breast and remainder of under 
surface ashy-white, powdered with grey vermiculations ; vent 
and under tail-coverts black ; the sides of the body and flanks 
with somewhat plainer vermiculations ; under w ? ing-coverts and 
axillaries white ; lower greater coverts greyish like the quill- 
lining; bill black at the base and at the tip, with an inter- 
mediate band of leaden-blue, varying in width ; feet bluish or 
slaty-grey, or dull leaden-grey, the webs black; iris yellow, 
becoming lac-red, according to Mr. Hume, in an old male. 
Total length, 18 inches; culmen, 2*0; wing, 8-3; tail, 2'i ; 
tarsus, i '4. 

Adult Female. Different from the male. Upper surface 
rather more coarsely vermiculated, the lower back, rump, and 
upper tail-eoverts dark brown ; crown of head reddish-brown 
like the neck and mantle, but the head much darker ; lores, 
feathers round the eye, sides of face, and throat whitish, with a 
patch of brown on the face ; lower throat and fore-neck and 
chest brown, washed with ochreous ; the chest-feathers brown 
with whitish margins; remainder of under surface of body 
whitish, mottled with light brown bases to the feathers, es- 
pecially distinct on the under tail-coverts ; the flanks brown 
with pale tips; axillaries and under wing-coverts white, with 
the edge of the wing ashy, like the lower primary-coverts and 
quill-lining ; bill duller than in the male ; feet dark leaden- 
grey ; iris sometimes brown. Total length, 18 inches; cul- 
men, 2-0 ; wing, 8'i ; tail, 2*2; tarsus, i'35. 

Young Birds. According to Count Salvador!, the young 
males at first resemble the females, but are rather more rufous 
on the head and neck. In the second year they differ from 
fully adult birds in having the chestnut of the head and neck 
paler, and the black of the breast and upper back replaced by 
dark brown. 

Hybrids. These are numerous, and in some instances they 
have been recorded as the American Pochard, or have been 



THE POCHARDS. 7 

considered to be distinct species. The Pochard has been 
known to cross with the White-eyed Pochard, the Summer 
Duck, the Tufted Duck, the Mallard, and the Golden-eye. 

Characters. Distinguished by its grey back with fine ver- 
miculations, and its chestnut head; the bill is black at the 
base and tip, the intermediate part being leaden-blue; wing- 
speculum, grey. 

Range in Great Britain. The Pochard breeds in certain inland 
waters in England, and, where it is protected, its numbers as a 
nesting-species seem to be on the increase. In Scotland it 
also nests, but, as regards Ireland, Mr. R. J. Ussher writes : 
" The Pochard has been reported as breeding in Galway, Ros- 
common, Westmeath, Meath, and Tipperary, and some pro- 
b^bility attaches to several of these instances; but we still 
await complete proof of the Pochard breeding in Ireland." In 
winter the species is found in Great Britain from October to 
April. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The Pochard ranges from 
Central and Southern Europe to Lake Baikal in Eastern 
Siberia, breeding in Russia as high as Lake Ladoga and as far 
south as the Caspian sea, as well as in Poland, Germany, and 
Denmark, but not to the northward. It occurs in the Mediter- 
ranean in winter, at which season it also visits India and China. 
In North America its place is taken by the American Pochard, 
which differs in having a purple gloss on the chestnut of the 
head, and the bill pale blue, with only the end black. 

Habits. Although also frequenting the coasts, the Pochard 
is principally a fresh-water Duck, and in some of its winter 
quarters, as in India, occurs in flocks of thousands. Mr. A. 
O. Hume, whose excellent notes on wild-fowl are not so well- 
known in this country as they ought to be, has given a very inter- 
esting account of his experiences with the Pochard in India, 
from which I make the following brief extracts. He says that 
in some places, such as the Sambhar Lake, many acres of 
water may be seen completely paved with Pochards. " They 
are eminently swimming and diving Ducks, but walk badly. 
Their flight is slow and heavy until they get well on the 
wing, after which it is fairly rapid ; but they rise with some 
difficulty in perfectly calm weather. They swim very rapidly 



8 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORV. 

and gracefully ; as a rule, rather deep in the water, but at 
times, especially when a lot are at play together, for a minute 
or two quite high, as if barely resting on the water. They are 
very playful, and skirmish about together, chasing each other, 
scuttling along the surface one moment, out of sight the next, 
and they are grand divers. 

" I think that they feed chiefly by night, for which purpose all 
birds, spending the day in rivers and bare-shored lakes, leave 
these at night for more suitable feeding-grounds. But they 
feed also during the day, when in any of their favourite haunts, 
and you may see them for an hour together diving for the 
roots and submerged stems and foliage of all kinds of aquatic 
plants. With us, in Upper India, their food is, according to 
my experience, almost entirely vegetable. I have found a few 
insects, grubs, worms, tiny frogs, and a good many shells in 
their stomachs, but seeds, flower-buds, shoots, leaves, stems, 
and roots of water-plants, together with fine pebbles and sand, 
of which there is always a considerable quantity, have always 
constituted the bulk of the contents ; and it is, perhaps, in 
consequence of this that, as a rule, when killed inland in India, 
they are excellent eating. Not so always with those killed on 
the coast. A pair I shot in Karachi harbour turned out rank 
and far from good eating; and a third, shot a few days later, 
proved to have fed chiefly on marine plants, small Crustacea 
and mollusca. Occasionally, when in small parties, they are 
to be seen paddling about in shallow, weedy corners of jhils, 
along with Gadwall, Teal, and Shovelers ; but normally they 
keep in large flocks, and affect pretty deep water when feeding 
in the day-time." 

Nest. Made of dead grass and sedge, and lined with 
down. 

Eggs. From seven to ten, the latter being the usual number, 
though as many as thirteen have been found. The colour is 
greenish or greenish stone-colour, and they resemble those ol 
the Scaup and Tufted Duck. Axis, 2-45-2-55 inches; diam., 
1-65-175, 

Down. Of medium size, ctarfc brown, with greyish-brown 
filamental tips, and a somewhat large star of dull white. 



THE POCHARDS. 9 

II. THE WHITE-EYED POCHARD. NYROCA NYROCA. 

Anas nyroca, Giild. N. Comm. Petrop. xiv. pt. i.p. 403 (1769). 
Fvligula nyroca, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 113 (1852); Seeb. Br. B. 

iii. p. 571 (1885) ; Saisnders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 418 

(1885) ; id. Man. Br. B. p. 433 (1859); Lilford, Col. Fig. 

Br. B. part xiv. (1890). 
Nyroca ferruginea (Gm.), Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 581, pi. 438 

(1872) ; B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 130 (1883). 
Nyroca africana, Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii.p. 345 (1895.) 
Adult Male. General colour above dusky-brown with an 
oily-green gloss, with scarcely perceptible vermiculations of 
lighter brown; the lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts 
black ; wing-coverts brown, faintly vermiculated with lighter 
brown ; greater series blacker, with a slight green gloss ; 
bastard-wing and primary-coverts blackish; primaries exter- 
nally blackish, as well as at the ends of the inner webs; 
the rest of the inner web pure white, which extends on to the 
outer web of the inner primaries ; the secondaries white, with 
a broad black band at the ends, the innermost secondaries 
black with an oily-green gloss ; tail bronzy-black ; crown of 
head slightly crested and bright chestnut, as also the sides of 
face, sides of neck, sides of mantle, throat, and upper breast ; 
on the chin a white spot ; round the lower throat a blackish 
collar, which joins on the hind-neck and extends to the middle 
of the mantle, which is dusky-brown washed with rufous ; lower 
breast and abdomen white ; sides of the body chestnut, inclin- 
ing to brown near to the sides of the vent ; under tail-coverts 
white, with a patch of black near the outer base ; axillaries and 
under wing-coverts white ; quill-lining also whitish ; "bill black, 
bluish-black, and dark leaden, often browner below ; legs and 
toes slate-colour, leaden, or dusky-grey ; the tarsi often with a 
greenish tinge ; the claws and webs dusky-black ; iris white or 
greyish-white" (A. O. Hume}. Total length, 16-5 inches; cul- 
men, r6; wing, 7-4 ; tail, 2-3; tarsus, 1*25. 

Adult Female, Lighter brown than the male above, the 
feathers with sandy-buff margins, producing a mottled ap- 
pearance j the wings as in the male ; the crown of the head 
dark chestnut-brown, the sides of the face and throat a little 
clearer chestnut with a white chin-spot ; the fore-neck and 



10 LLOYD S NATURAL HISTORY. 

chest, as well as the sides of the body, rufous mottled with 
dusky bases to the feathers; breast and abdomen white, mottled 
with dusky on the lower part of the latter. Total length, 14-0 
inches; culmen, 1*5; wing, 67; tail, rg ; tarsus, n. 

Young Birds. Count Salvadori states that in immature birds 
the head and neck is brown, with scarcely any chestnut tinge 
on the side of the head, the breast and under-parts are brown, 
the abdomen paler and almost whitish, the under tail-coverts 
being dull whitish. The iris is said by Dr. Scully to be dark 
brown or brownish-grey. 

Hybrids. Crosses between this species and the Scaup, the 
Tufted Scaup, and the Summer Duck, have been recorded. 

Characters. This species is distinguished by its white iris, 
white speculum, and chestnut head. The male has also a 
white chin-spot. 

Range in Great Britain, An irregular visitor, generally occur- 
ring in the winter and spring. Over thirty examples have been 
recorded, principally from the eastern counties, but it has also 
been met with in Cumberland, Northumberland, Dorset, Devon, 
Radnorshire, and has thrice been obtained near Edinburgh, 
and has occurred four times on the east and north-east coasts of 
Ireland. 

Range outside the British Islands. The White-eyed Pochard, 
or "Ferruginous Duck," as it is often called, is an inhabitant 
of Southern and Central Europe, and breeds from Holland 
through Germany to the latitude of Moscow. It also breeds 
in Central Asia and in Cashmere, visiting the Indian Peninsula 
and Burma in winter, at which season it also extends through 
Egypt to Abyssinia, and is found as far west as the Canaries. 

Habits. These are said by Lord Lilford to be like those of 
the Common Pochard, but its flight is more swift than that of 
the latter species. He observes : " It is remarkably tame and 
feailess of man in comparison with others of the Anatidce, and 
loves the thick coverts of dense aquatic vegetation. The call- 
note is a harsh rattling monosyllable, frequently repeated. The 
flesh of this bird is, in my opinion, excellent." 

Mr. Hume says that these Ducks rise from the water with 
some little difficulty, and strike it repeatedly with their feet as 



THE POCHARDS. II 

they start ; and Captain Shelley states that a large flock makes 
such a noise with their feet patting the water, that it can be 
heard at a distance of two miles. Mr. Hume gives the follow- 
ing interesting note on the species : " In the water they are at 
home ; they swim with great rapidity, and dive marvellously. 
Indeed, what becomes of them is often a puzzle ; the instant 
that, wounded, they touch the water, they disappear, and not 
unfrequently that is the last you see of them ; at most they 
only rise once or twice, and then disappear for good. It is a 
waste of time to pursue them ; if they do rise, give them in- 
stantly a second barrel. If not, you must trust to the dogs pick- 
ing them up in the rushes near the margin later in the day when 
all is quiet. But even the best dogs will be baffled, and I have 
seen a well-trained retriever, after skirmishing in weeds and 
water for several minutes in pursuit of a wounded White-eye, 
come out with his tail between his legs and a general crestfallen 
appearance, clearly under the impression that, in consequence 
of some delusion, he had been beguiled into hunting a Dab- 
chick a bird that from his earliest puppy-hood he had been 
taught to consider altogether beneath his notice. 

" They are with us quite omnivorous ; no doubt their food 
chiefly consists of vegetable matter leaves, stems, roots and 
seeds of grass, rush, sedge, and all kinds of aquatic herbage ; 
but besides this I have noted at different times, amongst the 
contents of their stomachs, delicate fresh-water shells and 
shrimps, insects, including several species of Neuroptera and 
Lepidoptera and their larvae, worms, grubs, and small fishes. 
I have often, when lying up hid in the reeds, waiting for 
more valuable fowl to come over, watched little parties of 
them feeding in some tiny, weedy, reed-hedged opening. For 
part of the time they swim about, nibbling at the herbage 
or picking shells or insects off the lotus leaves ; but they are 
continually disappearing below the surface, often reappear- 
ing with a whole bunch of feathery, slimy weed, which all 
present join in gobbling up. Sometimes they remain a very 
long time out of sight, I should guess nearly two minutes (it 
seems an age) ; but generally they do not, when thus feeding, 
keep under more than, say from forty to fifty seconds. I fancy 
that they feed preferentially by day; first, because when in 
their favourite haunts, I have invariably found them, when I 



12 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

have had opportunities of watching them unperceived, busy 
feeding at all hours, and never asleep as night-feeding Ducks 
so constantly are between n a.m. and 3 p.m. ; and, secondly, 
because I have so rarely killed them when flight-shooting. 
When settled on some comfortable, rush-embosomed, weed- 
interwoven broad, I am pretty certain that they do not change 
their quarters at nightfall, as when encamped near any of their 
chosen day haunts I have heard their harsh, familiar call at in- 
tervals throughout the midnight hours ; but, of course, in the 
less common case, when they affect bare-shored lakes or rivers 
by day (and some few do do this), they must needs go elsewhere 
to feed during the night, and in such situations I have once or 
twice seen them at mid-day snoozing at the water's edge. 

"Their 'quack,' or note, is peculiar, though something like 
that of the Pochard, a harsh kirr, kirr, kirr, with which one 
soon becomes acquainted, as they invariably utter it staccato 
as they bustle up from the rushes, often within a few yards of 
the boat." 

Nest. Composed of dry flags and rushes, and lined with thick 
brownish down and a few white feathers (Litford). 

Eggs. From nine to fourteen in number, but the usual 
number is ten. Colour creamy-brown. Axis, 2-0-2-2 inches ; 
diam., i^S-^SS- 

THE SCAUP DUCKS. GENUS FULIGULA. 
Fuligula, Steph. Gen. Zool. xii. pt. 2, p. 187 (1824). 
Type, 



The genus Fuligula is very similar to Nyroca, and only differs 
in the shape of the bill, which, as Count Salvadori points out, 
is rather broader and snorter, and widens out near the end, so 
that it is wider at the tip than at the base ; it is also more 
rounded at the end. The males in the genus Fuligiila have 
the head black, not chestnut. 

I. THE TUFTED SCAUP DUCK. FULIGULA FULIGULA. 

Anas futigufa) Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 207 (1766). 



THE SCAUP DUCKS. 13 

Fuhgula cristata, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 121 (1852); Dresser, B. 

Eur.vi. p. 573, pi. 437 (1879); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 129 

(1883) ; Seeb Br. B. iii. p. 583 (1885) Saunders, ed. Yarr. 

Brit. B. iv. p. 430 (1885) ; id. Man. Br. B. p. 435 (1889) ; 

Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xiii. (1890). 
Fuligula fuligulci) Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 363 



Adult Male. General colour above black, with a slight green- 
ish gloss, and with faint indications of grey frecklings ; the 
wing-coverts like the back, including the bastard-wing and 
primary-coverts ; the primaries black externally and at the 
ends of the inner webs, the latter being brown on the outer 
primaries, paler and inclining to white on the inner ones, where 
the light colour extends to the outer web also ; the secondaries 
white, with a black band at the end, the innermost black, 
glossed with green ; tail dusky-brown ; crown of head with a 
tufted crest black, slightly glossed with purple ; sides of face, 
neck, and throat black, with a very distinct purple gloss, chang- 
ing to green under certain lights ; fore-neck dusky-black, 
freckled with whitish bars on the lower part; remainder of 
under surface of body from the fore-neck downwards pure 
white, the vent and sides of lower flanks and under tail-coverts 
black ; the flank-feathers brown at their ends ; under wing- 
coverts and axillaries white, the lower primary-coverts pale 
ashy like the quill-lining ; " bill dull leaden to bright greyish- 
blue, the nail and extreme tip black ; feet varying in colour 
like the bill, often with an olivaceous tinge on the tarsi ; webs 
varying from dusky to almost black, and the claws from deep 
brown to black ; iris golden-yellow " (A. O. Hume]. Total 
length, 14-5 inches; culmen, 1*5; wing, 7-9; tail, 2-1 ; tarsus, 
1*2. 

Adult Female. Browner than the male, with obscure edges of 
paler brown to the feathers of the mantle ; wings and tail as 
in the male, but the former without green gloss ; the head only 
slightly crested, and, like the neck and throat, dark brown, 
inclining to blackish ; the fore-neck rusty-brown ; under surface 
of body from the fore-neck downwards pure white, mottled 
with dusky spots on the lower abdomen, vent, and under tail- 
coverts ; the flanks washed with rusty-brown ; the colours of 



14 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

the bill and feet more dusky than in the male. Total length, 

15 inches; oilmen, 1-5; wing, 7-4; tail, 2'o; tarsus, 1-3. 

Young Birds. Resemble the old female, but have no crest, 
and are more plentifully mottled with dusky-brown on the 
lower parts ; there is also a patch of rusty- or whity-brown on 
the lores and chin. The young males are darker than the 
females, have blacker heads, and have the mottlings on the 
fore-neck continued over the chest ; iris brown. 

Nestling. Almost entirely brown, with only a faintly indicated 
spot of lighter brown on each side of the lower back ; forehead, 
eyebrow, and sides of face rather lighter brown, but the cheeks 
dusky-brown; under surface of body buffy-white, the fore-neck, 
sides of the body, and lower abdomen more dusky-brown. 

Hybrids. The Tufted Scaup has been known to cross with 
the Summer Duck, the Teal, and the Common and White-eyed 
Pochards. 

Characters. Distinguished by the white speculum, tipped with 
black, the very obvious crest, and the uniform back. 

Range in Great Britain. Athough better known as a winter 
visitor to the British Islands, the Tufted Scaup Duck breeds 
in many counties, from Norfolk to Northumberland, in Lan- 
cashire, Sussex, Dorset, and especially at Rainworth, Mr. 
Whitaker's estate in Nottinghamshire, as well as in other 
localities in the same county. I have also noticed it in pairs 
at Avington in Hampshire at the end of May, and believe that 
some remain to breed there. In Scotland it breeds on many 
of the lochs ; and besides Lough Neagh, Lough Beg, the Shan- 
non Lakes, and Co. Monaghan, where Sir Ralph Payne-Galhvey 
recorded its nesting in Ireland, it is now said by Mr. Ussher to 
breed in Fermanagh, Roscommon, and Sligo, and probably also 
on lakes in Longford and Westmeath. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species breeds 
in the northern part of the Palaearctic Region from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific, and goes far south in winter, in the East visiting 
the Indian Peninsula, China, the Malayan Archipelago, and 
even extending to the Mariannes and Pelew Islands. In Europe 
its southern breeding-range is said by Mr. Seebohm to extend 
to about 50 N. kit, but its northern limit is 70 N. lat. in 



THE SCAUP DUCKS. 15 

Norway, 68 on the Yenesei, and 62 on the Pacific coast. In 
winter it is found throughout Southern Europe and the Medi- 
terranean countries, and it extends down the Nile Valley to 
Abyssinia and Shoa. In the higher lakes of the latter countries 
some apparently remain to breed. 

Habits. Although found on the coasts in winter, the Tufted 
Scaup is much more of a fresh-water than a maritime Duck at 
any season of the year, and is strictly an inland species during 
the breeding-season. During the winter, too, it frequents in- 
land lakes, where it is a shy and suspicious species, keeping 
aloof from the resident Mallards of the locality, but associating 
with the Wigeon in flocks, which keep well out of gun-shot in 
the middle of the water. When swimming, the Tufted Scaups 
show a great deal of their white breasts, and appear to sit lightly 
on the water, while their crested heads are very distinctly seen. 
They prefer lakes where there are reedy shores, rather than 
those with bare or sandy banks. In India, Mr. Hume states 
that he has seen as many as ten thousand together, covering the 
whole of the centre cf the Kunkrowli Lake in Oodeypore. Like 
the Pochards, they make a great noise when they rise by strik- 
ing the water with their feet. "Their food," writes Mr. Hume, 
" is more animal than vegetable. They constantly devour small 
fish, and one finds every kind of water-insect, worm, grub, and 
shells, small lizards, frogs, spawn, &c., in their stomachs. Still, 
like the rest of the Ducks, they eat the leaves, stems, and roots 
of water-plants freely, and I have several notes of birds which 
had dined, or breakfasted, entirely off some white shining onion- 
like bulb." The note is like that of the Pochards, a grating 
" Kurr, kurr," but not so loud as in the last-named birds. 

Nest. Placed near the water in a tussock or hump of grass, 
and made of sedge or grass lined with down. My friend Mr. 
Robert Read tells me that in Scotland he has found the nest 
amongst rushes and in open pastures amongst the grass ; in the 
latter case the down is of great protective value, and the nest 
might easily be mistaken for a patch of dried cow- dung. 

Eggs. Laid in May and June, varying in number from eight 
to thirteen, ten or twelve being the usual complement. Mr. 
Robert Read writes to me : "The last week in May and the 
first week in June are the best times to look for the eggs. Nine 



1 6 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY 

is the most usual full clutch, but I have found ten, twelve, 
fifteen, and even twenty eggs in a nest. The last-mentioned 
was, I believe, the produce of two females." The colour varies 
from drab-brown or stone-colour to greenish-brown. Axis, 
2*2-2*4 inches ; diam., i'6-i"j. 

Down. Very small, and dark chocolate-brown, with a scarcely 
perceptible whitish centre, the nlamental tips being also brown. 

II. THE SCAUP DUCK. FULIGULA MARILA. 

Anas marila, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 196 (1766). 

Fuli^ula marila, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 1 16 (1852) ; Dresser, B. Eur. 
vi- p. 565, pi. 436 (1878); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 129 
(1883); Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 579 (1885); Saunders, ed. 
Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 423 (1885); id. Man. Br. B. p. 437 
(1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xv. (1890); Salvad. 
Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 356 (1895). 
(Plate LIX.) 

Adult Male. Back light grey or white, pencilled with blackish 
vermiculations, less continuous on the upper scapulars, which 
in consequence look whiter than the rest of the back ; the 
lower back black with a few whitish vermiculations ; rump 
and upper tail-coverts black, with a large white patch on both 
sides ; tail sooty-brown ; wing-coverts black, finely pencilled 
with greyish or white vermiculations, which are less plentiful 
on the greater series and only appear at the ends of the latter ; 
bastard-wing and primary-coverts dusky-blackish, the primaries 
dull ashy externally, and blackish at the end of the inner webs, 
which are for the rest drab-brown, forming a distinct " mirror " ; 
the secondaries white with a broad black band at the end, the 
innermost black, glossed with oily-green ; head, sides of face, 
and throat glossy dark green, changing to purple, according 
to the light in which the bird is held ; hind-neck and upper 
mantle, sides of neck, fore-neck, and chest black with a bronzy 
gloss ; the rest of the under surface of body white, from the 
chest downwards, with a few blackish vermiculations near the 
black chest-patch, and again on the lower abdomen ; vent and 
under tail-coverts black ; sides of body, under wing-coverts, 
and axillaries pure white, the outer coverts dusky, freckled with 
grey, the j ower primary-coverts pale ashy like the quill-lining; 



\ 




fHE SCAUP DUCKS. T} 

" bill light greyish-blue or dull-lead colour, nail blackish ; feet 
pale greyish- blue, darker on the joints ; membranes dusky, 
claws black ; iris rich yellow ; the edges of the eyelids dusky " 
(A. O. Hume). Total length, 17*5 inches; culmen, 175; vving, 
87; tail, 2-3; tarsus, 1-5. 

Adult Female. Very much browner than the male, with a few 
grey specklings on the back ; the lower back and rump some- 
what blacker than the rest of the upper-parts ; wings as in the 
male, but the coverts darker and the vermiculations obsolete ; 
crown of head and nape dull reddish-brown, with a large white 
patch on the lores ; the chin with a white spot ; the chest 
mottled, with reddish-brown bases to the feathers ; breast and 
abdomen white ; the lower abdomen and under (ail-coverts 
mottled with dusky ; the sides of the body reddish-brown ; 
" bill as in the male, but darker ; feet dull leaden-grey with 
the webs dusky " (A. O. Hume}. Total length, i6'o inches; 
culmen, r6; wing, 8-2; tail, 2*6; tarsus, 1*4. 

Young Birds. Resemble the old female, and have the white 
chin-spot. The young males, according to Count Salvadori, 
can be distinguished by their darker and richer coloration. In 
the second year the young male resembles the adult, but has 
less green gloss on the head and neck, and the black feathers 
on the breast are margined with white ; the black under tail- 
coverts are more or less vermiculated and in the vermiculations 
on the lower mantle, scapulars, and wing-coverts the dark 
brown colour predominates over the white. 

Hybrids. The Scaup has been known to interbreed with the 
White-eyed Pochard and the Golden-eye. 

Characters. Resembles the Tufted Scaup in having the 
speculum white, tipped with black, but has no crest, and the 
back is greyish-white, vermiculated or lined across with zig- 
zag black markings. 

Range in Great Britain. The Scaup is a winter visitor, and is 
common on our coasts from autumn to spring, with the ex- 
ception of a few localities, such as the Outer Hebrides and 
the south coast of Ireland. It has been said to breed on Loch 
Leven in Scotland, where Mr. A. C. Stark states that he found 
the nest. 

II C 



1 8 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Range outsi4e the British Islands. A circumpolar species, ac- 
cording to Count Salvadori, who observes that he is unable to 
distinguish the American Scaup or the Chinese Scaup from 
the European species. It breeds in Scandinavia up to 70 
N. lat. and above the limits of forest-growth across Northern 
Asia to Kamtchatka, and again above 50 N. lat. of North 
America. In other parts of its range it occurs only in winter, 
when it visits the Mediterranean and extends into North- 
western India, as well as to Japan, China, and Formosa. In 
North America it wanders south in winter and reaches Mexico 
and the West Indian Islands. Fuligula affinis of North 
America has also been recorded as British, as also F. eollaris, 
but only from specimens in Leadenhall Market, and these re- 
cords have been ignored by Mr. Howard Saunders and recent 
writers. 

Habits. The Scaup is principally a maritime Duck, excepting 
during the breeding-season, when it retires inland to nest. 
From Mr. Seebohm's notes on the habits of the species, I ex- 
tract the following, as no one has had better opportunities for 
observing the species in a wild state: "The Scaup is most 
active when the sun shines from the north ; that seems to be 
its favourite feeding-time ; and then its loud, harsh scream may 
be heard as the drake calls to his mate to leave her eggs covered 
warmly up in a blanket of down, and to come away from her 
snug nest among the bilberries on the adjacent bank-side and 
join him on the lake, or perhaps have a swing down the river 
to the delta to pick up anything that may be left on the 
strand at low tide. Of all the cries of the Ducks that have 
come under my notice, I think that of the Scaup is the 
most discordant. None of them are very musical, perhaps, 
but if you imagine a man with an exceptionally harsh, hoarse 
voice, screaming out the word scaup at the top of his voice, 
some idea of the note of this Duck may be formed. It is said 
that when this harsh note is uttered the opening of the bill is 
accompanied with a peculiar toss of the head. The ordinary 
alarm-note during flight is a grating sound like that made by 
the Tufted Duck. 

"The Scaup is a very gregarious and sociable bird. In 
winter it is almost always seen in flocks, frequently associated 
with other Ducks, and in summer small parties are constantly 



THE GOLDEN-EYED DUCKS. 19 

seen coming and going from their feeding-grounds. When 
alarmed, they generally seek safety by diving, but if they find 
themselves obliged to take wing, they get up from the water, 
one after another, with a great splash, but once fairly launched 
in the air, they appear to get away very quickly, though their 
wings are obliged to vibrate at a great speed and with con- 
siderable noise. They both swim and dive with perfect ease, 
and obtain much of their food under water. 

" Although the Scaup, when cooked, is said to taste very 
fishy, it does not appear to be much of a fish-eater. Shell-fish 
are its favourite food, but it varies its diet with crustaceans, 
the larvae of various insects, and with some vegetable matter. 
In confinement Montagu found it remarkably tame, feeding 
eagerly at once on soaked bread, and after a few days on 
barley." 

Nest. According to Mr. Seebohm, "the Scaup generally 
selects some sloping bank, not far from water, but high enough 
from the edge to be secure from floods, on which to build her 
nest. It is always well concealed, and seldom to be found ex- 
cept by accidentally frightening off the sitting Duck. Some- 
times it is placed under a willow or juniper bush, but more often 
in the open, carefully hidden in some hole in the rough ground 
surrounded by cranberries or bilberries struggling amidst tufts 
of sedge or cotton-grass. The hole is lined with dry broken 
sedge, and, as the eggs are laid, an accumulation of down is 
formed, sufficient to keep them warm when the Duck leaves 
them to feed." 

Eggs. From six to nine in number, of a pale greenish-grey 
or stone- colour. Messrs. H. J. and C. E. Pearson once found 
twelve eggs in a nest in Iceland. Axis, 2'55-2'65 inches; 
diam., ry. 

Down. Larger than that of the Tufted Scaup, but of about 
the same character. Dark chocolate-brown, with paler brown 
filamentous tips, and a small star of dull white in the middle. 

THE GOLDEN-EYED DUCKS. GENUS CLANGULA. 
Clangula, Leach, in Ross's Voy. Disc. App. p. xlviii. (1819). 

Type, C. dangula (L.). 
The genus Clangula, for which I adopt the well-known Eng- 

C 2 



20 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

lish name of the "Golden-eyes," belongs to the plain-winged sec- 
tion of the Diving Ducks, in which the quills are uniform and 
have no light " mirror " on the inner webs. They differ from the 
Eider-Ducks in having no patches of stiff feathers on the head, 
which is very fully crested. The tail is of moderate length, 
and its feathers are rounded ; the edges of the upper mandible 
are not bent inwards ; and there is a distinct difference in the 
colour of the sexes, the males having a glossy black head, 
and the females a brown one (cf. Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. 
xxvii. p. 326). 

I. THE GOLDEN-EYED DUCK. CLANGULA CLANGULA. 

Anas clangula, Linn. Syst Nat. i. p. 201 (1766). 

Anas glaution. Linn. torn. cit. p. 201 (1766). 

Clangula chrysophthalma, Macg. Br. B.'v. p. 174 (1852). 

C languid glaucion. Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 595, pi. 440 (1875) ; 

B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 131 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. 

Br. B. iv. p. 435 (1885) ; id. Man. Br. B. p. 429 (1889); 

Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 376 (1895). 
Fuligula clangula, Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 590 (1885); Lilford, 

Col. Fig. Br. B. part xi. (1889). 

Adult Male. General colour above black, including the whole 
of the back and rump ; scapulars white or half black and 
white, giving a streaked appearance to the sides of the back, 
the external scapulars white with black margins ; wing-coverts 
pure white, except those near the edge of the wing, which 
are black ; the greater series white with a concealed black 
bar at the base ; bastard- wing, primary-coverts, and quills 
black; secondaries pure white, the inner ones velvety-black 
with a green gloss ; upper tail-coverts and tail cindery-grey, 
the latter fringed with whity-brown at the ends; head fully 
crested metallic - green, as also the nape and entire sides 
of the face, with purplish reflections under certain lights ; at 
the base of the bill a large white spot ; throat velvety-black 
with a shade of bronzy-green ; rest of the under surface from 
the lower throat downwards pure white, the feathers on the 
thighs and vent dusky blackish, the flank-feathers edged with 
black on their inner webs, imparting a streaked appearance ; 



THE GOLDEN-EYED DUCKS. 21 

axillaries and under wing coverts black, the quill-lining some- 
what more ashy; "bill bluish- or greenish-black, in rare in- 
stances with an orange spot or bar near the tip of the upper 
mandible ; feet intense orange-yellow, the webs dusky ; iris 
reddish or orange-yellow ; eyelids reddish-dusky " (A. O. 
Hume). Total length, i8'o inches; culmen, 1-55 ; wing, 8-9 ; 
tail, 37; tarsus, 1-55. 

Adult Female. Different from the male. Upper surface of 
body slaty-grey, the feathers with dusky bases ; lower back and 
rump dusky-black, becoming more slaty on the upper tail- 
coverts ; the wing-coverts slaty-grey like the back, with an 
irregular white patch caused by the outer lesser coverts being 
white ; median coverts with white spots at the ends and the 
central greater coverts white with black tips ; bastard-wing, 
primary-coverts, and quills blackish, the primaries browner on 
the inner webs ; secondaries white, the inner secondaries half 
black and half white and the innermost ones entirely black ; 
head and throat all round chocolate-brown, followed by a 
white collar across the lower throat ; breast and abdomen pure 
white; fore-neck, chest, and sides of the body slaty-grey, 
mottled with dusky centres to the feathers; under wing-coverts, 
axillaries, and quill-lining dull slaty ; " bill brownish-black, more 
dusky than in the males, and generally showing a yellowish- 
red or orange spot or bar near the tip of the upper mandible, 
which in some forms a terminal band at the tips of both 
mandibles, never, however, including the nail, which remains 
black or dusky " (A. O. Hitme). Total length, 17*5 inches ; 
culmen, 1*3; wing, 7*6; tail, 3*2; tarsus, 1*4. 

Young Birds. According to Count Salvadori, resemble the 
old females, but are duller in colour; the pale collar round 
the neck is less distinct, and the grey feathers on the breast 
have white margins. In his first breeding-dress, the young 
male has less white on the scapulars, the white on the hinder 
lower neck is mottled with brown, as also is the white spot at 
the base of the bill. The latter, in the young birds, resembles 
that of the old females, and, according to Mr. Hume, in quite 
young birds, the iris is white or very pale yellow. 

. Dark brown on the upper-parts, and paler brown 



22 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTOR\. 

on the breast and flanks, shading into white on the throat and 
into pale grey on the belly (Salvadori). 

HyMrds. The Golden-eye has been known to interbreed 
with the Smew, Pochard, Scaup, and Buffel-headed Duck. 

Characters. This species is very easily recognisable by its 
coloration, and cannot well be confounded with any of the 
other British Ducks. The female can be told from that of 
any of the Diving Ducks by its brown axillaries and white 
speculum, but it has no white patch on the ear-coverts as in 
C. albeola. 

Range in Great Britain. A winter visitor, frequenting inland 
lakes from October to May. It has been doubtfully recorded 
as breeding in Scotland, but is best known as a winter visitant 
to that country and to Ireland, resorting to the coasts when 
the inland waters are frozen over. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Golden-eye breeds in 
Northern Europe up to 70 N. lat, in Scandinavia and in 
Russia to about 58, and sparingly in Holstein, Pomerania, 
and Eastern Prussia. Its breeding-range further extends from 
the Caucasus throughout Siberia and Arctic America, for 
Count Salvadori confesses his inability to separate the 
European and American Golden-eyes. In the New World 
its winter range extends as far south as Mexico and the Greater 
Antilles. In Europe it visits the Mediterranean in winter, 
and in the East occurs in China at this season, and even 
extends to North-western India, but very rarely. Barrow's 
Golden-eye (Clangula islandica) has been supposed to have 
occurred in England, but the evidence is not considered suffi- 
cient. The latter species inhabits North America, Greenland, 
and Iceland, and differs from the common species in having 
the head and neck glossy blue-black, with a large triangular 
patch across the lores. The female differs from the female 
Golden-eye in being larger and in having a broader grey chest- 
band. 

Habits. Although frequenting, as a rule, lakes, rivers, and 
marshy lands, the Golden-eye also affects the sea-coasts in 
winter. Mr. Seebohm observes : " It is remarkable for its 
noisy flight, its rapidly moving wings whistling in the wind as 



THE GOLDEN-EYED DUCKS. 23 

it passes overhead. It also makes a great splashing in the 
water when it rises, but does not readily take wing, as it is a 
most expert swimmer and diver. It is one of the shyest of 
Ducks, and very difficult to shoot. It makes the same grating 
sound, when calling to its fellows during flight, as the Scaup 
and Tufted Duck. It is a clumsy walker on the land, and 
lives almost entirely on the water, feeding on nearly every 
kind of both animal and vegetable food that its unrivalled 
powers of diving enable it to find at the bottom : small fish, 
young frog?, shell-fish, insects, the seeds or buds or tender 
leaves of water-plants, nothing comes amiss to it." 

" But," he continues, " the most remarkable fact in the 
history of the Golden-eye is its habit of occasionally perching 
on the bare branch of some forest-tree, and of discovering a 
hole in the trunk, sometimes quite a small one, but leading to 
a hollow inside, where it deposits eggs on the rotten chips of 
wood without any nest, like a Woodpecker." 

Nest. As before stated by Mr. Seebohm, the nest is in the hole 
of a tree, but, where this is not available, the Golden-eye will 
place its nest on the ground or on the tops of pollard- willows. 
Sometimes the nest is placed at a height of twelve, and even 
twenty-five feet from the ground, and the old bird conveys the 
young to the water, holding it between its bill and its breast. 
Mr. Robert Read writes to me: "I have observed these 
birds on the fresh-water lakes in Scotland as late as May, and 
keepers tell me that they have seen them in every month of the 
year except June. The ' Knipa,' as it is called, is well-known 
in Sweden, and in Dalsland, about 59 N. lat. I saw a pair 
in June, 1894, on a lake, and was shown the place wherein 
they had nested the previous year. It was in a hole, about 
fifteen feet up, at the main fork of an old black poplar stand- 
ing in a churchyard beside the water's edge." In Lapland 
and Finland the natives put up boxes for the convenience of 
the Golden-eyes, and regularly pilfer the eggs of the too 
confiding birds. 

Nest. None, as recorded above, but down, as in the case of 
all Ducks, is used as a lining to the hole or nesting-place 
selected. 

Eggs. From ten to thirteen in number, but many more are 



24 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

often found. When fresh they are of a greyish-green colour, 
but fade to dull green or olive-green. 

Down. Greyish-white, with filamentous tips of the same 
colour, and a large but not very conspicuous spot of white in 
the centre. 

THE BUFFEL-HEADS. GENUS CIIARITONETTA. 

Charitonetta, Stejn. Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus. No. 29, p. 183 (1863). 

Type, C. albeola (Linn.). 

Count Salvador! does not separate the Buffel-heads from the 
Golden-eyes, though he admits the difference in the style of 
their plumage, and the structural character of the nostrils, 
which are situated nearer to the base of the bill than to its tip, 
being exactly the opposite to the features of the nostril in the 
genus Clangula. In my opinion, therefore, the genus Chart to- 
netta should be recognised. 

I. THE BUFFEL-HEADED DUCK. CHARITONETTA ALBEOLA. 

Anas albeola, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 199 (1766). 

Clangula albeola, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 185 (1852) ; Dresser, B. 
Eur. vi. p. 589, pi. 439 (1877); B. O. U. List Br. B 
p. 132 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 442 
(1885); id. Man. Br. B. p. 441 (1889); Salvad. Cat. B. 
Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 376 (1895); Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. 
part xxx. (1895). 

Fuligula albeola, Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 588 (1885) ; Lilford, 
Col. Fig. Br. B. part xi. (1889). 

Adult Male. General colour above black, including the back 
and scapulars, the outermost of the latter being white, edged 
with black ; wing-coverts white, those round the edge of the 
wing black, the greater series with concealed blackish bases ; 
bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and primaries black ; the second- 
aries white with blackish bases to the inner webs, the inner 
secondaries velvety-black like the back ; upper tail-coverts 
ashy-grey ; tail-feathers slaty-grey ; lores and fore-part of crown 
green, verging into purple on the hinder crown and crest ; the 
sides of the face from below the eye in a line to the cheeks 
white, including the ear-coverts and nape, which is creste.d; 



THE EUFFEL-HEADS. 25 

the fore-part of the cheeks green, with steel-blue reflections ; 
the hinder cheeks purplish, with bronzy reflections, and verg- 
ing into bronzy-green on the sides of the neck ; the hinder neck 
crested and dull steel-green ; throat dusky-black, with a purplish 
gloss ; entire under surface of body from the lower throat 
downwards pure white, the flank-feathers edged with black, 
the lower abdomen slightly shaded with greyish ; axillaries 
slaty-grey, the inner ones white; under wing-coverts white, 
mottled with dusky bases to the feathers ; bill bluish-black ; 
feet and toes pinkish, the webs and joints darker ; iris dark 
brown. Total length, 15-0 inches; oilmen, 1-3; wing, 67; 
tail, 2-8; tarsus, i'2. 

Adult Female. Different from the male. General colour 
above sooty-blackish, darker on the lower back and rump; 
wings sooty-blackish, some of the greater coverts with a white 
spot before the end of the outer web; quills blackish, the 
secondaries externally white, forming a speculum ; tail dusky- 
brown ; fore-part of crown, lores, throat, and neck all round 
sooty-brown ; the hinder crown and nape blacker, and decidedly 
crested ; from below the eye a broad, white band extending 
across the ear-coverts to the sides of the neck ; under-surface 
of body white, greyish across the fore-neck, on the sides of the 
body, and on the under tail-coverts; axillaries sooty-brown, 
or white with brown centres; under wing-coverts white, 
mottled with brown bases ; bill dusky, inclining to plumbeous 
at the end, and along the commissure ; feet and toes pale 
bluish pink, the webs and joints darker; iris dark brown. 
Total length, i2'o inches; culmen, i'o; wing, 5-9; tail, 2-4; 
tarsus, n. 

Young Birds. Resemble the old female in plumage. 

Characters. Apart from the differences in structure recorded 
above, the male can be easily told by the varying gloss on the 
head, and the large patch of white on the sides of the face. 
The female has the head and neck greyish-brown, with a white 
spot on the ear-coverts and a white wing-speculum. 

Range in Great Britain. At least five authentic instances of the 
occurrence of the Buffel-headed Duck have been recorded in 
Groat B itain. Of these two are Scotch and three English. 



26 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

It has never been met with on the continent of Europe, and 
appears to be only a straggler to Greenland. 

Range outside the British Islands. This is a North American 
species, breeding from Labrador to Alaska, and occurring even 
on the Commander Islands ; migrating south in winter to 
Mexico and the Greater Antilles. 

Habits. Resemble those of the Golden-eye, even to the 
mode of nesting in the hole of a tree. Very little has been 
written about the species by the explorers in Alaska, but the 
stomach of a female bird shot in Minnesota by Mr. A. C. Stark 
was crammed with small red worms. The bird is also known 
to be herbivorous, and to devour land and marine molluscs, 
shrimps, and leeches. Like the Golden-eyes, it is a first-rate 
diver, and in the States it is often called the " Butter-ball," 
from its extreme fatness. 

Nest, Placed in the hole of a tree, and lined with down. 
Eggs. From six to ten in number. 

THE LONG-TAILED DUCKS. GENUS IIARELDA. 

Harelda, Stephens, Gen. Zool. xii. part 2, p. 174 (1824). 

Type, H. gladalis (Linn.). 

The peculiar characters of this genus are the uniformly 
coloured primaries, which show no distinct "mirror," the 
variegated nature of the plumage, the fully-crested head, and 
the long central tail-feathers. The edges of the upper man- 
dible are partly bent inwardly. 

I. THE LONG-TAILED DUCK. HARELDA GLACIALIS. 

Anas gladalis, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 303 (1766). 

Harelda gladalis, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 192 (1852); Dresser, B. 

Eur. vi. p. 617, pis. 443, 444 (1875) ; B. O. U. List Br. 

B. p. 132 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 446 

(1885); id. Man. Br. B. p. 443 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. 

Br. B. part xxx. (1895) ; Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. 

p. 389 (1895). 
Fuligula gladalis, Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 598 (1885). 

(Plate LX.) 
Adult Male. General colour above black, the scapulars dove- 



THE LONG TAILED DUCKS. 27 

grey and elongated into narrow white plumes, forming a 
band on each side of the back ; wing-coverts black, the 
greater series slightly inclining to bronzy-brown ; bastard- 
wing, primary-coverts, and primaries black, the latter inclin- 
ing to ashy-brown on the inner webs ; the secondaries bronzy- 
brown, the innermost black ; long centre tail-feathers black, 
the outer ones white ; crown of head white, the hind-neck 
greyish-white, and also the sides of the neck ; lores, feathers 
round the eye, and sides of face lavender-grey, separated 
from the bill by a line of white, and followed on the ear- 
coverts by a large patch of black, extending to the sides of 
the neck ; throat white, joining the sides of the neck ; fore- 
neck, chest, and breast black, glossed with bronzy-brown ; 
remainder of under surface of body white, extending over the 
sides of the breast ; the sides of the body washed with delicate 
lavender; under wing-coverts and axillaries smoky-brown, 
quill-lining grey ; bill blackish lead-colour, as well as the nail, 
with the intervening portion pinkish-orange ; feet leaden-blue, 
the webs and joints blackish; iris reddish-brown. Total 
length, 2i'o inches; oilmen, i'i; wing, 8'8; tail, 3-2 ; long 
centre feathers, 8*5; tarsus, 1*4. 

The pied plumage described above is also that of the 
breeding-dress, but the post-nuptial or summer plumage is 
very different, the general tone of the upper surface being 
black ; the feathers of the upper mantle and scapulars have 
broad, rusty-brown edges ; the wings are blackish-brown, with 
an obscure bronzy-brown speculum ; the whole of the head 
and neck, as well as the entire breast, are blackish-brown, some- 
what paler and more chocolate-brown on the latter ; lores and 
fore-part of cheeks white, extending in a patch behind the 
eye ; abdomen and under surface white, as in the breeding- 
plumage. 

Adult Female Somewhat resembles the post-nuptial plumage 
of the male, but has not the long tail-feathers of the latter. 
The general colour is brown, the feathers of the upper sur- 
face being edged with olive-grey or sandy-rufous, the scapu- 
lars and rump especially showing the olive-grey tinge ; wings 
brown, the feathers edged with grey, but showing no distinct 
speculum ; crown of head blackish-brown, sharply defined 



28 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

against the hind-neck, which is ashy-brown; eyebrow and lores 
pale brown, deepening into darker brown on the ear-coverts, 
which are surmounted by a whitish line ; throat greyish, 
browner on the chin and lower throat ; sides of neck dull 
white ; fore-neck and chest grey, slightly tinged with ochre ; 
remainder of under surface white ; under wing-coverts and 
axillaries brown. Total length, 15-5 inches; oilmen, n ; 
wing, 8-5; tail, 3-0; tarsus, 1-3. 

Young Males. Resemble the old female, but are more uni- 
form above and do not show the olive-grey margins ; the 
back and wings black ; the scapulars lighter brown, with 
yellowish-brown margins and the feathers more pointed than 
in the female ; head and neck marked as in the female, but 
the throat browner; the bronzy speculum on the wing is 
evident. 

Nestling. Dark brown, the head blacker, as also the sides of 
the face ; a white loral spot at the base of the bill and a mark 
of white above and below the eye; throat white, extending 
on to the sides of the neck, but not joining behind ; a band 
of brown across the fore-neck ; remainder of under surface 
greyish ; the sides of the body and flanks brown. 

Range in Great Britain. A winter visitant to our coasts, being 
more plentiful in Scotland than in England, and mostly so in 
the Hebrides, where it is known by the Gaelic name of Lack 
Bhinn, or the Musical Duck. In the Orkneys and the Shet- 
land Isles it is called " Calloo," from the note uttered by the 
male. Mr. Howard Saunders believes that the Long-tailed 
Duck breeds on some of the unfrequented lochs of Yell and 
Mainland in the latter group, though absolute proof is still 
wanting. To Ireland it is only an occasional visitor. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Long-tailed Duck breeds 
throughout the Arctic Regions from Greenland and Iceland to 
Eastern Siberia, and again in Arctic America. In the New 
World it is generally called the " Old Squaw." In winter it 
visits the United States, and in Europe it has been found 
south to the northern countries of the Mediterranean, and 
it occurs in Japan and China at that season of the year, and 
also winters on Lake Baikal and the Caspian Sea. 



THE LONG-TAILED DUCKS. 2, 

Habits. In the arctic habitat, which this Duck affects dur- 
ing the summer, it is a common bird, and it never appears 
to wander very far south, some individuals even wintering in 
the north. It is less gregarious than some of the arctic 
Ducks, and is an extremely good diver. After the young are 
hatched about the end of June, they frequent ponds and 
marshy lakes, but as autumn approaches they seek the small 
bays and creeks along the coast. 

Mr. E. W. Nelson gives the following note on the species in 
his " Report on Natural History Collections from Alaska " : 
" During all the spring-season, until the young begin to hatch, 
the males have a rich musical note, imperfectly represented 
by the syllables "a-leedle-a, a-leedle-a," frequently repeated in 
deep, reed-like tones. Amid the general hoarse chorus of 
water-fowl at this season, the notes of the Old Squaw are so 
harmonious that the fur-traders of the Upper Yukon have 
christened it the " Organ Duck " a well-merited name, I 
have frequently stopped and listened with deep pleasure to 
these harmonious tones, while traversing the broad marshes in 
the dim twilight at midnight, and while passing a lonely month 
on the dreary banks of the Yukon delta, I have lain in my 
blankets many hours at night and listened to these rhythmi- 
cal sounds, which, with a few exceptions, were the only ones 
to break the silence. These notes are somewhat less common 
during the day. The male is often seen swimming rapidly 
about the female, his long tail-feathers raised to an angle of 
about 75 degrees, and vibrating rapidly from side to side as he 
passes before his mate, uttering the love-note at short intervals. 
If he becomes too pressing in his suit, the female suddenly 
dives and is instantly followed by her partner, and then a 
moment later they appear and take wing, and a playful chase 
ensues, the two diving at full speed and flying above or below 
in rapid succession, until they are tired. It is a common 
thing for two or three males to join in this " follow-my-teader " 
kind of game after the female, and in the end the latter usually 
flies to some secluded pool with her choice, whilst the discom- 
fited suitors move off in search of some easier prize. Several 
males continue to utter their musical notes whilst chasing a 
female, and make a very pretty chorus." 

Nest. According to Mr. Nelson, an unusual amount of dry 



30 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

grass-stems and down picked from the parent's breast composes 
the nest, and if the eggs are left, they are carefully hidden in 
the loose material. Messrs. H. J. and C. E. Pearson, who 
found the species breeding in Iceland, write as follows : 
" We found eggs from the 2oth of June to the i8th of July, 
most of the nests being placed on islands. On the 2oth of 
June we flushed the bird from a nest of six eggs, which was 
several hundred yards from the water, on a bare hill-side of 
black sand. There was no material in the nest except down, 
the black colour of which would form a perfect protection when 
the Duck covered the eggs with it in the ordinary course. 
Not one of the many nests observed was placed in a hole, but 
they were often in a hollow between two mounds of grass. In 
such situations the outer part was always of grass, and the 
bird carefully covered the eggs with the material on leaving, 
sometimes forming a splendid imitation of an old nest. The 
only safe rule was to put your hand well to the bottom of 
every nest, whether it looked fresh or old." 

Eggs. Six or seven in number; clay-brown to greenish- 
grey, or dull green. Axis, 2-0-2-25 inches; diam., 1-5. 

Down. Very dark, deep chocolate-brown, almost blackish, the 
filamentous tips also dark brown ; in the centre a small star 
or " eye " of white. 



THE HARLEQUIN DUCKS. GENUS COSMONETTA. 

Cosmonetta, Kaup, Natiirl. Syst. p. 196 (1829). 
Type, C. hislrionica (Linn.). 

A single species, the Harlequin Duck, constitutes the genus 
Cosmonetta, and the characters of the genus are given by 
Count Salvadori as consisting mainly of the peculiar pattern 
of plumage which is displayed by the species in question. 
This is, however, so remarkable that recognition is easy. The 
Harlequin Duck belongs to the section of Diving Ducks, in 
which the primaries are nearly uniform and show no light 
"mirror," as in the Pochards, while there is no perceptible 
crest, and the bill is conical and tapers almost to a point. 



THE HARLEQUIN DUCKS. 31 

I. THE HARLEQUIN DUCK. COSMONETTA HISTRIONICA. 

Anas histrionica. Linn. S. N. i. p. 204 (1766). 
Clangula histrionica, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 169 (1852). 
Cosmonetta histrionica. Dresser, B, Eur. vi. p. 609, pis. 600 
613 (1877); B.O. U.ListBr. B. p. 132 (1883); Saunders, 
ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 452 (1885); id. Man. Br. B. p. 445 
(1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxx. (1895);- Sai- 
vad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 395 (1895). 
Histrionicus minutus. Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 613 (1877). 
Fuligula histrionica, Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 594 (1885). 

(Plat* LXI.} 

Adult Male. General colour above slaty-blue, the scapulars 
white edged with slaty-blue and forming a band down each 
side of the back ; lower back duller slate-colour ; rump anc 
upper tail-coverts purplish-black, with a few white-tipped 
feathers on each side of the latter; tail sooty-black; wing- 
coverts dark slaty-grey ; two of the median coverts with a 
round white spot; the central greater coverts tipped with white, 
before which is a bar of metallic-purple; bastard-\ving, primary- 
coverts, and primaries blackish-brown, the latter lighter brown 
on the inner webs ; the secondaries externally purplish-blue, 
the inner ones for the most part white, bordered with black on 
the outer webs and grey on the inner ones ; centre of crown 
blue-black, bordered on each side by a broad band of chestnut, 
which is separated on its anterior part by a line of white, which 
is continuous with a white patch occupying the lores and fore- 
part of cheeks ; eyebrow, sides of head, and neck dark slaty- 
blue, relieved by a white spot on the ear-coverts and another 
band of white skirting the sides of the nape ; round the lower 
throat a white collar, skirted above and below by a purplish- 
black band and almost meeting on the hind-neck ; fore-neck 
and chest light slaty blue like the mantle, with which it is con- 
tinuous ; on either side of the chest a broad vertical band of 
white, bordered above and below with purplish-black; re- 
mainder of under surface from the chest downwards dark 
smoky-brown, inclining to purplish-black on the sides of the 
vent and under tail-coverts ; sides of the body bright chestnut; 
axillaries and under wing-coverts smoky-brown, some of the 
latter with whitish edges ; bill dark leaden-blue, the nail lighter t 



32 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORV. 

feet brown, the webs of the toes blackish ; iris dark brown. 
Total length, 15^5 inches; culmen, ro; wing, 77; tail, 3*8; 
tarsus, 1-35. 

Adult Female. Totally different from the male. Uniform 
sooty-brown, darker brown on the lower back, rump, and 
upper tail-coverts ; wings plain sooty-brown, without any sign 
of a speculum ; head and neck sooty-brown, darker on the 
crown and lighter on the throat, and more chocolate-brown on 
the chest and sides of the body ; in front of the eye a dusky 
patch, above which is a spot of white ; lores and sides of face 
to the hinder level of the eye whitish, mottled with smoky- 
brown ; on the ear-coverts a spot of white ; breast whitish, 
mottled with dusky bases to the feathers ; the lower abdomen 
and under tail-coverts, as well as the axillaries and under wing- 
coverts, sooty-brown. Total length, 16*0 inches; culmen, ro; 
wing, 7-6; tail, 3-6; tarsus, 1-4. 

Young Males Resemble the old female, but are somewhat 
darker in colour. In their first spring plumage they show 
some white on the chin and throat, and have a browner 
abdomen than the adults, with less chestnut on the flanks and 
less white on the scapulars. 

Nestling. Dark brown, with a white spot on each wing, and 
another on each side of the rump ; underneath white, shaded 
with brown on the breast and flanks ; the throat white. 

Range in Great Britain. Of very rare occurrence in our islands, 
most of the records being extremely doubtful, some other 
species having been mistaken for the Harlequin. A specimen 
in Mr. Whitaker's collection was obtained from Scarborough 
in the autumn of 1862, and two others were shot near the 
Fame Islands in December, 1886. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Harlequin Duck is 
strictly an arctic species, nesting in the extreme north of both 
the Old and New Worlds. In North America it breeds as 
far south as Newfoundland, the Northern Rocky Mountains, 
and the Sierra Nevada, as far as 38 N. kit, according to 
Mr. Ridgway, wintering in the Middle States and the Ohio 
Valley, and being found in winter as far south as California, 
It is resident in Iceland and visits Greenland in summer, 



11lE HARLEQUIN DUCKS. 3 3 

and in Finland and near Archangel it is rare, though it has 
been said to breed in the Ural Mountains. In winter ti;e birds 
which have bred in Eastern Siberia go south as far as the 
Kurie Islands and Japan. 

Habits. Although found in large flocks off the arctic sea- 
coasts in winter, in summer the Harlequin Duck frequents 
torrents and rushing streams. Messrs. H. J. and C. E. Pear- 
son have given the following note on the bird in Iceland : 
"This species is one of the latest Ducks to breed, our first eggs 
being taken on July ist, and fresh eggs were brought to us on 

the 1 8th Flocks of more than thirty males were 

seen together on several occasions, and formed a beautiful 
picture, some sitting on the rocks, and others swimming among 
rapids that few other birds would care to frequent." 

N33t. "Generally speaking," write Messrs. Pearson, "the 
nest is placed within six feet of the water, a rapid stream being 
preferred. On the nth of July one of us visited some islands 
in a river, the remains of an ancient flow of lava. The lava had 
formed a dam across the river, which had afterwards broken 
through, forming four channels, and down these the waters ran 
l;ke a mill-race, so that it was difficult to find a place where 
even Iceland ponies could cross. On these islands were six 
nests with eggs, three of them only two feet from the water, 
and placed under the leaves of wild angelica, the others in 
holes of the banks close to the water, and protected by a 
screen of trailing plants. Many of the nests contained but 
little down, though several of the eggs were much incubated. 
The down of this Duck is much larger than that of most other 
species we have taken, individual pieces having sometimes a 
diameter of about i^ inch. There were many old nests in 
these holes, showing the islands to have been a favourite 
breeding-place for years. The dog put the Duck off a nest of 
seven eggs on the qth. This was placed about ten yards from 
the water, under a birch-bush, but we are sure (hat this is a 
very unusual distance from water." 

Eggs. From seven to ten in number; cream colour, smooth, 
and glossy. Axis, 2 '2-2 '4 inches ; diam., 17-1 75. 

Down. Light greyish-brown, with a smill white "eye" and 
whitish filamentous tips. 

1 1 n 



34 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

THE RUFOUS-BREASTED EIDER DUCKS. 
GENUS HENICONETTA. 

Eniconetta, G. R. Gray, List Gen. B. 1840, p. 75. 
Type, H. stelkri (Pall.). 

Although recognised as one of the Eider Ducks, and placed 
by many naturalists in the genus Somateria, Steller's Duck, 
which is the sole representative of the genus, possesses certain 
structural cha-acters which cause it to be placed in a genus 
apart. The edges of the upper mandible are bent inwardly, 
the lower mandible has the apical portion flat and almost 
spatulated, and both male and female have a metallic alar 
speculum (cf. Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 327). 

There is only one species of the genus Hcniconetta^ viz., the 
following : 

i. STELLER'S EIDER DUCK. HENICONETTA STELLERI. 

Anas stelkri, Pallas, Spic. Zool. fasc. vi. p. 35 (1769). 

Stelkria dispar, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 164 (1852). 

Somateria stelkri, Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 649, pi. 447 (1871); 

Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 468 (1885); Seebohm, 

Br. B. iii. p. 613 (1885) ; Saunders, Man. Br. B. p. 451 

(1889). 
Heniconetta stelkri, B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 133 (1883); Salvad. 

Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 419 (1895). 

Adult Male. General colour above blue-black, from the 
lower hind-neck to the tail, the latter being a'so black; wing- 
coverts and scapulars pure white, the long ones slightly sickle- 
shaped, metallic purplish-blue, with a longitudinal white centre ; 
bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills dusky-blackish, darker 
on the outer web and the end of the inner web, this dark por- 
tion having a purplish gloss ; the secondaries metallic-purple, 
tipped with white, form ng a speculum, the inner ones white 
on the inner web, the innermost sickle-shaped, purple exter- 
nally, white internally ; head satiny-white, with a faint greenish 
spot on the lores ; eyelid purplish-black, wider below ; nape 
greenish, with a purplish-black spot on each side ; malar-line 
and throat purplish-black, separated from the chest by a band 
of white across the fore-neck, which joins the white on the sides 



STELLER'S EIDER DUCK. 35 

of the neck ; centre of the chest and upper breast chestnut ; 
fore-neck and sides of the chest paler and more cinnamon, 
extending down the sides of the body to the lower flanks, 
which are whiter ; centre of the breast and abdomen, as well 
as the sides of the vent and under tail-coverts, black, the latter 
glossed with purple ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white ; 
on each side of the upper breast a patch of purplish-black, 
some of the feathers broadly-edged with this colour ; bill lead- 
colour, horny-white at tip ; feet and toes lead-colour, webs 
blackish-grey; iris dark brown. Total length, 17-0 inches; 
culmen, r6; wing, 8-3; tail, 3-5 ; tarsus, 1-4. 

Adult Female. Blackish above, mottled with rufous bars, very 
indistinct on the lower back and rump, but more pronounced 
on the hind-neck and mantle ; wings dark brown ; the greater 
coverts tipped with white, forming an upper margin to the 
speculum on the secondaries, which are externally metallic- 
purple, and broadly tipped with white ; the innermost second- 
aries slightly falcate, externally purple, and with a whitish 
streak down the centre ; head and neck rufous-brown, slightly 
mottled on the hind-neck and lower throat with rufous-buff; 
fore-neck and chest dark chestnut, mottled with black centres 
to the feathers ; breast and abdomen blackish-brown, the sides 
of the body slightly more chestnut ; under wing-coverts white, 
those round the edge of the wing blackish, with pale edges ; 
lower primary-coverts and quill-lining ashy-grey. Total length, 
iS'o inches; wing, 8*5. 

Young Birds. Brown, much paler than the adult female, the 
feathers of the upper surface margined with sandy-buff; the 
lower surface dull chestnut everywhere, mottled with blackish 
sub-terminal bars to the feathers; head brown; feathers round 
the eye whitish, with dusky streaks ; sides of face and throat 
dull buff, with dusky streaks and bars ; speculum as in the 
female, but black, with scarcely any gloss ; " bill dark blue ; 
feet and toes slaty-olive ; iris dark hazel " (E. W. Nelson}. 

Characters. Besides the generic characters given above, 
Steller's Eider may be easily recognised by its peculiar and 
striking coloration. The purple speculum present in both 
sexes, bordered above and below by a white band in the female, 
and the white head of the male with the green patch on the 

D 2 



36 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

lores, and the green patch on the nape, serve to distinguish the 
species. The female is very dark in colour, and sho\vs chest- 
nut mottlings on the upper back and again on the chest, the 
breast and abdomen being black. 

Range in Great Britain. Has only occurred twice within 
British limits, one having been shot near Caistor in Norfolk 
in February, 1830, while a second immature specimen was 
procured off Filey Brigg in Yorkshire on the i5th of August, 
1845. 

Range outside the British Islands. Steller's Eider Duck breeds 
plentifully along the arctic coast of Siberia east of the Taimyr 
Peninsula, and is abundant in the Aleutian Islands. It has 
also been found breeding on the Varanger Fjord in the north 
of Norway and in Russian Finland. In winter it is not un- 
common in the Baltic Sea, and has been obtained in Heli- 
goland, Denmark, and off the coasts of Northern France. The 
coasts and islands of Bering Sea, writes Mr. Nelson, "may 
be given as the eastern range of this fine Duck. Westward of 
these points it breeds in tens of thousands along the north 
coast of Siberia." It also inhabits the Aleutian and Kurile 
Islands in winter, frequenting the bays which are not ice- 
bound, as well as the shores of Alaska, but the species has not 
as yet been found breeding in the latter country. 

Habits. Steller's Eider is a marine Duck, and feeds chiefly 
on molluscs. It is said to be very shy, especially during the 
breeding-season, and deserts its nest, if the latter be meddled 
with. The note is said to be something like that of a Teal. 

Nest. Cup-shaped, according to Von Middendorf, and 
lined with down, and placed on moss on the flat tundra. Dall 
found ore in Unalaska, built between two tussocks of grass, 
and the depression carefully lined with the same material. It 
cc ntained only one egg, and had not been lined with down ; it 
was most carefully concealed by overhanging grasses. 

Eggs. Seven to nine in number, of a pale greenish stone- 
colour. Axis, 2*2 inches; diam., 1*55. 

Down. Very dull chocolate-brown, with a small white "eye" 
in th: centre, the filamentous tips being also brown. 



THE TRUE EIDER DUCKS. 37 

THE TRUE EIDER DUCKS. GENUS SOMATERIA. 

Somakria, Leach, in Ross's Voy. Disc. App.p. xlviii. (18 1 9). 

Type, S. mollissima (Linn). 

In this genus the edges of the upper mandible are not bent 
inwardly ; the lores are separated from the feathers of the fore- 
head by a bare space ; the bill is rather narrow and pointed, 
and the inner secondaries are slightly falcate, or sickle-shaped. 
(Cf. Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 327). 

There are four species of True Eiders, of which Somaleria 
drcsseri is North American ; S. v.-nigrum inhabits North-west- 
ern America and North-eastern Asia; S.spectabilis, North-eastern 
Europe and North America, occasionally visiting the British 
Islands, in parts of which the Common Eider is a resident. 

I. THE COMMON EIDER DUCK. SOMATERIA MOLLISSIMA. 

Anas mollissima, Linn. S. N. i. p. 198 (1766). 

Soinateria mollissima^ Macg. Br. B. v. p. 147 (1852); Dresser, 

B. Eur. vi. p. 629, pi. 445 (1871) ; B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 

134 (1883) ; Saunders, ed, Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 457 (1885)5 

Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 616 (1885); Saunders, Man. Br. 

B. p. 447 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxii. 

(1892); Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 425 (1895). 
(Plate LXH.) 

Adult Male. General colour above pure white, including the 
wing-coverts and scapulars and innermost secondaries, which 
are sickle-shaped ; centre of the rump and upper tail-coverts 
black ; tail blackish ; bastard-wing, primary and greater coverts, 
and quills black, the latter with paler shafts ; the inner second- 
aries with a good deal of white on the inner web, where they 
adjoin the sickle- -haped feathers; crown of head velvety pur- 
plish-black, this black extending below the eye and above the 
lores along the bare portion of the mandible ; the hinder 
crown divided by a broad streak of white, tinged with green ; 
the nape and sides c-f the hind head behind the ear-coverts 
green, with a white patch in the centre of the latter portion ; 
entire sides of face and throat white, joining the white of 
the hind-neck and mantle ; fore-neck and chest delicate pink, 
the lower feathers fringed with black at the ends, where they 



38 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

adjoin the breast, which, with the rest of the under surface 
of the body, is black ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white ; 
quill-lining grey ; bill dull olive-green, almost olive-yellow in 
old birds ; nail brownish-white ; feet light olive-green, the claws 
brownish-black ; iris brown. Total length, 23 inches ; culmen, 
2'i ; wing, ii'o ; tail, 3*6; tarsus, 2*0. 

Adult Female. Brown above, mottled with blackish centres to 
the feathers and with rufous bars, the feathers being edged with 
this colour; the head and neck everywhere thickly streaked 
with blackish ; wing-coverts brown, the greater series tipped 
with ashy-whitish, forming a wing-bar ; quills brown, the 
secondaries ashy-whitish externally, with a dark brown base, 
forming a second wing-bar ; under surface of body lighter 
brown, with fulvescent cross-bars, the chest slightly more 
rufescent, and barred with black, the flanks more broadly 
banded with rufous and black ; under wing-coverts brown, a 
few of the centre ones white ; bill and feet as in the male. 

Young Males. Brown like the females, but much darker and 
more uniform, with the light margins to the feathers very in- 
distinct ; the greater coverts and secondaries narrowly tipped 
with white, forming two obsolete wing-bars ; the sides of the 
head blackish in the males and brown in the females ; throat 
ashy-brown ; remainder of under surface of body pale brown, 
with numerous whitish cross-lines, which are brought into relief 
by dusky sub-terminal bars. 

In the breeding-season the males assume a hen-like plumage, 
which, according to Count Salvadori, is like that of the young 
male, but generally shows some white and black feathers re- 
maining. 

Nestling. Dark brown above, pale brown below, with a 
broad streak over each eye. 

Range in Great Britain. The breeding-range of the Common 
Eider Duck lies to the north of the British Islands, from the 
Fame Islands and the coast of Northumberland north to the 
Orkneys and Shetland Isles. It is also on the increase in the 
western islands of Scotland, but is unknown as a breeding-bird 
in Ireland, where, indeed, it is only a rare visitor. In the 
winter it is met with off the coast of England. 



THE EIDER DUCK. 39 

Eange outside the British Islands. The Eider Duck, on account 
of its usefulness in providing the material for quilts, is, in the 
northern countries of Europe, under the special protection of 
the law, and it is found nesting on the islands off the coast of 
Norway and Denmark, as well as in the Faeroes and Iceland. 
To the northward it occurs in Spitsbergen and Franz Josef 
Land, and extends eastward to the Kara Sea and westward to 
the Coppermine River. In America the Common Eider is 
considered to be represented by a distinct race, which Mr. 
Ridg way 'distinguishes as S. mollissiina borealis ; it is said by 
him to be an inhabitant of Eastern North America, includ- 
ing Greenland, ranging south to Northern Labrador in sum- 
mer and to the northern border of the United States in 
winter. Count Salvadori, however, cannot detect any material 
difference in the Greenland Eider, as it is called, and I at pre- 
sent agree with him, from a study of the specimens in the 
British Museum. Mr. Ridgway, however, states that North 
American specimens have the bill orange-yellowish in life, 
instead of dull greyish. If this coloration proves to be con- 
stant, Mr. Ridgway will have proved his point, and the 
American Eider will have to be separated as S. borealis. 

Habits. The Common Eider Duck is practically a resi- 
dent species in the places which it frequents, and occurs 
only accidentally away from them, when driven by stress of 
weather. The females are entrusted with the care of the 
young, the males taking themselves off, and associating in 
large flocks on the sea. 

Mr. Seebohm, who has studied the habits of the species on 
the Fame Islands, writes : " No bird is more maritime in its 
habits than the Eider. It rarely, if ever, leaves the sea, and 
seldom flies over the land, always preferring to follow the 
coast-line rather than cross even a narrow headland. . . . 
It loves to frequent precipitous islands and small uninhabited 
sea-girt rocks, breeding on them, and obtaining its food in the 
surrounding sea. It is more or less gregarious at all times, 
but collects into much larger flocks in winter than in summer. 
Sometimes it is met with at a considerable distance from land, 
and when undergoing its annual change of feathers it usually 
keeps well out at sea, as if fully aware of its helplessness and 



40 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

danger. It is a day-feeder, and appears to spend the night on 
the land. ... It lives almost exclusively on small crus- 
taceans, marine insects, and shell- fish, and crabs, often of con- 
siderable size, are swallowed whole. . . . The note of the 
Eider is a harsh grating kr-kr-kr ; but when courting his 
mate the male utters a harsh loud cooing sound, like ah-oo, as 
he swims round and round her, and repeatedly moves his head 
up and down." 

Nest. Sometimes only a depression in the ground, thickly 
lined with the bird's own down. At the Fames, says Mr. 
Seebohm, " most of the Eider Ducks make their nests among 
the bladder-campion, which grows in great profusion on some 
of the islands, but some of the birds seek nesting-sites in the 

clefts of the rocks close to the water Where the 

bird is common, especially where it is protected for commer- 
cial purposes, great numbers of nests are placed almost side 
by side, and in some cases two females share the same abode, 
sitting amicably on their eggs. The nest of the Eider is a 
substantial structure made of dry grass, heather, bits of sea- 
weed, and stalks of campion and other marine herbage. The 
lining of down is gradually added when the full complement of 
eggs is almost completed." 

Mr. Robert Read writes to me : " The Duck will sometimes 
sit so closely on its nest that it can be touched by hand, but 
when suddenly disturbed from the rest, it usually discharges 
over the eggs a most offensive-smelling liquid excrement. This 
is almost enough to prevent any human being from touching 
the eggs ; and one can imagine that it must be of gieat protec- 
tive value in acting as a strong deterrent to stoats, hoodies, and 
other vermin from sucking the eggs. Although this habit is 
not peculiar to the Eider, one probably notices it most in this 
species of Duck, because the other species are not so easily 
approached, but leave the nest earlier, and so have time to 
cover up their eggs with down, and protect them in that way." 

Eggs. From five to eight in number, of a greenish stone- 
colour. Axis, 2*9-3'25 inches; diam., i'g-2'i. 

Down. Not so dark as in some of the other diving Ducks, 
of a light brown colour, with the filamentous tips scarcely any 
paler, the "eye" of white in the centre dull and indistinct. 






THE KING EIDER DUCK. 41 

II. THE KING EIDER. SOMATERIA SPECTABILIS. 

Anas spectabilis, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 195 (1766). 
^omateria spectabilis^ Macg. Brit. B. v. p. 158 (1852) ; Dresser, 
B. Eur. vii. p. 643, pi. 446 (1877) ; B. O. U. List Br. B. 
p. 134 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 463 
(1885); Seebohm, Brit. B. iii. p. 621 (1885); Saunders, 
Man. Brit. B. p. 449 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. 
part xxx. (1895) ; Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 432 
(1895)- 

Adult Male. General colour above black, the scapulars and 
wing-coverts with a patch of white in the middle of the lesser 
and median series, the greater coverts with a small white spot 
at the end ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills black, 
the secondaries tipped with white, the innermost sickle-shaped ; 
on each side of the rump a large patch of white ; upper tail- 
coverts and tail b'ack ; crown of head and nape and sides 
of the hinder head delicate lavender-grey ; the hind-neck and 
upper mantle pure white ; at the base of the bill a velvety- 
black spot, continued round the bare loral space and reaching 
nearly to the eye, and descending nearly to the base of the 
mandible; sides of face delicate green, separated from the 
lavender grey of the sides of the neck by a narrow band of 
white, margined by a few black lines ; fore-pai t of lores and 
cheeks whiter ; throat white, with a V-shaped mark of black ; 
fore-neck creamy-buff; rei-t of under surface from the chest 
downwards black ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white, with 
the coverts round the edge of the wing dusky-brown, with 
whitish spots at the ends ; quill-lining ashy ; bill with the base 
of the upper mandible spread out into a shield on each side, 
reddish-orange ; feet orange-red, the membrane darker ; iris 
yellow. Total length, 24 inches; culmen, 1*4; wing, 107; 
tail, 2 '8; tarsus, 1-8. 

Adult Female. Rufous, mottled with black centres to the 
feathers ; the head and neck streaked with blackish ; wing- 
coverts blackish, with rufous edgings to the lesser and median 
series, the inner greater coverts with white tips, forming a 
small band ; the innermost secondaries slightly sickle-shaped, 
blackish edged with rufous ; quills black, a few of the second- 
aries fringed with white at the ends; tail brown; threat 



4 2 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

rufous, like the sides of the face ; fore-neck, chest, and sides of 
body more chestnut, with concentric black bars ; centre of 
breast and abdomen sooty-blackish, the under tail-coverts 
more rufous ; under wing-coverts dusky, with a patch of white 
in the centre ; bill greenish-brown ; feet dull ochre ; iris dull 
yellow. Total length, 21 inches; wing, io'5. 

Characters. The King Eider can always be distinguished by 
the way in which the anterior point of the feathering on the 
forehead reaches as far as the hinder end of the nostrils ; the 
throat has a V-shaped mark. In the males the base of the 
upper mandible is enlarged on each side so as to form a broad 
naked lobe. The female is much more rufous than that of 
the Common Eider, and can be distinguished by the characters 
of the feathering on the bill. 

Range in Great Britain. The King Eider can only be con- 
sidered a rare visitor to our coasts, and has principally been 
noticed off the Fame Islands, doubtless lured to stay there by 
the presence of the Common Eider Ducks, which are resident 
on the group. Several have been observed off the coast of 
Scotland, particularly in the Orkneys and Shetland Isles, and 
in England a few individuals have been procured, chiefly on 
the east coast. I have seen one specimen from Ireland, an 
immature bird having been submitted to me by Mr. Sheridan, 
who shot it near Achill Island, and two other Irish specimens 
have been recorded. 

Range outside the British Islands. The King Eider is a strictly 
arctic bird, breeding in Kolguev, Novaya Zemlya, and in the 
northern lands of Siberia to Bering Sea. It is not yet known to 
breed in Iceland or the Faeroes, or in Spitsbergen or Scandinavia, 
though it occasionally occurs in winter in these localities, and 
has also been found at intervals on the coasts of the North Sea 
and the Baltic. In North America it is known as a breeding 
bird, not only in Greenland, but nearly as far north as man has 
yet penetrated, and as far south as the Province of Quebec in 
Canada, coming further in winter to the Great Lakes and New 
Jersey, and being found occasionally as far south as Cali- 
fornia. 

Habits. Colonel Feilden, in his notes on the birds of the 
North Polar basin, says that King Eiders were first noticed on 



THE SCOTERS. 43 

the 24th of June, and that they bred in small numbers on 
Cape Union. In Alaska, Mr. Nelson says, it is very seldom 
found on the mainland, and generally on the sea, but on the 
Siberian side of Bering Straits it is more common, and asso- 
ciates in immense flocks with Steller's Eider Duck. In its 
general habits the present species resembles the Common 
Eider. 

Nest. Resembles that of the Common Eider Duck, but is 
generally less compact, and often consists of a mere depression 
in the ground, the lining being composed of the bird's own 
down. 

Eggs. Generally six in number, of a greenish stone-colour 
or clay-brown. Axis, 2-55-2-8 inches ; diam., 175-1-9. 

THE SCOTERS. GENUS CEDEMIA. 
Oidemia, Fleming, Phil. Zool. ii. p. 260 (1822). 

The Scoters belong to the same section of the Diving Ducks 
as the Long-tailed Duck and the Harlequin, but are chiefly dis- 
tinguished by their black plumage, which is quite peculiar to 
them, the females being also greyish-brown without any barring, 
as is seen in most of the Anatidce. They are entirely marine 
in their habits, and are of sombre plumage. 

Six species of Scoters are recognised by Count Salvador!, all 
of them arctic birds in the breeding-season, going south in 
winter. They are inhabitants of the northern parts of both 
hemispheres. 

I. THE COMMON SCOTER. CEDEMIA NIGRA. 

Anas nigra, Linn. S. N. i. p. 196 (1766). 

Oidemia nigra, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 140 (1852). 

(Edemia nigra, Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 663, pi. 449 (1877); 

B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 135 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. 

Br. B. iv. p. 472 (1885) ; id. Man. Br. B. p. 453 (1889) ; 

Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xii. (1892) ; Salvad. Cat. B. 

Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 401 (1895). 
Fuligula nigra, Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 602 (1885). 

Adult Male. Black all over, the head glossed with dark purple 
and the back with greenish ; under surface of body somewhat 
duller black, and having a slight shade of brown ; bill black, 



with a swollen knob near the base, the region round the nostrils 
yellow ; feet brownish-black, the webs darker ; iris dark brown. 
Total length, 20 inches; oilmen, 1*8; wing, 9-0; tail, 3*5; tar- 
sus, i*6. 

Adiilt Female. Duller in colour than the male, dark brown, 
with light edges to the feathers of the under-parts, which are 
paler ; bill dull black, with only a slight swelling near the base, 
but no distinct bulb ; the sides of the face and throat paler, 
dull white, with obscure tips of dull brown to the feathers. 
Total length, 18 inches; culmen, 17; wing, 7*6; tail, 2'6$ ; 
tarsus, i '6 5. 

Young Birds. Resemble the old female, but are more uniform 
in colour above, and have the breast and abdomen white. 
Young males are at first brown like the old female, and pass 
their first winter in the brown plumage, moulting into a black 
dress in the following spring. 

Nestling. Uniform dark brown above ; throat white ; breast 
brown; abdomen greyish- brown ; bill blackish lead-colour; feet 
olivaceous. 

Characters. The male Common Scoter is distinguished by its 
entirely black colour, by the yellow patch on its bill, and by 
the swollen knob on the latter. The female has the chin and 
throat whitish, but has no white on the wing-speculum or on 
the nape. 

Range in Great Britain. A common winter visitor to our coasts 
in autumn and winter, when it is found in thousands. A few 
may be seen in summer, and the species is said to have bred in 
Earnsley Marshes, near Chichester, of recent years. Mr. Chas. 
Fowler shot a drake in August, 1891, which was accompanied 
by seven nestlings just able to fly, and the specimen in ques- 
tion was exhibited by Mr. Howard Saunders at a meeting of 
the British Ornithologists' Club on the iSth of January, 1893. 
This is the only probable instance of the breeding of the Scoter 
in England, but it nests regularly in the north of Scotland, in 
Caithness, Sutherland, and north-west Ross-shire. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Common Scoter nests in 
the Northern Pakearctic Region from Icel ind to Scandinavia, 
Northern Russia and Siberia as far as the Taimyr Peninsula. 



THE SCOTERS. 45 

In winter it extends on the west along the shores of the Atlan- 
tic, reaching to the Azores and for some little distance into the 
Mediterranean, occurring very rarely on the coasts of Provence 
and Italy. In the Eastern Mediterranean, however, it has been 
observed off the coast of Palestine, but the birds which winter 
here probably form part of the migration which populates the 
Caspian Sea in winter. In America our Common Scoter is 
replaced by the American Scoter (CE. americana), which is easily 
distinguished by having the basal half of the upper mandible, 
including the knob, of a light yellow, with a scarlet-vermilion 
tinge on the sides. . 

Habits. Although sometimes occurring inland, the Scoter is 
essentially a marine Duck, and it is seen in immense flocks in 
winter off our eastern coasts, as well as in the north of Ireland, 
keeping at a safe distance out to sea, unless driven into the 
bays by stress of weather. Thousands may often be seen on 
a crossing to Holland or Belgium, off the mouths of the Maas 
or the Scheldt. The Scoter is a very powerful swimmer and 
diver, and I remember an expedition which I made in Novem- 
ber, 1893, with my friends F. J. Jackson and Frank Stone, after 
the Scoters in Holkham Bay in Norfolk. There were several 
boats engaged in sailing round the flocks, while we had decoys 
out in every direction, whose wooden heads bobbed up and 
down in the water with a most lifelike motion, but the result 
of the bag was very small. Although we managed to break up 
the flocks somewhat, the birds became very wild, and swam 
and dived out to sea quicker than the boats could sail. 

Mr. Seebohm believes that numbers of the Scoters which go 
north in summer do not breed, as he found large flocks fre- 
quenting the mouth of the Petchora, on the banks of which 
river other individuals were busily engaged wiih the duties of 
incubation. He writes : " In the valley of the Petchora flocks 
of Black Scoters were seen flying north down the river long 
after other Ducks had eggs. In the middle of July we were 
lying at anchor in the lagoon of the river, waiting for the dis- 
appearance of the fog which had come down from the arctic 
ice and concealed the Golievsky Islands which divide the 
lagoon from the ocean. The sun was shining brilliantly over- 
head, and when the fog lifted the island was revealed close to 



46 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

us with a flock of ten thousand Black Ducks circling in a cloud 
o\erit. It seems scarcely possible that these were all males 
whose mates were scattered on the nests over the tundra. 
More probably they were the accumulation of the late flocks 
that we had seen migrating down the river, and which most 
likely consisted of the previous year's birds not yet adult enough 
to breed. They appear to arrive at their summer quarters very 
late, and to leave again very early, probably before the autumn 
moult takes place. If this be so, it will explain the statement 
of Naumann that the adult males arrive in the Baltic in August, 
but the young not until two months later; and also that of Mr. 
Cecil Smith, who found them on the Devonshire coast moult- 
ing their quills and unable to fly in the middle of September. 
. . The usual note of the Common Scoter is a grating 
kr-kr-kr like that of the Tufted Duck, but in early spring the 
drake calls to the duck in a double note which is not unmu- 
sical. It is a bird of very rapid flight, especially on migration, 
but on the ground it walks clumsily. It swims with perfect 
ease, and obtains most of its food by diving. The food con- 
sists of molluscs and aquatic insects, varied with the seeds of 
water-plants and other vegetable substances." 

Nest. A hollow scooped in the ground, with a few twigs, 
dead leaves, and dry grass, but plentifully lined with down. 

Eggs. Eight or nine in number, of a light creamy stone- 
colour, smooth, and with a slight gloss. Axis, 2*4-27 inches; 
diam., I'j-rSs. 

Down. Chocolate-brown, with a decidedly large "eye" of 
white ; the filamentous tips to the down lighter and more ashy- 
brown. 

II. THE VELVET SCOTER. CEDEMIA FUSCA. 

Anas fused) Linn. S. N. i. p. 196 (1766). 

Oidemia fused) Macg. Br. B. v. p. 134 (1852). 

(Edemia fusca, Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 657, pi. 448 (1877); B. 

O. U. List Br. B. p. 135 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. 

B. iv. p. 476 (1885); id. Man. Br. B. p. 455 (1889); 

Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxii. (1892) ; Salvad. Cat. B. 

Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 406 (189^). 
Fuligula fusai) Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 605 (1885). 



THE SCOTERS. 47 

Adult Male. Velvety-black all over, with a white alar specu- 
lum formed by the tips of the greater coverts being white, as 
well as the secondary-quills ; eyelids and a small spot under 
the eye white ; bill pale orange or apricot-yellow, the base and 
edges black, with a diagonal line of black running from each 
nostril to the nail of the bill ; feet and toes dull crimson-red or 
orange-red, the webs black ; iris chalky-white. Total length, 
22 inches ; oilmen, 1*7; wing, 10*4; tail, 27; tarsus, 1*8. 

There is some discrepancy between the descriptions of the 
soft parts of this Duck. I have given them as described by 
Count Salvadori and Mr. Howard Saunders. 

Adult Female. Brown, instead of black, with greyish margins 
to the feathers of the upper surface ; wing-coverts like the back, 
the greater series not tipped with white ; a white wing-speculum 
formed by the white secondaries, the outer ones of which are 
edged with black at the ends ; a slightly indicated white patch 
on the lores and ear-coverts ; under surface of body brown, 
with a little whitish on the breast ; bill brown ; feet paler than 
in the male; iris brown. Total length, 21 inches; wing, io - 2. 

Young Birds. At first resemble the adult female. The young 
males in their first spring plumage resemble the adults, but are 
not so glossy. 

Nestling. May be distinguished from the nestling of the 
Common Scoter by being whiter underneath and by having a 
white spot on the wings. 

Characters. Besides the white alar speculum, the length of 
the commissure or gape of the bill is much more than the 
length of the inner toe, without its claw. Count Salvadori also 
points out that the feathers of the head advance farther for- 
ward on the lores than they do on the forehead. On account 
of these differences the Velvet Scoter is sometimes generically 
separated from the others as Melanonetta fusca. 

Kange in Great Britain. A winter visitant, along with the Com- 
mon Scoter, being more abundant on our eastern coasts than 
on the west, and the same is the case with Scotland and 
Ireland. A male bird has been recorded by Mr. Bolam as 
having frequented the vicinity of Berwick-on-Tweed all the 
summer of 1879, until the middle of September, and Mr. Booth 



4 LLOYDS NAttfRAL HtSTORV. 

believed that a few pairs bred in the northern parts of the 
Highlands of Scotland, but this still requires confirmation. 

Range outside the British Islands. An inhabitant of Scandinavia 
during the breeding-season, and it is said by Naumann to ne^t 
as far south as Mecklenburg. Its breeding-range probably 
extends throughout Siberia to the Pacific, and on its southern 
migrations it has been known to occur off the coast of North- 
ern Spain, and it visits the Adriatic, the Black and Caspian 
Seas, as well as Turkes'an, while in the far east it wanders to 
the Yangtze River in winter. In America it is replaced by an 
allied species, (E. deglandi, which has the swollen base at the 
sides of the upper mandible entirely feathered, and the loral 
feathers are separated from the nostril by a space about equal 
to the length of the nostril itself. 

Habits. During the nesting-season the Velvet Scoter ascends 
rivers and also breeds on inland lakes, nesting, according to 
Mr. Seebohm, on the tund.a at some distance from water ; in 
winter it frequents the sea-coasts. Its habits are somewhat less 
shy than those of the Common Scoter, and its food consists 
principally of molluscs, which it procures by diving. Its note 
is, like that of other diving Ducks, a harsh ker-ker. 

Nest. According to Mr. Seebohm, a mere depression in the 
ground, lined with any suitable material that may be handy, 
and with a plentiful supply of down. 

Eggs. Eight or nine in number, laid at the end of June 
or the beginning of July ; their colour is creamy stone-colour 
or buff. Axis, 2'65-3'o inches; diam., i - 85-i'95. 

Down. Moderately dark, brown with greyish-brown filament- 
ous tips, the white eye-spot very small and indistinct. 

III. THE SURF SCOTER. CEDEMIA PERSPICILLATA. 

Anas perspicillata, Linn. S. N. i. p. 201 (1766). 

Oidemia pesspirillata, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 129 (1852). 

ps.rspici'lata, Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 669, pi. 450 
(1877) ; B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 136 (1883); Saunders, 
ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 481 (1885) ; id. Man. Br. B. p 457, 
(1889 ; Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p c 412 (1095). 



THE SCOTERS. 49 

Fuligula ptrspicillata, Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 607 (1885). 

(Plate LXIIL) 

Adult Male. Larger than (E.fusca or (E. nigra; velvety-bin civ, 
with a large, nearly quadrangular patch of white on the crown, 
and another triangular white patch on the nape ; bill reddish 
in life, the base swollen and marked on each side with a large 
black spot ; feet crimson externally, the inner side of the tarsus 
with both sides of the inner toe orange-chrome, deepening in 
parts to orange- vermilion ; web black, the joints with blotches 
of black; iris white. Total length, 21 inches; culmen, 1*55; 
wing, 9-3; tail, 3-1 ; tarsus, r6. 

Count Salvador! states that in some birds, apparently quite 
adult, the white patch on the crown is absent. A careful de- 
scription of the colour of the bill and feet is given by Mr. 
Trumbull in the "Auk," Vol. ix. pp. 153-160. 

Adult Female. Brown above and below, whiter in the centre 
of the breast and abdomen ; feathers of the back with indistinct 
ashy-brown edges ; crown of head and nape blackish, as also 
the lores and sides of face, with a slight indication of a whitish 
patch below the eye, and another, more distinct, above the ear- 
coverts. Total length, 18 inches; wing, 8-4. 

Young Birds. At first resemble the old female, but the head 
has two distinct white patches, one near the lateral base of 
the bill, and the other over the ear-coverts, behind and below 
the eye ; the crown decidedly blackish ; the upper plumage 
also, according to Count Salvador!, is more uniform than in the 
adult female. Young males in their first full plumage are also 
like the latter, but have traces of white on the nape. Young 
females have the breast and abdomen white during the first 
autumn. Young males in putting on their black plumage 
soon develop the white nape-spot, but the white patch on 
the crown comes later. 

Characters. In the Surf Scoter there is no white speculum in 
the wing, the feathers of the head advance much farther 
on the forehead than they do on the lores, and the swollen 
portion on the sides of the bill at the base is entirely naked 
(Salvador!). The Surf Scoter, on account of these characters, 
is sometimes placed in a distinct genus, Pelior.clta. 

\ I E 



50 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Range in Great Britain. The present species is an inhabitant 
of North America, but has occurred many times in our seas, 
principally on the western coasts in winter, the most frequent 
locality for the species being the Orkney Islands. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Surf Scoter is an oc- 
casional visitor to the shores of Western Europe, besides the 
British Islands, having been obtained off Northern France, as 
well as the coast of Swedish Lapland, and near Oland in the 
Baltic, as well as in Heligoland waters. In North America it 
breeds throughout the high north, from 70 down to about 
50 N. lat., visiting the Great Lakes in winter, and extends to 
Lower California in the west, and to the Bermudas and to 
Jamaica in its eastern winter range. It is recorded only as a 
straggler in Greenland. 

Habits. Like the Velvet Scoter, the present species follows 
many land routes in arriving at its winter quarters, but it also 
frequents the sea-coasts, where it associates with other kinds of 
Ducks, such as Long-tailed Ducks, and the other species of 
Scoter. During the breeding-season the males assemble in 
flocks, and separate from the females, and leave to the latter 
the task of rearing the young. Mr. E. W. Nelson says that in 
Alaska, " during the mating-season, they have a low clear whistle 
for a call-note, and may readily be decoyed within gun-shot 
by imitating it from a * blind.' They are very curious also at 
this time, and I have seen a flock rise and come up within a 
few yards of me as I was trying to creep up within gun-shot of 
them." He also gives the following interesting note : " On the 
23rd of August, 1878, I visited Stewart Island, about ten miles 
to the seaward of St. Michael's. As I neared this island in my 
kyak, I found the water literally black with the males of this 
species, which were united in an enormous flock, forming a 
continuous band around the outer end of the island for a dis- 
tance of about ten miles in length, and from one half to three- 
fourths of a mile in width. As the boat approached them, 
those nearest began to rise heavily by aid of wings and feet 
from the glassy surface of the gently undulating but calm 
water. The first to rise communicated the alarm to those 
beyond, until, as far as could be seen, the water was covered 






THE SMEWS. 51 

with flapping wings, and the air filled with a roar like that of a 
cataract. The rapid vibrations produc ed in the air by tens of 
thousands of wings cauld be plainly felt." 

Nest. Placed in a depression of the ground, or in a tuft of 
grass ; made of weeds, or moss, twigs, and water-plants. 

Eggs. From five to eight in number. They resemble those 
of the Black Scoter and the Velvet Scoter, but are smaller. 
Slightly greenish cream-colour. Axis, 2-4 inches; diam., r6. 

THE MERGANSERS. SUB-FAMILY MERGING. 

The members of this Sub-family constitute a small, but very 
natural group of the Diving Ducks. They have the hind- 
toe with a very broad lobe, as is usual in this group of the 
Family Anatida. They have only an ordinary tail, not the 
stiffened tail of their natural allies, the American Torrent- 
Ducks (Merganctta\ nor the Old World EHsmatura, but the 
bill is remarkable, as the lower mandible shows no trace of 
lamellae ; but it has a series of serrations, like teeth, on its upper 
edge, and these are also found along the edge of the upper 
mandible. These look like teeth, but they are not real teeth, 
as in the case of ancient birds like Archceopteryx and 
Hesperornis. This is easily proved by an examination of the 
skull, for, the sheath of the bill being removed, it is seen that 
the margins of both mandibles are perfectly smooth, and bear 
no trace of serrations or teeth. 

THE SMEWS. GENUS MERGUS. 

Mergits, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 207 (1766). 

Type, M. albellus, Linn. 

The Smews are represented by a single species, which be- 
comes, of course, its type. It is easily recognised from the 
other Mergansers by its short bill, the culmen, or ridge, of 
which is shorter than the tarsus of the bird. 

Mergus is a Palaearctic genus, the Smew breeding in the 
high north, and wandering south in winter. 

E 2 



52 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

I. THE SMEW. MERGUS ALBELLUS. 

Mergus albelhiS) Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 209 (1766) ; Macg. Br. 
B. v. p. 233 (1852) ; Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 699, pis. 
454, 455 (i374); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 137 (1883); 
Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 449 (1885); Seebohm, 
Br. B. iii. p. 636 (1885); Saunders, Man. Br. B. p. 463 
(1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xiv. (1891) ; Salvad. 
Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 464 (1895). 

Adult Male. General colour black and white ; the black part . 
on the upper surface being the following a patch embracing 
the lores n.nd fore-part of cheeks, and extending to behind the 
eye. a black crescentic mark round the nape, the centre of the 
back, and mantle, to which extend two narrow lines of black, 
one on the sides of the fore-neck and another on the sides of 
the upper breast ; rump and upper tail-coverts grey, with hoary 
margins ; scapulars white, with a black border to the outer 
ones, forming a line on each side of the back ; wing-coverts 
white, the inner ones and those round the bend of the wing 
black; the greater coverts black, with white tips, forming a 
wing-band ; quills black, the secondaries tipped with white, the 
inner ones grey and slightly narrowed, the outer ones more or 
less white ; tail-feathers grey, with hoary tips ; entire under 
surface of body white, the flank-feathers more ashy, lanceolate, 
and having wavy bars of ashy-brown ; under wing-coverts 
dusky-blackish, the central ones and the axillaries white ; bill 
bluish lead-colour, the nail lighter; feet bright bluish lead- 
colour, the webs darker; iris bluish-white. Total length, 17 
inches; culmen, 1-2; wing, 7-6; tail, 2-9; tarsus, 1-25. 

Adult Female. Differs from the male in being grey above, 
with paler ashy margins to the feathers ; the lower back, rump, 
and upper tail-coverts darker and somewhat blackish; wing- 
coverts grey, with a patch of white in the middle, the wings 
otherwise as in the male ; crown of head and nape dull rufous, 
as also the lores and sides of face ; entire under surface of 
body white, with an ashy shade on the lower throat and fore- 
neck, the sides of the body also ashy-brown. Total length, 16 
inches; culmen, i'i ; wing, 6*8; tail, 2-65; tarsus, n. 

Young Males. At first resemble the old female, but have the 
lores and sides of face rufous, like the head. These are the 



THZ SMEWS. 53 

first parts to get black, and the white markings on the upper 
surface are assumed in their first spring, though a male bird 
killed by Consul Swinhoe near Shanghai in February is still 
in the female plumage, but has an entirely black loral 
patch. 

Nestlings. These are described by Count Salvador! as being 
dark brown, with a very small white spot below the eye. 
There are also white spots an the posterior edge of the wing, 
on ih 2 sides of the back, just near the joint of the wing, the 
sides of the rump, and on the flanks. The under surface of 
the body is white, the throat and upper part of the neck con- 
spicuously so ; the crop dusky. 

Range in Great Britain. It is rare to find a fully adult male 
Smew in collections of British-killed birds, as the old birds are 
seldom killed, but young ones are not unfrequently captured. 
The species is a winter visitor only, rarer on our western coast.s, 
but occurring with more or less frequency in all three kingdoms. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The Smew is a thoroughly 
Palsearctic species, and breeds in the high north from Finnish 
Lapland across Northern Russia and Siberia. In winter it 
visits Great Britain and the Atlantic coasts of Western Europe, 
and migrates south by the great river-routes till it reaches the 
Mediterranean, North-western India, and it extends at this 
season of the year to Japan and China. Its reported occur- 
rence in Eastern North America requires confirmation, and 
it is not known from the Fseroes, Iceland, or Greenland. 

Habits. The first recorded instance of the finding of the 
eggs of the Smew is to the credit of our enterprising country 
man, the late John Wolley, the discoverer of the eggs of so 
many rare European birds. They were procured by him in 
Finnish Lapland. 

Years afterwards the celebrated expedition to the Petchora 
by Messrs. Seebohm and Harvie-Brown made us better ac- 
quainted with the nesting-habits of the bird. Mr. Seebohm 
observes : " A few miles to the south of the Arctic Circle, in 
the valley of the Petchora, b'es the small town of Haberiki, con- 
taining about a dozen houses. The timber for about a mile 
round has been cleared, but beyond the country consists of 
alternate lake, swamp, and forest. Grand old pines and larches, 



54 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

with stems three or four feet in diameter, conceal charming 
little alder- and willow-fringed pools, and fallen trunks, covered 
with moss and lichen, provide excellent cover for watching the 
Ducks swimming fearlessly in these little paradises. The Smew 
is the greatest ornament of these picturesque little spots, but is 
not quite so common as Teal, Wigeon, and Pin-tail. We did 
not succeed in taking the nest of the Smew, but having com- 
missioned some of the villagers to bring us eggs and down of 
Ducks, we were delighted to receive a clutch of what looked 
like Wigeon's eggs with pale grey down. The man who 
brought it knew the bird well, and told us that he had taken 
the eggs from a hollow tree." 

Describing the habits of the Smew in winter, Mr. Hume 
writes: "They are eminently gregarious, and are always to be 
seen in flocks of from seven to forty, and rarely in smaller or 
larger parties than from about a dozen to about twenty. 
Large rivers like the Indus (I have never seen them on the 
Jumna or Ganges), or large lakes covering twenty square miles 
and upwards of country, are what they chiefly affect ; and on 
these, even though shot at repeatedly, they will remain for 
months. I have, however, in unfrequented localities, occa- 
sionally seen them on ordinary good-sized jhils, covering, per- 
haps, barely a single square mile, but these they desert directly 
they are at all worried. 

"* They swim and dive splendidly, and if only a single boat 
is after them they will constantly stick to the water even after 
being fired at, rising perhaps at the moment, but dropping within 
fifty yards, and instantly diving to re-appear from fifty to a 
hundred yards beyond the place at which they vanished. They 
come up scattered, but all swim converging on one point, and 
in a few minutes they are swimming away in a close lump, just 
as before you fired. But if two or three boats hem them in they 
generally rise, and if the place is small, disappear if large, circk 
round and light again a couple of miles off. They spring out of 
the water with ease, and fly with great rapidity, quite as quickly 
and easily as the Common Teal, but almost silently, and with 
less of a perceptible wing-rustle than any species I know. This 
is probably due to their very narrow, pointed, somewhat curved 
wings, by which they can be instantly recognised when flying. 
They are very active, restless birds, almost always swimming 



THE HOODED MERGANSERS. 55 

and diving. I have never seen one on land, but I once saw a 
number asleep on the water about mid- day in March. 

"They feed entirely under water. I have examined many 
without ever finding any vegetable matter in their gizzards, or 
anything but small fish and water-insects, chiefly a kind of 
cricket (?), and these they pursue under water with great 
rapidity, as may be guessed by watching in clear water a hard- 
pressed, slightly- winged bird : when turning, it dives under the 
boat. No Duck can touch them at diving ; even Grebes and 
Cormorants, and I have watched both perform the same 
manoeuvre, are scarcely so rapid in their movements under 
water. They use their wings in diving, though they do not 
spread them fully, so that you must not judge of their per- 
formance by birds with wings injured above the carpal joint, 
but where the injury is merely on the carpus, sufficient to 
prevent flight, but not otherwise serious, their diving is a thing 
to watch." 

Nest. Placed in a hollow tree. 

Eggs. Seven or eight in number, and scarcely to be told 
from those of the Wigeon. Mr. Seebohm says that they can 
be distinguished by their heavier weight, and Wolley also 
found that they were of a smoother texture. They are creamy 
white in colour. Axis, i -9-2-1 inches ; diam., 1-45-1-55. 

Down. Very pale, ashy-white and much mixed with tiny 
scraps of wood from the interior of the tree in which the nest 
is placed. The filamentous tips to the down are also ashy- 
white, and there is an indistinct white " eye "-spot. 

THE HOODED MERGANSERS. GENUS LOPHODYTES. 

Lophodytes, Reichenb. Av. Syst. Nat. p. ix. (1852). 

Type, L. eucullatus (Linn.). 

Count Salvador! separates the Hooded Mergansers from the 
True Mergansers on account of the form of the serrations in 
the bill. In both mandibles these are short and blunt, and 
are not distinctly inclined backwards at the tips. The genus 
Lophodytts is distinguished from the Smew by having the tar- 
sus shorter than the culmen. 



56 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

I. THE HOODED MERGANSER. LOPHODYTES CUCULLATUS. 

Mergus cucullatus, Linn. S, st. Nat. i. p. 207 (176 5) ; B. O. U. 
List Br. B p. 137 (1883); Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 633 
(1885); Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 509 (1885) ; ed. 
Man. Br. B. p. 485 (1889). 

Merganser cucullatuS) Macg. Br. B. v. p. 225 (1852). 

Lophodyies cucullatus, Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 4^8 



Adult Male. General colour above black, with a beautiful 
semicircular crest on the head ; the anterior part of this crest 
black, the posterior half white, tipped wiih black, the white 
overspreading the hinder part of the crown and the ear- 
coverts ; scapulars and wing-coverts black, those near the 
bend of the wing brown and the outer median coverts drab, 
forming a large patch on the wing ; greater coverts black, 
tipped with white ; quills dark brown, the secondaries blackish 
internally, white externally, forming a speculum; the inner 
secondaries black and slightly sickle-shaped, most of them 
with a median streak of white down the feather; rump and 
upper tail -coverts rather browner than the rest of the back ; 
tail ashy ; lores, sides -of face, and throat black ; remainder of 
under surface from the fore-neck downwards pure white, 
stretching backwards in a half collar on the sides of the 
neck, and separated by black on the sides of the chest from 
a second crescentic band of white on the sides of the upper 
breast, the feathers being tipped with black ; sides of body 
and flanks ruddy-brown, inclining to chestnut on the latter, 
with numerous fine wavy lines of dusky-blackish ; under tail- 
coverts white, freckled with grey ; axillaries and central under 
wing-coverts white, those round the edge of the wing dusky- 
brown ; bill black ; feet yellowish-brown ; iris bright yellow. 
Total length, 18-5 inches; culmen, i'6; wing, 7*5; tail, 3*6; 
tarsus, 1*3. 

Adult Female. Smaller than the male, but nearly as fully 
crested. General colour dark brown, the head and neck 
lighter and more ashy-brown, the fore-neck more decidedly 
ashy ; lores, upper throat, and a shade across the sides of the 
head ashy- whitish ; crown brown, the crest being dull rufous, 
whitish ai the ends of the feathers ; wings dark brown, the 



THE HOODED MERGANSERS. 57 

inner greater coverts with white tips, the inner secondaries 
white along their outer webs, forming a small speculum, the 
innermost secondaries white down the centre ; under surface 
of body white, the sides of the body brown, more ashy on the 
sides of the upper breast ; bill and feet as in the male, but not 
so bright. Total length, 23 inches ; wing, 7-3. 

Young Males. Resemble the old female and have a rufous 
crest, but this is smaller and less developed, and has not the 
hoary whitish ends to the feathers ; the crown, sides of the 
face, and throat are dark brown, interspersed generally with a 
few black feathers ; some of the flank-feathers are also rufous, 
with black cross-bars, much coarser than in the adult male. 

Range in Great Eritaia. Very few authenticated instances of 
the occurrence of the Hooded Merganser are on record, 
though it is indubitable that this North American species is an 
occasional visitant to our coasts. As might have been ex- 
pected, the species has chiefly occurred off the shores of Ireland, 
where Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey says that he has himself killed 
three specimens. 

Range outside the British Islands. That the present species is 
only an accidental visitor to Europe is proved by the fact that, 
beyond the British specimens, not a single instance of the 
occurrence of the Hooded Merganser on other coasts of 
Europe has been recorded. It is strictly a North American 
species, wandering south in winter to Mexico and the Greater 
Antilles. 

Habits. Like all the Mergansers, the present species is nn 
expert diver. In its habits it does not differ from its allies, 
being shy daring the breeding-season, and colleciing in flocks 
in th^ winter. 

ITest. Placed in a hollow tree or hollow r of a fallen log, the 
nest consisting merely of a little dry grass, and plentifully 
lined with down. 

Eggs. Five to eight in number. The first thing that strikes 
the observer is their curious roundness. In colour they are 
white or ivory-white. Axis, 2'o-2'2$ inches; diam., 1*65-1 8 

Down. Very pale grey. 



58 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

THE TRUE MERGANSERS. GENUS MERGANSER. 

Merganser^ Briss. Orn. vi. p. 230 (1760). 
Type, M. merganser (Linn.). 

Like the preceding genus, the Mergansers have the culmen, 
or ridge of the bill, longer than the tarsus, and, according to 
Count Salvadori, the serrations on both mandibles are very 
conspicuous and tooth-like, and are strongly directed back- 
wards at the tips. 

The range of the genus is very peculiar, for while it is princi- 
pally a northern form, isolated species occur in the southern 
hemisphere, such as M. brasilianus, an inhabitant of South- 
eastern Brazil, and M. australis, confined to the Auckland 
Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. 

I. THE GOOSANDER. MERGANSER MERGANSER. 

Mergus merganser. Linn. Syst. Nat, i. p. 208 (1766) ; Dresser, 
B. Eur. vi. p. 685, pi. 452 (1875); B. O. U, List Br. B. 
p. 136 (1883) ; Seeb. Br. B. iii. p. 625 (1885); Saunders, 
ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 488 (1885); id. Man. Br. B. p. 459 
(1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxiii. (1893). 

Merganser castor, Macg. Br. B. v. p. 207 (1852); Salvad. Cat. 
B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 472 (1895). 

Adult Male. General colour above black and white, the sca- 
pulars and mantle being black, extending a little on to the hind- 
neck ; back dark slaty-grey, as also the rump and upper tail- 
coverts ; the sides of the rump ashy-whitish, with fine dusky 
frecklings ; wing-coverts pure white, the greater series with 
concealed black bases ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and 
quills black, the inner primaries with a little whitish near the 
end of the inner web, like the primary-coverts; secondaries 
white, the inner ones bordered with black, the innermost 
somewhat sickle-shaped, and black like the scapulars ; tail 
slaty-grey ; head and throat black, \vith a green gloss, not so 
distinct on the sides of the face and throat ; neck all round 
and the under surface of the body from the lower throat 
downwards white, with a delicate tinge of pale salmon-colour, 
more distinct in the breeding-season ; bill deep vermilion, 
black nlong the culmen and on the nail ; feet vermilion ; his 






THE MERGANSERS. 59 

reddish-brown. Total length, 2 7 inches; culmen, 2-3; wing, 
1 1'2 ; tail, 4-2 ; tarsus, 2'o. 

Adult Female. Different from the male. Above slaty-grey, 
with dusky-blackish shaft-stripes to the feathers, the grey ex- 
tending up the hind-neck, the head, crest, and upper neck 
being rufous, rather browner on the crown; the chin and 
upper throat white ; the under surface of the body from the 
lower throat downwards white, washed with slaty-grey on the 
sides of the body, the flank-feathers being mottled with grey 
bars; wing-coverts grey, like the back; the greater coverts 
tipped with white, before which is a sub-terminal shade of 
black ; quills as in the male, but the secondaries white with a 
concealed dusky base, the inner secondaries grey, like the 
back; tail dark slaty-grey; bill and feet c loured as in the 
male, but rather duller. Total length, 24 inches; culmen, 1*9; 
wing, 9-4; tail, 3*8; tarsus, 17. 

Young Males. Resemble the old females, but may generally 
be distinguished by the appearance of a few black feathers on 
the white chin or on the lower throat. One specimen in the 
British Museum shows distinct traces of wavy vermiculations 
on the flank-feathers. 

Eange in Great Britain. This species is chiefly a winter visitor 
of the coasts of the British Islands. It breeds, however, in the 
Highlands of Scotland. In Ireland, as in most parts of England, 
it is only noted as a winter visitor. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The Goosander is a False- 
arctic species, and breeds in the north of Europe through 
Siberia to the Pacific, nesting in suitable localities even in 
Central Europe and in the Ural and Volga districts, while it 
is also found breeding in certain parts of Switzerland. In 
winter it visits most of the Atlantic coasts of Europe, the 
Mediterranean, and the inland waters of South-eastern Europe 
and the Caspian. At the same season it wanders to Japan 
and China. In North America it is represented by an allied 
species, M. americanus (Cass.), while the Goosander of 
Central Asia and the Himalayas is considered by Count 
Salvador! to be a distinct species, M. coinahis. This is a 
smaller bird, with a prominent crest formed of the long and 



60 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

attenuated feathers of the hind-part of the head. The female 
is even more distinct than the male, and has the head of a dull 
pale rufous-colour, instead of chestnut, with some grey on the 
fore-part of the crown. 

Hal/its. The Goosander breeds rather early for a northern 
bird, the eggs being laid at the end of April in Denmark, but 
in some northern localities they are found from the middle of 
May to the middle of June. 

Of its habits Mr. Seebohn writes : "The backward position 
of the legs of the Goosander makes it look something like a 
Cormorant on the ground, and causes it to walk clumsily, but en- 
ables it to dive with facility and swim with ease, whilst its long 
win^s give it great power of flight. It is said that it can remain 
for two minutes under water, and it sometimes reappears at a 
distance of fifty paces from the place where it plunged below 
the surface. It feeds almost entirely on fish, which its serrated 
jaws enable it to grasp with certainty, and it has been known 
to capture examples nearly six inches long. Water-insects and 
molluscs, and sometimes the remains of aquatic vegetation, 
are also found in its stomach. The Goosander is less of a 
marine Duck than most of the Diving Ducks, and appears to 
prefer rivers and small lakes to the sea-coast. It resembles 
the Diving Ducks in having a harsh note, not unlike the 
syllables karr-karr. The Goosander loves wild country, a 
comb'nation of forest, swamp, river, and rock, such as is 
usually to be found near the Arctic Circle or near the northern 
limit of the pine-regions of lofty mountain-ranges farther 
south." 

Nest. Mr. Robert Read writes to me: "Near Glasgow, in 
winter, 1 have counted over twenty Goosanders on a fresh-water 
loch, and have strong reasons for believing that the species 
may have bred there. A nest which I found in Perthshire 
was in the head of a hollow wych-elm tree in a steep wood 
sloping down to a large fresh- water loch. It contained twelve 
eggs of a huffish tint, the last laid being much paler than the 
others. It consisted simply of a mass of down of a pale 
lavender-colour, almost white, with which was mixed up a lot 
of chips and fine particles of rotten wood." 

Mr. Seebohm further writes : " The pale grey down of the 






THE MERGANSERS. 6 I 

Goosander points it out at once as one of the few species of 
Ducks which breed in holes, those which breed in the open 
having always dark down. The favourite nesting-place of the 
Goosander is in a hollow tree-trunk, but in localities where 
such sites are not plentiful, it shows considerable fertility of re- 
source and capability of adaptation to circumstances in choos- 
ing the best substitute. On these occasions, however, it often 
displays more wit than wisdom. As the House-Martin has 
discovered that under the eaves of a roof a better shelter for 
its nest is to be found than under an overhanging cliff, so the 
Goosander immediately avails itself of the wooden boxes 
which the Finns fasten up in the trees to tempt them. These 
boxes, or " holkar," are made with a trap door behind, so that 
the peasant may daily rob the nest, and thus make the too- 
confiding bird lay a score or more eggs before the wary man 
thinks it prudent to cease his depredations, and allow the 
Goosander to sit upon the rest for fear of spoiling his next 
year's harvest. If these boxes be not provided, and no hollow 
trees are available, the Goosander finds a hole under a rock or 
a. cleft in the cliff, and has been known to utilise the old nest 
of a crow or bird of prey in a tree or the top of a pollard- 
willow." 

Eggs. From eight to twelve in number, of a creamy-buff 
colour. Axis, 2-5-2-9 inches ; diam., i -8-1-9. 

Down. Pale grey. 

II. THE RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. MERGANSER SERRATOR. 

Mergus serrator. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 208 (1766); Dresser, 

B. Eur. vi. p. 693, pi. 453 (1874); B. O. U. List Br. B. 

p. 136 (1883); Seebohm, Br. B. iii. p. 629 (1885); 

Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. p. 494 (1885); id. Man. Br. 

B. p. 461 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxi. 

(1892); Salvad. Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 479 (1895). 
Merganser serrator, Macg. Brit. B. v. p. 216 (1852). 

(Plate LXIV.) 

Adult Male. General colour above black over the mantle, 
back, and scapulars, the outer of which are white, forming 
a broad longitudinal band down each side of the back ; lower 
back, rump, and upper tail-coverts ashy-grey, densely freckled 



62 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

with wavy bars of dusky-black ; wing-coverts for the most 
part white, those round the edge of the wing black ; greater 
coverts black at the base, white for their terminal half; bastard- 
wing, primary-coverts, and quills black, the secondaries white 
with black bases, the inner ones white, with a narrow external 
border of b!ack ; head all round purplish-black, with a crest 
of narrow hair-like feathers, the sides of the crown and neck 
glossed with green; the neck all round white, forming a collar, 
with a narrow line of black from the nape to the mantle ; the 
sides of the hind-neck vinous-chestnut, mottled with black 
edges to the feathers, this chestnut colour extending across 
the fore-neck ; remainder of under surface of body white from 
the chest downwards ; sides of the chest black, the feathers 
with a large white mark on the inner web, forming an orna- 
mental patch ; sides of the body ashy-grey, freckled with 
dusky vermiculations and cross-lines; axillaries and under 
wing-coverts white, the coverts round the edge of the wing 
dusky-brown ; quill-lining ashy ; bill bright vermilion, the nail 
black, and the ridge of the upper mandible dusky; feet bright 
vermilion; iris bright red. Total length, 22 inches; culmen, 
2-4; wing, 9-9; tail, 3-5; tarsus, r6. 

Adult Female. Different from the male. Dusky-brown above, 
with ashy margins to the feathers ; wing-coverts ashy-brown, 
with the greater wing-coverts and secondary quills as in the 
male, white with black bases, but the inner secondaries brown 
instead of white ; crown of head dingy-brown, as also the 
occipital crest plumes ; sides of the face and sides of neck 
dull rufous or reddish-brown, slightly paler and more vinous 
on the throat ; the chin whitish ; remainder of under surface 
of body from the lower throat downwards white; the sides of 
the body ashy-brown, with greyish edges to the feathers ; axil- 
laries and under wing-coverts white, those near the edge of the 
wing dusky-brown ; bill and feet as in the male, but duller in 
colour. Total length, 21 inches; wing, 87. 

Young Males. At first resemble the female, but have a some- 
what shorter crest. In their first spring they appear to develop 
the full characters of the adult bird, but retain for some time 
the rufous face and neck of the female plumage. 

Nestling. Dark brown above, white below, with brown on 



THE MERGANSERS. 63 

the lower flanks; three twin spots on the back, one pair behind 
the wing, another on each side of the lower back, and another 
on each side of the rump ; head more reddish-brown ; cheeks 
and a streak below the eye white; the ear-coverts and eyebrow 
rufous, this colour extending down the sides of the neck ; 
from behind the eye a streak of dark brown. 

Characters. The Red-breasted Merganser is a smaller bird 
than the Goosander, and the male is distinguished by its 
rufous fore-neck and by the grey frecklings on the lower back 
and the wavy bars on the sides of the body, as well as by the 
white markings on the ornamental black patch at the sides of 
the upper breast. The females resemble each other more, but 
the smaller size of the Red-breasted Merganser and its browner 
colour distinguish it. The Goosander is altogether more grey, 
especially on the flanks, which are dark brown in the Red- 
breasted Merganser. In the female of the latter, moreover, 
the black bases to the white secondaries are more prominent, 
and the inner secondaries are margined with black. 

Range in Great Britain. The present species nests in Scotland 
and Ireland, but is only a winter visitor to the coasts of Eng- 
land, and is very seldom found inland. In the north and west 
of Scotland it breeds on the inland lochs as well as on the 
coasts and in the Hebrides, the Orkneys, and Shetlands. In 
Ireland, says Mr. R. J. Ussher, "it breeds, often in consider- 
able numbers, chiefly on islands in lakes and estuaries, in 
Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Westmeath, Louth, Tipperary, 
Kerry, Clare, Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo, and Leitrim. 
Next to the Wild Duck and Teal, this is the commonest 
breeding Duck in Ireland." 

Range outside the British Islands. The Red-breasted Merganser 
breeds throughout the northern portions of both hemisphere; 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and wanders south in winter 
to the United States and the Bermudas. In the Old World 
it is found in winter throughout the Mediterranean, the Black 
Sea, and the Caspian, and in the east it visits China and Japan ; 
but though it is found on the Persian Gulf in winter, it 
appears to visit India but rarely, as it has only been recorded 
twice, in each case from Sind. 

. Like its relations, the Red-breasted Merganser is a 



64 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

<S 

good swimmer and diver, and in many of its actions resembles 
a Cormorant, especially in the way in which it rises in the 
water and " dips " when diving, and also in the habit of bring, 
ing the fish to the surface in order to swallow it. Its flight is 
strong and powerful, and the rapid motion of the wings pro- 
duces a distinct whistling noise. Its food consists chiefly of 
fish, but it also eats Crustacea and shell-fish. In winter the 
Mergansers assemble in parties, and even in the breeding- 
season several nests are found close together. 

Nest. Always placed in a sheltered situation and well con- 
cealed. Mr. Seebohm truly says that it likes to make its 
nest on an island wherever it is possible, and only breeds on 
the mainland in secluded districts. It prefers shelter of 
some kind, such as that of a large rock, or even rabbit- 
burrows or crevices in walls, as observed by Saxby in Shet- 
land. The latter also says that a favourite place is in a hollow 
at the foot of a dry bank, where it is concealed by the over- 
hinging herbage. The nest itself is a hollow in the ground, 
lined with a little grass, dead leaves, or heather ; but some- 
times the down from the bird's body constitutes the only 
lining. Mr. Robert Read sends me the following note : " The 
nest of the Red-breasted Merganser is nearly always placed 
on a rocky island with heather or wood-rush (L. sylvatica) 
growing among the boulders or on the shallow soil. The 
nest is usually placed between the boulders, or under a small 
tree, but sometimes in the heather in the open. I have twice 
found the nest under the overhanging bough of a spruce-fir 
close to the water's edge, the nest simply consisting of a 
hollow scraped amongst the fallen fir-needles, and lined with 
smoky-coloured down. On one nest, containing ten ego;s, the 
old bird sat so closely that I was able to focus her with my 
camera, though she flew off before the picture was taken. 
The eggs in this case were only very slightly incubated. 

Eggs. From six to nine in number, but sometimes as many 
as ten, or even twelve ; of an olive stone-colour to creamy-buff 
Axis, 2-45-2-65 inches; diam., 1*7-1 '8. 

Down. Greyish-brown, with an "eye" of dull white and 
hoary filamentous tips. 



THE HERONS. 65 

THE HERONS, STORKS, AND IBISES. 
ORDER ARDEIFORMES. 

These birds are very closely allied, as any naturalist must 
admit. They are all wading birds, and were classed of old 
in the Order Grallatores. In all of them the palate is desmog- 
riathous, or " bridged," and there are no basipterygoid processes. 
The nestlings are downy, and the young are fed in the nest by 
the parents for some time after they are hatched. 

Four families are represented, the Herons (Ardcida\ the 
Shoe-bills (Balcenicipitidce) of the Upper Nile, the Hammer- 
heads (Scopida] of Africa generally, and the Storks (Ciamiufa). 
The Ibises, which have a schizorhinal nostril, will be treated 
of farther on. 



THE HERONS. SUB-ORDER ARDEJE. 

In these the hind-toe is on the same plane as the other toes, 
and is not elevated above their level, as in the Storks. 



THE TRUE HERONS. FAMILY ARDEID^. 

The Herons constitute one of the most natural families of 
birds, and the various genera are well marked. The True 
Herons have a long thin bill with a distinct ridge, but no hook 
at the end. The outer toe has a distinct web near the base, 
but this web is scarcely perceptible at the base of the inner 
toe. On the breast are some curious downy patches, called 
" powder-downs," and the middle claw is combed, or " pecti- 
nated," like the claw of the Barn-Owl (Vol. ii. p. 106) or of the 
Night-Jar. 

The curiously-shaped bills of the Shoe-bill (Balceniceps) and 
the Hammer-head (Scopus) distinguish these from other families 
of Herons, in addition to other remarkable characters. The 
Shoe-bills have powder-down patches, the Hammer-heads none, 

II F 



66 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

and there are other distinctive characteristics which do not here 
particularly concern us, as the representatives of these families 
are purely African. 

THE PURPLE HERONS. GENUS PHOYX. 

Phoyx, Stejneger, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. x. p. 311 (1887). 

Type, P. purpurea (Linn.). 

The Purple Herons are remarkable for their long toes, which 
differ from those of all other Herons. They have twelve tail- 
feathers, thus differing from the Bitterns, which have only ten, 
and the middle toe is very long, in fact equal to the tarsus 
in length. The hind-claw is very large and powerful, and is 
nearly straight, with a very slight curve. 

I. THE PURPLE HERON. PHOYX PURPUREA. 

Ardea purpurea, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 236 (1766); Macgill. 

Brit. B. iv. p. 453 (1852); Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 217, pi. 

396 (1875); Seebohm, Brit. B. ii. p. 473 (1885); Saun- 

ders, ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iv. p. 172 (1885); id. Man. Brit. 

B. p. 357 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xi. 

(1889). 
Phoyx purpurea, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvi. p. 60. 

(Plate LXV.} 

Adult Male. General colour above dark slaty-grey, with the 
scapulars and inner secondaries elongated and composed of 
rufous and hoary-grey plumes ; wing-coverts light slaty-grey, 
the lesser series inclining to maroon-brown ; quills black, the 
secondaries externally greyer and glossed with olive-green, the 
inner ones almost entirely grey ; tail grey ; head crested, black, 
and having two long black feathers depending from the nape ; 
sides of face and sides of neck bright chestnut, with a black 
line running from the base of the bill across the ear-coverts and 
uniting on the nape and extending down half of the hind-neck, 
which is slaty-grey ; a second black line starting from the base 
of the bill and extending down the sides of the neck, where it 
forms a broad band ; cheeks, throat, and fore-neck white, with 
some black streaks in the centre of the lower throat, these 
streaks becoming larger on the fore-neck ; on each side of the 



THE PURPLE HERON. 67 

latter a patch of drooping plumes, which are slaty-grey, the 
longer ones white at their ends ; on each side of the chest a 
patch of maroon-chestnut plumes ; breast and abdomen slaty- 
black ; sides of body slaty-grey ; thighs pale cinnamon ; under 
wing-coverts chestnut ; axillaries and quill-lining slaty-grey, 
with a wash of rufous on the former ; bill brownish-black, the 
lower mandible brownish-yellow, the tip yellow ; cere greenish- 
yellow ; tarsi and feet black on their exterior face, brownish- 
yellow behind ; bare part of thigh yellow ; iris pale yellow. 
Total length, 30 inches; culmen, 4*8; wing, 14*3; tail, 5'o; 
tarsus, 5*2. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but not so brightly 
coloured, with the black ornamental plumes on the nape 
shorter. Total length, 30 inches; wing, 13-2. 

Winter Plumage. The black nape-plumes are absent, and the 
ornamental grey plumes of the back and scapulars and on the 
fore-neck are much less developed. 

Young Birds. Much browner than the adults, all the feathers 
of the upper surface being edged with sandy-buff; the reddish 
scapular-plumes very short and feebly developed; the inner 
secondaries strongly glossed with oily-green, with sandy-buff mar- 
gins ; neck yellowish-buff, with a slight tinge of chestnut ; lower 
throat and fore-neck streaked with dusky-brown, the latter 
more broadly ; forehead blackish, the hinder crown dull chest- 
nut; sides of face uniform yellowish-buff; cheeks and upper 
throat white ; sides of breast reddish-buff, mottled with grey 
bases to the feathers ; centre of breast and abdomen buffy- 
white, streaked with dusky. 

Range in Great Britain. Mr. Howard Saunders estimates that 
/icarly fifty examples, mostly young birds, of the present 
species have been obtained in the British Islands. As might 
have been expected, these occurrences have mostly taken place 
on our eastern coasts, and less frequently in the south. Only 
one example has been obtained in Ireland, a bird having been 
killed at Carrickmacross in 1834, and but three Scottish records 
are known, namely, from Caithness and Aberdeenshire more 
than forty years ago, while a young female specimen, shot near 
Prestonpans in October, 1872, is in the collection of Mr. 

F 2 



68 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

William Evans. Two examples in the National Collection, in 
full breeding-plumage, doubtless had a Dutch origin. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Purple Heron nests in 
suitable localities throughout Central and Southern Europe, 
and as far north as Holland. It is likewise a resident in Egypt, 
but also passes in winter down the Nile Valley to Abyssinia, 
and even to South Africa, where, moreover, it also breeds. Its 
eastern range is not known with exactitude, but it is probably 
the present species which breeds in Central Asia, as it certainly 
winters on the Persian Gulf, having been found at Fao by Mr. 
W. D. Gumming. In India, however, it is represented by an 
allied species, Phoyx manillensis, which has the fore-part of the 
throat and neck uniform rufous, without any black streaks. 
This form extends from the Indian Peninsula and Ceylon east- 
wards to Burma and Southern China up to the river Yangtze, 
and visits the Philippines, Borneo, and Celebes on its winter 
migrations. 

Habits. The Purple Heron is a frequenter of marshy grounds, 
where it loves to skulk among the reed-beds, and it is altogether 
less in evidence than the Common Heron. I made its ac- 
quaintance in the Hansag marshes in Hungary, and obtained 
three clutches of its eggs, but the birds were difficult to flush, 
and seemed to hide themselves as much as possible, till the 
approach of many boats caused them at last to take wing, but 
they did not return to their nests and complain like the Night- 
Herons. They feed largely on fish, and are said to be more 
active at night-time, resting during the day in the peculiar 
way that Herons have, standing perfectly motionless with 
their long necks stretched out, in an apparently uncomfortable 
position. They also devour frogs and small rodents as well as 
water-insects and their larvae. 

Nest. In Europe a flimsy structure of reeds, a few of which 
are placed upon rushes which are bent down to form a nest. 
It is sometimes close to the ground in shallow water, but as 
often it is built upon reeds where the water is deep. In 
Ceylon, Colonel Legge has found the species nesting in trees 
along with the Great White Heron. 

Eggs. From three to five in number, of a greenish blue 
colour. Axis, 2-1-2-4 inches; diam., 1*45- 1*7 




r 



THE GREY HERONS. 69 

THE GREY HERONS. GENUS ARDEA. 

Ardea, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 283 (1766). 

Type, A. cinerea t Linn. 

In the genus Ardea the tail-feathers are twelve in number, 
but the middle toe is not so long as in Phoyx, the tarsus being 
longer than the middle toe and claw combined. The claw on 
the hallux, or hind-toe, is curved and is not half so long as the 
hallux itself. The edges of the mandibles are distinctly serrated 
and there is a faint trace of a notch just before the tip of the 
upper mandible. This notch, however, is often obsolete. 

I. THE COMMON HERON. ARDEA CINEREA. 

Ardea cinerea^ Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 266 (1766); Macg. Br. 
B. iv. p. 440 (1852) ; Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 207, pi. 395 
(1875) ; B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 107 (1883) ; Seebohm, 
Br. B. ii. p. 468 (1884) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. 
p. 162 (1884); Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part viii. (1888); 
Saunders, Man. Br. B. p. 355 (1889): Sharpe, Cat B. 
Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 76. 

(Plate LX VI.} 

Adult Male. General colour above light ashy-grey, the sca- 
pulars and innermost secondaries elongated and drooping, 
forming ornamental plumes of pearly-grey or white ; wing- 
coverts grey, the outer ones lighter and inclining to pearly-grey 
or white; quills black, the secondaries externally grey, the 
inner ones like the back ; tail grey ; crown of head crested, 
white in the centre, with a broad band of purplish-black on 
each side ending in a crest on the occiput, from which de- 
pend two long drooping black plumes ; sides of face, neck, 
and under surface of body white, with a shade of creamy- 
lilac on each side of the fore-neck and chest, which have 
drooping plumes of narrow elongated white feathers; throat 
and fore neck streaked with black; on each side of the crop 
a large patch of purplish-black, continued along the sides of 
the body as far as the sides of the vent ; the sides of the 
body otherwise light ashy-grey ; thighs and under tail-coverts 
white ; under wing-coverts ashy-grey ; bill yellow, with the 
ridge of the upper mandible brown towards the end ; feet dull 



70 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

green ; tibia yellow ; claws black , bare loral space green; iris 
yellow. Total length, 30 inches; culmen, 5*1; wing, 18*0; tail, 
7-2 ; tarsus, 6 '8. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male and having the same 
ornamental plumes, but the nape-plumes are not so long as in 
the male, and the black on the side of the chest is not quite 
so pronounced. 

Young Birds. Differ from the adults in being duller and not 
so pure grey ; the head dark slate-colour, with a small crest of 
purplish-black ; neck, as well as the sides of the face and ear- 
coverts, ashy-grey ; cheeks and throat white ; neck dark slaty- 
grey, as also the sides of the body, under wing-coverts, and 
axillaries; lower throat, fore-neck, and chest very broadly 
streaked with black, especially on the throat, less markedly 
so on the fore-neck, and represented on the sides of the body 
by a few black streaks ; the black patch on the sides of the 
chest in the adults represented by a patch of dusky feathers, 
streaked with white ; a tinge of rust-colour on the bend of the 
wing, as well as on the black-streaked feathers of the throat 
and fore-neck. 

Nestling. A curious little creature, covered with greyish 
down, with very long and erect filamentous plumes of ashy- 
grey on the head. 

Range in Great Britain The Heron is found everywhere 
throughout the British Islands, and, owing to the protection 
afforded to it in those places where heronries still exist, it is 
able to hold its own, though the number of breeding-birds is 
less than in former times. In Ireland Mr. Ussher says that 
it breeds in every county, " sometimes in solitary nests, some- 
times in large heronries in trees, sometimes on the sea-cliffs, 
and where there are neither trees nor cliffs it has been known 
to breed in scrub or on the ground in islands in several lakes 
in Connemara." He has records of more than three hundred 
places in Ireland which are supposed to contain upwards of 
four or more nests. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Common Heron is an 
Old World species, and is almost universally distributed, but 
becomes much rarer in the east of its winter range, as it is not 



THE COMMON HERON. 7 1 

known from the Malay Peninsula, though it has occurred in 
Australia, and the British Museum has a Bornean specimen, 
procured at Baram Fort in Sarawak. It breeds throughout 
Europe and Asia south of about 60 N. lat., and migrates 
south in winter, visiting the Mediterranean countries and the 
African continent, though even in this southern habitat it also 
breeds in suitable localities. In India and China it likewise 
nests. 

Habits. Although a very shy bird as a rule, the habits of 
the Heron may be easily watched during the breeding-season, 
as will be seen from the interesting note given to me by Mr. 
Barrett-Hamilton. Young birds are more often procured than 
old ones, which are wary enough, but the young ones betake 
themselves to ponds and the edges of inland lakes, and on the 
sea-coast to the deep mud-gullies of our harbours, where it is 
often easy to stalk them. I have sometimes shot them under 
the latter circumstances with remains of down still adhering to 
the feathers of the crest. They are not uncommonly seen in the 
west of London, and sometimes pass quite low over my garden 
in Chiswick, on their way to a pond not two hundred yards 
from a road, though the birds are not allowed to alight without 
a severe mobbing from a pair of Jackdaws which nest in an 
elm-tree hard by. 

Mr. Barrett-Hamilton sends me the following note: "When 
protected, the Heron is not at all shy during the breeding- 
season, and I know of two or three heronries which are quite 
close to houses. Two of the nests in County Wexford are 
so close to a house that one can watch the birds with the 
greatest ease, and almost see into the nests. Occasionally the 
Herons are annoyed by the visits of Hooded Crows, and at 
such times the indignant Herons make a great clatter. I have 
seen a 'Hoody' sitting on the top of a spruce-tree watching 
the Herons, one of which would every now and then leave its 
perch and swoop round, when 'caa-caa-caa' would say the Crow, 
and start off in pursuit, and the ponderous Heron, being no 
match for his adversary in the air, would have to alight again 
to avoid his stoops. But when once he had done so, the Crow 
dare not touch him. Rooks, too, often annoy Herons at their 
breeding-places, and cause them to desert the latter. It is 



7* 

very interesting to watch a pair of Herons building their nest. 
One bird (presumably the female) stands on the nest, while 
the other goes away and collects sticks. These he brings in 
his mouth, and gives to his mate. The sticks are gathered on 
the ground, sometimes close to the tree in which is the nest, 
sometimes several hundred yards away. All sorts of sticks 
are collected. On approaching the nest the male, who is 
evidently very proud of his home and his mate, usually utters 
some loud croaks, at the same time straightening himself out in 
the air, and on alighting he sticks his crest bolt upright, all of 
which is no doubt for the delectation of the hen-bird. She 
gets up on her legs, which have been tucked in under her on 
the nest, takes the stick from him and arranges it. Then after 
a few minutes spent in preening his feathers, the cock goes off 
again, and the same routine is gone through. Apparently the 
male continues to bring sticks after incubation has commenced. 
Herons seem to make love to each other on their nesting- 
trees, and I have seen the male caressing the female on the nest. 
The nests are far from conspicuous for such large structures, 
even when the hen-bird is sitting, unless she shows the white 
part of her head. During incubation I have seen the birds 
change places on the eggs very neatly. One bird approached 
the nest, and just before it arrived the other, who was sitting 
on the eggs, glided off and left; the whole thing was done so 
quietly that it was almost as inconspicuous as if one bird had 
merely flown over the necr. Herons return to their nests early 
in January, but those pairs which have to build new nests 
naturally get their eggs laid later than those which have nests 
already built. The last young ones left on July 28th, 1891, 
and about the same time in 1892, but, after leaving the nest, 
they seemed to return for a few days to it every evening, prob- 
ably for the night." 

Nest. This is a large structure, usually built on trees, but 
where these are not available it is sometimes placed on cliffs 
or shrub-covered crags and ruins. Mr. Robert Read writes : 
" In an island off the west coast of Scotland I have found a 
colony of Herons nesting on low hawthorn-bushes. The bushes 
were very thick, and the nests about four feet in diameter, 
made externally of large sticks and lined internally with fine 
birch-twigs. The structure seemed to entirely cover the tops 



THE GREAT WHITE HERONS. 73 

of the bushes, so that it was exceedingly difficult to get up 
and look into them. The three eggs which nearly every nest 
contained looked almost lost in the middle of such a big plat- 
form. There was a considerable mess on the ground beneath 
each nest, from the birds dropping their excrement over the 
edge of the nest. In only one nest did I find as many as four 
eggs." 

Eggs. Three or four in number, of a greenish-blue colour. 
Axis, 2'i5-2'45 ; diam., r65-i*75. They vary somewhat in 
dimensions, and some are slightly paler blue than others. They 
are often laid in March in England, but a little later in Scotland, 
and in parts of Europe not till May and June. 

THE GREAT WHITE HERONS. GENUS HERODIAS. 

Herodias, Boie, Isis, 1822, p. 559. 

Type, H. egretta (Wilson). 

Though very much resembling the True Herons in structure, 
the Great White Herons may be distinguished by their snowy- 
white plumage and by having the edges of the mandibles not 
serrated, but a distinct sub-terminal notch is evident near the 
tip of the bill. The latter is long, as in most Herons, but the 
oilmen does not exceed the length of the middle toe and claw. 
There are no crest plumes, but all the species carry an enor- 
mous dorsal train during the breeding-season. 

It is extremely difficult to say how many species of Herodias 
exist. I have recently devoted much study to the Herons, 
which are very difficult birds to understand, and none are 
more so than the Egrets ; but I have come to the conclusion 
that there are three species of Great White Heron, of which the 
European species (H. alba) has a black bill in summer, while 
the American bird (PI, egretta} and the Chinese bird (If. timo- 
riensis) have yellow bills in summer. As, however, our own 
H. alba has a yellow bill in winter like the other two species, 
it is extremely difficult to recognise them apart at that season 
of the year, but the colour of the bare tibise may ultimately be 
found to be a character of worth. H. egretta has the tibia black 
like the tarsus, while //. alba and H. timoriensis have them 
light-coloured. 



74 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

I. THE GREAT WHITE HERON. HERODIAS ALBA. 

Ardea alba. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 239 (1766) ; Dresser, B. Eur. 
vi. p. 231, pi. 398 (1880); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 108 
(1883) ; Seebohm, Br. B. ii. p. 477 (1884) ; Saunders, ed. 
Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 177 (1884); id. Man. Br. B. p. 359 
(1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xx. (1891). 

Egretta alba, Macgill. Br. B. iv. p. 466 (1882). 

Herodias alba^ Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvii. p. 90. 

Adult Male Sno \v-white all over, with a dense dorsal train 
of elongated feathery plumes ; the feathers on the fore-neck and 
on the sides of the upper breast also largely developed, and 
forming a kind of pectoral shield ; bill black ; lores and orbits 
pale green ; tarsi and feet black, the tibia flesh-colour ; iris 
pale yellow or buffy-yellow. Total length, 44 inches ; culmen, 
5-5; wing, 15-8; tail, 6-5; tarsus, 7-75. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but the ornamental plumes 
not so dense or so long. 

Winter Plumage. Differs from the summer plumage in want- 
ing the ornamental plumes, and in having the bill yellow instead 
of black. 

Kange in Great Britain. About eight occurrences of the Great 
White Heron were admitted by Mr. Howard Saunders in 1889 
as being British. Of these, three were said to have been ob- 
tained in Yorkshire, one in Nottinghamshire, one in Oxford- 
shire, and another in Thorney Fen, in Cambridgeshire ; but 
the number is reduced by Mr. J. H. Gurney. In Scotland two 
examples have been noted : one in the Firth of Forth and one 
at Loch Katrine. Several of the above were killed in summer. 

Range outside the British Islands. According to my present 
conclusions, this species is only found from Southern Europe 
to Central Asia, wintering in Africa and in North India and 
Burma. Some of the specimens from the last-named provinces 
may, however, turn out to be H. timoriensis, which inhabits 
Japan and Northern China, and migrates to Australia through 
the Malayan Archipelago. 

Habits. I saw a pair of this beautiful Heron standing on the 
shores of the Danube on my journey from Vienna to Budapest, 
but I did not meet with it during my expeditions to the Hansag 






THE GREAT WHITE HERONS. 75 

marshes or to the Neusiedler Lake. Mr. Seebohm gives the 
following account of the species : " The habits of this graceful 
bird resemble those of the Common Heron in many respects. 
It delights to frequent the. outskirts of extensive swamps, the 
margins of rivers, and shallow weed-grown lakes, together with 
willow-thickets and other wooded country when it is flooded. 
It may frequently be seen in small parties of perhaps half a 
dozen individuals, walking sedately about mud-flats and low 
islands, or standing preening its brilliantly white plumage. It 
is a very conspicuous bird, and may be observed for half a mile 
or more ; consequently it is very wary, and seldom allows the 
observer to come near. It looks remarkably graceful as it walks 
slowly up and down the marshy banks of a stream or stands 
motionless, sometimes on one leg, in the water, patiently wait- 
ing for food. Its flight is moderately slow, performed by a 
series of regular flappings of the wings. It seems more buoyant 
in the air than the Common Heron, and looks more graceful. 
Its flight is often prolonged for a considerable distance, and the 
bird is very conspicuous as it flaps slowly over the dense waving 
reeds. The Great White Heron may be seen in little parties all 
through the breeding-season, and in winter it congregates into 
much larger flocks. It also mingles freely with other species 
of Herons, but its large size is always enough to distinguish it 
from its congeners. It does not appear to frequent the most 
secluded and almost impenetrable reeds like the Bittern, but 
haunts the little open spaces and the borders of the swamps, 
and is very fond of the tangled herbage on the banks of a 
stream. It often wades for some distance in the water, and 
seems as partial to running streams as to still lakes and 
ponds. 

"The food of the Great White Heron is principally composed 
of small fish, but great quantities of water-insects and their 
larvae, frogs, and small mammals are captured. The bird ap- 
pears to obtain the greater part, if not all, of its food in the 
day-time, but it may seek for it at night when the moon is at 
or near the full. The note is a harsh and deep bark, but it is 
only occasionally heard. The note of the young birds is de- 
scribed by Homeyer as kek, rapidly repeated." 

Lord Lilford says that in captivity it exhibits a spiteful and 
unfriendly spirit to companions of its own species and to other 



Herons, and in Epirus and the Ionian Islands, where he has 
procured the species, he found it much less wary than the 
Common Heron, nor did it show the skulking habits of the 
Purple Heron and some other members of the Family. As 
usual with Herons, the present species lives chiefly on fish, 
but also devours water-insects and small mice and rats. Lord 
Lilford says that during the heavy snowstorm of the i8th of 
May, 1891, one of his birds was observed " to devour several of 
the perishing Swallows and House-Martins, which incautiously 
fluttered within reach, in their vain search for their usual 
insect-food," 

Nest. A somewhat large structure, made of sticks, the lining 
consisting of smaller twigs. It is composed of dead rushes 
when it is built in swamps, and becomes trampled quite flat by 
the time the young have left the nest. This is repaired year 
after year. 

Eggs. These are four in number, of a greenish-blue colour, 
and not to be told from those of the Common or Purple 
Heron. Axis, 2*35-27 inches; diam., 1-7-175. 



THE LITTLE EGRETS. GENUS GARZETTA. 

Garzettdi Kaup, Natiirl. Syst p. 76 (1829). 

Type, G. garzetta (L.). 

The Little Egrets, while possessing the snowy plumage of 
the preceding genus, have a much longer and more slender 
bill in proportion to their size, and the culmen exceeds the 
length of the middle toe and claw. The tarsus is longer 
than the bill, and the dorsal train is very dense, and the long 
feathers are gracefully recurved. The head shows no absolute 
crest, but on the nape are some drooping white feathers, and on 
the chest there are also some lanceolate white plumes. Lord 
Lilford remarks that the Little Egrets erect their dorsal train 
when animated, which the species of Herodias never seem to 
do. 

There are only two species of the genus Garzetta, the Little 
Egret of Europe and Africa (G. garzetta\ which also extends 



PLATE LXYI1. 




LITTLE EGRET. 



THE LITTLE EGRETS. 77 

through Asia to China and Japan, and south to the Malay 
Peninsula and the Philippines. From Java, throughout the 
Moluccas to Australia, its place is taken by an allied species, 
G. nigripeS) which has the toes perfectly black. 



I. THE LITTLE EGRET. GARZETTA GARZETTA. 

Ardea garzetta, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 237 (1766); Dresser, B. 
Eur. vi. p. 239, pi. 399 (1880) ; B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 109 
(1883); Seebohm, Br. B. ii. p. 481 (1884); Saunders, ed. 
Yarr. 'Br. B. iv. p. 182 (1884); id. Man. Br. B. p. 361 
(1889); Liiford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxi. (1892). 

E^retta garzettii) Macg. Br. B. iv. p. 471 (1852). 

Garzetta garzetta, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvi. p. 119. 

(Plate LXVIL) 

Adult Male. Snowy-white above and below, with two elon- 
gated plumes drooping from the nape ; a dense dorsal train, 
consisting of beautiful elongated feathers of decomposed tex- 
ture, the long ones slightly recurved upwards at the ends ; 
from the fore-neck depend some elongated lanceolate plumes ; 
bill black ; the bare skin about the eye and the base of the 
bill whitish-buff; tibia and tarsus black, the feet greenish 
yellow, the joints of the toes above spotted with black ; iris 
pale ashy-yellow, with an outer circle of brownish-red. Total 
length, about 20 inches; culmen, 3*3; wing, 10*5; tail, 2*75; 
tarsus, 37. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but with the ornamental 
plumes somewhat less developed. Total length, 22*5 inches; 
culmen, 3-45; wing, 11-3; tail, 3-9; tarsus, 375. 

; Winter Plumage. White, as in summer, but lacking the orna- 
mental plumes on the nape and chest, as well as the dorsal 
train. 

Young Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the adults. 

Range in Great Britain. Only one specimen seems authentic- 
ally to have been established as having occurred in England, 
an adult bird killed at Countess Weir on the Exe on the 3rd of 
June, 1870; though Mr. Howard Saunders thinks that a second 



7 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

bird said to have been procured in Sussex may also be an 
authentic instance. In any case, the Little Egret is one of 
our very rarest visitors. 

Range outside the British Islands. Rare in Holland, Germany, 
and the north of France, and not wandering beyond the Baltic. 
In the Mediterranean countries it is more abundant, and ex- 
tends into central Europe to Sclavonia and Hungary, while it 
breeds pretty commonly along the Lower Danube, From the 
Black Sea and the Caspian its range extends to India and 
Ceylon, the Burmese countries, China, and Japan. It seems 
to be found in most parts of Africa suitable to its habits, and 
it breeds as far south as the Cape Colony. 

Habits. Mr. Seebohm, who has had special opportunities for 
observing this bird on the Lower Danube, says that though it 
breeds principally in the densest willow-thickets, it frequents 
open marshes, sand-banks, and shallows in the river, and the 
margins of the streams, where its snow-white plumage makes 
it an extremely conspicuous bird. In its flight it resembles 
the other species of Herons, proceeding with steady flaps of 
its broad wings, having the head drawn up between the 
shoulders, and the legs extended so as to make a straight 
line with the back. Upon the ground it walks about with the 
sedate and easy action of the other Herons. It can scarcely 
be called a shy bird ; but is, nevertheless, very difficult to 
shoot, except at its breeding-colony. It may often be seen 
standing in the water, but does not show any partiality for 
perching, except in the vicinity of its nest. The food of the 
Little Egret consists principally of fish and water-plants, but it 
also eats aquatic insects, frogs, and worms. 

Nest. The same author, in his " History of British Birds," 
gives a graphic account of a birds'-nesting expedition made 
by himself and Mr. John Young in the Lower Danube. He 
says that the breeding-place of the Little Egret was most 
difficult to find, as it was entirely hidden far in the forests of 
pollard-willows, where the water was often very deep. He at 
last found a colony of Night-Herons, Squacco Herons, and 
Little Egrets, and my own experiences in Hungary exactly agree 
with Mr. Seebohm's in this respect, that one may travel for a 
long distance in a marsh before discovering the actual breed- 



THE LITTLE EGRETS. 79 

ing-place of any species of Heron. " In the forest," he says, 
" the water was about four feet deep ; but on its outskirts it 
rose as high as the tops of the pollard-willows, which presented 
a dense mass of boughs through which it was impossible to 
force the boat. We succeeded, however, in entering it from 
behind, and by dint of pushing and squeezing, and a liberal 
use of the axe, we reached the outskirts of the colony, and 
having put on our wading-trousers proceeded to investigate it. 
The water was so deep that it was impossible for us to stoop, 
and it was with great difficulty that we selected places where 
the branches allowed us to squeeze through them. Before we 
reached the nests we could hear birds getting up with great 
flutter of wings, and our invasion of the colony was heralded 
by incessant cries. The trees were full of nests, some of 
them so near the water that we could see the eggs without 
climbing. Few nests were more than from ten to twelve feet 
above the surface of the water, and some trees contained as 
many as ten nests with eggs belonging to three species : the 
Night-Heron, the Little Egret, and the Squacco Heron, those 
of the Little Egret being the most numerous." 

Lord Lilford writes : " In habits it is by far the most con- 
fiding and fearless of man of any of the non-skulking Ardeida 
of my acquaintance. 1 have frequently approached en horse- 
back or in a boat, without any sort of concealment, to within 
a few yards of a party of these Egrets, who took very little 
notice of us. It is probable, however, that the poor birds, or 
those that may be left of them, have learned that feminine 
fashion has cast its eye upon them for personal decoration, and 
that the lust of gain by this cruel folly has rendered the animal 
Man, as a rule, a very dangerous neighbour. 

" The Little Egret spends its days in fishing, frogging, and 
insect-catching, with intervals for repose and digestion, on a 
bough, a post, or the back of some ruminant ; this latter site, 
however, is, in my experience, much less frequented by this 
bird than by the Buff-backed Egret. I find the Little Egret 
somewhat delicate in confinement, but very tame and careless 
of observation. It is spiteful in disposition." 

Nest. The bird, according to Lord Lilford, forms an artless 
nest of a few sticks and broken reeds, placed in low trees or 



8o LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

bushes in large swamps or marshes. Many pairs nest in close 
proximity, and very often in association with other tree-loving 
waders, such as the Night-Heron, Buff-backed Egret, Spoon- 
bill, and Glossy Ibis. The uproar made by a breeding-colony 
of these birds, when disturbed and floating in the air over their 
nurseries, must be heard to be believed. 

Eggs. From three to six in number, of a greenish-blu/ 
colour. Axis, i'65-i'Q inch ; i'2-i'35. 



THE NIGHT-HERONS. GENUS NYCTICORAX. 

Nycticorax^ Rafin. Analyse, p. 71 (1815). 

Type, N. nycticorax (L.). 

The Night-Herons and their allied genera have twelve tail- 
feathers, but the tibia is not so bare as in the True Herons, 
the naked portion of the tibio-tarsus being less than the length 
of the inner toe. The bill is stout and of moderate length, 
without any serrations in either mandible, but showing a dis- 
tinct notch just before the tip of the upper one ; the culmen is 
about equal to the tarsus in length, and the tarsus is of about 
the same length as the middle toe and claw. There are gener- 
ally two, sometimes three, drooping ornamental plumes on the 
nape. 

The Night-Herons are found nearly all over the world, but 
do not range far to the northward, where the climate is un- 
suited to their habits. Ten species are known, of which the 
Common Night-Heron is the most widely distiibuted. 

I. THE COMMON NIGHT-HERON. NYCTICORAX NYCTICORAX. 

Ardea nycticorax^ Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 235 (1766). 
Nycticorax gar deni, Macg. Br. B. iv. p. 433 (1852). 
Nycticorax griseus. Dresser, B. Eur. iv. p. 269, pi. 402 (1879) ; 

B. O. U. List Br. B. p. no (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. 

Br. B. iv. p. 195 (1884); Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part 

vii. (1888) ; Saunders, Man. Br. B. p. 367 (1889). 
Nycticorax nycticorax^ Seeb. Br. B. iv. p. 496 (1884) ; Sharpe, 

Cat. B. Brit- Mus. xxvi. p. 146. 



HE NIGHT-HERON. 8 1 

Adult Male. Black, glossed with dark green, with a slight 
shade of grey on the mantle ; upper scapulars like the back, 
the lower ones light ashy-grey ; wings entirely light ashy-grey 
or dove-colour, with a slight shade of oily-green on the second- 
aries ; lower back, rump, upper tail-coverts, and tail clear grey 
or dove-colour ; head crested, black, with a dark green gloss, 
And having two long white nuchal plumes ; base of forehead 
white, extending above the eye to behind the latter ; feathers 
below the eye, cheeks, throat, and under-parts pure white ; 
ear-coverts and sides of neck delicate isabelline-grey, extend- 
ing in a collar round the hind-neck, and also to the sides 
of the body : thighs and under tail-coverts white ; under wing- 
coverts and axillaries very pale ashy ; bill slaty-black, with a 
whitish streak near the edges, the central portion of the lower 
mandible flesh- colour, greenish towards the base; skin round the 
eye pale green ; tarsi and feet pale yellow ; iris, crimson. Total 
length, 1 8 inches; oilmen, 3/0; wing, 13*5; tail, 4*0; tarsus, 2 '8. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in colour, and having also 
ornamental plumes on the nape. Total length, 18 inches; 
wing, 14-0. 

Winter Plumage. Much greener than in the breeding-season, 
and having no white nape-plumes. 

Young Birds. Much browner than the adults, with longitu- 
dinal triangular centres of rufous or buff on the feathers on the 
back and wing-coverts ; the quills and tail-feathers tipped with 
white ; the head blackish, with the crest-feathers centred with 
rufous ; sides of face and under surface of body fulvescent, 
streaked with dusky-black, with which the feathers are mar- 
gined ; thighs streaked like the sides of the body, as also the 
under wing-coverts and axillaries ; throat whitish. 

Range in Great Britain. The Night-Heron has occurred in all 
three kingdoms, and specimens are shot nearly every spring 
and autumn, the records being chiefly from the southern 
counties of England. As Mr. Howard Saunders remarks, 
this interesting bird might even have bred in England, for a 
Mr. C. J. Bulteel records the destruction of eight birds in 
Devonshire four males and four females between the 23rd 
of May and the 22nd of June, 1849. This gentleman was, I 
believe, a " Reverend " one, and he will doubtless remain 

II G 



82 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

reverend in every respect excepting as regards the protection 
of rare birds in England. 

Eange outside the British Islands From Southern and Central 
Europe the Night-Heron extends across Asia to China and 
Japan, and again throughout Africa, always, of course, in 
localities suited to its habits. In North America it is also 
found in the temperate portions, ranging south through Central 
America to the West Indies, and to Colombia and Ecuador in 
South America. In Brazil its place is taken by an allied 
species, N. tayazu-guira, which ranges to Peru and south to 
Chili, Patagonia, and the Falkland Islands, while a third 
species, N. cyanocephalus^ is found from Chili south to the 
Straits of Magellan. 

Habits. The Night-Heron is one of the skulking Herons, 
and, except at the breeding-places, is not easily observed. " It 
is," says Mr. Seebohm, "almost exclusively a swamp-feeding 
bird, and the stomachs of those I examined contained fresh- 
water crustaceans and the tender shoots of water-plants. It 
also feeds on small fish, small frogs and tadpoles, water-beetles, 
the larvae of dragon-flies and other insects, worms and snails. 

My acquaintance with the Night-Heron was made in the 
Hansag marshes in Hungary towards the end of May, 1891. 
On a very hot morning we had been pursuring a tortuous 
course through the reed-beds, a cavalcade of nineteen boats in 
all, listening to the varied calls of the marsh-birds, Terns, Geese, 
Wood-Sandpipers, Grasshopper- Warblers, Great Sedge- Warblers, 
&c., when the word was passed for silence, as we were approach- 
ing the nesting-place of the Night-Herons. As we drew near 
we could hear a croaking, but so silently had we come along 
that but few birds could be seen, until a shot from one of the 
leading boats startled the whole colony of Night-Herons into 
life, and the air became full of them. Their eggs were freshly 
laid, there were no young in the nests to awaken parental 
feelings, but their anxiety manifested itself in the way in which 
they flew round and round, hovering over their nests, and 
many victims fell before the colony elected to move farther 
off. The water was nearly up to one's waist, but my boatman 
volunteered to wade it, and soon returned with several birds 
and a hatful of eggs. All attempts to make him understand 
that I wanted the nests separately with the clutches of egga 



THE SQUACCO HERON. 83 

in each failed, and it was only through some of my friends 
that I obtained clutches. While the birds hovered round 
their nests, they kept up a continuous clamour, and the general 
noise was deafening. While we were having lunch half an 
hour later I left my Night-Herons in the shade to be prepared 
later on, and was not best pleased to find that our host's 
keepers had amused themselves by plucking out the white 
breeding-plumes and sticking them in their hats. It was 
therefore with great difficulty that I ultimately secured some 
perfect specimens. 

Nest. This is a curious cradle-like structure of sticks, placed 
in the fork of a tree between three thin branches, and it is of 
so slight a structure that it is wonderful how the eggs can be 
retained in it. Such were all the nests in the colony we raided 
in Hungary, and no nests on reeds were discovered, though it 
is said that the Night-Heron occasionally makes such a nest. 

Eggs. Three to five in number, of a pale greenish-blue. 
Axis, i -6-2- 1 inches; diam., 1-25-1-5. 

THE SQUACCO HERONS. GENUS ARDEOLA. 

Ardeota, Boie, Isis, 1822, p. 559. 

Type, A. ralloides (Scop.). 

The Squacco Herons form a small group of four, or pos- 
sibly five, species, confined to the Old World. Although 
approaching the Little Bitterns in size and general appear- 
ance, the Squaccos really belong to the group of True Herons. 
They have twelve tail-feathers, and the bill shows distinct 
serrations near the end of the upper mandible; the culmen is 
equal in length to the middle toe and claw. There is a well- 
developed dorsal train, and on the nape are some long orna- 
mental plumes, depending over the neck. 

I. THE SQUACCO HERON. ARDEOLA RALLOIDES. 

Ardea ralloides^ Scop. Ann. I. Hist. Nat. p. 88 (1769); 
Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 251, pi. 400, fig. 2 (1879); 
B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 109 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. 
Br. B. iv. p. 191 (1884) ; id. Man. Br. B. p. 365 (1889) ; 
Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxiv. (1893). 

G 2 



84 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Botaurus comatus^ Macg. Br. B. iv. p. 428 (1852). 
Ardea comata, Seebohm, Br. B. ii. p. 486 (1884). 
Ardeola ralloides, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvi. p. 202. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage, General colour of the back 
pale vinous, including the ornamental plumes ; the wings and 
tail white, the coverts with a slight yellowish shade, the inner 
secondaries also tinged with ochreous-yellow ; entire head and 
neck pale straw-colour, inclining to golden- buff on the lower 
hind-neck, as well as on the throat, fore-neck, and plumes on 
the sides of the neck and those on the sides of the chest ; 
the feathers on the head and hind-neck narrowly edged 
with black lines, these lines being sub-marginal on the elon- 
gated nuchal plumes, the longest of which are white at the 
ends; chin white; on the throat and fore-neck some scanty 
lines of dusky-blackish, which are sub-marginal, as on the 
nuchal plumes; bill, according to Mr. Howard Saunders, 
cobalt-blue at the base, black at the point; feet yellowish- 
pink, the soles yellow; bare loral skin green; iris yellow. 
Total length, 21*0 inches; culmen, 2'6; wing, 9-2; tail, 3-2; 
tarsus, 27 ; middle toe and claw, 2 '8. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but smaller, with a some- 
what shorter crest and the dorsal train not so fully developed. 
Total length, 19 inches; wing, 8'i. Specimens in the British 
Museum show that the breeding-plumage is sometimes not 
assumed by the end of April. Mr. Howard Saunders says 
that this is usually the case in dry seasons, and it is evident 
that the birds return to Europe still in their winter dress. 

Adults in Winter Plumage. Earthy-brown on the back and 
scapulars, with some yellowish shaft-stripes on the latter ; the 
lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts white like the tail ; 
wings white, the coverts washed with ochreous-buff, the inner 
secondaries earthy-brown like the back; head, neck, and under- 
parts as in the summer plumage, but the crest plumes not so 
developed, and of the same colour as the crown ; the long 
nape-plumes not developed ; bill dark sap-green, feet darker ; 
claws black ; iris yellow ; loral space green. 

Young Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the adult, but 
are at once distinguished by the black shafts to the primaries, 
which are washed or dusted with ashy-brown on the outer 



THE SQUACCO HERON. 85 

webs or at the tips. In very young birds the tail is also 
washed with brown near the end. 

Range in Great Britain. A rare visitor, generally in immature 
or winter plumage, seldom in full dress. As, however, the 
occurrences have mostly taken place in spring or summer, the 
arrival of the specimens in winter plumage, as may be deduced 
from Mr. Howard Saunders' remarks in the " Manual," tends 
to prove the truth of my surmise that Squacco Herons come 
mostly in their winter plumage, and that they assume their 
breeding-plumage after they have arrived. Over forty examples 
of this Heron are said to have been obtained in the British 
Islands, most of them having occurred in the southern and 
eastern counties of England. Scotland provides two instances 
and Ireland three. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Squacco only visits 
Northern Germany and Northern France as a straggler, but in 
Central Europe and the Mediterranean countries it breeds in 
suitable localities. Its westward range extends to Mesopo- 
tamia and the Persian Gulf in winter, but it is found through- 
out Africa, partly as a breeding-species, partly as a winter 
visitant. In Madagascar, A. idse appears to take its place. 

Habits. In Spain, the Squacco Heron, according to Colonel 
Irby, is entirely migratory, and arrives during the month of 
April. He has never seen them following cattle, like the next 
species. 

The food of the Squacco is decidedly varied, and consists 
of fish, mice, shrews, &c., as well as frogs, water-insects, 
molluscs, and small Crustacea. Mr. Eagle Clarke gives a 
most interesting account of a visit to the marshes of Slavonia, 
where he found this species breeding in company with other 
Herons, Spoonbills, and Ibises; and it will give some idea of 
the extent of these breeding-colonies when he estimates one 
of them at 30,000 individuals. No wonder that, when they 
were in the air, they produced a " deafening sound " with 
their wings. The difficulty which Mr. Clarke, an accredited 
zoologist, found in getting a "permit" to collect, encourages 
a hope that these last resorts of Herons in Europe have not 
become available to the "plume" hunter, and that the orna- 
mental feathers of the small Herons will still be safe on the 



86 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

backs of some of the unfortunate birds, instead of decorating 
the bonnets of women, who are responsible for the wanton 
massacre of these pretty birds at their nests, as they are also 
responsible for the sufferings and miserable death of the starv- 
ing nestlings, deprived of the support of their parents ! 

Nest, This is described by Mr. Eagle Clarke as like that of 
the Night-Heron, " composed entirely of sticks. The nests of 
the Little Egret and the Squacco were seldom to be seen in 
juxtaposition, probably on account of the pugnacious tempera- 
ment of the latter." 

Eggs. From four to six in number, and of a greenish-blue 
colour. Axis, 17-1 '85 ; diam., 1*3-1 '4. 

THE BUFF-BACKED CATTLE-EGRETS. GENUS BUBULCUS. 

BubulcuS) Bp. Ann. Sci. Nat (4) i. p. 141 (1854). 
Type, B. lucidus (Rafin.). 

I. THE BUFF-BACKED EGRET. BUBULCUS LUCIDUS. 

Ardea lucida, Rafin. Caratteri, p. 3 (1810). 

Ardea bvbulcus, Audouin, Expl. Somm. PL Ois. de PEgypte, i. 
p. 298 (1825); Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 245, pi. 400, fig. i 
(1879); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 109 (1883); Seebohm, 
Br. B. ii. p. 492 (1884) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 
187 (1884) ; id. Man. Br. B. p. 363 (1889) ; Lilford, Col. 
Fig. Br. B. part xiii. (1890). 

Egrctta russata^ Macg. Br. B. iv. p. 474 (1852). 

Bubulcus lucidus, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvi. p. 213. 

Adult Male. General colour above and below pure white, the 
crest, which is very plainly developed, being of a vinous isabel- 
line colour, the ornamental dorsal train being of the same 
colour ; the fore-neck with some similarly coloured vinous 
plumes ; bill chrome-yellow, paler towards the gape ; tarsi and 
feet dusky-sooty ; iris very pale chrome-yellow, darker towards 
the outer edge, the eyelids also pale chrome.* Total length, 19 
inches; culmen, 2*2; wing, 9^8; tail, 3*25; tarsus, 3*2. 

* The colours of the bill and feet are taken from some notes made by Mr 
Thomas Ayrcs, in the Transvaal. 



THE BUFF-BACKED CATTLE-EGRET. 87 

Adult Female. Similar to the male but with the ornamental 
plumes not so fully developed ; bill and bare skin about the 
eye bright chrome-yellow ; tibiae and tarsi pale yellow ; feet 
dusky-yellow. Total length, 18-5 inches; oilmen, 2-3; wing, 
9-3; tail, 3-1; tarsus, 3-3. 

Winter Plumage. Entirely pure white, with none of the orna- 
mental dorsal train-feathers or of the vinous colour on the 
crown or fore-neck. 

tfoung Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the adults and 
have no ornamental plumes. There is a slight tinge of rufous 
on the back. 

Eange in Great Britain. Only one authentic occurrence of the 
Buff-backed Heron within our limits is known, shot as long 
ago as October, 1805, as recorded by Montagu. It is now in 
the Gallery of the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) at South Ken- 
sington. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species is a bird of 
Southern Europe, or rather of the Mediterranean countries, and 
seldom reaches Central Europe, though it has been recorded 
from the South of France, Hungary, the Danube, Poland, and 
Southern Russia. It is distributed in suitable localities through- 
out Africa, and its eastern range extends to Fao in the Persian 
Gulf, where it has been found by Mr. W. D. Gumming, whose 
specimens are in the British Museum. In the southern part 
of the Caspian Sea its place is said to be taken by the Indian 
Buff-backed Heron (Bubukus coromandus\ a species which is 
found throughout the Indian Peninsula and Ceylon, and ex- 
tends as far north as Corea and Japan, and as far south as 
Celebes and Timor in the Moluccas. The birds of the 
Caspian I should have expected to belong to the European 
and not the Asiatic species. 

Habits. Mr. Howard Saunders, who knows the species well 
from personal observation, says that it is very common in the 
marshes of Andalucia in Southern Spain, where thousands of 
individuals may be seen amongst, or on the backs of cattle, 
picking off ticks ; whence the name " Purgabueyes," meaning 
" cattle-cleaners." Lord Lilford also states that he has found 
the species " in great abundance in the great marshes of the 
Guadalquivir below Seville coring the summer. It breeds in 



88 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

that district in large colonies among the high reeds and bushes 
and is constantly to be seen amongst the herds of half-wild 
cattle, very often perched on the backs of the beasts, searching 
for ticks, which seem to constitute, if not the principal, at 
least a very favourite diet of the bird." The food of the Buff- 
backed Heron seems to consist more of insects than of fish, 
and beetles, grasshoppers, and locusts are its favourite food, 
though it also devours frogs. 

Nest. Composed of sticks, and built in the reed-forests, or, 
as Mr. J. H. Gurney found them in the Fayoom district in 
Egypt, " in a large bed of dead tamarisks, from two to five 
feet above the water." The species is a late breeder, and even 
in June Mr. Gurney found no young in the nests, while some 
of the latter where still being built. 

Eggs. From three to five in number, of a very pale greenish- 
white. Axis, 1*75-1*85 inch; diam., 1*4. 

THE LITTLE BITTERNS. GENUS ARDETTA. 
Ardetta, Gray, List Gen. B. 1842, App. p. 13. 
Type, A. minuta (Linn ). 

In the Bitterns, with which we commence the second 
section of the Herons, the tail-feathers are only ten in number, 
and the bill is always serrated. In the Little Bitterns the 
middle toe and claw are short, and only about the same 
length as the tarsus. In the True Bitterns (B of aunts) the 
tarsus is shorter and by no means equal to the middle toe and 
claw in length. 

The Little Bitterns, too, have the sexes quite different in 
colour. They are distributed nearly over the entire globe. 

I. THE LITTLE BITTERN. ARDETTA MINUTA. 

Ardea minuta, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 240 (1766). 

Botaurus minutus, Macg. Br. B. iv. p. 423 (1852); Seeb. Brit. 

B. ii. p. 510 (1884). 
Ardetta minuta, Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 259 (1880); B. O. U. 

List Br. B. p. no (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. 

iv. p. 200 (1884); id. Man. Br. B. p. 369 (1889); Lil- 

ford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xix. (1891); Sharpe, Cat. B r 

Brit. Mus. xxvi. p. 222. 



PLATE LXV1II 




LTTTLE BITTERK. 



THE LITTLE BITTERN. 89 

Ardeola minutci, Dresser, B. Eur. vi. pi. 401 (iSSo). 
(Plate LX VI I I.") 

Adult Male. General colour above black with a greenish gloss, 
including the scapulars, lower back, rump, and upper tail- 
coverts; lesser wing-coverts ochreous-buff, the median series 
lavender-grey ; the greater coverts whitish ; the bastard-wing, 
primary-coverts, and quills black ; tail black ; crown of head 
and crest greenish-black ; hind-neck bare, but hidden by 
ruddy isabelline feathers ; sides of face washed with vinous, 
the sides of the hinder crown decidedly more ashy ; under 
surface of body ochreous-buff, the sides of the throat, abdo- 
men, and under tail-coverts buff; the feathers of the chest 
elongated, some of the feathers white, buff towards their 
ends, the long feathers on the sides of the breast blackish 
with buff margins ; the sides of the body with narrow mesial 
shaft-lines of brown ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white ; 
bill purplish-yellow ; feet greenish-yellow, soles light yellow ; 
iris orange-yellow. Total length, 1 1 inches ; culmen, i '9 ; 
wing, 57 ; tail, rS; tarsus, 175. 

Adult Female. Different from the male. General colour 
above chestnut-brown, including the scapulars and inner 
secondaries, all the feathers edged with ochreous-buff, pro- 
ducing a streaked appearance ; wings and tail as in male ; 
sides >of face and the frill concealing the neck rather more 
rufous than in the male, the neck-feathers strongly inclining to 
chestnut ; under surface of body distinctly streaked, with dusky 
centres to the feathers of the throat and fore-neck ; the flanks 
and breast also streaked with blackish centres to the feathers. 
Total length, 12 inches; culmen, 1-9; wing, 5-8; tail, i'8; 
tarsus, i '8. 

Range in Great Britain. The Little Bittern, which visits the 
neighbouring countries of Europe every summer, has occurred 
on many occasions all over the United Kingdom, though 
naturally its presence has been more plentifully noted in the 
southern and eastern counties of England. That it formerly 
bred with us is undoubted, and, according to Mr. Howard 
Saunders, recent instances of its doing so are not unknown. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The Little Bittern is generally 



90 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

distributed throughout Europe south of 60 N. lat., but is only 
a summer visitor, and leaves even the Mediterranean countries 
in winter. It is, however, resident in Northern Africa, Madeira, 
and the Azores. It visits Egypt and North-eastern Africa in 
winter, and that it goes still farther south, I firmly believe, 
though it is difficult to prove its African range. A specimen 
from Benguela, however, collected by the late Mr. Monteiro, 
appears to me to be the true Ardetta minuta, but Africa gener- 
ally is inhabited by an allied species, Ardetta podicipes> which 
differs from the European form in having the wing-coverts 
orange-buff, and the greater series lavender-grey, while the 
neck-frill is bright chestnut instead of ochreous or ashy-fulvous 
A further distinction in the African bird is the chestnut, in- 
stead of dusky, patch on the lesser wing-coverts. 

To the eastward our Little Bittern extends to Cashmere and 
the Eastern Narra district in Sind, in both of which localities it 
breeds. It is also found, but rarely, in North-western India 
in the winter, as the Hume collection contains examples of 
the species from Delhi and Etawah. 

Habits. The Little Bittern is a skulking species, and is, 
moreover, a night-feeder as a rule. In many of its ways it re- 
sembles a Rail, as it threads its way through the reed-beds 
with great swiftness. It will also sometimes be found in trees, 
generally sitting quite still, with its bill pointing up in the air, 
but it can move from branch to branch with great ease and 
rapidity, and does the same in the reeds, to which it manages 
to cling without difficulty when making its way from one to 
another. 

Lord Lilford, who met with this species in Corfu and the 
opposite mainland of Turkey during the first fortnight in April, 
writes as follows : " For a few days after its arrival it may be 
met with amongst the currant-vines, in the young green corn, 
in gardens, among the rocks of the sea-shore, and often perched 
in olive- or orange-trees at a considerable height from the 
ground : from the actions cf my dogs I believe that when 
these birds are disturbed in covert, they often sneak off in a 
crouching attitude with long strides, after the manner of a 
Rail, but quite as often, when closely approached, they behave 
in the same way as the Common Bittern under the circum- 



THE TRUE BITTERNS. 91 

stances, drawing themselves out to their full length, with 
every feather tightly compressed, and beaks pointing straight 
to the sky, so as to present as narrow a front view as possible, 
with the object of attempting to escape observation from the 
similarity of the plumage of their necks and breasts to the 
brown and yellow tints of the reeds, flags, and other aquatic 
vegetation amongst which they are very often to be found. 
The food of the Little Bittern consists of small fishes, reptiles, 
and insects of all sorts. A friend informs me that one of these 
birds in his possession supported itself to a great extent by 
catching the mice and lizards that came into the aviary in 
which it was kept in the island of Teneriffe. . . . The 
only note that I ever heard uttered by this species is, to my 
ear, best rendered by ' woogh, woogh ' a sort of deep gut- 
teral cough." The female is said to have a note like gate or 
gett, and Naumann says that that of the male resembles the 
syllable pumm several times repeated, then a long pause, and 
again uttered. 

Nest. According to Lord Lilford, the nest of the Little 
Bittern is usually, but not invariably, built amongst growing 
reeds, and he describes one as built entirely of dry flag-leaves. 
It is sometimes found on the heads of pollard-willows, and it 
has been also known to adapt the old nest of a Magpie in a 
tree near to a swamp. 

Eggs. From five to nine in number ; white with a very faint 
tinge of green. Axis, i*3-i'5 inch; diam, ro-n. 

THE TRUE BITTERNS. GENUS BOTAURUS. 

Botaurus, Stephens, in Shaw's Gen. Zool. xi. p. 592 (1819). 
Type, B. stellaris (L.). 

The Bitterns have ten tail feathers and the bill serrated. 
The latter is moderately long, with the culmen about equal to 
the inner toe and claw. The middle toe and claw are very 
long, and far exceed the length of the tarsus. The hind-claw 
is also very long, and is nearly equal to the hind-toe in length. 
The plumage is wavy in character, and there is an immense 
frill on the neck, 



92 

The True Bitterns are nearly cosmopolitan, our European 
species being found throughout the Paloearctic Region, and 
being replaced in Africa by an allied form, J3. capensis, which 
is a smaller bird, mottled, rather than barred, with rufous. In 
Australia and New Zealand occurs B. ptzrilopterus, with brown 
quills, and in South America a peculiar barred Bittern, B. 
pinnatits. In North America the representative species is 
B. lentiginosus, described below. 

I. THE COMMON BITTERN. BOTAURUS STELLARIS 

Ardea stellaris, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 239 (1766). 

Botaurus stellaris, Macg. Br. Br. iv. p. 410 (1852); Dresser, 

B. Eur. vi. p. 281, pi. 403 (1875); B. O. U. List Br. B. 

p. in (1883); Seebohm, Br. B. ii. p. 593 (1884) ; Saun- 

ders, ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 206 (1884) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. 

Br. B. part vii. (1888); Saunders, Man. Br. B. p. 371 

(1889). 

(Plate LXIX.) 

Adult Male. General colour above tawny-yellow and black, 
this latter colour predominating and occupying the centre of 
the feathers, the sides of which are tawny-buff, freckled and 
irregularly barred with black ; lower back, rump, and upper 
tail-coverts pale tawny-buff, mottled with bars or cross-lines 
of dusky-brown ; marginal wing-coverts rufous, regularly barred 
across with black ; median and greater coverts ta \vny-buff, with 
irregular bars or arrow-shaped markings of blackish-brown, 
much less pronounced on the greater coverts, all of which 
have a rufescent tinge near the base ; bastard-wing, primary- 
coverts, and quilis blackish, barred with rufous, the bars some- 
what broken up on the inner webs of the quills, which are also 
paler, the inner secondaries, like the scapulars, being tawny- 
buff on their edges, and mottled in a similar manner ; the tail- 
feathers tawny-buff, irregularly mottled with black bars or cross- 
markings, more pronounced on the centre of the feathers ; 
crown of head uniform black, with a frill of erectile plumes on 
the nape, these being tipped with tawny-buff, and the pale tips 
crossed with lines of black ; eyebrow, sides of face, and sides 
of neck tawny-buff, the eyebrow uniform, except on the upper 
edge, where the feathers are barred with black the ear-coverts 



THE COMMON BITTERN. 93 

almost uniform, but the plumes on the sides of the neck 
narrowly barred with black, and widened into a frill which 
covers the hind-neck, the latter being clothed with dense 
down of a tawny-buff colour ; the feathers below the eye, and 
a streak along the cheeks, and down the sides of the neck, 
black ; a malar line of feathers and the throat creamy-white, 
with a central line of reddish-buff feathers, slightly mottled 
with black bases ; the lower throat also creamy-white, with 
four or five tolerably defined broad lines of tawny-buff and 
black mottled feathers ; the lower part of the ruff on the fore- 
neck with narrow wavy lines of black ; the breast covered with 
tawny-buff down, concealed by a large patch of loose plumes 
on each side of the chest, these being mostly black with tawny- 
buff margins ; remainder of under surface creamy-white, 
streaked with black centres to the feathers, the black mark- 
ings slightly broken up with tawny-buff mottlings, the thighs 
and under tail-coverts scarcely marked at all ; under wing- 
coverts and axillaries tawny-buff, the former narrowly lined 
with blackish, the axillaries more distinctly barred with dusky- 
blackish ; bill greenish-yellow ; bare loral space yellowish- 
green ; feet yellowish-green, the claws dark brown ; iris yellow. 
Total length, 24 inches; culmen, 275; wing, 13-0; tail, 4-4; 
tarsus, 3 '8. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male. 

Young. Does not differ from the adults, except that the 
primary-coverts and quills are nearly uniform, with only a 
certain amount of rufous mottlings on the inner webs. 

Nestling. Covered with down of a yellowish-buff colour. 

Range in Great Britain, The Bittern used to be one of our 
native birds, but the gradual draining of the meres and 
swamps has resulted in the extinction of the species as a 
breeding-bird in Great Britain. Even now, however, a little 
protection afforded to the Bitterns which visit us in spring 
would doubtless re-establish the species in England, and then, 
as Mr. Howard Saunders remarks, " the 'boom ' of the Bittern 
might again be heard in our land." It occurs at intervals in 
winter and spring in different parts of the three kingdoms, 
and within recent years I have seen specimens shot in the 
Thames Valley. 



94 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Bittern is generally dis- 
tributed throughout Europe and Asia, but does not extend 
very far north, and in many of the southern countries it is 
known chiefly as a migrant, and breeds sparingly. It has not 
been found in Norway, but visits Southern Sweden up to 
about 60 N. lat. In Russia it is found up to about 62 N. 
lat, but in Eastern Russia and Western Siberia its range does 
not extend beyond 57 and 68 N. lat, respectively. In winter 
it visits North-eastern Africa, India, Burma, and China. 

Habits. The Bittern is such a shy and retiring bird that 
very little is known of its way of life, as it is an inhabitant of 
the great reed-swamps, where its haunts are difficult to pene- 
trate. Thus it is seldom seen on the wing, and when flushed, 
it flies but a little distance, with a slow and steady flight, its 
head drawn in on its shoulders, and its feet stretched out 
behind in a line with the body. As a rule, it is a solitary bird, 
and is only found in pairs at its breeding-places, but on migra- 
tion it has baen noticed in larger numbers, forty or fifty 
being seen on the wing at once. 

Mr. Seebohm writes on the note of this bird, which is so 
often spoken of as " booming " : " It is far more nocturnal 
than any of the Herons, and the ' boom,' or love-song, of the 
male is heard at all hours of the night during the breeding- 
season, and never in the day. It is a weird, unearthly noise, 
not to be dignified with the name of a note, and may be 
heard at a considerable distance. The bird is so shy that 
the noise is instantly stopped on the slightest alarm. Some 
writers have likened it to the bellowing of a bull, others 
think it resembles the neighing of a horse, while more imagi- 
native ornithologists trace in it a resemblance to their ideal 
conception of demoniac laughter. It consists of two notes, 
one supposed to be produced as the bird inhales, and the 
other as it exhales its breath. Naumann attempts to express it 
on paper by the syllabus ii-prumb t repeated slowly several 
times. The call-note, which is common to both sexes, is a 
hoarse croak, like the ca-wak of a Night-Heron, or the cry of a 
Raven, and is sometimes heard when the birds are on migra- 
tion ; but the ' boom ' is only heard from the reeds, and as 
it is uttered the bird is said to stand with it" neck stretched 
out, and its beak pointing upwards. The Bittern rarely 



PLATE LXIX 




COMMON BITTERN. 






THE AMERICAN BITTERN. 95 

perches in a tree, but on its first arrival at its breeding- 
grounds it is said to roost on a sheltered branch until the reeds 
have grown high enough to conceal it. It is a voracious 
eater, fish six inches long, eels twice that length, and even a 
water-rat, have been found in its stomach, but its principal 
food consists of small fishes, frogs, and water-insects of all 
kinds, occasionally varied with the tender shoots of water- 
plants." 

Nest. Composed of dry rushes, placed on the ground in a 
dense reed-swamp. 

Eggs. From three to five in number, of a brownish-olive 
colour, with a faint greenish tint when fresh. Mr. Seebohm 
says that, when held up to the light, they are yellowish-brown 
inside, not green like the eggs of the Heron. Axis, 2 '0-2 '25 
inches; diam., i '45-1 '55. 



II. THE AMERICAN BITTERN. BOTAURUS LENTIGINOSUS. 

Ardea lentiginosa, Montagu, Suppl. Orn. Diet. (1813). 

Botaurus lentigtiiosus, Macg. Br. B. iv. p. 417 (1852) ; Dresser, 
B. Eur. vi. p. 289, pi. 404 (1878) ; B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 
in (1883); Seebohm, Br. B. ii. p. 506 (1884); Saunders, 
ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 213 (1884); id. Man. Br. B. p. 373 
(1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxiv. (1893). 

Characters. The wavy plumage of the Bitterns involves such 
long descriptions that it is not necessary to do more, in the 
case of an accidental visitor like the present bird, than to state 
that the American Bittern can always be distinguished by its 
uniform brown head, and by the rufous tips to the primary- 
coverts and quills, which are uniform slaty-grey or slaty-black. 
Total length, 28 inches; culmen, 3-1; wing, n'a; tail, 3*6; 
tarsus, 3-75. 

Range in Great Britain. It is a curious fact that a common 
North American bird like this Bittern should have been first 
described by Colonel Montagu from an English specimen which 
occurred in Dorsetshire in 1804. It is an accidental visitor to 
Great Britain, and has occurred many times. A specimen from 
Cornwall was shown to me at the British Museum by the 



96 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

gentleman who shot it about thirteen years ago, and it has oeen 
met with in nearly all our southern and western counties, as 
well as in Scotland and Ireland. 

Range outside the British Islands. The American Bittern breeds 
over the greater part of North America from Canada to Texas, 
and has even been found as far north as the Arctic Ocean 
and on the Mackenzie River. It winters in Central America 
and the West Indies. It has never occurred on the Conti- 
nent of Europe, but one example was procured in Guernsey 
in October, 1870. 

HaMts. These are very similar to those of our Common 
Bittern, and in the breeding-season it has a peculiar note, like 
pomp-au-gor. It is also called "Stake" or "Post-driver," from 
its note resembling the noise made by driving a stake in 
boggy soil. Another rendering by Mr. Samuels is chunk-a- 
lunk-chunk, quank-chunk-a-li ink-chunk. Dr. Coues writes : 
" When the Bittern is disturbed at his meditations, he gives 
a vigorous spring, croaks at the moment in a manner highly 
expressive of his disgust, and flies off as fast as he can, though 
in a rather loose, lumbering way. For some distance he flaps 
heavily with dangling legs and outstretched neck ; but when 
settled on his course he proceeds more smoothly, with regular 
measured wing-beats, the head drawn in closely, and the legs 
stretched straight out behind together, like a rudder. He is 
very easily shot on the wing easily hit, and drops at a touch 
even of fine dust-shot. When winged, he croaks painfully as 
he drops, and no sooner does he touch the ground than he 
gathers himself in defensive attitude to resist aggression as best 
he can. 

" The food of this bird consists of various kinds of small 
aquatic animals. In its stomach may be found various mol- 
luscs, crawfish, frogs, lizards, small snakes and fishes, as well as 
insects. Such prey is caught with great address by spearing, 
as the bird walks or wades stealthily along. The thrust of the 
bill is marvellously quick and skilful more action is displayed 
on such occasions than probably under any other circum- 
stances." 

Nest. Of dead rushes, on the ground or in trees at a slight 
elevation. 



PLATE LXX 




WHITE STORK 



STORKS. 97 

Eggs. From four to seven in number ; uniform brownish- 
olive. Axis, 1-85-2-0 inches : diam., 1-45-1-5. 



THE STORKS. SUB-ORDER CICONII. 

The Storks are very closely allied to the Heron, and have a 
bridged, or " desmognathous," palate. They differ, however, in 
several important particulars from the foregoing birds, as they 
have no powder-down patches, and no pectination, or " comb-" 
like process, on the middle toe. Both toes are webbed at the 
base, the outer one especially, but the chief difference is found 
in the position of the hind-toe, or hallux, which is elevated 
above the plane of the other toes, and is not on the same level 
with them. 

THE TRUE STORKS. GENUS CICONIA. 

Ciconia, Briss. Orn. v. p. 361 (1760). 

Type, C. ciconia (I,.). 

As regards the British species, the characters given above 
are sufficient to distinguish the Storks from the Herons and 
Ibises. 

I. THE WHITE STORK. CICONIA CICONIA. 

Ardea ciconia. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 235 (1766). 

Ciconia alba, Bechst. Naturg. Deutschl. iii. p. 45 (1793); 

Macg. Br. B. iv. p. 481 (1852) ; Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 

297, pi. 405 (1873); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 112 (1883); 

Seebohm, Br. B. ii. p. 525 (1884) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. Br. 

B. iv. p. 219 (1884); id. Man. Br. B. p. 375 (1889); 

Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxiii. (1893). 

(Plate LXX.) 

Adult Male. General colour white above and below ; the 
s apulars, greater wing-coverts, and the quills black, with a 
grey powdering on the outer web of the secondaries ; bill dull 
vermilion ; feet a little lighter vermilion, more of a salmon - 
red ; bare skin of face round the eye black ; iris black. Total 
length, 36 inches; culmen, 8-3; wing, 23-5 ; tail, 9*8 ; tarsus, 

S.o 
O. 

II II 



9& LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Adult Female. Similar in colour to the male. Total length, 
36 inches ; culmen, S'i ; wing, 23*0 ; tail, 9*8 ; tarsus, 9-0. 

Young Birds. White like the adults, but the quills browner. 

Range in Great Britain. As might have been expected from 
their proximity to the Continent, the southern and eastern 
counties of England are those in which the Stork most fre- 
quently occurs, and there can be little doubt that, if unmolested, 
the species would establish itself in England as a regular visitor, 
for our country offers every condition under which the species 
flourishes in other countries of Europe. Its visits to Scotland 
are rare, and in Ireland it is only known to have occurred 
twice, each time in Co. Cork. 

Range outside the British Islands. -Throughout Central Europe 
the Stork breeds regularly, but is less common in the Medi- 
terranean countries, where it is chiefly known as a regular 
migrant, except in Spain, where it breeds plentifully. Its 
northern range extends to Scandinavia, and it is found east- 
wards to Central Asia, though in Eastern Siberia, Corea, and 
Japan its place is taken by Ciconia boyciana, which has a black 
bill and red lores. The White Stork visits India in winter, 
and also extends its range to South Africa, where it sometimes 
remains to breed, especially when locusts are abundant. 

Habits. To see the Storks in life it is not necessary to go 
farther than Holland, and in May, as the steamer goes up the 
Maas, a bird may often be seen in the early morning, flying 
from shore to shore, with a heavy flapping flight, its great 
wings expanded, so as to show the black quills in contrast to 
its snowy-white plumage. It is also impossible to take a 
country walk in Holland without seeing a Stork's nest in some 
of the gardens or fields, where some accommodation in the 
shape of a post and a cradle is put up for the birds to build 
their nests on. Occasionally an old cart-wheel is thus erected, 
which is immediately appropriated by a pair of Storks, so bent 
are the Dutch on encouraging these birds, which are supposed 
to bring good luck with them. In many places the Stork 
nests on the roof of a house, and sometimes many nests are 
found together, but it will also build in trees and even on 
cliffs. 

Colonel Irby writes : "The White Stork, owing to the pro- 



THE STORKS. QQ 

tection it everywhere receives, is much more abundant in 
Marocco than in Andalucia, although plentiful in some level 
districts in the latter country, being most common in the 
marismas and the vicinity of Seville, nesting on some of the 
churches in that city. On the African side of the Straits, in 
many situations they breed on trees, generally in colonies, as 
well as on houses, but usually near villages ; and almost every 
Moorish hovel has a Stork's nest on the top, a pile of sticks, 
lined with grass and palmetto-fibre. It usually contains four 
white eggs, which are very rarely marked with pink blotches. 
These are sometimes laid as early as the 25th of March, and 
are very good eating, either hot or cold. When boiled hard, 
they have the white clear, as with Peewits' or Plovers' eggs, 
the yolk being of a very rich reddish-yellow. 

" The White Stork is rather irregular as to the time of nesting, 
for we found in Marocco on the same day (the 25th of April) 
young birds, eggs, and unfinished nests ; and, to show how 
varied is the time of migration, we saw on that day a flight 
of about a hundred flying northward at an immense height. 
As they passed over the " storkery, " which was in a large grove 
of high trees, they lowered themselves to within a hundred 
yards or so of the nests, and after wheeling round for a few 
minutes, as if to see how affairs were going on, they worked 
up in a gyrating flight to their original elevation, and continued 
their northerly journey, doubtless to the great delight of the 
resident Storks, who were in a great state of perturbation and 
disturbance at the appearance of their brethren. I may here 
remark that Storks usually migrate in large flocks at a great 
height, with a gyrating flight. The earliest date of their arrival 
that I noticed near Gibraltar was on the nth of January, and 
they nearly all leave by the end of September. They are most 
useful birds, feeding on insects of all kinds, mice, snakes, and 
other reptiles, and certainly deserve all the protection and 
encouragement which they receive in Marocco, where they are, 
in consequence, excessively tame. Their grotesque actions 
when nesting, and their habit of continually clacking their bills 
together, making a noise like a rattle, render them very amus- 
ing to watch." (Orn. Gibr. 2nd ed. p. 209.) It appears that the 
Storks have no note beyond the clacking noise made by their 
bill. 

H 2 



loo LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 



. Of considerable size, built of large and small sticks 
mixed, as Mr. Seebohm informs us, " with lumps of earth and 
masses of decayed reeds ; it is very shallow, and is lined with 
softer materials of all kinds dry grass, moss, hair, feathers, 
rags, bits of paper, wool, or anything it can pick up." Incu- 
bation lasts about a month, and the young when newly 
hatched are clothed with down of an ashy-whitish colour, the 
bare spaces being at first very clearly marked. 

Eggs. Three to five in number ; dull white and rather rough, 
with little gloss. Axis, 2-55-2-95 inches; diam., 2-0-2-15. 

II. THE BLACK STORK. CICONIA KIGRA. 

Ardea nigra, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 235 (1760). 

Ciconia nigra, Macg. Brit. B. iv. p. 485 (1852); Dresser, B. 
Eur. vi. p. 309, pi. 406 (1873); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 
112 (1883); Seebohm, Br. B. iv. p. 529 (1884); Saunders, 
ed. Yarr. Br. B. iv. p. 225 (1884); id. Man.Br. B. p. 377 
(1889); Liiford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xx. (1891). 

Adult Male in Breeding- Plumage. General colour above glossy, 
for the most part metallic-purple with green margins to the 
feathers, the green predominating on the neck and mantle and 
the lesser wing-coverts, the median and greater coverts more 
distinctly purplish but with bronzy reflections ; primaries black. 
with a greenish gloss ; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts 
dusky-brown, with purplish edgings, becoming green on the 
latter ; tail-feathers glossy purplish-bronze ; crown of head 
dusky-blackish, glossed with green, especially towards the nape ; 
the neck all round green, with a strong gloss of purple on 
the hinder neck, and again on the lower throat; sides of 
face and upper throat brilliant purple, with golden-bronze re- 
flections ; fore-neck and chest greenish, with a slight purple 
gloss ; remainder of under surface, from the chest downwards, 
pure white, including the axillaries ; under wing-coverts dusky 
slate-colour, with a slight gloss of green or purple ; " bill, 
orbital space, and pouch coral-red ; legs and feet coral-red, 
blackish on front of tarsi ; iris brown " (A. O. Hiinie]. Total 
length, 38 inches; culmen, 77 ; wing, 21-5 ; tail, 8'o; tarsus,, 
8-2. 



THE BLACK STORK. 1OI 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but not quite so glossy; 
"bill and feet red, the former lighter at the tip; orbital skin 
lead-colour " (J. Scully). Total length, about 36 inches ; cul- 
men, 7 - o; wing, 21*0; tail, 8'5; tarsus, 7*6. 

Young Birds. Browner than the adults, with very little green 
or purplish reflections ; the head and neck paler brown, with 
whitish spots at the ends of the feathers, the feathers of the 
chest also margined with whity-brown. 

Range in Great Britain. About thirteen records exist of the 
occurrence of the Black Stork within our limits. They are 
all from England, from the southern and eastern counties. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Black Stork breeds 
throughout the greater part of Europe. In Scandinavia it 
nests sparingly in Southern Sweden, being only known as a 
straggler to Norway. In the Mediterranean countries, with 
the exception of Spain, it is chiefly known as a migrant. It 
nests also in Palestine and Central Asia to Mongolia and 
Northern China, and visits the Indian Peninsula in winter, at 
which season it is also found in Africa, even down to the Cape 
Colony, where, however, it is not known to breed. 

Habits. Instead of being a friendly bird, like the White 
Stork, and frequenting the homes of man, the present species 
seeks the shelter of the forests. Mr. Seebohm says : "It is 
not at all gregarious, except on migration, and is very silent, its 
* klapper ' being rarely heard. From all these circumstances 
we may infer that the Black Stork is a much more cautious bird 
than the White Stork, though its extreme caution does not 
appear to have been of much advantage to it, as it is, on the 
whole, a much rarer bird than its bolder relative." If one 
might judge from the habits of the Black Stork in confinement, 
its love of solitude may be induced by its contemplative nature, 
for I remember, a few years ago, when I visited the Zoological 
Gardens in Rotterdam, seeing a Black Stork perched on its 
nest, standing on one leg, with its beak buried in its breast, 
and absolutely immovable. Returning two hours later, the 
bird was still there, like a statue, and utterly regardless of the 
busy movements of the other Herons which were flying about 
in the big aviary, of which one of the most curious features is 



io2 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

that, attracted by the presence of their relatives within the 
wires, some wild Herons have sought their proximity, and have 
constituted a heronry on the adjacent trees ! Mr. Seebohm 
thus describes the taking of the eggs of this species in Pome- 
rania : " We found the nest of the Black Stork on a large oak, 
but there was no sign of a bird. Our guide assured us that 
it was occupied, so we concluded that the noise we had made 
at the Goshawk's empty nest had frightened the bird away. 
The tree was an old oak at least five feet in diameter for some 
distance from the ground, and thirty feet without a branch. 
Gottlieb accordingly ascended a tree close by to reconnoitre ; 
and just as he got up to the level of the nest, to our great 
astonishment, off flew a Black Stork, and began to wheel round 
and round above the tree. She was soon joined by another, 
so Gottlieb descended and at once began making preparations 
for the ascent. We had some difficulty in throwing the line 
over the lowermost branch, which was dead, but very thick ; 
at last we succeeded, and, having hauled up the rope-ladder, 
Gottlieb was soon on the branch. The distance to the next 
branch was too far to reach by sheer climbing, so the rope- 
ladder had to be got up another stage, and the nest was then 
soon reached. It was about fifty feet from the ground, on the 
fork of a large horizontal branch about half-way up the tree. 

Nest. "It measured from five to six feet in diameter, and 
was in some places two feet high, and was composed of old 
dead twigs, black with many years exposure. The top of the 
nest was almost flat, covered over with a thick layer of green 
moss, and in a slight depression in the middle lay three young 
birds, not long hatched, and one egg chipped." The Black 
Stork, however, does not always breed in trees, for often, in 
other countries, it nests in clefts or ledges of rocks and on 
cliffs. 



3. Three to five in number; dull white, with scarcely 
any gloss, coarse in texture and pitted. According to Mr. 
Seebohm, they are smaller than those of the While Stork, 
though sometimes difficult to distinguish. On being held to 
the light, however, the colour inside is found to be green, 
while those of the White Stork are yellowish-white inside, 
Axis, 2-45-275 inches; diam., 1-85-2-0. 



THE GLOSSY IBISES. 103 

THE IBISES AND SPOON-BILLS. 

SUB-ORDER PLATALE^. 

These birds have the bridged, or " desmognathous," palate of 
the Herons, but they have schizorhinal nostrils, not holorhinal, 
as in the last named birds. Basipterygoid processes are ab- 
sent, and the sternum has four notches, or clefts, in its poste- 
rior end. 

The Sub-order contains two families, the PlatakidcR^ or 
Spoon-bills, and the Ibises (Ibidid<z\ which are both almost 
cosmopolitan in their range. 

THE IBISES. FAMILY IBIDID^E. 

The Ibises are found all over the world and comprise some 
eighteen genera, with only one of which are we concerned in 
the present volume, viz., the genus Plegadis. In the Family 
Ibidida are included some remarkable forms, of which the 
Sacred Ibis (Ibis czthiopica) is perhaps the best known, from its 
connection with ancient Egyptian lore. It is now very rarely 
met with in that country, but is by no means yet extinct there, 
as the British Museum contains specimens from Egypt. In 
other parts of Africa, however, it is far more plentiful, and 
but rarely visits Egypt in modern days, though Captain Shelley 
not long ago received a specimen from Damietta, and Mr. W. 
D. Gumming has met with the species at Fao in the Persian 
Gulf in October. In Madagascar occurs a distinct form, with 
a white eye (/. bernieri], and in India and China the Sacred 
Ibis is replaced by an allied species, I. melanocephala. 

THE GLOSSY IBISES. GENUS PLEGADIS, 

Plegadis, Kaup, Natiirl. Syst. p. 82 (1829). 

Type, P. falcinellus (Linn.). 

The Ibises are divided into two sections, one with the tarsus 
reticulated in front, and having numerous octagonal scales, the 
other with the tarsus plated in front. To this latter section 
belongs the genus Plegadis^ which is further distinguished 



IO4 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

by a very moderate crest, and a somewhat short tail, beyond 
which the feet extend, when at full length, while the toes are 
strong, with sharp and pointed claws, that of the middle toe 
being nearly straight. 

Three species of Glossy Ibis are known, P. falcinellu s, found 
nearly over the whole of the Old World, P. guarauna, mostly 
a South American species, which extends to the Southern 
United States, and P. ridgivayi of Peru and Bolivia. 

I. THE GLOSSY IBIS. PLEGADIS FALCINELLUS. 

Tantalus falcinellus. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 241 (1766). 

Ibis falcinellus, Macg. Br. B. iv. p. 493 (1852) ; Seebohm, Br. 

B. ii. p. 520 (1884). 
Pkgadis fakimllus. Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 335, pi. 409 (1878); 

B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 113 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. 

Br. B. iv. p. 231 (1884); id. Man. Br. B. p. 379 (r88g); 

Lilford, Col. Fig. Br. B. part xxvii. (1893); Sharpe, Cat. 

B. Brit. Mus. xxvi. p. 29. 

(Plate LXXI.) 

Adult Male. General colour above black, with glossy reflec- 
tions of various shades of green or bronzy-purple ; upper 
mantle deep maroon-chestnut, as also the lesser wing-coverts 
and scapulars, the latter having bronzy tips ; median and 
greater coverts duller and more oily-green, with bronze or 
steel-green reflections ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and 
quills entirely glossy green, the secondaries with purplish 
reflections ; lower back, rump, upper tail-coverts, and tail 
black, with varying reflections of purple and oily- or bronzy- 
green ; head and neck all round, as well as the under surface 
of the body, deep maroon-chestnut, somewhat lighter on the 
chest and breast ; forehead and fore-part of crown glossy 
green, as also the base of the cheeks and a slight shade below 
the eye ; under tail-coverts and under wing-coverts and axil- 
laries black, with metallic reflections of green and purple, the 
quill-lining similarly glossed ; bill and feet dark brownish- 
olive; iris brown. Total length, 22 inches ; culmen, 5-2 ; wing, 
11-2; tail, 3-9 ; tarsus, 4-2. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but a little smaller, ancj 
with a shorter bill. 



THE GLOSSY IBIS. 105 

Winter Plumage. Differs from the summer plumage in losing 
the rufous of the head, back, and scapulars ; rest of the plum- 
age metallic as in the summer dress, but the wings rather more 
bronzy and the wing-coverts brighter metallic-green. The head 
and neck are streaked with black and whitish. 

Young Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the adults, but 
are more of a metallic oil-green, without the beautiful reflections 
shown by the adult birds at all seasons. Head dusky-brown, 
with a certain amount of white striping on the head and throat, 
but not so much as in the winter plumage of the adults. 

Range in Great Britain. An accidental visitor in autumn or 
early winter, but occasionally occurring in the spring. It has 
been observed in Scotland and Ireland, and in England it has 
been met with chiefly on the eastern coasts, where it appears to 
have been more frequent towards the end of the last century, 
when it was known to the gunners of Lynn in Norfolk as the 
"Black Curlew." (Cf. Saunders, Man. p. 379.) 

Range outside the British Islands. Common in Southern Europe 
but rarer in the countries north of the Alps, and only straggling 
to Iceland or the Faeroes, as it does to Great Britain; the 
same may be said of Northern Europe, where it has occurred 
but seldom, and only as a straggler. Its eastern range extends 
to Persia and Central Asia, India and China, whence it is 
found all over the Malayan Archipelago and Australia. It also 
occurs throughout Africa in localities suited to its habits, 
and re-occurs in the Eastern United States to Florida, but in 
the Southern United States, and throughout Central and the 
greater part of South America, it is replaced by the closely 
allied P. guarauna. 

Habits. The Ibis is a gregarious and sociable bird, feeding, 
nesting, and migrating in company, and sharing the breeding- 
haunts of the Herons, Egrets, and Pigmy Cormorants in the 
vast reed-swamps which are found in Slavonia and the region 
cf the Lower Danube. " The Ibis," says Mr. Seebohm, " is a 
thorough Heron in its habits, and frequents the same districts, 
but, like the Night-Heron, it prefers the swamps and marshes 
to the rivers and streams. Its flight resembles that of a Heron, 
or perhaps more that of a Stork, for the legs droop at a slight 



io6 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

angle from the body, and complete the curved line of the beak 
and extended neck. The flight is more rapid than that of 
either of these birds, and is performed by quicker beats of the 
wings, and every now and then it skims along with outspread 
pinions. The Ibis is very gregarious, and solitary birds or 
even pairs are seldom seen. Half a dozen or more birds fly 
in company and keep together in a wedge or string, like 
Cranes or Geese. On the ground the Ibis walks sedately, like 
a Heron. It is a very silent bird, but, when alarmed, it is said 
to utter a harsh croak like that of a Heron. Its food consists 
of worms, Crustacea, small shells, aquatic insects, and frogs, 
for which it may often be seen searching on the low-lying coasts 
and on the shores of lakes and rivers, walking about something 
like a Curlew." 

Nest. Again I quote Mr. Seebohm : " The Ibis builds in 
willows which are half under water, and makes its nest at 
various heights from the surface in the same trees as Common 
Herons, Night-Herons, Squacco Herons, Little Egrets, and 
Pigmy Cormorants. Sometimes one tree will contain nests of 
all the six species. The Great Cormorant and the Spoon-bill 
are not so sociable ; they each occupy a part of the forest re- 
served for themselves, but in the immediate neighbourhood, 
sometimes surrounded by the nests of the other species a 
colony within a colony. The nests are made of sticks and 
reeds." 

Eggs. Three or four in number ; pitted and of a dark green- 
ish-blue a beautiful egg. Axis, 1-9-2-2; diam., 1-3-1-5. 



THE SPOON-BILLS. FAMILY PLATALEID.E. 

The members of this Family are easily distinguished by 
possessing, in addition to the osteological characters of the 
Ibises, a very curious development of the bill, which is long, 
flat, narrowed in the middle, and then widened out into a 
spoon-shaped, or spatulate, end. The Spoon-bills are found 
nearly over the entire globe, and there are three genera which 
are clearly recognisable. In the genera Platalea and Platibis, 
the head is only partially bare and the orifice of the ear is 









THE SPOON-BILLS. 1 07 

covered with plumes, whereas in the American Spoon-bill, 
Ajaja ajaja, the head is entirely bare and the orifice of the ear 
exposed. 

Platibis, which is confined to Australia, has no crest, but 
has ornamental breeding-plumes on the fore-neck, while the 
nostrils are differently placed to those of Platalea, which has a 
crest, but no ornamental feathers on the fore-neck. 



THE TRUE SPOON-BILLS. GENUS PLATALEA. 

Platalea, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 231 (1766). 

Type, P. leuccrodia, Linn. 

A bare head and the auricular orifice covered with plumes, 
are the main characters of this genus, but the position of the 
nostrils is also peculiar, the nasal opening being an elongated 
oval, situated in a narrow depression, which loses itself about 
the commencement of the narrowest part of the bill, and is 
continued in a narrow sub-marginal line, which runs to the tip 
of the bill. In the breeding-plumage a full crest is developed, 
but there are no ornamental plumes on the fore-neck or breast. 

Four species of Spoon-bill are known, all peculiar to the Old 
World. Our P. leucerodia of Europe is replaced in Australia 
and the Moluccas by P. regia and in Eastern Asia by P. 
minor, while in Africa a totally distinct species, P. alba, takes 
the place of the black-billed forms. P. alba has a red bill and 
legs, and is found in Africa and Madagascar. 

I. THE SPOON-BILL. PLATALEA LEUCERODIA. 

Platalea kucorodia, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 231 (1766); Macg. 
Brit. B. iv. p. 503 (1852); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 113 
(1883) ; Seebohm, Br. B. ii. p. 514 (1884) ; Saunders, ed. 
Yarr. Brit. B. iv. p. 237 (1884) ; id. Man. Br. B. p. 381 
(1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part. xii. (1890). 

Platea kucorodia, Dresser, B. Eur. vi. p. 319, pi. 407 (1873). 

Platalea leucerodia, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxvi. p. 44. 

(Plate LXXII.) 
Adult Male, Pure white above and below, including the quills 



io8 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

and tail-fen thers ; a large nuchal crest of pointed and droop- 
ing plumes ; on the crown and fore-neck a tinge of tawny or 
cinnamon-buff; bill deep slate-colour, irregularly barred with 
black, and having a yellow patch on the under-part ; feet black ; 
iris crimson. Total length, 38 inches; culmen, S'i ; wing, 
14-9; tail, 47; tarsus, 57. 

Adult Female, Similar to the male. 

Winter Plumage. White as in the breeding-plumage, but want- 
ing the crest of drooping plumes. Bare space before the eye 
flesh-colour or greenish-yellow ; eyelid yellow. 

Young Birds. White all over as in the winter plumage of the 
adults, and equally devoid of crest-plumes ; the primary- 
coverts and quills with black shafts, the outer primaries also 
blackish along the outer webs and at the tips ; bill yellow^ or, 
as the spring advances, pale inky-black, mottled with yellow 
at the tip ; the bare skin of the chin yellow ; feet and claws 
black ; iris red. 

Nestling, Covered with white down, the throat and loral 
region bare as in old birds ; bill yellow. 

Range in Great Britain. To the east and south of England and 
the south of Ireland the Spoon-bill is still an occasional visitor, 
but north of Yorkshire and in Scotland its occurrences have 
been less numerous. A Devonshire specimen from Colonel 
Montagu's collection is in the British Museum, as well as the 
bill of one which I shot in the Hoy near New Romney several 
years ago when collecting in company with Dr. Gordon Hogg. 
We were shooting some Terns, as the tide swept in, just as 
darkness was coming on, when a great bird hove in sight which 
I took to be a Gull at the time. In the failing light v/e could 
not find the place where it dropped, and the tide compelled 
us to retreat. A week later I found its body washed up into 
some reeds, and past all preserving. 

In olden times, the Spoon-bill, or " Shoveler " and " Shovs- 
lard," as it was called, bred in England, not only in Norfolk 
and Suffolk, but, as Mr. Harting has shown, near Goodwood, 
and at Fulham near London. It has long been extinguished as 
a breeding-species with us. 

Jlange outside the British Islands. The Spoon-bill is everywhere 



1HE SPOON-BILL. 169 

a local bird, requiring certain conditions of life not to be found 
in every country, and in the portions of Northern France 
where it used to nest, it no longer breeds, though it still does 
so, in a limited way, in Holland, where it is protected. It nests 
in Europe generally south of 56 N. lat., and especially in Spain 
and on the Danube, extending thence to Central Asia, India, 
and even to Japan, but its place in China is taken by P. minor. 
In Africa our Spoon-bill extends its range to North-eastern 
Africa as far as Socotra. 

Habits. To learn the ways of the Spoon-bill, a visit must be 
paid to the marshes which it frequents, and as the drainage of 
the fen lands and meres proceeds in Holland, as it has done 
in the bird's haunts in England, the species is becoming more 
and more rare, and the opportunities of observing it more 
difficult. It arrives in Europe in April, the earliest seen by 
Colonel Irby at Gibraltar being on the Qth of that month, 
and eggs are taken in Southern Spain early in May. Birds 
have been seen, however, by Major Verner in the same coun- 
try as early as the 2oth of February, and they leave Northern 
Europe in September and migrate in the south during October. 

Mr. Seebohm says that the Spoon-bill frequents open swamps 
and low-lying ground near the sea, rather than the centre of 
dense reed-beds and rush-covered marshes. It may sometimes 
be seen in swampy meadows, in similar localities to those 
which the White Stork loves to frequent. It walks about 
slowly and sedately, and, when alarmed, it often flies to a tall 
tree, where, perched perhaps on the topmost bough, it is a very 
conspicuous object for a great distance. It is very fond of 
frequenting mud-flats, searching them with its peculiar bill for 
food. It is rather shy, and seldom allows the observer to ap- 
proach it very closely. The food of the Spoon-bill is largely 
composed of crustaceans, molluscs, and small insects, which 
it catches with its broad bill, using it in the same manner that 
a Duck does. To this fare is added small fish, frogs, and 
quantities of vegetable matter, such as the buds and leaves of 
water-plants, and probably grass. The Spoon-bill does not 
appear ever to utter any note, beyond making a sharp snapping 
sound with its bill. 

Nest. In India the Spoon-bill breeds in trees in company 



no LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

with other Herons, just as it used to do in England in days 
gone by, but in Europe its nests are usually found on the 
ground or on low trees, such as willows or alders. A visit to the 
Horster Meer, near Amsterdam, where the birds are protected, 
is described by Dr. Sclater and the late Mr. W. A. Forbes in 
the "Ibis" for 1877 (pp. 412-416), who recount the finding 
of the eggs : " The nests were not situated so near together 
as those of the Cormorants, but scattered about two or three 
yards from each other, with thin patches of reeds growing be- 
tween them. There was, however, a clear open space in the 
neighbourhood, formed of broken-down reeds, in which the 
birds were said to congregate. The Spoon-bill's nest, in the 
Horster Meer at least, is a mere flattened surface of broken 
reed, not elevated more than two or three inches above the 
general level of the swamp ; and no other substance but reed 
appears to be used in its construction." 

Eggs. Four or five in number, of a dull chalky-white, 
with spots or streaks of reddish-brown, sometimes blotches. 
In some instances, too, there are only purplish underlying 
spots to be seen, with scarcely any overlying red blotches, 
while in others the underlying spots are scarcely to be distin- 
guished. They vary considerably in size, some being long and 
some round. Axis, 2'55-2'95 inches; diam., i'65-i'86. 



THE CRANE-LIKE BIRDS. ORDER GRUIFORME3. 

The characters for the definition of this Order are chiefly 
anatomical. The dorsal vertebrae are " heterocselous " and 
the spinal feather-tract is not defined on the neck. The oil- 
gland is tufted and the young are able to move about soon 
after they are hatched. There are generally no notches on the 
posterior margin of the breast-bone, and there are no powder- 
down patches as in the Herons. The True Cranes are a well 
marked Family, but some of the allied ones, such as the 
Sun-Bitterns (Eurypyges\ the Kagus (Rhinochetcs\&&& the Mas- 
carene Mesiiides, though allied to the Cranes, show several 
$t?ological differences. 



THE CRANES. 1 1 1 

THE TRUE CRANES. SUB-ORDER GRUES. 

In these birds the anterior part of the breast-bone is per- 
forated to receive the convolutions of the trachea, as in some of 
the Swans. The palate is schizognathous and the nostrils are 
holorhinal. The tail-feathers are twelve in number. The bill 
is stout and of about the same length as the head itself, the 
lower mandible being slightly grooved. The nasal depression 
extends for more than half the length of the upper mandible, 
and the nostril is shut in by a membrane behind. The inner 
secondaries are rather longer than the primaries, and they 
are generally composed of drooping plumes, with the feathers 
rather loose and ornamental. 

THE TRUE CRANES. GENUS GRUS. 

Grus, Pall. Misc. Zool. lasc. iv. pp. i 9 (1767). 

Type, Grus gtus (L.). 

I. THE COMMON CRANE. GRUS GRUS. 

Ardea grits. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 234 (1766). 

Grus cinerea, Meyer and Wolf, Taschenb. ii. p. 350(1810); 

Macg. Brit. B. iv. p. 20 (1852); Seeb. Brit. B. ii. p. 570 

(1884). 
Grus communtSy Bechst. ; Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 337, pi. 505 

(1873) ; B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 152 (1883) ; Saunders, 

ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iii. p. 178 (1883) ; id. Man. Brit. B. p. 

507 (1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xii. (1890). 
Grits grus, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiii. p. 250 (1894). 

(Plate LXXHf.) 

Adult Male General colour above dark ashy-grey ; wing- 
coverts like the back, the greater series clearer grey and some- 
what blackish towards their ends ; bastard-wing black, preceded 
by a row of grey-coverts, preceding the primary-coverts, which 
are black like the primaries, and somewhat shaded with grey 
near the base ; secondaries for the most part dark grey, more 
or less blackish on the outer webs and tips, the inner web 
lighter grey ; the innermost secondaries lanceolate, slaty-grey 
with black tips ; upper tail-coverts grey, as also the tail-feathers, 
the latter blackish towards the ends ; crown of head and lores 
bare, only covered by blackish hair-like bristles ; nape with a 
triangular patch of dark s^te-colour ; hind-neck white, as well 



112 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

as the sides of the neck, the sides of the head, and the ear- 
coverts as far as the eye ; feathers below the eye, sides of face 
and throat, dark slate-colour ; remainder of under surface from 
the lower throat downwards ashy-grey, including the under 
wing-cove.rts ; bill greyish-green, inclining to red near the base ; 
feet blackish-grey ; iris reddish ; eyelid reddish-brown. Total 
length, 36 inches; culmen, 47 ; wing, 22-0; tail, 8'o ; tarsus, 
9'5- 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in colour, but the orna- 
mental secondaries not so fully developed. 

Young Birds. Similar to the adults, but having a rust-coloured 
head, and all the feathers edged with fulvous. 

Nestling. Covered with down of a yellowish-buff colour, of a 
very dense texture. 

Range in Great Britain. That the Crane formerly bred in the 
British Islands is undoubted, and, as Mr. Howard Saunders says, 
"there is evidence that until the year 1590 the species used to 
breed in fens and swamps of the eastern counties, whilst its 
visits in winter continued with regularity to a later period, 
though they gradually diminished." In Ireland fossil remains of 
the Crane have been found, and this would seem to indicate 
that when that country was still more 'distressful ' than it is now, 
the Crane bred there also, in times gone by, in the swamps 
which its soul loves. Now it is only an accidental visitor, oc- 
curring more frequently than in other parts of Great Britain 
in the Orkneys and Shetland Islands. A few specimens have 
also been obtained in Ireland. 

Range outside the British Islands. -The Crane is found in suit- 
able localities over the greater part of Europe, where it breeds 
in the marshes, from Spain to Norway and Scandinavia gener- 
ally, as well as in Central Europe and Russia, wherever it can 
find the retired morasses which it affects. In 1894 I separated 
the Siberian and Indian Crane as a distinct species, Grits 
lilfordi, a paler form of our Common Crane, with the orna- 
mental secondaries light ashy-grey, instead of dark slate-colour. 
Mr. Blaauw, who has made these birds a special study, informs 
me that equally light-coloured individuals occur in Europe, 
and several of my friends believe that there is really no differ- 



THE COMMON CRANE. 113 

ence between European and Indian examples. The series in 
the British Museum, however, teaches a different conclusion, 
and I am as yet quite unconvinced that the two species are the 
same, because there is a great gap in the geographical distribu- 
tion of the two forms, as has been illustrated by Radakorf in 
his "Hand-Atlas." 

Habits. The Crane is a migratory bird to Europe, arriving in 
February in the south and reaching its northern breeding-home 
in April and May. Colonel Irby writes: "On the nth of 
March, 1874, Mr. Stark and myself had the pleasure of seeing 
them on passage, and a grand and extraordinary sight it was, 
as flock after flock passed over at a height of about two hun- 
dred yards, some in single line, and some in a V-shape, others in 
a Y-formation, all from time to time trumpeting loudly. We 
watched them for about an hour as they passed, during which 
time we calculated that at least four thousand must have flown 
by. This was early in the morning, and we were obliged to 
continue our journey ; but when we lost sight of the Vega of 
Casas Viejas, over which the Cranes were passing in a due 
northerly direction, there appeared to be no diminution in their 
numbers, and, as my friend remarked, ' one would not have 
believed that there were so many Cranes in the whole of 
Europe. ' " 

" Unlike the Herons and the Storks," writes Mr. Seebohm, 
" the Crane has a loud and not unmusical voice, which can be 
heard at an immense distance. The keel of the sternum is 
hollow, and the wind-pipe is convoluted between the plates 
on either side ; and from this long pipe, as from a trombone, 
proceed loud, clear, trumpet-like notes, so rapidly trilled as 
almost to split the ear with their vibrations. These notes can 
be variously modulated to express the different feelings of 
the bird. The Crane feeds more on vegetable than on animal 
food. It eats all sorts of corn, seeds, buck-wheat, peas, the 
tender shoots of aquatic plants, and even grass ; but it often 
devours worms, insects of various kinds, and even lizards and 
small frogs, but it is not known to eat fish." 

Nest. To again quote Colonel Irby, the " nests vary much 
in size, some being quite five feet across, others perhaps not 
more than eighteen inches ; some are deep, and stand high 



ii4 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

up ; others are almost level with the water, in which they are 
always built. The nest is always placed among sedges or 
rushes, sufficiently short for the bird, when standing up, to be 
able to see around, and is never built in tall reeds. It is very 
easy to find, as the old birds never fly direct to the nest, but 
alight some twenty or thirty yards away, and, walking up to it, 
form regular tracks like a cattle-path, so, by following one of 
these tracks, one may be sure of finding the nest ; nor do the 
old birds fly straight away from it, but walk off quietly to the 
end of one of these paths and then take wing. When ap- 
proached while sitting on the nest, the bird slips off, crouches 
down, and runs away for some yards." 

Egg S . Two in number, very rarely three ; of a coffee-brown 
to a stony-grey as regards the ground-colour. The eggs are 
double-spotted, the underlying spots being dull purplish-grey, 
while the overlying ones take the form of brown or reddish 
smudges and spots, generally distributed over the egg, but 
more often collected round the thicker end. Axis, 3'55-4'3 j 
diam., 2-3-2-5. 

THE DEMOISELLE CRANES. GENUS ANTHROPOIDES. 

AnthropoideS) Vieill. Analyse, p. 50 (1816). 

Type, A. virgo (Linn.). 

Unlike the True Cranes, the Demoiselle has a feathered head, 
with a long tuft of silky plumes on the ear-coverts, and the 
plumes of the lower throat are ornamental, elongated, and lan- 
ceolate. 

Only one species of the genus, A. virgo, is known, extend- 
ing from Southern Europe to Central Asia, and thence to 
Northern China, and wintering in Northern and North-eastern 
Africa as well as in North-western India. It has been observed 
once only in Great Britain, when one of a pair was shot in the 
Orkneys in May, 1863. As, however, the species is one which 
is constantly kept in menageries, these may have been escaped 
individuals. The same must have been actually the case with 
the Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina), which was shot in 
Ayrshire on Sunday, September lyth, 1871. This species is 
also one which is often kept in confinement. 



THE BUSTARDS. 1 15 

THE BUSTARDS AND PLOVERS. 

ORDER CHARADRIIFORMES. 

In this Order are found the Plovers, Sheath-bills (Chionis\ 
Seed-Snipes (Attagis), Jacanas (Parr<z\ Bustards, and Thick- 
knees. The palate is throughout schizognathous, but the nos- 
trils differ, being mostly schizorhinal, except in a few forms, 
where they are holorhinal. Next in order to the Cranes come 
the Bustards and the Thick-knees, the latter being Bustard-like 
Plovers, and forming the connecting link with the True Plovers. 

THE BUSTARDS. SUB-ORDER OTIDES. 

Besides the schizognathous palate, which is found in the 
whole Order Charadriiformes^ the Bustards differ from the 
bulk of the Plover-like birds in having holorhinal nostrils. 
The dorsal vertebras are heterocselous, and there are other 
osteological characters which are detailed in various works on 
the classification of birds, but on these I need not dilate 
further, as they are not necessary to an understanding of 
what a Bustard is. In form, in plumage, and in external 
character the birds are so peculiar as to be easily recognisable, 
if, indeed, anyone is so fortunate as to shoot a Bustard in 
the present day, for the Great Bustard has become extinct with 
us, and the other two species on the British List, the Little 
Bustard and Macqueen's Bustard, are only rare visitants. 

The Bustards are birds of the Old World only, and are dis- 
tributed over the whole of it in localities suited to their habits. 
They do not extend, however, very far to the north. Some 
dozen genera are admitted by zoologists, and of these three 
find place among our British birds. 

THE TRUE BUSTARDS. GENUS OTIS. 

Of is, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 264 (1766). 

Type, O. tarda, Linn. 

In former times there were probably many more species 
of Bustards in Europe than exist at the present moment, for 
remains of an extinct species have been described by Mr. 

I 2 



n6 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Lydekker from the Miocene of Bavaria. At present only 
two representatives of the genus Otis are known, one being 
the Otis tarda of Europe and Western Asia, which is 
replaced by O. dybowskii in Eastern Siberia and China. 
All the Bustards have a wavy or freckled plumage, and 
some of them have a largely developed shield of feathers 
over the crop, composed of the elongated plumes of the 
lower throat and fore-neck. To this section belongs Mac- 
queen's Bustard, mentioned later. The True Bustards, how- 
ever, have no such appendage, though the crop is of a bright 
chestnut-colour, and is capable of being distended to an enor- 
mous extent, when the bird "shows off" during the breeding 
season. The " Great " Bustard is so called in contrast to the 
"Little" Bustard (Tetrax tetrax\\^\\1 it is by no means the 
largest of the Family, as there are several species which ex- 
ceed Otis tarda in size. In the genus Otis there is no crest 
on the nape or hind-neck, but no other genus possesses the 
curious whisker-like plumes on the cheeks, which are so promi- 
nent an ornament in O. tarda and its Asiatic ally. 

I. THE GREAT BUSTARD. OTIS TARDA. 

Otis tarda, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 264 (1766); Macg. Brit. B. 
iv. p. 30 (1852); Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 369, pi. 508 
(1872); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 153 (1883); Saunders, 
ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iii. p. 193 (1884); Seebohm, Brit B. ii. 
p. 581 (1884); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 509 (1889); 
Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxi. (1892); Sharpe, Cat. 
B. Brit. Mus. xxxiii. p. 285 (1894). 

(Plate LXXIV.) 

Adult Male. General colour above sandy-rufous, with broad 
transverse bands of black, especially on the back and scapu- 
lars ; the upper tail-coverts and tail similarly banded, but of 
a lighter and more vinous-chestnut tint; tail-feathers tipped 
with white, the outer ones white at the base, and the three 
outermost almost entirely white, with a broad sub-terminal 
band of black ; lesser wing-coverts like the back, with some- 
what wider black bars ; median and greater coverts, bastard- 
wing, and primary-coverts white, powdered with grey towards 
their ends ; quills brown, with white bases ; the primaries white- 
shafted, and blackish at the tip and on the outer web ; second- 



THE TRUE BUSTARDS. 117 

aries blackish, the Vases white, this increasing in extent to- 
wards the inner secondaries, on which the black tip gradually 
disappears, so that the inner ones are quite white, the inner- 
most ones being like the back; crown light grey, tinged with 
rufous towards the hind-neck, which is barred across with 
black ; sides of face, ear-coverts, cheeks, and throat light grey, 
with elongated bristle-like feathers on each side of the chin ; 
lower throat and fore-neck orange-chestnut, forming a band 
across the fore-neck, which is washed with light grey, the sides 
of the neck with numerous small bars of black ; sides of upper 
breast sandy-rufous, barred with black ; rest of under surface 
of body pure white ; bill leaden-grey, the tip horn-black ; feet 
earthy-brown, the nails horny-black ; iris dark brown ; eyelid 
white. Total length, 42 inches; culmen, 2*1 ; wing, 23*5 ; tail, 
io'o ; tarsus, 6*0. 

Adult Female. Coloured like the male, but much smaller. 
The grey on the throat extends farther down, the sides of the 
neck being rufous with a few black bands, the rufous-colour 
descending on to the sides of the fore-neck. There are no 
ornamental bristly plumes on the cheeks. Total length, 30 
inches; culmen, 2'i ; wing, 19-5 ; tail, 8*5 ; tarsus, 5-3. 

Young Birds. Resemble the old female, but are paler and 
more freckled with dusky-brown bars on the wing-coverts, as 
well as on the white secondaries, which have a large dark sub- 
terminal bar. The crown is like the back, being blackish, 
blotched with sandy-buff markings, and the hind-neck is grey- 
ish ; the sides of the face and throat greyish-white, as also a 
broad eyebrow ; lower throat and fore-neck sandy-buff, freckled 
with dusky cross-markings ; sides of fore-neck sandy-rufous, 
with distinct black cross-bars. 

Range in Great Britain. According to Mr. Howard Saunders 
(Man. p. 509), "until the year 1526 the Great Bustard used 
to breed, sparingly, as far north as the flat portion of the Low- 
lands, on the Scottish side of the Border ; and southward it 
was common on the moors, extensive downs and plains of 
England, to the Channel. Enclosure, the planting of trees, 
and the increase of population contributed to the gradual 
diminution of its numbers, and it passed away, unrecorded, 
from Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, the wolds of 



n8 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY 

Lincolnshire, and the downs of Sussex, while the first ten years 
of this century saw the extinction of the birds indigenous to 
Salisbury Plain. On the eastern wolds of Yorkshire the sur- 
vivor of former droves was trapped in 1832-33; and in Nor- 
folk and Suffolk the last fertile eggs were taken about 1838, 
though a few birds lingered to a somewhat later date." Such 
is the epitome of the history of the extinction of this interest- 
ing bird, and now only an occasional visitor comes over to 
Britain, though sometimes several individuals are noticed, as 
was the case in 1870-71, when it is supposed that the Franco- 
German War and the consequent cannonading drove the birds 
from their usually quiet haunts. Again an influx took place in 
1879-80, when the species invaded Central and Northern France. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The Great Bustard is now 
rare in Denmark and Southern Sweden, where it used to 
breed, but is at present confined to Central and Southern 
Europe, being found in Hungary, certain parts of Germany 
and Poland, while it is by no means a rare bird in Spain. 
Eastwards it extends to Turkestan and Northern Afghanistan, 
and it occasionally wanders into the extreme north-west of 
the Indian Peninsula. In Siberia and China, O. tarda is re- 
placed by 0. dy bow skit. 

Habits. When I was in Hungary, I was very anxious to see 
the Great Bustard, but, though we passed through country in- 
habited by the birds, I was told that they were then difficult to 
observe, as they hid themselves in the fields of waving corn 
and were not to be seen flying. As this was in May, when 
Mr. Howard Saunders says that they moult their quills and 
are unable to fly, there is little wonder that I did not suc- 
ceed in seeing one on the wing. 

The food of the Great Bustard consists, besides occasional 
worms, lizards, and small rodents, of green food, such as corn 
and peas, and Dr. Aitchison records his finding in the crop of 
an old male bird shot in Northern Afghanistan a ball of grass, 
while the odour of the bird was such that it was with great 
difficulty he could be prevailed upon to preserve it. The flesh 
of the females and young birds is, however, highly esteemed. 

The males make a great show in the breeding-season, and 
fight for the possession of the hens. A cock Bustard, at all 



THE LESSER BUSTARDS, 119 

times a fine-looking bird, becomes an extraordinary object 
when in love, and betrays one of the most remarkable 
figures to be met with in nature. His " show-off " is some- 
what as follows : Standing before the female, he beats his 
feet on the ground, and begins by shaking his wings. He 
then turns his tail flat upon his back, crosses his long primary- 
quills, so that the ends protrude cross-wise over it, shakes 
up his scapulars and covers the quills so that nothing of 
them remains in sight. The white under tail-coverts are then 
brought up, so as to form a frill behind him. Then his 
wing-coverts are gradually turned forwards, and the four white 
inner secondaries are erected on each side of the back, while 
he buries his head in his neck, thereby causing his whiskers to 
stand erect on each side ; and then by means of the air-pouch 
under his tongue, he inflates his neck and throat to a pro- 
digious extent, his chestnut crop being in full evidence. The 
long parapteral feathers, which are really wing-coverts, share 
in the everting process of the latter, and are thrown forward, 
so as to show the elegant white plumes raised over each side 
of the back. That white is evidently a considerable attraction 
to the female, is shown by the fact that the bird constantly 
varies the display by springing suddenly round and exhibiting 
his other side to the female, where there are the white under 
tail-coverts for her to admire. In the Natural History Museum 
is an admirably mounted group of Bustards, executed by Mr. 
Pickhardt, and showing the results of his studies of the species 
in the Zoological Gardens, where this year (1895) the female 
Bustard laid eggs. 

Nest. None ; a mere hollow scraped in the ground. 

Eggs. Two or three in number. Generally olive-brown, 
double spotted, the underlying spots and blotches being faint 
purplish-grey, with similar overlying markings of light olive or 
brown. Axis, 27-3*25 inches; diam., 2*i-2'35. 

THE LESSER BUSTARDS. GENUS TETRAX. 
Tetrax, Leach, Syst. Cat. Mamm. &c. Brit. Mus. p. 28 (1816), 

Type, T. tetrax (Linn.). 
In this genus, which consists of one small species, there are 



120 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

no ornamental whisker-like plumes, but on the nape is a full 
crest of elongated feathers. The tarsus is very short. 

I. THE LITTLE BUSTARD. TETRAX TETRAX. 

Of is tetrax, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 264 (1766) ; Macg. Brit. B. 
i y - P- 35 ( l8 5 2 ); Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 382, pi. 509 
(1872); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 154 (1883); Seebohm, 
Brit. B. iii. p. 587 (1884); Saunders, ed. Yarr. Brit. B. 
iii. p. 216 (1883); id. Man. Brit. B. p. 511 (1889); Lil- 
ford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxiv. (1893). 
Tetrax tetrax, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiii. p. 289 (1894). 

(Plate LXXV.} 

Adult Male. Sandy-buff, vermiculated and blotched with 
black ; quills white, blackish towards their ends, and white at 
the tips ; the outer primaries blackish, with white bases, the 
white gradually increasing towards the secondaries, which are 
almost entirely white with an occasional spot of black, the 
innermost secondaries like the back ; tail with four black bars, 
the basal half white, the outer feathers broadly tipped with 
creamy-white ; crown of head, nape, and hind-neck brown, 
mottled with streaks and edges of sandy-buff, with which a few 
blue-grey feathers are intermixed ; lores and sides of crown 
pale sandy-buff, streaked with dark brown ; feathers above and 
round the eye uniform creamy-buff; sides efface, ear-coverts, 
cheeks, and throat light bluish-grey, bordered by a broad band 
of black, which extends from the sides of the hind-neck 
diagonally across the latter, and unites in a broad band which 
runs down the centre of the lower throat ; round the hind- 
neck, and occupying the sides of the latter, is a broad patch of 
black, uniting on the upper fore-neck ; this is bordered above 
by a broad band of white which encircles the hind-neck, sepa- 
rates the black on the sides of the neck, and descending on 
the latter to the lower throat, unites there in a point ; across 
the lower fore-neck is a broad band of black which is separated 
from the lower throat by a band of white, which traverses the 
fore-neck also ; remainder of under surface of body pure 
white ; bill horn-grey, black at the tip, dull yellowish at the 
base of the lower mandible ; feet dull ochre-yellow ; iris yellow- 
ish. Total length, 17 inches; culmen, 1*5; wing, 9-4; tail, 
37; tarsus, 2-4. 



\ 







THE LESSER BUSTARDS. 121 

Adult Female. Without the varied markings of the male, but 
scarcely differing in size. Rather lighter and more coarsely 
mottled with black than the male ; the hind-neck and mantle, 
as well as parts of the scapulars and back, spangled with ovate 
drops of sandy-buff, most of these drops having a twin-spot of 
black in the centre ; sides of face sandy-rufous, streaked with 
black ; throat white ; lower throat, fore-neck, and upper breast 
sandy-buff, the former streaked with black, and the fore-neck 
and chest with circular bars and spots of black ; remainder of 
under surface pure white, as also the under wing-coverts ; the 
lower primary-coverts with cross-bars of black ; wings as in the 
male, but the exterior coverts and the , greater series barred 
with black. Total length, 17 inches; culmen, I'l ; wing, 97 ; 
tail, 4*0 ; tarsus, 2*4. 

Young Birds. These can generally be distinguished from the 
adult female by the greater amount of barring on the chest, by 
the more profuse barring of the white upper tail-coverts, and 
by the sandy frecklings of the primary-coverts ; iris brownish- 
yellow. 

Eange in Great Britain. Although a few instances of the oc- 
currence of the Little Bustard in full breeding- dress have been 
recorded from our islands, the greater number of specimens 
have been captured in autumn and winter, chiefly in the 
southern and eastern counties. Four have been recorded 
from Scotland and two from Ireland. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Little Bustard is a mi- 
gratory bird in most parts of Europe, and breeds only in the 
open country suited to its habits. Thus it is plentiful in 
certain parts of France, Spain, and Russia, but it does not go 
very far north, though known as a straggler to Scandinavia, the 
Baltic Provinces, and the neighbourhood of St. Petersburg. 
Eastward it ranges to Turkestan, whence it visits North-western 
India in the cold season, at which time it is also found in 
North-eastern Africa. 

Habits. As a rule, the present species is a very shy bird 
and one difficult to procure, though it is often seen in flocks of 
a hundred or more at certain seasons. Colonel Irby writes : 
" I found the Little Bustard equally common in Marocco and 
Andalucia on all open, low, cultivated ground. On the dead 



122 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

level, or vega, of the Barbate near Casas Viejas at times, in 
early autumn, they positively swarmed in flocks sometimes of 
as many, or more, than a hundred together, frequenting this 
flat ground till it was swamped by the rains. They then re- 
sorted to higher and more undulating ground, and these large 
flocks dispersed and broke up into lots of from five to six or 
twenty in number. . . . Unlike the Great Bustard, they 
usually rose high up at once, and their power and rapidity of 
flight is astonishing for their size and weight. They were often 
seen flying somewhat like Golden Plover, twirling and twist- 
ing about at a great elevation ; and sometimes I watched them 
rise and go to such a height that it would have been difficult 
to tell what birds they were unless I had seen them fly up from 
the ground, . . . The Moorish names (Saf-saf or Sirt-sirt) 
are significant of the rattling noise which the Little Bustard 
makes in rising, and, when the flock is large, this can be 
heard a long way off. There is none of this sound of the 
wings in the rising of the slow-flying Great Bustard. . . . The 
male Little Bustard in the breeding-season has a most peculiar 
call, which can be easily imitated by pouting out the lips tight 
together and then blowing through them. The birds, when 
thus calling, seem to be close to one, but are often in reality 
half a mile off. They must possess powers of ventriloquism, 
as I have often imagined that they were quite near to me, but 
upon hunting the spot with a dog I found no signs of them 
anywhere near. Indeed, at that season, it is sometimes as 
difficult to make them rise as a Land-Rail." Mr. Howard Saun- 
ders says that the male assumes his breeding-plumage in April, 
at which time he selects a spot about three feet in diameter, 
on which he passes several hours each day, with head and neck 
thrown back, wings somewhat extended, and tail erect, pouring 
forth his peculiar cry of prut, prut, jumping up at the con- 
clusion of each call, and striking the ground in a peculiar 
manner on his descent. At this season, Mr. Abel Chapman 
found that the throat was much dilated (Man. p. 512). The 
food of the species is varied, and while chiefly consisting of 
grass and grain, also comprises frogs, small rodents, and 
insects. 

Nest On the ground, a small depression being lined with 
dry grass. 



THE RUFFED BUSTARDS. 123 

Egg S . Three or four in number; olive-brown to olive-green, 
or stone-colour in tint, the markings being very inconspicuous, 
so that the general aspect of the egg is uniform. The under- 
lying markings are dusky and scarcely distinguishable, while 
the overlying ones are obscure olive or reddish-brown. Axis, 
i'95~2'25; diam., 1*5-1 '6. 



THE RUFFED BUSTARDS. GENUS HOUBARA. 

Honiara, Bp. Saggio Met. Ucc. Europ. p. 144 (1831). 

Type, H, undulata (Jacq.). 

The Ruffed Bustards belong to the section of the Family 
which have an overhanging shield of feathers on the crop. In 
the genus Honiara the crown has an erectile crest of narrow 
feathers, and on the sides of the neck is a large ruff of soft 
feathery plumes. The tarsus is very short. 

Two species of Ruffed Bustard are known, Macqueen's Bus- 
tard of the British list, and the Mediterranean Ruffed Bustard 
(H. undulata)) the ranges of which are given below. 

i. MACQUEEN'S BUSTARD. HOUBARA MACQUEENII. 

Otis macqueeni) J. E. Gray ; Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 395, pi. 

511 (1876); Seebohm, Brit. B. ii. p. 591 (1884); Saun- 

ders, ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iii. p. 221 (1884); id. Man. Brit. 

B. p. 153 (1889). 
Houbara macqueenii, B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 154 (1883); 

Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiii. p. 318 (1894). 

Adult Mala. Freckled above with sandy and blackish, like 
other Bustards, but easily distinguished by its facial characters 
and ruff. The crown of the head is sandy-brown in colour, 
minutely freckled with blackish, and ornamented in the centre 
with a crest of a few elongated feathers, which are white tipped 
with black ; the occiput and nape greyish-white, with dusky 
frecklings ; the hind-neck covered with down of a sandy-buff 
colour ; on the sides of the crown a lateral crest of white, slightly 
freckled on the feathers over the eye ; lores and feathers round 
the eye white, with elongated black hair-like shafts to the 
feathers ; the sides of the face and ear-coverts pale sandy-buff, 



124 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

with the same blackish shafts ; cheeks white, the fore-part 
streaked with black shafts ; chin and upper throat white ; sides 
of neck black, commencing in a streak close behind the ear- 
coverts and extending into a ruff of stiffened feathers, the basal 
plumes black, the succeeding ones white, with broad black 
tips, succeeded by a tuft of feathery white plumes; lower 
throat and fore neck bluish-grey, the former obscured by 
sandy-buff, slightly freckled with black; the plumes of the fore- 
neck elongated and bluish-grey, with white tips ; remainder of 
under surface of body white, with some freckled feathers on 
the sides of the upper breast, and some black cross-bars on 
the under tail-coverts, all of the latter plumes with a concealed 
tinge of pink at the base; under wing-coverts and axillaries 
pure white ; bill bluish or dusky above, paler, usually greenish 
or yellowish, on the gape and lower mandible ; feet pale yellow, 
never clean and bright, mostly with a dingy greenish or plum- 
beous tinge, at times creamy ; iris varying from pale to bright 
yellow. Total length, 28 inches; culmen, i'8; wing, 157; 
tail, 9'5 ; tarsus, 4'g. 

Adult Female. Smaller than the male, with the crest and ruff 
less developed, the freckling on the lower throat and fore-neck 
rather coarser. Total length, 23 inches ; culmen, 1*65; wing, 
i6'o; tail, 7*0; tarsus, 3*7. 

Young Birds. Resemble the old female, but always to be dis- 
tinguished by the arrow-head markings of sandy-buff on the 
upper surface. The grey on the fore-neck is obscured by 
sandy frecklings, and the white primaries are deeply tinged 
with sandy-buff. The frill is always much smaller, and only a 
few elongated feathers represent the crest of the adults, these 
plumes being coarsely freckled with black. 

Range in Great Britain. One of our rarest visitors, only two 
examples being known to have occurred within our limits, one 
having been killed near Kirton-in-Lindsey in Lincolnshire in 
October, 1847, and another near Redcar in October, 1892. 

Range outside tlie British Islands. The breeding-place of Mac- 
queen's Bustard appears to be the steppes of Central Asia as 
far east as the Altai Mountains and the Baikal district. In 
winter it is found in great abundance in North-western India 
and Sind, and it also winters in Persia and Baluchistan, as far as 



THE RUFFED BUSTARDS. 125 

the Caspian Sea. It has been killed in many parts of Cen- 
tral Europe, but rarely reaches the countries of Northern 
Europe. Its ally, the Arabian Ruffed Bustard (Houbara undii- 
latd], occurs in the countries of the Mediterranean, eastwards to 
Armenia and westwards to the Canaries, the Bustards of Fuer- 
teventura having been lately considered to be a distinct species, 
which has been described as O. fuerteventura by the Hon. 
Walter Rothschild and Mr. E. Hartert 

H. undulata has a white crest, and the fore-neck a/nd chest 
are white like the rest of the under surface of the body. 

Habits. The best account of the habits of the present species 
is that published by Mr. A. O. Hume in the " Game Birds of 
India," from which I make the following extracts : " I have 
never heard this bird utter any sound, either when feeding un- 
disturbed, or when suddenly flushed, or when wounded and 
seized, or about to be seized, by man or dog. Possibly during 
the breeding-season the males have some call. 

" By preference, the Houbara affects the nearly level, though 
slightly undulating, sandy semi-desert plains, which constitute 
so important a feature in the physical geography of Western 
India. Plains, semi-desert indeed, but yet affording in places 
thin patches, in places a continuous area, of low scrubby cover, 
in which the dwarf Zizyphus (the Ber), the Lana {Anabasis 
multiflora), the Booee (Jrna booii\ various Salsolas, stunted 
acacia-bushes, and odorous tufts of lemon-grass are conspicuous. 

"Here the Houbara trots about early and late, squatting 
under the shade of some bush, during the sunniest hours of 
the day, feeding very largely on the small fruit of the Ber, or 
the berries of the Grewia, or the young shoots of the lemon- 
grass, and other herbs ; now picking up an ant or two, now a 
grasshopper or beetle, and now a tiny land-shell or stone, but 
living chiefly as a vegetarian, and never with us, to judge from 
the hundreds I have examined, feeding on lizards, snakes, and 
the like, as the Great Bustard certainly does, and the African 
Houbara is said to do. 

" The Houbara greatly prefers running to flying, and when 
the weather is not too hot, will make its way through the laby- 
rinth of little bushes which constitute its home at a really sur- 
prising pace. So long as the cover is low, its neck and body 
are held as low as possible, but as soon as it gets where it 



126 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

thinks it cannot be seen, it pulls up, and, raising its head as 
high as possible, takes a good look at its pursuers. Not un- 
frequently it then concludes to squat, and though you may 
have been, unobserved, watching it carefully, whilst it was only 
watching others of the party coming from an opposite direction, 
it becomes absolutely invisible the moment it settles down at 
the foot of a bush or stone. Once it has thus settled, especially 
if it is hot and about noon, you may walk past it within ten 
yards without flushing it, if you walk carelessly and keep look- 
ing in another direction. 

11 But it is weary work trudging on foot, under an Indian 
sun, after birds that run as these can and will, and in the dis- 
tricts where they are plentiful, people always either hawk them 
or shoot them from camels. 

" Off a camel, a large bag is easily made, and as, whilst 
after these Bustards, you get from time to time shots at Ante- 
lope or Ravine-Deer, Quail, Partridges, and, on rare occasions, 
a Great Bustard also, it is not bad fun, though rather monoto- 
nous, like the scenery that surrounds one. 

" In some parts of the country, the Houbara greatly affect 
fields of mustard and other crops yielding the oil-seeds of com- 
merce, of which there is a vast variety, known by half a dozen 
different names, in almost every province. 

" I have occasionally seen them in wheat, barley, and other 
grain fields, but only when these were young and tender." 

Nest. None. 

Eggs. Two or three in number ; clay-brown or olive-brown 
in colour, with faint underlying spots and blotches of purplish- 
grey, the overlying spots being dark brown and generally some- 
what longitudinal in shape. Axis, 2-2-2-55 inches; diam., 
i -6-1 8. 



THE THICK-KNEES. SUB-ORDER (EDICNEMI. 

The Thick-knees, or Stone-Curlews, form an intermediate 
group between the Bustards and the Plovers, and they have 
been called before now Thick-kneed Bustards, as well as 
Norfolk " Plovers." Stone-" Curlew " is not a good name for 
these birds, as they have little to do with the True Curlews 



* 




THE THICK-KNEES. 127 

(Numenius), but they are generally known by this title, and so 
I retain it. 

Like the Bustards, the Thick-knees have a schizorhinal palate 
and holorhinal nostril, and share with them another point, viz., 
the absence of the hind-toe, or hallux. There are, however, 
many anatomical characters in which the two groups differ, 
and in many of these the Thick-knees show relationship with 
the Plovers. In habits they are Bustard-like in many respects, 
but their eggs are more like those of the Plovers, and they 
never make any nest. 

There are four genera of Thick -knees, of which Bttrhinus^ 
Esacus, and Orthorhamphus are Indian and Australian, while 
the genus (Edicnemus is found all over the temperate parts of 
the Palaearctic Region, and extends throughout Africa, India, 
and the Burmese countries. It is also found in America from 
Mexico to Amazonia and Peru. 

THE TRUE THICK-KNEES. GENUS CEDICNEMUS. 

(Edicnemus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. p. 321 (1815). 

Type, (E. cedicnemus (Linn.). 

I. THE STONE-CURLEW. CEDICNEMUS CEDICNEMUS. 

Charadrius adicnemus, Linn. Syst, Nat. i. p. 255 (1766). 
(Edicnemus crepitans, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 77 (1852); Seeb. 

Br. B. ii. p. 696, pi. xxi. figs. 6, 7 (1884). 
(Edicnemus scolopax, Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 401, pi. 512 

(1876); B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 155 (1883); Saunders, 

ed. Yarr. Br. B. iii. p. 225 (1884) ; Saunders, Man. Brit. B. 

p. 515 (1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxxi. (1895). 
(Edicnemus cedicnemus, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 6. 

(Plate LXXVI.} 

Adult Male. General colour above sandy-buff, with blackish 
centres to the feathers ; lesser wing-coverts a little more tawny, 
with broad black streaks ; median coverts greyish, mesially 
streaked with black, tipped also with black, before which is a 
broad sub-terminal bar of white ; greater coverts white, ashy at 
the base, and with a broad sub-terminal bar of black ; primary- 
coverts and quills blackish, with white spots on the middle of 
the latter, the inner secondaries elongated and tinged with 



123 

tawny ; crown of head like the back, hut with narrower black 
stripes ; lores, eyebrow, and a band below the eye white, ex- 
tending across the ear-coverts, the upper margin of which is 
blackish-brown continued into a black line underneath the eye 
and ending in front of the latter ; cheeks and throat white ; 
lower throat and fore-neck tawny-buff, streaked with black, 
these streaks becoming narrower on the breast and sides of the 
body, which are paler tawny-buff; breast, abdomen, and thighs 
white; under tail-coverts tawny; under wing-coverts and axii- 
laries white; bill greenish-yellow, black at the point; feet 
yellow; iris very large and golden-yellow. Total length, 16 
inches; oilmen, r6; wing, 9*35; tail, 4*7; tarsus, 3-1. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in colour. Total length, 
16 inches; culmen, 1*65; wing, 9*5; tail, 4/9; tarsus, 275. 

Young Birds. Very similar to the adults, but distinguished by 
the colour of the wing-coverts, which are dusky-blackish at the 
base, with broad white ends. In the old birds the bases of 
these coverts are white, and the tips are white with a broad 
sub-terminal bar of black. The general colour of the young 
birds is more tawny than the adults. 

Nestling. Entirely clothed in sandy-coloured down, paler on 
the throat and abdomen, and streaked with bands and lines of 
black, distributed over the body in regular patterns. 

Range in Great Britain. To most parts of England the Stone- 
Curlew is only a summer visitor, arriving in April and leaving 
in October, but a certain number pass the winter in the south 
of Devonshire and Cornwall. It has been found breeding in 
the southern and eastern counties, as well as in the midlands, 
but becomes rare to the north of Yorkshire, and only one in- 
stance of its occurrence in Scotland is known, while Ireland 
has received but a few visits. In Wales, also, it is almost un- 
known. 

Range outside the British Islands. An inhabitant of the tem- 
perate portion of Europe, visiting Northern Germany in sum- 
mer, and straggling occasionally into Denmark. In the Medi- 
terranean countries it is mostly resident, but an immigration 
takes place in the winter, when the Thick-knee visits North- 
eastern Africa down to the latitude of Aden. Eastwards the 



THE THICK-KNEES. 129 

species extends to Central Asia and the Altai district, win- 
tering in India and the Burmese provinces. The Indian birds 
have been separated as a distinct race, as the generality of 
specimens are smaller, while the third primary has a white spot. 
This is a character which is found in some European speci- 
mens, and no line of difference can be drawn between European 
and Asiatic examples. f 

Habits. Open spaces, heaths, and wolds are the natural 
habitat of the Thick-knee, which is a particularly shy and timid 
bird. The bare parts of the eastern counties and our southern 
downs, the wilds of Salisbury Plain, and the wide extent of 
shingly beach on the coast of Kent all these are favourite 
resorts of the species in England, and it is in these localities it 
breeds. Sometimes a single pair will be found inhabiting a 
wide extent of the Hampshire Downs, while on Salisbury Plain 
several pairs will be encountered in the space of a single day. 
I have kept several of these birds in confinement, and allowed 
them the run of a garden, but they are always timid, and 
never become very tame. When pursued, they have the 
curious habit of running along for some distance with their 
necks outstretched, and then lying down with extended neck, 
evidently trusting to the similarity of their plumage to their 
barren surroundings for concealment. They will lie thus and 
allow themselves to be taken by the hand. The note is 
musical when the bird is flying in the air, calling to his mate, 
but changes to a note of terror when a Peregrine comes in 
sight, and I have seen several captured by trained Hawks. 
Thick-knees are, as a rule, more active in the evening, and 
are rather silent birds during the day. They will eat almost 
anything, from a field-mouse or a frog to a worm or an 
insect, though beetles constitute a large proportion of their 
food. I have known a young one to be brought up largely on 
meat, and slices off the breast of a freshly-killed Sparrow were 
swallowed with avidity. 

Nest. None, the eggs being deposited on the bare earth in 
a shallow depression. They so closely resemble their sur- 
roundings that they can easily be mistaken for the stones, 
of which there are generally plenty on the fallow ground 
selected by the bird for the deposition of its eggs. They are 

II K 



130 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

thus extremely difficult to find, the more so as the female 
generally runs away from the eggs for a considerable distance 
before taking wing. 

Mr. Robert Read writes to me : " A few pairs of the Stone- 
Curlew still nest on the vast stretches of shingle along the 
shores of our south-eastern counties, where the eggs are exceed- 
ingly hard to find. Before the eggs are incubated, the old 
birds keep away from the nest all day, returning at night, when 
their shrill cries give rise to the local name of ' Night-Hawk.' " 

Eggs. Two in number, laid on the pebbles, without any 
sign of a nest. Mr. Read says: "Sometimes they closely 
resemble each other, but sometimes they are widely different 
in colour and markings. I have seen the eggs lying side by 
side, with a couple of stones in close proximity, which so 
closely resembled the eggs, that the latter might easily have 
been passed by unnoticed." The eggs are of a dark or light 
stone-colour, and are covered indiscriminately with brown 
spots or blotches, the latter being sometimes nearly black. 
The underlying markings are faint grey, and are generally 
obscure, but in one or two pale eggs they actually predominate 
and the dark markings are in a minority. Axis, i '9-2-4 inches ; 
diam., 1-45-1-6. 

THE COURSERS. SUB-ORDER CURSORII. 

The Coursers are entirely birds of the Old World. Like all 
Plovers they have a schizognathous palate, but, with the ex- 
ception of the Black-and-grey Courser (Pluvianus cegyptius}^ 
the nostrils are schizorhinal. The tarsus is transversely scaled 
in front. The Sub-order contains many different forms, such 
as the Crab-Plover (Dramas ardeola), which lays a white egg 
in a tunnel in the sand, and the Pratincoles, to which I shall 
refer later on. 

THE TRUE COURSERS. GENUS CURSORIUS. 

Cursorius, Lath. Ind. Orn. ii. p. 751 (1790). 
Type, C. gallicus (Gm.). 

The True Coursers have a curious pectination on the middle 
claw, which is notched on its inner side. Five species of the 



THE COURSERS. 131 

genus Cursorius are known, of which three are peculiar to 
Africa, one to the desert portions of the Mediterranean Sub- 
region and Central Asia, while one, C. coromandelicus^ is only 
found in India. 

I. THE CREAM-COLOURED COURSER. CURSORIUS GALLICUS. 



Charadrius gallicus, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i. p. 692 

Cursorius europceus, Macg. Brit. B, iv. p. 42 (1852); Saunders, 

ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iii. p. 238 (1883). 
Cursorius galliots ) Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 425, pi. 544 (1875); 

B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 156 (1883) ; Secbohm, Brit. B. 

iii. p. 63 (1885); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 519 (1889); 

Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxviii. (1894); Sharpe, Cat. 

B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 34. 

Adult Male. General colour isabelline-buff or pale-tawny on 
the back ; wing-coverts like the back ; primary-quills black, 
the secondaries also black, but with sandy-coloured edges and 
white fringes at the ends ; tail-feathers sandy-rufous, tipped 
with white, before which is a black sub-terminal band ; fore- 
part of crown sandy-rufous ; hinder crown and nape pale bluish- 
grey, concealing a black patch on the nape ; lores isabelline- 
white ; a broad white band above the eye, joining on the nape, 
followed by a black band from behind the eye, above the 
ear-coverts to the nape ; feathers below the eye whitish ; ear- 
coverts sandy-rufous; fore-part of cheeks and upper throat 
white ; lower throat and under surface of body sandy-isabelline, 
becoming whiter on the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; 
under wing-coverts, axillaries, and quill-lining black; the lesser 
lower wing-coverts sandy-rufous ; bill dusky-black ; the angle 
of the mouth and base of the lower mandible white ; feet 
china-white ; iris umber-brown. Total length, 9 inches ; cul- 
men, ro; wing, 6-35; tail, 2-35; tarsus, 2-25. 

Adult Female. Similar in colour to the male. Total length, 
9 inches ; oilmen, 0-95; wing, 6*2; tail, 2-3; tarsus, 2-1. 

Young Birds. Similarly coloured to the adults, but with wavy 
bands of dusky-grey all over the upper surface. 

Range in Great Britain. An accidental wanderer to our islands, 
not yet noticed in Ireland, and only once in Scotland. About 
twenty examples have, however, been recorded from various 

K 2 



132 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

counties of England, mostly from the south, but the species 
has also been met with in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, North- 
umberland, and Cumberland. 

Kange outside the British Islands. The Cream-coloured Courser 
is a bird of the deserts of the Mediterranean Sub-region, 
and the Canary Islands, on one of which, Fuerteventura, it 
is so plentiful that hundreds of its eggs have been collected 
there during recent years. It is found as far south as Kordo- 
fan in Africa, and thence extends through Arabia to Persia 
and Central Asia and North-western India. 

HaMts. In Colonel Irby's " Ornithology of the Straits of 
Gibraltar," one of the most interesting notes is that on the 
Cream-coloured Courser, as recorded by the French naturalist 
Favier, whose MSS. Colonel Irby saved from oblivion. The 
latter writes : " Their food is entirely insects or larvae, parti- 
cularly Pentatoma torquata, and different kinds of grasshoppers. 
They are met with in small parties, usually frequenting dry 
arid plains, where they spread out in all directions, running 
after insects, and are very wary and difficult to get a shot at. 
Their cry of alarm is much like that of the Plover. They rest 
and sleep in a sitting position, with their legs doubled under 
them. Should they not fly away when approached, they run 
off with astonishing swiftness, manoeuvring to get out of 
sight behind stones and clods of earth, there, kneeling down 
and stretching the body and head flat on the ground, they 
endeavour to make themselves invisible, though all the time 
their eyes are fixed on the object which disturbs them, and 
they keep on the alert ready to rush off again if one continues 
to approach them." Favier kept more than one in confine- 
ment, and obtained thirty-six eggs, which, until the recent in- 
flux of specimens from Fuerteventura, were almost the only 
genuine ones in collections. The only note which he heard 
the species utter he renders by the word "rererer" It will 
be noticed that the method of concealment adopted by the 
Courser is not unlike that practised by the Thick-knee. 

N es t. None, the eggs being laid in a little depression 
among stones, which closely resemble them. 

Eggs. Two in number, stone-colour in general appearance, 
thickly mottled all over with brown dots and scribblings, some 



THE PRATINCOLES. 133 

of the spots being larger and taking the form of blotches. The 
underlying grey spots are equally distributed and mixed up with 
the darker ones. Axis, i'35-i'4 inch; diam., i'o-i'i. 

THE PRATINCOLES. GENUS GLAREOLA. 
Glareola,) Brisson, Orn. v. p. 141 (1760). 

These curious birds were placed even by so great a naturalist 
as Sundevall among the Night-Jars, principally on account 
of their pectinated middle claw, which is a Caprimulgine 
character. We have, however, already seen that this peculiarity 
is also shared by the Coursers, from which the Pratincoles 
differ in their extraordinarily long wings, the primaries being 
pointed and reaching to the tip of the tail, or even beyond it. 
There are three genera of the Pratincoles, the genus Stiltia of 
Australia, with very long legs, like those of the Coursers, the 
True Pratincoles (Glartola) and the Dwarf Pratincoles (Galac- 
tochrysea), all of which have very short legs. 

THE TRUE PRATINCOLES. GENUS GLAREOLA. 

Glareold) Brisson, Orn. v. p. 141 (1760). 

Type, G. pratincola (Linn.). 

From its long wings this Pratincole was actually placed by 
Linnaeus among the Swallows, and we have already seen that 
so recently as 1872 Sundevall classed it with the Night- Jars. 
Besides the short tarsus, the genus Glareola is distinguished by 
its strongly forked tail, the outer feather exceeding the others 
in length. 

I. THE PRATINCOLE. GLAREOLA PRATINCOLA. 

Hirundo pratincola. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 345 (1766). 

Glareola pratincola^ Macg. Brit. B. iv. p. 49 (1852); Dresser, 
B. Eur. vii. p. 411, pi. 513, fig. i (1874); B. O. U. List 
Brit. B. p. 155 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iii. p. 
231(1883); Seebohm, Brit. B. iii. p. 69(1885); Saunders, 
Man. Brit. B. p. 517 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. 
part xxviii. (1894) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 55. 
(Plate LXXVIL) 



134 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Adult Male. General colour above olive-brown, slightly 
glossed with green ; wing coverts and long inner secondaries 
like the back ; quills greenish-black, the secondaries externally 
olive-brown, inclining to ashy- whitish at their ends ; upper 
tail-coverts white; tail greatly forked, the feathers blackish, 
with a green gloss and paler brown tips, the base white, this 
gradually increasing in extent towards the outer feathers, while 
on the outermost one the white occupies the basal two-thirds ; 
head like the back, the feathers below the eye whitish ; the 
fore-part of the cheeks and throat sandy-buff, surrounded by a 
white line, followed by a black line, which runs from the front 
part of the eye, and is followed by a whitish shade ; ear-coverts, 
hinder cheeks, sides of neck, fore-neck, and breast dark ashy- 
brown ; lower breast, abdomen, thighs, and under tail-coverts 
white ; axillaries and inner under wing-coverts chestnut, the 
former with black bases ; rest of wing-coverts blackish, with a 
little patch of white near the lower primary-coverts ; bill dark 
brown, red at the base behind the nostril ; feet black ; iris 
brown. Total length, 8'8 inches; oilmen, o'8; wing, 7-5; 
tail, 3-8 ; tarsus, 1*25. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in colour. Total length, 
9-2 inches; culmen, 07 ; wing, 7-15 ; tail, 4-2 ; tarsus, 1-2. 

Young Birds. Recognisable by the whitish edgings to the 
feathers of the upper surface, all the light markings having a 
sub-terminal bar of black; quills and tail-feathers similarly 
fringed and tipped with black; cheeks and throat creamy- 
white, with narrow blackish shaft-lines ; fore-neck and lower 
throat ashy-grey, edged with white and mottled with sub- 
terminal bars of black ; chest creamy-buff ; remainder of 
under surface of body white. 

Range in Great Britain. An occasional visitor in spring and 
autumn, appearing during the season of migration. It has 
occurred in most of our southern and eastern counties, but 
also in Lancashire and Cumberland, and even in Unst, the 
most northern of the Shetland Isles. One example has been 
recorded from Co. Cork in Ireland. 

Range outside the British Islands. In localities suited to its 
habits, the Pratincole is found breeding in most of the 
Mediteiranean countries, whence, according to Mr. Howard 



THE PRATINCOLES. 135 

Saunders, it extends its course to the Camargue in the south 
of France, where again it finds suitable breeding-ground, a 
few ascending the valley of the Rhone to Savoy, and spreading 
out over the central and northern districts of France as far 
west as the mouth of the Somme. The Pratincole also inhabits 
Hungary, but is rare in Poland. Eastwards its range extends 
to Central Asia, where it is found along with Nordmann's 
Pratincole (G. melanoptera}, the species of Southern Russia, 
which is easily distinguished from the Common Pratincole 
by its black under wing-coverts and axillaries. In winter, 
G. pratincola extends to India, where G. melanoptera is, as 
yet, unknown, but both Pratincoles winter in Africa. 

Habits. The ways of the Pratincole are very different in 
many respects from those of other Plovers. Although its legs 
are very short, it is able to run with great swiftness, and its 
flight is very powerful, resembling that of a Swallow, and, 
like the latter bird, the Pratincole captures much of its prey 
on the wing. Mr. Seebohm relates that the bird has a very 
peculiar habit of feigning lameness. " Before the breeding- 
season has fairly commenced," he says, " you may stand on a 
piece of fallow ground and watch a dozen birds, each within 
pistol-shot, lying on their sides and making apparently constant 
efforts to expand a wing, as if in the last death-struggle, and 
yet you may search in vain for an egg." Mr. Osbert Salvin, 
who found the species breeding in the district of the Eastern 
Atlas, writes : " The Pratincole was found on the table-lands of 
the interior, frequenting the salt lakes and fresh-water marshes. 
Its fearless manner and familiar habits cause it to rank high 
among the interesting birds of the country ; and I remember 
few that I have watched with greater pleasure. When in 
proximity to their nests, the whole flock come wheeling and 
screaming round, while some dart passionately down to with- 
in a few feet of the intruder's head, retiring again to make 
another descent. When the first transports of excitement are 
over, they all alight one by one on the ground. Some stand 
quite still, watching with enquiring gaze ; while others stretch 
themselves out, first expanding one wing, then the other, and 
sitting down, extend both legs. In this position they remain 
for some seconds, as if dead, when, suddenly springing up, 



i 3 6 

they make another circuit overhead, and the whole flock passes 
quietly away." 

Colonel Irby writes : " We found this bird in April, on the 
dried mud at the lakes of Meshree el Haddar, south of 
Laroche in Marocco, in countless thousands. They had not 
then begun to lay ; so possibly some of these swarms would 
pass on northwards. We there witnessed a number of these birds 
mobbing a Marsh-Harrier which had intruded on their ground, 
buffeting and bullying him just as Peewits will do when a 
Hawk passes near their breeding-ground. At times at least 
one hundred Pratincoles were dashing at once about the 
Harrier, which soon made its best way out of their district. 
Pratincoles are very crepuscular in their habits, flitting up and 
down over the surface of a river or pool much after the manner 
of the Indian Skimmer (Rhynchops albicollis) very late in the 
evening as late, indeed, as they can be distinguished. They 
are then silent, but by day especially when disturbed, their cry 
is ceaseless, and the Moorish name of ' Gharrak ' is doubtless 
derived from, as it is suggestive of, their note. They are birds 
of powerful flight, reminding one much of the Terns in this 
respect." In Greece, Mr. Seebohm found the Pratincoles less 
gregarious, and on the islands of the lagoon of Missolonghi he 
often met with single pairs nesting, and on none of them 
more than half a dozen pairs. 

Nest. None, the eggs being laid in a depression in the 
ground, though, as often as not, there is no perceptible hole. 

Eggs. Three in number, varying remarkably in colour and 
markings, which are sometimes so thickly distributed as to 
hide the ground-colour of the egg itself. This varies from 
a stony-buff to grey, creamy-buff, or clay-brown, and the black 
marks take the form of small or large spots or irregular 
blotches, and they are, as a rule, universally distributed over 
the egg. The underlying spots are faint purplish-grey, and 
are also spread indiscriminately over the egg. Axis, ri-i'4 
inch ; diam., O'Q-O^. 

THE WADERS. SUB-ORDER CHARADRII. 

In this Sub-order are comprised all the Plovers, Sand- 
pipers, and Snipes, generally known as Waders. They all have 



THE PLOVERS. 137 

a schizognathous palate, opisthocoelous dorsal vertebrae, and no 
basipterygoid processes. The nostrils are schizorhinal, the 
spinal-feather tract is forked on the upper back, and occipital 
fontanelles are present. Most of the species have young 
covered with golden or buff down variegated with black, and 
they are able to run and pick up food for themselves soon after 
they are hatched. 

The Charadrii are found in every portion of the globe, and 
are amongst the most migratory of birds, breeding in the ex- 
treme north, and many of them reaching the southernmost points 
of America, Africa, and Asia on their winter migrations. 



THE PLOVERS AND SNIPES. FAMILY 
CHARADRIID.E. 

There is but one Family in the Sub-order Charadrii, and its 
characters are, of course, synonymous with those of the Sub- 
order. In this volume I have followed the arrangement 
adopted by Mr. Howard Saunders in his excellent " Manual," 
but in the " Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum," I have 
adopted the following sequence of the Sub-families of the 
Charadriidcc : I. ArenariincR (Turn-stones); II. Hcematopo- 
dince (Oyster-catchers) ; III. Lobivanellince (Wattled Plovers) ; 
IV. Charadriincc (True Plovers), Himantopodince (Stilts and 
Avocets), TotanintK (Sandpipers), Scolopacina (Snipes), and 
Phalaropince. (Phalaropes). 

In my present arrangement I begin with 



THE TRUE PLOVERS. SUB-FAMILY 
CHARADRIIN^E. 

All the True Plovers have the tarsus reticulated both in front 
and behind, the reticulations being generally well-marked and 
in the form of hexagonal scales, but not transverse plates, as in 
many Plovers. There is also a "dertrum," or swelling of the 
end of the bill, which is more prominent than the basal por- 
tion. 

Among the Charadriincz are contained a few genera of 



138 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Wattled and Spurred Plovers, the former having a lappet of 
bright coloured skin on the face, while the spur, in those 
genera which possess it, like the Nile Plover (Hoplopterus 
spetiosus), is often quite a formidable weapon. In England, 
however, none of these forms have as yet made their appearance 
in a wild state, and all our species are unarmed and un- 
decorated. 



THE GREY PLOVERS. GENUS SQUATAROLA. 

Squatarola^ Leach, Syst. Cat. Mamm. & Birds, Brit. Mus. 
p. 29 (1816). 

Type, S. helvetica (Linn.). 

In the first group of Plovers, to which the genus Squatarola 
belongs, the inner secondaries are always very long and pointed. 
They are all birds of rapid flight, and very different in the 
latter respect from the slower and more flapping Lapwings. 
The Grey Plover, which is the only species of the genus 
Squatarola^ puts on a black breast in summer, like the Golden 
Plovers (Charadrius), but it is easily distinguished from the 
latter by ti\e presence of a small hind-toe. 

I. THE GREY PLOVER. SQUATAROLA HELVETICA. 

Tringa helvetica. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 250 (1766). 
Pluvialis squatarola^ Macg. Brit. B. iv. p. 86 (1852). 
Squatarola helvetica^ Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 455, pis. 515, fig. 

2, 517, fig. 2, 518, fig. 2 (1871) ; B. O. U. List Br. B. p. 

158 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. Brit B. iii. p. 278 (1883) ; 

id. Man. Brit. B. p. 535 (1889) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. 

Mus. xxiv. p. 182. 

Charadrius helveticus^ Seebohm, Brit. B. iii. p. 44 (1886). 
Squatarola cinerea, Lilford. Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xviii. (1891). 

Adult Male. General colour above mottled with bars of black 
and ashy-white, the latter in the form of notches and tips on 
the feathers ; scapulars and wing-coverts like the back, the 
greater series edged with white, and the inner ones notched ; 
quills black, with the middle of the shaft white, and with white 
on the inner webs, extending on the inner primaries to the 



THE GREY PLOVER. 139 

outer web also ; the secondaries brown, edged and tipped with 
white, the bases of the inner webs also white ; the innermost 
secondaries like the back ; lower back and rump dusky-brown, 
with white spots and fringes on the feathers ; upper tail-coverts 
and tail feathers white, barred with black or blackish-brown, 
the bars decreasing towards the outer feathers, being broken 
up into spots on the outer web ; crown of head like the back, 
but more hoary-white and less spotted with black ; forehead 
and a broad eyebrow white, extending down the sides of the 
neck, and forming a large patch on the sides of the uppei 
breast ; lores, side of face, ear-coverts, and under surface of 
body black, excepting the abdomen and under tail-coverts, 
which are pure white ; under wing-coverts white ; axillaries 
black ; quills below dusky, white on the inner webs ; lower 
primary-coverts pale ashy ; bill, feet, and claws black ; iris 
dark hazel. Total length, 10*5 inches; culmen, 1*3; wing, 
8'i ; tail, 2*9; tarsus, i'8. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but never quite so much 
spangled with black on the upper surface, so that the general 
appearance is somewhat browner ; the black on the face and 
under parts is never so much developed, and consequently 
these parts are never so uniform black, but are more mottled 
with black than the male. Total length, 1 1 inches ; culmen, 
1-3; wing, 8'o ; tail, 2^9; tarsus, r8. 

Winter Plumage. The chief difference between the summer 
and winter dress of the Grey Plover lies in the absence of 
black on the face and breast during the latter season. The 
whole upper surface is more uniform ashy-brown, the feathers 
edged with whitish, and having a sub-terminal blackish shade ; 
lores and an indistinct eyebrow white ; ear-coverts dingy- 
black ; sides of face white, streaked with dusky ; throat and 
under-parts white, the lower throat and fore-neck pale ashy- 
brown, slightly mottled with dusky markings ; under wing- 
coverts white ; axillaries black, 

Young Birds. Resemble the adults in winter plumage, but are 
spangled with golden-buff above, so that they resemble the 
Golden Plover, from which, however, the Grey Plover can 
always be distinguished, at any age, by its black axillaries. 

Eange outside the British Islands. Although a certain number 



140 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

of Grey Plover remain with us during the winter, the species is 
much better known as a spring and autumn migrant, and is 
especially noticed at the latter season of the year, when young 
birds are often procurable. Black-breasted examples are to be 
found up to the end of May in the British Islands, while some 
have been shot in June and July. These were probably non- 
breeding birds. It is never so common in Ireland as in 
England and Scotland, and is always more abundant on the 
east than on the west, so that in the Outer Hebrides it is con- 
sidered a rare bird. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Grey Plover breeds in 
the high north of both hemispheres, and may thus be considered 
a typical circum-polar bird. Until recent years its egg was one 
of the chief desiderata for every collector, and even now but 
few collections contain genuine examples. It has been found 
nesting on Kolguev Island, as well as in the valley of the Pet- 
chora, and on the Taimyr Peninsula in Siberia, while in the New 
World the only known places are Alaska, the Anderson River, 
and the Melville Peninsula. In winter, however, it wanders 
far southward and occurs in nearly every country of the Old 
World, visiting South Africa, the Indian Peninsula, and Aus- 
tralia. In the New World it does not range so far to the 
southward, and appears not to extend beyond Brazil or Peru, 
though it probably goes to the extreme of the South American 
continent. 

Habits. The Grey Plover is seldom met with inland, like 
the Golden Plover, but is decidedly more a bird of the sea- 
shore and the mud-flats. It is also of a shyer disposition, and 
is much more difficult than the Golden Plover to call within 
gun-shot, partly because its call-note is much harder to imitate. 
In general appearance it is a stout and hardy bird, and may 
often be seen in great parties on the sand left by the receding 
tide, picking up its food, which consists of marine insects, 
small shells, worms, and seaweed. Sometimes flocks of forty 
or fifty individuals may be seen together, but I have myself 
only observed it either singly or in small parties of six or seven. 
Like most Waders, it is active when the receding tide leaves 
the sand-banks and mud-flats exposed, but at all times appears 
to be more lively as evening approaches. 



THE GREY PLOVER. 141 

The romance attaching to the capture of the Grey Plover's 
eggs is fast being dispelled, but for many years it was con- 
sidered to be the aim and object of every traveller to the 
Arctic Regions to discover the nesting habits of the bird. The 
first authentic eggs were taken by Von Middendorf in the 
Taimyr Peninsula (N. lat. 7i-74), and afterwards eggs were 
also obtained in Arctic America by Mr. MacFarlane, but for our 
best information as to the breeding of the species, science is 
indebted to the expedition of Mr. Henry Seebohm and Mr. J. 
A. Harvie-Brown, who found eleven nests on the tundras of 
the Petchora River. Since then Mr. Trevor-Battye has ob- 
tained eggs on Kolguev, and on the same island Mr. H. J. Pear- 
son and his brother, Mr. E. C. Pearson, found many nests in 
the summer of 1895. 

The account given by Mr. Seebohm of the search for the 
nests is worthy of full quotation, did space but permit. It is 
told with all the fulness of detail and careful observation with 
which I have seen him write down the record of the day's 
work on the expeditions on which it has been my good for- 
tune to accompany him. He tells of the watching of each 
female bird on to the nest, and continues as follows : " The 
female generally comes first to the nest, but she comes less 
conspicuously than the male, generally making her appearance 
at a considerable distance, on some ridge of mossy land. 
When she has looked round, she runs quickly to the next 
ridge and looks round again, generally calling to the male with 
a single note. The male seldom replies ; but when he does 
so, it is generally with a double note. When the female has 
stopped and looked round many times, then the male thinks 
it worth while to move, but, more often than not, he joins the 
female by flying up to her. The female very seldom takes 
wing. She is very cautious, and, if she is not satisfied that all 
is safe, she will pass and repass the nest several times before 
she finally settles upon it. She rarely remains upon one post 
of observation long, but the male often remains for ten minutes 
or more, upon one tussock of a ridge, watching the movements 
of the female." Another pair of birds was watched by the two 
Er glish naturalists for two hours, but the birds flew about, 
without any nest being discovered, and Mr. Seebohm con- 
tinues : " At last the mosquitoes tired us out, and we gave 



142 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

up the watching game and commenced a search. At last we 
found out the secret of the birds' behaviour. We picked up 
some broken egg-shells, and concluded at once that the bird 
had young. We tried to find them, but in vain. The two 
hours, however, were not wasted. The birds came nearer to 
me than they had ever done before. I often watched them at 
a distance of not more than ten yards, and was able to hear 
their notes more distinctly. The note most frequently used 
is a single plaintive whistle, 'kop,' long drawn out, the 6 pro- 
nounced as in German, and the consonants scarcely sounded. 
This, I am almost sure, is the alarm-note; it is principally 
uttered by the female when she stops and looks round, and sees 
something of which she disapproves. If the male shows any 
anxiety about the nest, which he seems to do more and more 
as incubation progresses, he also utters the same note. The 
double note kl-ee or kleep, the kl dwelt upon so as to make 
it a separate syllable, is also uttered by both birds. It is 
evidently their call-note. I have seen the female, when she 
has been running away from the male, turn sharp round and 
look towards him when he has uttered this note, exactly as 
anyone might do who heard his name called. Whilst we were 
watching this pair of birds, a couple of other Grey Plovers 
came up and called as they flew past. The male answered the 
call and flew towards them. On the wing this whistle is 
lengthened out to three notes. I had some difficulty in catch- 
ing this note exactly. It is not so often uttered as the two 
others I have mentioned, and is generally heard when you 
least expect it ; but I am almost sure that it is a combination 
of the alarm-note with the call-note kl-ee-kop" 

Then he relates how the tenth nest was procured, and a 
very good idea is conveyed of the discomforts attending even 
the discovery of a much desired egg. " By this time we were 
pretty well tired with tramping the tundra. The ceaseless 
persecution of the mosquitoes, and the stifling feeling caused 
by our having to wear a veil with the thermometer above 
summer heat, had taxed our powers of endurance almost to 
the utmost, and we turned our faces resolutely towards our 
boat, but a most anxious pair of Grey Plovers proved too 
great an attraction for us to resist," c. (cf. Seebohm, Hist. 
Brit. B. iii. p. 53), and to this book one must turn if we want 



THE GOLDEN PLOVER. 143 

to read the story of the re-discovery of the eggs of the Squa* 
tarola helvetica. 

Nest. Practically none. A hollow, round and deep, with a 
few broken slender twigs and reindeer-moss. 

Eggs. Four in number, and double-spotted. Mr. Seebohm 
describes them as follows : " Intermediate in colour between 
those of the Lapwing and the Golden Plover, and subject to 
variation, some being much browner, and others more olive, 
none quite as olive as typical Lapwing's eggs or as buff as 
typical ones of the Golden Plover, but the blotching is in 
every respect the same. The underlying spots are equally 
indistinct, the surface spots are generally large, especially at 
the larger end, but occasionally very small and scattered, and 
sometimes taking the form of thin streaks. They vary in 
length from 1*9 to 2*2 inches, and in breadth from 1*35 inch 
to i '4. Only one brood is reared in the year." 

THE GOLDEN PLOVERS. GENUS CHARADRIUS. 

CharadrhiS) Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 253 (1766). 

Type, C. pluvialis (Linn.). 

Like the Grey Plover, the Golden Plovers, of which there 
are two species, have a black face and black breast in sum- 
mer, but the genus Charadrius is at once distinguished from 
Squatarola by the absence of the hind-toe. 

The range of the genus is very nearly cosmopolitan, the 
species breeding in high northern latitudes, and wintering in 
all the southern continents of the globe. 

I. THE GOLDEN PLOVER. CHARADRIUS PLUVIALIS. 

Charadrius pluvialis y Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 254 (1766); Dresser, 
B. Eur. vii. p. 435, pi. 515, fig. i (1871); B. O. U. List 
Brit. B. p. 157 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iii. 
p. 271 (1883); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 35 (1885); 
Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 531 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. 
Brit. B. part xiii. (1890); Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. 
p. 191. 

Pluvialis aurea^ Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 94 (1852). 



144 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Adult Male in Breeding-Plumage, General colour above mottled 
with black, golden buff and ashy-whitish markings; scapulars 
and wing-coverts more distinctly notched and barred with 
golden, the markings less distinct on the lesser coverts, which 
are brown, the median and greater series with many golden 
bars ; quills dark brown, with whity-brown bases to the 
secondaries, the innermost of which are notched or barred 
with golden; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts like the 
rest of the upper surface, but more plainly mottled with 
golden bars ; tail-feathers brown, barred with lighter brown or 
golden, the outer ones externally notched with white, the light 
bars tinged with golden ; head like the back, with a white fron- 
tal band and eyebrow, extending down the sides of the neck 
and joining the white on the sides of the body ; base of fore- 
head, lores, sides of face, ear-coverts, and throat smoky-black; 
centre of fore-neck, breast, and abdomen deep black, flanked 
with white for their entire length, though the golden and 
black plumage of the sides of the neck descends on to the 
sides of the breast ; thighs black ; under tail-coverts white, 
marked with black on the vent; under wing-coverts white, 
mottled with ashy-brown round the bend of the wing; axillarics 
pure white ; bill, feet, and claws nearly black; iris dark hazel. 
Total length, 10 inches; culmen, ro; wing, 7*45; tail, 2^9; 
tarsus, i '6. 

Adult Female in Breeding- Plumage. Similar to the male, but 
never having the black so uniformly distributed on the breast, 
but always more patchy. Total length, 10 inches ; wing, 7*4. 

Winter Plumage. Differs principally from the summer plum- 
age in wanting the black breast and the black on the face. 

Young Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the adults, 
and have consequently no black on the face and breast. They 
are rather more plentifully spangled with golden on the upper 
surface, with the crown somewhat blacker ; the throat white ; 
the lower throat, fore-neck, and breast ashy-brown, mottled 
with edges and bars of pale golden-buff, with triangular dusky- 
brown spots on the lower throat and fore-neck ; the breast and 
sides of the body ashy-brown, with dusky-brown bars ; abdo- 
men and under wing-coverts white, the lower primary-coverts 
ashy-brown ; axillaries white. 



THE GOLDEN PLOVERS. 14* 

Nestling. Clothed in golden down mottled with black, the 
latter, however, scarcely forming any distinct pattern ; on each 
side of the back a streak of ashy-whitish down, and the 
wings marked with a golden patch, with a spot of bright 
yellow on the lores and eyebrow ; below v the eye a spot of 
ashy-whitish, with some markings of the same on the hind- 
neck and sides of the neck ; cheeks and under surface of body 
ashy-whitish, with a patch of dusky-blackish underlying the 
down of the breast. 

Range in Great Britain. The Golden Plover nests on the 
moor-land of all the three kingdoms, a few being found on the 
higher ground of Devonshire and Somerset. In Wales, and 
from the Derbyshire moors northward into Scotland the 
species breeds, sometimes in abundance, especially in the 
Orkneys, Shetlands, and the Hebrides. " In Ireland," writes 
Mr. R. J. Ussher, " the Golden Plover breeds on mountains 
in Donegal, Antrim, Fermanagh, Cavan, Dublin, Wicklow, 
Queen's County, Tipperary, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Galway, 
Mayo, and Sligo. In Connemara it breeds both on moun- 
tains and bogs, and Mr. H. C. Hart has found it breeding 
on a vast bog in the centre of Northern Mayo." The species 
winters in large flocks in many parts of the British Islands, 
and a large migration takes place every autumn and spring. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Golden Plover nests in 
the high north of Europe, as well as in Iceland and the Faeroes. 
It has been found in Novaya Zemlya, Jan Mayen, and in Green- 
land. It nests also on the moors of Germany, Brabant, and 
Luxembourg, but in the rest of Europe it is generally known 
as a migrant, wintering in the Mediterranean countries, and, 
more rarely apparently, passing down the continent of Africa. 
To India it is a very rare winter visitor ; Mr. Blanford pro- 
cured a specimen in Baluchistan in December, and a single 
example from Sehwan in Sind, killed in January, is in the 
Hume collection. 

Habits. The clear-sounding note of the Golden Plover is a 
sure indication of the presence of the bird. Mr. Seebohm calls 
the alarm-note a plaintive ko, scarcely distinguishable from 
that of the Grey Plover, and the call-note is a double kl-ee. 
Mr. Howard Saunders renders it as a clear whistling /////, which 

II L 



146 LLOVDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

seems to me to be a very efficient rendering of the bird's voice 
on paper. It is a note somewhat easy to imitate, and I have 
seen a whole flock of birds lured to their death in Heligo- 
land by a skilful repetition of the cry. It can be heard a long 
way off, and as most of the Heligolanders work in the potato- 
fields with a gun lying close handy, on the look out for any 
migrating birds, be they Plover or Hooded Crows, the familiar 
note of the Golden Plover cut at sea is the signal for a score 
of answering whistles from the rock ; and very soon the un- 
suspecting flock is seen, like a little cloud skimming over 
the waves, heading straight for the rocky island. In a few 
seconds they are overhead, in a few more seconds they have 
passed on and far out to sea, leaving a tribute of some of 
their number. The whistling re-doubles, and once more the 
flock turns in its course and makes for the island, only to 
meet with the same hot reception; and these manoeuvres 
are repeated till but a small remnant escapes. On Sandy 
Island, about a mile and a half from Heligoland, where the 
" bathing guests " flock from all parts of Germany, I have seen 
the Golden Plovers running about quite tame, within twenty 
yards of me, as if they knew that no gun was allowed to be fired 
before 2 p.m. During the afternoons, however, when we landed, 
intent on collecting, they soon became more shy. 

Even in the breeding-season the Golden Plover may be found 
in small parties, while in the winter large flocks collect together, 
and at that time of year they are often met with inland on the 
open lands and fallow ground, searching for worms and grubs, 
while on the shore various small marine animals form the staple 
diet of the birds. 

Mr. Seebohm observes : " The Golden Plover makes itself 
one of the most conspicuous birds on the moors. No sooner 
does the observer set foot on one of those interminable wilds 
than the birds rise here and there from different parts of the 
heath and fly towards him, sometimes alighting within a few 
yards of him. Although to some extent a wary bird, much of 
its shyness disappears in spring, and it may often be noticed 
at this season running lightly amongst the heath, or standing 
quietly, with head erect, on some tuft of grass intently watch- 
ing the intruder. In early spring the Golden Plover may fre- 
quently be observed in large flocks passing towards the moors, 



THE GOLDEN PLOVERS. 147 

or even on the moors, where, if alarmed, they rise in the air, 
and wheel and turn in a peculiarly graceful manner. These 
flocks soon disperse, and scatter themselves in pairs over the 
moors for the purposes of breeding. The flight of the Golden 
Plover is powerful and well sustained ; it is not so erratic as 
that of the Peewit, atid is performed with moderately quick 
beatings of the wings. When on migration, or when passing 
from place to place, as is oft their wont in winter, the flock 
generally takes the shape of a wedge." 

Nest. Placed in a tuft of grass or in a depression in the 
ground, and made of dry grass with a little heather and moss. 

Eggs. Four in number, varying considerably in colour, from 
rich clay-brown to light stone-grey, mottled all over with 
blotches of black, the underlying spots and blotches being 
reddish-brown. As a rule, the dark blotches are congregated 
towards the larger end of the egg, and the smaller end has the 
smaller spots, and occasionally many tiny dots. Axis, i '85-2*1 
inches; diam., i -35-1 -45. 

II. THE LESSER GOLDEN PLOVER. CHARADRIUS DOMINICUS. 

Charadrius dominicus, P. L. S. Miiller, Syst. Nat. Anhang. p. 

116 (1766); Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 195. 
Charadrius fulvus. Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 443, pis. 516, 517, 

figs. 2, 3 (1871); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 157 (1883); 

Saunders, ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iii. p. 276 (1883); Seebohm, 

Brit. B. iii. p. 40 (1885); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 533 

(1889). 

Adult Male. Similar to C. pluvialis^ but much smaller, with 
more slender legs and feet, and distinguished at once by its 
smoke-brown axillaries ; bill dark olive ; feet leaden-grey ; iris 
dark brown. Total length, 9 inches; culmen, 0*95 ; wing, 6*6; 
tail, 2-4; tarsus, 1-65. 

Adult Female. Similar to that of C. pluvialis^ but distin- 
guished by the smoke-brown axillaries. Total length, 9 inches ; 
wing, 6-25. 

The young birds and the winter plumage of the adults 
exactly correspond with the changes of the Golden Plover, but 
the colour of the axillaries always distinguishes the two species. 



148 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Range in Great Britain. An accidental visitor only, having 
occurred four times. In December, 1874, a specimen was pur- 
chased in Leadenhall Market from among a lot of Golden 
Plover, which were said to have come from Norfolk. In the 
autumn of 1882, Mr. J. H. Gurney procured a second example 
in the same market. In August, 1883, a third occurrence was 
recorded, in Perthshire, by Mr. J. G. Millais, who also received 
another Lesser Golden Plover from Stennis, in Orkney, in 
November, 1887. 

Of these four specimens, the first and last are referred to 
what has been called the Asiatic race of C. dominicus^ while 
the second and third belonged to the American race of the 
species. The difference between these two races consists in 
the fact that specimens from Eastern North America are some- 
what larger, with a wing measuring 6-8-7-5 inches, whereas the 
wing in the Asiatic race is not more than 6*7 inches in length. 
Other characters have been adduced for the separation of these 
two races, such as the shorter tarsi and toes, and less golden 
coloration in the American bird. My recent studies on the 
Charadriida have, however, convinced me that no hard and fast 
line can be drawn between these eastern and western forms, 
and I consider that there is but one species of Lesser Golden 
Plover, which must bear the older name of C. dominicus. 

Range outside the British Islands. With the exception of Europe, 
where the present species is only met with as an occasional 
visitor, it occurs in nearly every part of the world, breed- 
ing in the high north and wintering in South America, the 
Pacific Islands, Australia, and India, but not apparently visit- 
ing Africa. 

The Lesser Golden Plover has occurred in Heligoland, in 
Poland, in Malta, and near Malaga, in Spain. 

Habits. Mr. Seebohm found the nest and eggs of the present 
species during his expedition to the Yenesei Valley in Siberia, 
and he describes the note as being very similar to that of the 
Grey Plover, the commonest note being a plaintive ko t but 
occasionally the double note kl-ee is heard, but still more often 
the treble note kl-ee-ko. 

Mr. E. W. Nelson gives the following account of this Golden 
Plover, as observed by him in Alaska : " The males are con- 



THE GOLDEN PLOVERS. 149 

spicuous objects, as they stand like silhouettes, their black 
and white breasts and sides of neck presenting a sharp, clear- 
cut outline on the brown and grey background. At intervals, 
their clear, mellow, and melancholy note rises for a moment, 
and then the bird apparently sinks into a day-dream, and re- 
mains motionless for seme time, until he is prompted to as- 
sure his partner of his presence by another call. The male at 
this season has a brighter plumage than the female, and in 
places little frequented by man, he becomes very unsuspicious ; 
near villages, however, he is always on the look-out, and is 
difficult to approach even when he is found by his nest. 
Towards the end of May, and during the first weeks of June, 
the males utter a clear, rich, song, which is frequently heard 
during the twilight of the short Arctic nights. 

" When I was camping at the Yukon mouth during the last 
of May and the first part of June, 1879, these birds were 
scattered all about in the vicinity of the tent, and frequently, 
during the middle of the night, the song was heard close by, 
and was exceedingly sweet and musical. One night, in par- 
ticular, I remember lying awake, listening to the usual con- 
tinuous faint clicking among the disintegrating ice in the 
river, which seemed to make the silence still more marked, 
when, suddenly, just at the back of the tent, arose the clear, 
plaintive note of the Golden Plover, which may be represented 
by the syllables too-lee-e. Soon after, in the same sweet, 
musical tone, was uttered a marvellously harmonious succes- 
sion of notes, which I wrote down at the time, listening to the 
song as it was repeated again and again, and ascertaining the 
exact number of syllables. These, I find, are very imperfectly 
represented as follows : Tee-lee-lee, tu-lee-lee, wit, wit, ivit, wee-it 
wit, che lee-it too lee-e. The three last syllables are the ones 
most commonly uttered, serving as a call-note ; but the song 
in full is only repeated on special occasions, as before re- 
marked, being oftener heard during the still hours of the night 
than during the day, if, indeed, it can be called night when the 
sun disappears below the horizon for little over an hour." 

Nest. The one discovered by Mr. Seebohm in Siberia was a 
mere hollow in the ground, on a piece of turfy land, over- 
grown with moss and lichens, and was lined with broken stalks 
of reindeer moss. Mr. Nelson says that sometimes a slight 



150 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

structure is made of dried grass, which, with perhaps a few 
dead leaves of the dwarf willow, are arranged in a circular 
saucer-shaped form, about four or five inches across. 

Eggs. Four in number, very similar to those of the Euro- 
pean Golden Plover, but slightly smaller, the markings being 
precisely similar to those of the last-named bird, the black 
blotches being confluent and generally near the larger end, 
while the underlying grey markings are scarcely perceptible. 
Axis, 1-85-2-05 inches; diam., 1-27-1-35. 

THE RED-BREASTED DOTTERELS. GENUS 
OCHTHODROMUS. 

Ochthodromus, Reichenb. Av. Syst. Nat. p. xviii. (1852). 
Type, O. wilsoni (Ord). 

In the present genus, and in the Sand-Plovers, there is no 
specially donned black breast in summer, as in the Grey and 
Golden Plovers. Of all the species now to be considered, the 
Dotterel (Eudromias morindlus) is the only one which has 
black on the under surface. In the genus Ochthodromus the 
bill is much stouter than in the smaller species of Sand-Plovers, 
belonging to the genus ^Egialitis, and most of the species 
have a cinnamon-coloured band across the chest in summer 
plumage. 

I. THE ASIATIC DOTTEREL. OCHTHODROMUS ASIATICUS. 

Charadrius asiaticus, Pallas, Reis. Russ. Reichs. ii. p. 715 

(i773)-. 

itis asiatica. Dresser, B. Enr. vii. p. 479, pis. 520, fig, i, 
522 (1878) ; Butler, Ibis, 1890, p. 463 ; Southwell, P. Z. S. 
1890, p. 461 ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxi. (1892). 
Ochthodromus asiaticus, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 23. 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage. General colour above brown, 
without any rufous collar on the hind-neck ; forehead and 
sides of face white, with no black on the forehead or ear- 
coverts ; under surface of body white, with a broad band of bright 
chestnut across the fore-neck, with a narrow black band skirt- 
ing the lower edge of the rufous neck-band ; quills dark brown, 



THE RED-BREASTED DOTTERELS. 151 

the primaries with white shafts, but otherwise without white on 
any of the quills ; axillaries white ; bill black ; feet greenish- 
olive, the toes dusky ; iris dusky hazel. Total length, 7 inches ; 
culmen, 0-9; wing, 5-65 ; tail, 2*15; tarsus, 1-35. 

Winter Plumage. Differs from the summer plumage in want- 
ing the rufous chest-band^ which is replaced by brown, the rest 
of the under surface being white. The general colour is rather 
dark brown, including the head ; the sides of the face, forehead, 
and eyebrow are tinged with sandy-buff, of which there is a shade 
also round the hind-neck ; throat isabelline-white, separated 
from the white breast by a broad band of ashy-brown, extend- 
ing from the lower throat to the fore-neck and chest, and to the 
sides of the upper breast. 

Young Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the adults, 
but are distinguished by having sandy-buff edges to the feathers 
of the upper surface, and the sides of the face and the chest 
band are also decidedly tinged with sandy-buff. 

Characters. Young birds might perhaps be passed over for 
the young of the Ringed Sand-Plover, but they can always be 
distinguished by their longer tarsi. 

Range in Great Britain. On the 23rd of May, 1890, a pair of 
strange Plovers were seen in a market garden on the North 
Denes, at Yarmouth, and the male was shot and forwarded to 
Mr. Southwell, at Norwich, by whom it was sent for exhibition 
at the meeting of the Zoological Society on the i7th of June in 
the same year. The bird was in full plumage, and has since 
been placed in the Norwich Museum. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The breeding home of this 
species is in the Kirghis Steppes and Central Asia, whence it 
wanders in winter down the east coast of Africa to the Cape 
and Damara Land. It is at the same time of year a visitor to 
Western India, but is apparently a very rare bird there. It 
visits the Caspian and Palestine on its migrations, and has also 
been captured in the Indian Ocean far out at sea. Besides the 
British example, the species has also been taken in Heligoland, 
as well as in Italy. 

Habits. In their winter home in South Africa, these Dotterels 
are described by Mr. Arnott and Mr. Ayres as frequenting the 



152 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

open flats and grass-lands, where they are found in flocks of 
from six to twenty in number. They run with great swiftness, 
and have much the appearance of Burchell's Courser, accord- 
ing to Mr. Ayres, who also says that when they rise, their 
flight resembles that of a Pratincole, and they utter much the 
same stridulous note of alarm. Their food consists principally 
of beetles and other small insects, on which they becorr 
fat 



THE BLACK-BREASTED DOTTERELS. GENUS EUDROV. 
Eudromias, Brehm, Yog. DeutschL p. 544 (1831). 
Type, E. morincllus (Linn.). 

The single representative of this genus is a more heavily- 
built bund than the species of digiafitis and Oxycchus, but it 
has the shorter bill of the latter birds, and holds an intermediate 
position between them and the species of Ochthodromus. Its 
peculiar coloration in the full plumage, and its comparatively 
shorter tarsi distinguish it, and the bare part of the tibia is not 
so extended as in the genus 



L THE DOTTEREL, EUDROMIAS MORINELLUS. 

Charadrius marinclha, Linn. Syst. Nat i. p. 254 (1766); See- 
bohm, Brit. B. p. 30, pL 26, figs. 1-3 (1885). 

Eudromias morinclluSj Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 507, pi. ^26 
(1875) ; B. O. U. List Brit B. p. 160 (1883) ; Saur 
ed. Yarr. Brit B. iiL p. 246 (1883); id. Man. Brit. B. p. 
521 (1889); Sharpe, Cat B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. t 

Advil Male. General colour above ashy-brown, streaked with 
sandy-buff, the feathers being edged with this colour; wing- 
coverts like the back, and edged with sandy-buff; bastard- 
wing, primary-coverts, and quills dusky-brown ; the first pri- 
mary with a white shaft and white outer web; rest of the 
primaries blackish along the outer web and at the ends, the 
secondaries fringed with whitish, the innermost edged with 
sandy-bun; and resembling the back ; crown of head blackish- 
brown, slightly varied with sandy-buff margins to the feathers ; 



THE BLACK-BREASTED DOTTERELS. 153 

base of forehead and lores white, mottled with black spots ; 
a broad white eyebrow, extending as far back as the sides of 
the nape ; sides of face and ear-coverts white, spotted and 
streaked with dusky-brown, the ear-coverts brown along the 
upper and hinder margin; throat white, with dusky streaks 
on the lower throat ; sides of neck and a broad band across 
the fore-neck light ashy-brown, marked with sandy-buff, and 
bordered on its lower edge by a narrow band of black, this 
black band followed by a band of white across the chest ; 
breast and sides of the body orange-chestnut ; centre of breast 
and upper abdomen black ; lower abdomen, thighs, and under 
tail-coverts pure white; axillaries under wing-coverts, and 
quill-lining pale smoky-grey; bill blackish; legs brownish- 
green; toes blackish-grey; iris brown. Total length, 8-5 
inches ; oilmen, 075; wing, 5-8 ; tafl, 2-5 ; tarsus, 1-4. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but not quite so brightly 
coloured, and the black patch on the abdomen less developed. 

It is generally said that the female Dotterel is the brighter 
of the two. I cannot find this fact borne out by our series in 
the British Museum, and in the pair procured by Mr. Ogilvie- 
Grant in Ross-shire, the male was distinctly richer in colour 
than the female. 

Winter Plumage. Wants the black on the abdomen, and also 
the chest-bands. The colour of the upper plumage is like 
that of summer, except that the head is not so black, 
being brown, with sandy-buff streaks ; the sides of the face 
ashy-fulvous, streaked with dark brown ; the chin white ; throat 
ashy-brown, streaked with dusky-brown, with a faintly indicated 
band of white on the chest ; remainder of under surface of 
body isabelline-white, with a sandy-buff tinge on the sides of 
the body. 

Young Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the adults, 
but distinguished by having the mantle blackish-brown, with 
whitish edgings to the feathers; the throat and under-parts 
washed with ochreous-buff. 



. Black above, molded with spots of rufous or 
sandy- buff; head patterned with black, with a conspicuous 
white forehead and eyebrow, with a black loral streak, and a 



154 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

line of black down the centre of the forehead; round the 
back of the head a creamy-white band. 

Range in Great Britain. The Dotterel still breeds in the 
mountainous portions of the north of England and Scotland, 
but undoubtedly in decreasing numbers. It passes north- 
ward in spring, and affects the higher ground on its way north, 
but does not nest anywhere south of Cumberland. It is a very 
rare bird in Wales and on the western coasts of England and 
Scotland, as well as in Ireland. On its journey south in autumn, 
the Dotterel is sometimes shot on the sea-coast,but the birds then 
met with are principally young ones ; and that the species occa- 
sionally stays with us somewhat late on the autumn migration, 
is proved by an immature bird in the British Museum, pre- 
sented by the Hon. W. Edwardes, who shot it in Pembroke- 
shire on the 23rd of November. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Dotterel breeds on the 
high fells of Scandinavia, and also on the tundras of Russia, 
Siberia, and Novaya Zemlya, as well as on certain of the high- 
lands of Central Europe, and Central and Eastern Siberia. 
In winter it visits Persia and the countries of the Mediterranean. 

Habits. The Dotterel migrates somewhat late in the season, 
arriving at its northern haunts at the end of April or the begin- 
ning of May. Small flocks arrive at these times, and for about 
a fortnight, according to the notes of the late Mr. Heysham, 
the birds frequented the fallows and barren pasture-grounds, 
retiring later to the higher ground near the tops of the moun- 
tains to breed. They are very tame birds, and the name of 
" Dotterel " is supposed to have been acquired from the 
foolish confidence with which they would allow a fowler to 
approach and capture them with a net. Even in their winter 
quarters, the Dotterels are remarkably tame, and Canon 
Tristram relates how he found them in large flocks on the 
steppe-lands of Palestine, when they ran almost under the 
very feet of the horses. 

The altitude at which the nest of the Dotterel is placed, 
renders the taking of the nest by no means an easy matter. 
Mr. Frank Nicholson has for many years studied the Dot- 
terel on the high Cumberland mountains, and has taken 
many nests there, while Mr. Ogilvie-Grant and some brother- 



THE SHARP-TAILED DOTTERELS. 155 

naturalists have found the nest in Banffshire. Colonel Feilden 
describes the ways of the female bird at her nest. They are 
very similar to those of the Grey Plover, and, as long as he was 
near the nest, the bird flew from place to place around him, 
but when he had gone farther off she " alighted on a hummock, 
looked round, ran along the narrow paths for some distance, 
when she again mounted a hummock to make further observa- 
tions, and, after passing backwards and forwards in a similar 
manner, finally stood still at the nest, and settled down on the 
eggs." She allowed him to approach very closely before leaving 
them, when she fluttered off, as if wounded, remaining at no 
great distance, constantly uttering her plaintive note. 

Nest. None, the eggs being deposited in a hollow in the 
mossy ground. 

Eggs. Three in number. Ground-colour greyish stone- 
colour or light clay-brown, with a tinge of olive or greenish on 
some eggs. The spots and blotches, most of which are con- 
fluent, are mainly collected at the larger end of the eggs. In 
the midst of the black markings a reddish shade is often seen, 
but the underlying spots of purplish-grey are scarcely per- 
ceptible. Axis, 1*55-1*7 inches; diam., n. 

THE SHARP-TAILED DOTTERELS. GENUS OXYECHUS. 

Oxyechus, &eichenb. Av. Syst Nat. p. xviii. (1852). 
Type, 0. vociferus (Linn.). 

The members of this genus differ from the other Dotterels 
in having a very long and wedge-shaped tail, which is more 
than half the length of the wings. There are four species of 
Oxyechus known, one of them being the well-known "Kill-deer" 
Dotterel of North America, while the other three, O. tricollaris, 
0. bifrontatuS) and O.forbesi^ are all African. 

I. THE KILL-DEER DOTTEREL. OXYECHUS VOCIFERUS. 

Charadrius voriferus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 253 (1766); See- 

bohm, Brit. B. iii. p. 28, pi. 26 (1885). 
/fLgialitis vorifera, B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 120 (1883) ; Saun- 

ders, ed. Yarr. Brit. B. iv. p. 266 (1883) ; id. Man. Brit. B. 

p. 529 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxv. (1893). 
Oxyechus vociferus^ Sharpe,Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv.p. 242 (1896). 



156 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Adult Male. General colour above dark brown, the lower 
back, rump, and upper tail-coverts light cinnamon-rufous ; lesser 
and median wing-coverts like the back, the greater coverts 
darker brown, broadly tipped with white, forming a wing- 
band ; primary-coverts and quills blackish with white fringes 
or tips ; the long primaries white on the inner web till near 
the ends, which are blackish-brown ; the first four primaries 
with a white mark along the shaft at a short distance from the 
tip ; the rest of the primaries with a white mark before the 
end of the outer web ; the secondaries blackish, white at the 
base, on the inner web, and along the tip, the white increasing 
on the inner secondaries, and the black decreasing to a spot 
on the outer web, and finally disappearing altogether on the 
interior quills ; the long innermost secondaries like the back, 
the outer ones light ashy-brown, dark brown along the outer 
web, the tip of which is white ; outer tail-feathers cinnamon- 
rufouS) broadly tipped with white, before which is a sub- 
terminal bar of black ; crown of head dark brown, separated 
from the mantle by a black collar ; forehead white, with a 
black bar behind ; a broad white eyebrow ; under surface of 
body white, with a broad, black collar across the fore-neck, 
uniting to the collar round the hind-neck ; this black collar 
succeeded by a narrower collar of white, and again on the 
chest by a second black collar ; bill black ; feet pale pinkish 
or pale greyish-yellow ; iris dark brown ; eyelid orange-red or 
scarlet. Total length, 9 inches ; culmen, 0^85 ; wing, 8'o ; 
tail, 3'8 ; tarsus, 1*3. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male. Total length, 10 inches ; 
culmen, 0*95 ; wing, 6*5 ; tail, 3*8 ; tarsus, 1*35. 

Winter Plumage. Like the summer plumage, but rather 
browner, and not quite so grey. 

Young Birds. Resemble the adults, but have sandy-rufous 
edges to the feathers of the upper surface. 

Range in Great Britain. The Kill-deer Dotterel is said to have 
occurred twice in England. The first one was recorded by Dr. 
Sclater in 1862, and was said to have been killed in April, 1857, 
near Christchurch, in Hampshire, on the authority of Mr. J. R. 
Wise. Another specimen was shot by Mr. Jenkinson at Tresco, 
in the Stilly Isles, on the i5th of January, 1885. 



THE SHARP-TAILED DOTTERELS. 1$7 

llange outside the British Islands. This species is found gener- 
ally over temperate North America in summer, migrating south 
in winter to Central America and the Antilles, and passing to 
South America as far as Peru and Chili. 

Habits. The common name of the Kill-deer Plover is derived 
from its note, kildeer or kildee. Mr. D. G. Elliott, in his recently 
published work on " North American Shore Birds," writes: "It 
passes nearly all its time on the ground, walks and runs with 
ease and considerable grace, and is constantly in motion, utter- 
ing its plaintive cry, which resembles syllables which form its 
trivial name. It likes to linger around pools and the banks of 
streams, and feeds upon worms, insects, larvae, and small crus- 
tacea, and is often seen running over ploughed ground in search 
of whatever insects may have been disclosed in the upturned 
soil. While usually rather tame and gentle, it nevertheless re- 
sents man's appearance on its territory, and continually utters 
its complaining note, running before him, stopping to take 
observations, or flying short distances. When on the wing it is 
a beautiful object, the clear, harmonious-contrasting colours of 
its plumage making it very attractive to watch, as on firm wings 
it circles around in easy flight. In autumn it is often most 
numerous near the sea-shore, but I do not remember ever to 
have seen it actually on the beach. Walking quietly over the 
meadows or fields thinking nothing of birds, and none being 
in sight, one is often startled by this Plover rising suddenly from 
almost beneath one's feet, with frequent repetitions of its shrill 
cry. the last syllable sounded in rapid succession dee^dee dee dee 
as though it had no time, in its excitement, to utter the full 
sound, kill-dee. At such times it flies often in an erratic course 
for quite a distance, and low over the ground, as if to entice its 
disturber to follow it, and acts as if its nest was near, although 
the breeding season may have long since passed. It is a noisy 
bird, and serves on many occasions as a sentinel, and gives 
alarm to other species not so watchful of approaching danger. 
On this account it is not looked upon with favour by sports- 
men, who may be endeavouring, with well-executed whistling, 
to lure other waders to their place of concealment. Like the 
Golden Plover and others of the tribe, it frequently stands 
motionless watching the object of its suspicions, and then run- 
ning quietly away or rising with shrill cries, informing every 



158 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

other bird within hearing that it is time to be off from that par- 
ticular locality. Frequently the Kill-deer remains all winter in 
some of the Middle States if the weather is not too severe, but 
when migrating it travels chiefly at night, often at a great height, 
announcing its presence by its clear, plaintive note sounded 
amidst the stars." 

Nest. A depression in the ground, sometimes lined with grass. 

Eggs. Four in number; cream-coloured, spotted thickly 
with blackish-brown; sometimes the ground-colour is of a 
brownish-drab, and the spots rather small. Axis, 1*5 inch; 
diam., 1-15. 

THE SAND-PLOVERS. GENUS ^GIALITIS. 

<sEg ; alitis y Boie, Isis, 1822, p. 558. 

Type, ^L. hiaticola (Linn.). 

The species of this genus are of small size, cosmopolitan in 
their range, and most of them decorated with a black frontal 
band. The characters of the genus j&gialitis are the same 
as those of Oxyechus, excepting that the tail is shorter and 
more square and is not equal to half of the wing in 
length. Eighteen species are known, some of them breeding 
in the high north of both hemispheres, while many are quite 
tropical in their habitat. As a rule, however, the Sand-Plovers 
are migratory birds, and leave their breeding-grounds in 
autumn. 

I. THE RINGED SAND-PLOVER. ^GIALITIS HIATICOLA. 

Charadrius kiaticula. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 253 (1766); Mac- 
gill. Brit. B. rv. p. 116 (1850). 

^Egialitis hiaticula, Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p, 467, pi. 525 (1876) ; 
B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 159 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarr. 
Brit. B. iii. p. 257 (1883) ; id. Man. Brit. B. p. 523 (1889) ; 
Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xx. (1891.) 

Charadrius hiaticula major, Seebohm, Hist. Br. B. iii. p. 20 
(1885). 

^Egialitis hiaticola, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 256. 

(Plate LX XVIII.) 
Adult Male. General colour above light brown ; wing-coverts 

like the back, the greater series tipped with white; quills brown, 



\ 




SAND-PLOVfcRS. 159 

the primaries dark brown on the outer webs and round the tips, 
with more or less white towards the base of the inner webs ; the 
shafts white, increasing in exteflt on the inner ones, and form- 
ing a distinct patch on the outer web ; the inner secondaries 
pure white, the innermost long secondaries brown like the 
back ; lateral upper tail-coverts white, the centre ones brown, 
like the back ; tail-feathers pale brown, tipped with white, with 
a sub-terminal black bar, the white increasing towards the outer 
feathers, the penultimate one being white with a pale brown 
inner web and a narrow black sub-terminal bar ; the outer- 
most tail-feather pure white ; crown of head pale brown, separ- 
ated from the white frontal band by a broad band of black ; a 
narrow line across the base of the forehead ; lores, sides of 
face, and ear-coverts black, with a narrow white stripe from 
above the fore part of the eye to above the ear-coverts; cheeks 
and sides of neck white, continued in a collar round the hind- 
neck, followed by an ill-defined blackish collar across the upper 
mantle ; under surface of body pure white, with a black collar 
across the fore-neck, widening on the sides of the chest ; under 
wing-coverts and axillaries white, the lower primary-coverts pale 
ashy like the quill-lining ; bill black at the end, orange for the 
rest of its extent ; feet orange ; claws black ; iris brown. Total 
length, 7 inches; culmen, 07; wing, 5-1; tail, 2-3; tarsus, 
1-05. 

Adult Female. Not distinguishable from the male. Total 
length, 77 inches; wing, 5-1. 

Young. Paler than the adults, and distinguished by the pale 
margins of ashy-buff to the feathers of the upper surface ; ear- 
coverts brownish-black ; no black band on the fore part of the 
crown ; the white forehead and eyebrow tinged with buff; band 
on the fore-neck brown, tinged with buff in the middle, the 
sides of the collar blackish. 

Range in Great Britain. The Ringed Sand-Plover is found on 
all the coasts of Great Britain, and breeds everywhere on the 
beaches. It is also found on the shores of inland lakes, and 
on migration has been known to occur on wild commons and 
the banks of rivers far away from the sea. The resident Ringed 
Sand-Plover of England is a somewhat larger bird than the form 
inhabiting the continent of Europe, and the late Mr. Seebohm 



160 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

separated it as a distinct race under the name of AL. major, but 
I have found that the size of individuals in this species varies 
greatly, and that it is impossible to recognise this larger race as 
distinct. Small specimens of Ringed Sand-Plovers often occur 
on our southern coasts, and are, doubtless, migrants from the 
continent of Europe. 

Range outside the British Islands The present species is spread 
over Europe generally, and extends very far north, having been 
found on Jan Mayen and to the north of Spitsbergen, while it 
also occurs in Greenland up to 70 N. lat, and in Cumberland 
Gulf on the opposite coast of America. It extends eastward 
as far as Lake Baikal, and breeds rarely in Turkestan. Strag- 
glers are found in North-western India, but the bulk of the 
individuals which migrate from northern latitudes visit Africa 
during our winter, and range even to the Cape of Good Hope. 
Occasional instances have been noted of the occurrences of 
the Ringed Sand-Plover in America, but a single record for 
Australia is not reliable. 

Habits. A common local name for this species is the " Sand 
Lark," but near Sidlesham and Pagham, in my younger days, 
the favourite name was " Wide-a-wake," and the local gunners 
called this bird by the latter name on account of its exceed- 
ing wariness, and that this is its true quality must have been 
experienced by anyone who has tried to approach the bird in 
autumn. During the breeding season they are more easily 
obtained, on account of the great solicitude they evince for 
their nest, and more particularly for their young. Although in 
August and September they may be seen feeding on the 
mud-flats, either singly or in pairs, they are often in company 
in flocks of Dunlins, especially \\hen the latter resort to the 
sea-beach to rest during the time that the tide in the harbour is 
full. On these occasions if the collector tries to stalk the 
Dunlins he will see the flock engaged in quietly preening their 
feathers or dozing away the time until the tide recedes and 
the mud-flats are uncovered. Should he come too near, the 
first sign of movement will be the active running of a little 
" Wide-a-wake," who trots about near the quiescent Dunlins, 
uttering at times his piping note of alarm, and as a rule he suc- 
ceeds, in arousing a whole flock, and leading them out to sea. 



1HE SAND-PLOVERS. l6l 

A\vay they fly, a little black band, just skimming the waves, with 
the Sand-Plover well ahead, and guiding them to a safer rest- 
ing-place a little farther down the coast. I have known this 
occur so often that the " Wiae-a-wake " was never a great 
favourite with us in the old shooting days of Pagham Har- 
bour. 

The habits of the species at the nesting season have 
been well described by "The Son of the Marshes": "No 
bird that I am acquainted with shows more anxiety for its 
eggs and young than the bird under notice. It is this ex- 
treme anxiety that betrays their presence ; you hear a plaintive 
whistle, and the bird flits in front of you, settles down, and 
pipes. There it is, there it is, you can see it as plainly as if 
you ha 1 it in your hand. It runs a yard or two away, then 
turns and comes towards you as if it meant to run close up to 
your feet; stops short, looks at you intently, with its full dark 
eyes, and pipes softly, as if to say, 'Don't come any nearer.' 
But we do, for we feel inclined to see some perfect acting on 
this proficient little creature's part. 

" There it goes, one leg broken and a wing tipped ; now both 
wings are crippled, and it tries to raise its useless wings, but all 
to no purpose ; it drops on its breast, throws its head, with the 
eyes half closed, as much as to ^ay * I'm done for.' Nothing 
of the kind ; it scuffles out of sight somehow, and you pass on. 
Presently you sec a wounded bird trying to keep from falling ; 
it is no use, for the poor creature drops, spreads out its tail 
and wings, as some species do at the last gasp, and lies there, 
to all appearance dead. It is nothing but sheer humbug, the 
whole of it ; on a near approach the bird shoots up and away, 
piping in the most cheerful and contented manner : these 
consummate arts have only been gone through to lure you 
away from the vicinity of its eggs or young. You might, in 
fact, be standing over a nestling and not see it unless the toe 
of your boot caused the tiny creature to move from where it 
had squat! ed; when the young are alarmed they scatter out." 

Nest. None, as a rule, being merely a hollow scooped in 
the sand, though sometimes the bird takes advantage of a 
natural depression. Colonel Feilden has recorded an instance 
in which the nest was lined with the green fleshy leaves and 
stems of Atriplex littoralis. 

I I M 



1 62 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Eggs. Fiiiir in number, pear-shaped, and of a creamy-buff to 
a clay-coloured ground, with small blackish spots and lines, 
sometimes forming small blotches near the larger end of the 
egg ; the underlying spots purplish-grey, very small and 
scarcely visible. Axis, i '3-1*5 ; diam., 0*9-5 1*05. 

Mr. Robert Read says that he has noticed that the eggs 
of this bird vary considerably in the ground-colour, accord- 
ing to locality, those laid on the dark pebbles near inland 
lakes and rivers being much duller than those laid on the 
bright yellow sea-sand. As far as my experience goes, the 
eggs, though laid in a sandy hollow, are generally surroundc d 
by pebbly beach, many of the stones of which so nearly re- 
semble the eggs themselves as to make the latter very diffi- 
cult to find. 

II. THE LITTLE RINGED SAND-PLOVER. jEGTALITIS DUBIA. 

Charadrius dubius, Scop. Del. Faun, et Flor. Insubr. ii. p. 93 

(1786). 
Charadrius minor (W. & M.), Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 128 

(1850) ; Seebohm, Brit. B. iii. p. 16 (1885). 
&gialitis curonicus (Gm.), Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 491, pi. 524 

(1876) ; B O. U. List Brit. B. p. 159 (1883) ; Saunder?, 

ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 262 (1883); id. Man. Brit. B. 

p. 525 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxx. (1895). 
(Egiatitis dubia, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 263 

(1896). 

Adult Male. General colour above light brown, a little darker 
on the rump and central upper tail-coverts ; sides of rump 
and lateral upper tail- coverts pure white; wing-coverts like the 
back, the feathers round the bend of the wing darker brown ; 
primary quills blackish, internally lighter brown, with dark shafts 
to all the priiiiaries except the first, which is white ; secondaries 
dusky, lighter and more ashy-brown internally Dinner secondaries 
smoky-brown, with a good deal of white on both webs, the long 
inner secondaries like the back ; tail-feathers ashy-brown, tipped 
with white, and with a broad sub-terminal black bar, the outer 
feathers more distinctly edged with white, the two outermost 
almost entirely white, with a black patch on the inner web cor- 
responding to the sub-terminal bar on the rest of the feathers ; 



THE SAND-PLOVERS. 163 

base of forehead, lores, feathers above and below the eye, and 
ear-coverts black ; a broad frontal band of white, followed by 
another band of black above the eye, which is again succeeded 
by another black line, which widens out above the eye and 
forms a distinct eyebrow; hinder crown as far as the nape 
ashy-brown ; round the neck a broad white collar, continuous 
with the white throat, and followed by a broad band of black on 
the lower hind-neck, continued right across the fore-neck, and 
widening out on the sides ; cheeks, throat, and under surface 
of body pure white, including the under wing-coverts and axil- 
laries; bill dusky-black; feet flesh-colour; iris dusky-brown; 
rim round the eye bright yellow. Total, 6 - 8 inches; culmen, 
0*6; wing, 4*6; tail, 2*35 ; tarsus, ro; middle tee and claw, 
0-8. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but with the markings 
not so well developed, especially the black markings of the 
face and the bands on the hind-neck and fore-neck, the latter 
being much mixed with brown ; bill black ; feet pale flesh- 
colour; iris dark brown; ring round the eye bright yellow. 
Total length, 6 '5 inches ; wing, 4*6. 

Young. Differs from the adult in wanting the black on the 
head as well as the black collars on the mantle and fore-neck. 
The general tone of the plumage is more rufescent than in the 
adults, and the whole of the upper surface is varied with wavy 
lines of pale sandy-buff, before which a sub-terminal dusky bar ; 
the forehead is pale sandy-buff; ear-coverts dusky-blackish. The 
collar on the fore-neck is composed of brown feathers, generally 
with a tinge of sandy-buff on the throat. The black markings on 
the head and the black collars are gained by a moult in the 
following spring. There appears to me to be also a change of 
feather, especially on the neck-collar. 

Characters. The Little Ringed Sand-Plover is a decidedly 
smaller bird than the Ringed Sand-Plover (sE. hiaticola\ and 
has a black bill with only a little yellow on the base of the lower 
mandible. The wing does not exceed five inches in length. It 
can also be distinguished by the white shaft being found only on 
the first primary. This last character will serve to denote the 
species at all ages. 

Range in Great Britain. A rare visitor, of which Mr. Howard 

M 



164 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Saunders only admits five occurrences to be authentic, most of 
the specimens referred to this species proving to belong to the 
small race of the Common Ringed Sand-Plover which visits our 
southern coasts. The five specimens above alluded to are as 
follows : One in the collection of the late Mr. Doubleday, from 
Shoreham, in Sussex ; a second in Mr Borrer's collection, from 
Chichester Harbour ; a third in the collection of the late Mr. 
Rodd, from Tresco, in the Scilly Islands ; and two young speci- 
mens shot by Mr. Mitford and Mr. J. E. Harting at Kingsbury 
Reservoir. Mr. Borrer's specimen was procured in May, but 
the others have occurred in August and October. A sixth 
specimen is in the Seebohm collection in the British Museum, 
being an adult female killed by Mr. H. Rogers at Freshwater, 
in the Isle of Wight, in August. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Little Ringed Sand- 
Plover is distributed over the greater part of the Old World, 
nesting in the temperate parts of Europe and Asia, and winter- 
ing in Africa, the Indian Peninsula, and the Malayan Archi- 
pelago, extending even to New Guinea and the Islands of the 
Bismarck Archipelago. The species has been obtained in the 
Faeroes, and even in Iceland ; and it breeds sparingly in Scan- 
dinavia, but plentifully in Germany and Poland in suitable 
places, as well as in certain parts of France and the Medi- 
terranean countries. It has been said to occur accidentally in 
North America. 

Habits. According to Mr. Seebohm, the Little Ringed Sand- 
Plover prefers the banks of rivers and inland sheets of water to 
the sea-shore. On the latter it seems to be rarely met with. It 
delights in the sandy beds of rivers, especially those which are 
shallow and contain many sand-banks and dry pebbly stretches, 
where it can find its food and rear its young. He found it not 
uncommon on the banks of a half-dried-up river in Asia Minor, 
between Smyrna and the site of the ancient Sardis. It is found 
far inland, and occasionally frequents fallows and sandy plains 
at a considerable distance from water. In its habits it very 
closely resembles its congener, the Ringed Sand-Plover. Like 
that species, it is usually seen running hither and thither on the 
sands, close to the edge of the water, now and then taking short 
flights just above the ground, or standing motionless for a few 



THE SAND-PLOVERS. 165 

moments. It is rather more shy than its larger ally, and takes 
wing more readily. In its flight it is very similar to the Ringed 
Sand-Plover, but its notes are very different from that of its near 
allies. Its ordinary call-note is a loud, clear, plaintive, and 
monotonous/^?, almost lengthened into two syllables. When 
alarmed the note is pronounced much shorter, and repeated 
more rapidly ; and in spring it is uttered still more rapidly so 
as to become continuous, especially at the close of its love- 
song, when it becomes a trill.* 

Mr. Dixon says that, in Algeria, he has seen the male soaring 
into the air like a lark, and flying about for a considerable 
time, uttering his peculiar love-song, soaring higher and 
higher above the sandy wastes, and then gradually descending 
again. 

Nest. None, being merely a little cavity in the sand, with a 
slight lining. Mr. Robert Read writes to me: "Although 
the species breeds sparingly in Sweden, I was fortunate 
enough to discover two nests there in June, 1894. Both were 
in small patches of shingle on islands in a large fresh-water 
lake. In the first case the bird flew off as our boat ap- 
proached the island, and I found the nest with four fresh eggs. 
In the second instance I saw the bird running off just as the 
boat touched the shore, and I found the nest with four eggs 
about a week incubated. In both cases the slight hollows in 
the shingle, which did duty for nests, were lined with dried 
grass, sticks, and stalks, which is very unusual with &. 
hiaticola. The latter, when an intruder is in the vicinity 
of its nest, usually keeps not far off, uttering a monotonous, 
plaintive whistle ; but in neither of the above instances did 
I hear any note of the birds after they left the nest." 

Eggs. Four in number, pear-shaped, and laid point to 
point. The ground-colour is clay-buff to a sort of greenish- 
grey. The blackish markings are similar in character to those of 
sE. hiaticola, and the underlying spots are just as indistinct. 
The size of the egg is considerably smaller than that of the 
eggs of the Ringed Sand-Plover. Axis, 1-1-1-25 inch ; diam., 
08-0-9. 

* Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. pp. 17, 18. 



1 66 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 



III. THE KENTISH SAND-PLOVER. vEGIALITIS ALEXANDRINA. 

Charadrius alexandrinus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 258 (1766). 
Charadrius cantianus (Lath.), Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 125 (1852); 

Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 25, pi. 26, figs. 7-9 (1885). 
^EgiaHtis cantianus, Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 483, pi. 523 

(1876); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 158 (1883); Saunders, 

ed. YarrelPs Brit. B. iii. p. 267 (1883); id. Man. Brit. B. 

p. 527 (1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxx. (1895). 
sEgialitis alexandrina^ Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 275 

(1896). 

Adult Male. General colour above pale earthy-brown, with 
faint remains of paler margins to the feathers ; wing-coverts 
like the back, the marginal ones blackish-brown, the greater 
series darker brown, with a narrow white edging to the tip ; 
bastard-wing and primary-coverts dark sepia-brown, the latter 
fringed with white at the tip ; quills sepia-brown, with white 
shafts to the primaries, which are pale brown on the inner web, 
the inner primaries for the most part white towards the base of 
the outer web ; the secondaries dusky-brown with white tips, 
the inner ones also white along the margins of both webs, the 
innermost long secondaries brown like the back ; lower back, 
rump, and upper tail-coverts dark sepia-brown, the lateral ones 
white, forming a patch on each side; the four centre tail-feathers 
dark sepia-brown, paler towards the base, and having white shafts 
to the centre ones, the three outer feathers white, the next ones 
smoky-brown with white shafts ; crown of head ashy-brown, 
washed with light tawny rufous, especially distinct towards the 
nape ; hind-neck and sides of neck white, forming a collar ; 
forehead and a distinct eyebrow white, with a broad black band 
separating the white of the forehead from the brown of the 
crown ; eyelid and loral streak black ; feathers below the eye 
and sides of face white, with a black patch on the hinder ear- 
coverts ; cheeks and under surface of body pure, white, with a 
patch of black on each side of the chest ; under wing-coverts 
and axillaries white ; quills below light ashy, like the lower pri- 
mary-coverts ; bill black, with the base of the lower mandible 
of a dusky flesh-colour; tarsi dusky, toes darker, claws black; 
iris brown. Total length, 6*5 inches; culmen, o"j ; wing, 4*15 ; 
tail, 1*7 ; middle toe and claw, 07. 



THE SAND-PLOVERS. 167 

Adult Female.- -Similar to the male, but ^yith less rufous oh 
the head, this being represented by a tinge over the eye and 
round the nape, the black band on the fore part of the crown 
absent, the black patch on each side of the chest represented 
by a brown patch with a rufous tinge. Total length, 6*5 inches ; 
culmen, 07 ; wing, 4*3 ; tail, i m g ; tarsus, i'i. 

Adult in Winter Plumage. Differs from the summer plumage 
in the entire absence of bright rufous on the head, and the 
black markings on the face and sides of the breast are also 
not developed. The head is like the back ; the forehead 
and eyebrow are white, the lores dusky, and there is always a 
more or less distinct white collar united to the two sides of the 
neck. 

Young Birds in First Winter Plumage. Only differ from the 
adults in having the whole upper surface distinctly marked 
with pale edges to the feathers. 

Characters. The Kentish Sand-Plover may be recognised at 
all ages by its black legs and feet. The crown of the head 
in the adult birds is rufous as well as the nape; round the 
hind-neck is a white collar. On the sides of the breast is a 
black patch, which does not meet across the fore-neck to form 
a collar. In the young birds the black legs and white collar on 
the hind-neck are the best characteristics. 

Range in Great Britain. The present species is a migrant to 
England, especially to the south-eastern counties, arriving in 
April, and leaving at the end of September. It has also been 
obtained on the east coast in October ; but, as Mr. Howard 
Saunders points out, such birds are probably migrants from the 
Continent. It it chiefly known as an inhabitant of the shingly 
beaches of Kent and Sussex, but is much less plentiful now than 
formerly. It has been met with, on rare occasions, in Devon- 
shire and Cornwall, and is a very scarce visitor to Ireland. It 
is plentiful, however, on seme of the Channel Islands. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Kentish Sand-Plover is 
spread over the greater part of the Old World, but does not 
range very far north, being rare in the Baltic, but more com- 
mon in Denmark and the Netherlands; it has occurred once 
in Norway, but is found regularly in South Sweden. In France, 



1 68 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Spain, and the 'Mediterranean countries it is found in suitable 
localities, both inland and near the sea-shore; and it extends 
eastwards through Central Asia to China and Japan. It winters 
in Africa, India, and the Malayan countries as far as Australia. 
Some of the African and Indian birds are smaller than our 
ordinary Kentish Sand-Plover, and have been separated by Mr. 
Seebohm as sE. ;;;;>;/ks > . The Chinese form of this Sand-Plover 
is usually found to have pale legs, and have been described as a 
distinct species, JE. dealbatus, but after careful study of both 
of these forms, I have come to the conclusion that they cannot 
be separated from AL. alexandrina. 

Habits. Before the enclosure of the harbours at Romneyand 
Pagham, I made the acquaintance of the Kentish Sand-Plovers 
a considerable numbers. At Pagham they were always rare, 
And I only collected single specimens, mostly immature birds ; 
and in this part of Sussex I never found it breeding. In the 
neighbourhood of Romney, however, and along the Lydd beach 
to Dungeness, and thence to Rye, I have often met with the 
species, and a certain number still breed in this district, though 
their numbers have been decreased by the zeal of collectors ; 
and the artillery practice, now indulged in, must have disturbed 
them and the Stone-Curlews not a little. 

In the spring and summer the birds keep in pairs, and are 
not in any sense gregarious. The generally whiter look of the 
species easily distinguishes it from the Ringed Sand- Plover, 
which is found on the same shingles, but is not so common as the 
Kentish Sand-Plover. The nest is by no means easy to find, and 
the search is rendered more difficult by the way in which the bird 
runs away from it for some distance before taking wing. A little 
experience, however, in watching the female bird, and the remem- 
brance that, when first seen running, she must already be many 
yards from the actual nest, will lead the collector to trace back- 
wards, and a little care will end in the discovery of the eggs. The 
male generally flies for some little distance, and perches, a con- 
spicuous object, on some raised shingle or patch of mossy grass, 
when he constantly utters his piping note. The female, with much 
more apparent caution, runs crouchingly for some ten yards, 
then stops, and again runs on in the same conspicuous manner 
until she thinks that she has drawn the intruder far enough away 
from the eggs or the young to ensure the safety of the latter. 



THE SAND-PLOVERS. 169 

The nestlings themselves are adepts at hiding, their mottled 
plumage closely resembling the variegation of their stony sur- 
roundings. If the observer walks erect the chances of dis- 
covering the nestlings are small indeed, even if he knows that 
the little ones are running away from him ; for it is almost impos- 
sible to perceive them above. I have, however, captured several 
nestlings by resting my head on the shingle, when the little crea- 
tures become distinctly visible against the sky-line, as they run 
along with wonderful swiftness for such tiny objects. I could 
never bring myself to kill any of these fluffy little balls of down, 
with their great dark eyes and abnormally long legs ; and later 
in the autumn I have been rewarded by seeing flocks of Ken- 
tish Sand-Plovers feeding on the green herbage which skirts the 
harbours after the tide has receded. I once saw, from behind 
my shelter of a mud-bank, more than forty of these pretty birds 
feeding on the green moss near Romney Hoy, and a more in- 
teresting sight can scarcely be imagined. 

Nest. None, the eggs being laid in a little depression of fine 
sand, occasionally the hollow being deep enough for the eggs 
to stand almost upright ; they have also been found on heaps 
of sea-weed. 

Mr. Robert Read sends me a note on his experiences : 
" The eggs of the Kentish Sand-Plover are, in my opinion, the 
most difficult eggs of any of the Plover family to discover, at all 
events in this country. Without watching the bird and mark- 
ing it down on to its nest it is impossible to find the eggs. 
Once, after watching a bird through my field-glasses for more 
than three hours, I at length discovered a tiny fluffy young 
one crouching amongst the shingle, and only with the greatest 
difficulty distinguishable from its surroundings. Later on I 
was fortunate enough, after only about fifteen minutes' watch- 
ing, to discover a second nest with three fresh eggs. They 
were laid on the bare shingle without the slightest pretence of 
a hollow, much less of a nest, and so closely did their ground- 
colour and markings assimilate to the colour and weather- 
stained markings on the pebbles that even when standing 
within six feet of them, if one took one's eyes off for a moment, 
it required a very careful scrutiny before they could be again 
recognised. I have never known more than three eggs to be 
found in one nest." 



i yo LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Eggs. Three or four in number (usually three), pear-shnpf.d, 
and laid point to point. In character the eggs are very similar 
to most of the Ringed Sand-Plovers, at least as regards the 
ground-colour. The black markings are, however, much more 
plentiful, forming larger blotches, and they are also more 
equally distributed over the egg. Axis, 1-2-1-4 inch; diam., 
0-85-0-95. 

THE LAPWINGS. GENUS VANELLUS. 

Vanellus, Brisson, Orn. v. p. 94 (1760). 

Type, V. vanellus (Linn.). 

The Lapwings belong to a section of the Plovers in which 
the wings are not long and pointed as in those species which 
tve have been last considering, but are very broad and rounded, 
the secondaries, in flight, being nearly as long as the primaries. 
These birds have, in consequence, a much slower and more 
heavy mode of flight than the pointed-winged Golden Plover or 
the Sand-Plovers. The present genus contains but a single 
species, which is remarkable for its long and recurved crest of 
narrow pointed plumes, but it has no spur on the wing or 
wattle on the face, like so many of the tropical Crested Plovers. 

I. THE LAPWING OR PEEWIT. VANELLUS VANELLUS. 

Tringa vanellus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 248 (1766). 

Vanellus cri status, W. & M.; Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 133 (1852) ; 

Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 57 (1885). 
Vanellus vulgaris, Bechst.; Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 545, pi. 531 

(1875) ; B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 161 (1883); Saunders, ed. 

Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 283 (1883) ; id. Man. Brit. B. p. 539 

(1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xix. (1891). 
Vanellus vanellus, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 166 

(1896). 

(Plate LXXIX.) 

Adult Male. General colour above glossy olive-green, the 
scapulars purple at their tips ; wing-coverts glossy steel-blue, 
with a greenish shade, more conspicuous on the median series; 
quills black, the primaries with a sub-terminal patch of ashy- 
white, the secondaries white at the base of the inner web, the 
innermost secondaries glossy green ; lower back and rump 



THE LAPWINGS. I?l 

dusky-brown, the latter slightly glossed with green ; upper 
tail-coverts cinnamon-rufous ; base of tail white, terminal half 
black, the feathers being slightly tipped with white, the black 
band decreasing in extent towards the outer feathers, which are 
entirely white, excepting a black patch on the inner web ; 
crown black, with a slight greenish gloss and ornamented with 
an occipital crest of elongated plumes; lores, fore part of 
cheeks, entire throat, and fore-neck black, with a slight green- 
ish gloss ; eyebrow, sides of face, sides of neck, and hind-neck 
as far as the occiput dull white, the eyebrow mottled with black 
above the eye, and below the latter a narrow streak of black 
extending along the upper edge of the ear-coverts ; hind-neck 
slightly washed with brown, the lower sides of the neck metal- 
lic-green, extending down the sides of the fore-neck; remainder 
of under surface of body, from the fore-neck downwards, pure 
white, including the under wing-coverts and axillaries; the 
coverts on the outside of the wing as well as the lower primary- 
coverts black, like the quill-lining ; under tail-coverts light cin- 
namon ; bill black ; feet clear fleshy-red ; iris brown. Total 
length, 13 inches; culmen, i; wing, 8'8; tail, 4*2 ; tarsus, 17. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in colour, but the crest 
not so long, and the black on the throat not developed so 
soon. Total length, n inches; culmen, i-i ; wing, 8-5; tail, 
3-8; tarsus, r6. 

Winter Plumage. Differs from the summer plumage in having 
the throat white and the head brown, with the crest shorter ; 
across the fore-neck a very broad band oT black ; feathers of 
the upper surface with fulvous edgings, which gradually wear 
off. 

Young. Coloured like the adults, but having all the feathers 
of the upper surface edged with sandy-buff, including the wing- 
coverts and secondaries, the scapulars with a little purplish 
gloss ; the crest very short ; the eyebrow and sides of face and 
throat washed with sandy-buff, with black marks before the 
eye, on the fore part of the cheeks, and upper line of the ear- 
coverts. 

Range in Great Britain. The Lapwing is found everywhere 
throughout our islands, and while diminishing in some locali- 
ties, owing to the increase of drainage and cultivation and the 



172 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

taking of its eggs in large numbers, the species in some parts 
of Scotland is on the increase. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Lapwing is found 
throughout the whole of Europe and Northern Asia, nesting 
even in the Mediterranean countries. In Europe it breeds 
as far as the Arctic Circle, and in Asia up to 65 N. lat. In 
winter it extends to Northern Africa, North-western India, and 
Southern China. 

HaMts. In the open and marshy countries which this species 
loves to frequent the musical note of the Peewit is a distinctive 
feature. It is also to be heard on the moors and pasture-lands, 
especially on the fallow ground. Although this Plover is to be 
seen at all times of the day, it becomes much more active 
towards evening, and feeds a great deal during the night. 
Throughout the summer it is a faithful friend to the farmer, 
and devours large numbers of grubs, slugs, &c. It is, there- 
fore, a most useful bird to keep in a garden, where its useful- 
ness and beauty greatly commend themselves, but it is said 
that the Peewit is an irresistible attraction to any prowling 
cat. In the winter the flocks of Peewits betake themselves to 
the sea-shore, where they feed on marine insects and small 
molluscs, and it is a beautiful sight to see a large flock of these 
birds winging their way seawards as evening approaches. They 
often go through some aerial evolutions, their white breasts 
being very conspicuous as they turn towards the setting sun, 
while the whole flock seems to disappear for an instant as they 
wheel away from the light of the latter. 

The Peewit is at all seasons more or less gregarious, but more 
decidedly so in winter. It nests in scattered colonies, and, as 
is well known, its nests are much harried for the sake of the 
eggs, which are greatly esteemed as an article of food. The 
eggs are never very easy to discover, and would be still more 
difficult to find were it not for the anxiety which the birds 
evince when any intruder approaches the nests or young birds. 
They fly round and round, uttering a continued note of pee-a- 
weet-a-weet. The downy young are very difficult to discover, 
as their plumage so closely harmonises with their surroundings, 
while the attention of the observer is generally called off by 
the unhappy parent birds, who tumble and flutter about as if 
wounded. 



THE LAPWINGS. 173 

Nest. Generally placed in a natifral hole or depression, 
such as the footprint of a horse or cow, but sometimes a 
tussock of grass may be selected. Of actual ne*t there is 
scarcely any, but a slight lining of grass or heather is some- 
times made. 

Eggs. Usually four, but on very rare occasions five have 
been found. Mr. Seebohm gives one instance of a clutch of 
five having been obtained by the Rev. H. A. Macpherson ; 
while, as will be seen below, Mr. Robert Read records a similar 
occurrence. The latter gentleman writes : "Although the eggs 
of this bird are taken in such enormous numbers, I have never 
but once known five eggs to be taken in one nest. This was 
in Northumberland. I have found the Peewit breeding quite 
close to London, at Ealing. Near Glasgow I obtained a set of 
three eggs with the heavy markings at the small end, an unusual 
variety of this bird's eggs. In autumn, quite close to Glasgow, I 
have counted about 8,000 Peesweeps in one field." The ground- 
colour of the Lapwing's egg varies extremely, from dusky-olive 
or greenish-brown to dark clay-colour or clay-brown, with black 
blotches and smaller spots distributed over the egg, the larger 
blotches congregating near the larger end. The underlying 
spots are of a dark purplish-grey. Axis, i'75-i'Q inch; diam., 
raS-i'35- 

THE CRESTLESS LAPWINGS. GENUS CII^ETUSIA. 

Chatusia, Bp. Iconogr. Faun. Ital. Ucc. Introd. p. 17 (1841). 

Type, C.gregarla (Pall.). 

This genus, of which only one species is known, is in every 
respect a true Lapwing, but differs from the genus Vanellus in 
having no crest. 

I. THE SOCIABLE LAPWING. CH^ETUSIA GREGARIA. 

Charadrius gregarius, Pall. Reis. Russ. Reichs, i. p. 456 

(1770. 
Chtttusia grsgaria, Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 527, pi. 528 (1875); 

Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 174 (1896). 
Vanellus gregarius, Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 537 (1889). 

Adult Male. General colour above pale ashy-brown, the centre 
of the lower back rather darker ; sides of the lower back, low^r 



174 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

rump and upper tail-coverts pure white, as well as the basal 
two-thirds of the tail, which is tipped with white, before which 
is a broad band of black, gradually diminishing in size towards 
the outer feathers, and entirely disappearing on the two outer- 
most rectrices, which are entirely white; wing-coverts light 
brown, a little darker than the back, the greater series white, 
with brown bases ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills 
black, the secondaries pure white, the innermost light ashy- 
brown like the back; forehead and a broad superciliary band en- 
circling the nape, creamy-white ; crown of head and nape black ; 
lores and a streak behind the eye black ; below the eye a line 
of white ; cheeks and ear-coverts pale isabelline-brown, extend- 
ing on to the sides of the neck and round the hind-neck, as well 
as over the throat; lower-throat, fore-neck, and breast dark ashy- 
brown or stone-grey ; lower breast and abdomen black, with a 
patch of chestnut on the lower abdomen ; lower flanks, thighs, 
under tail-coverts, under wing-coverts, and axillaries pure white ; 
primaries black below ; bill and feet black ; iris dark brown. 
Total length, 12 inches; oilmen, 1-3; wing, 8'o; tail, 3-5; 
tarsus, 2-35. 

Adult Female. Does not differ from the male in plumage. 
Total length, 12 inches; culmen, 1*25; wing, 7-8; tail, 3-4; 
tarsus, 2-35. 

Young. Differs from the adults in being rather darker brown, 
and in having sandy margins to the feathers of the upper sur- 
/ace ; the head brown like the back ; lores white ; under sur- 
face of body white, with no black on the breast or red on 
the abdomen, and the chest mottled with black edgings to the 
feathers or with heart-shaped spots in the centre of the latter; bill 
black ; feet black, very faintly tinged with lake in many speci- 
mens, though this colour is scarcely observable; iris blackish 
or very dark brown. 

Range in Great Britain. This species has only occurred once, 
as far as is known, within our limits. The history of the speci- 
men in question is given by Mr. Howard Saunders as follows : 
"In the autumn of the year 1860, or thereabouts, an imma- 
ture example of this south-eastern species was shot from 
among a flock of Lapwings near St. Michael's on-Wyre in 
Lancashire, and having been subsequently placed in a case 



THE CRESTLESS LAPWINGS. 1/5 

with many other stuffed birds, which impeded the view: it was 
erroneously recorded as a Cream-coloured Courser by Mr. F. S. 
Mitchell. It afterwards came into the possession of Mr. W. H. 
Doeg, when it was correctly identified, and was exhibited by 
Mr. Seebohm at a meeting of the Zoological Society of London 
on November 2oth, 1888. Its pedigree appears to be perfectly 
satisfactory." 

Kange outside the British Islands. The principal home of this 
species is in South-eastern Russia, in the steppes of the Don, 
the Volga, and the Caucasus, as well as the Crimea. The late 
Professor Bogdanoff gives its range as the steppes of Tcher- 
noze'm, from 51 to 53 N. lat., and its eastern range as ex- 
tending to the Aralo-Caspian region and Russian Songaria, 
whence it wanders in winter to North-western and Western 
India, and to Arabia and North-eastern Africa. It has oc- 
curred on more than one occasion in Western Europe, having 
been killed at least three times in Italy, as well as near Nice. 
Mr. Howard Saunders saw one in the Cadiz Market, in Feb- 
ruary, 1868, and the late Professor Taczanowsky identified two 
adults near Lublin in the autumn of 1842. 

Habits. Very little has been recorded about the habits of this 
species. Mr. Hume gives the following note of his observations 
in Sind : " This Lapwing was often met with, chiefly in waste 
places in the immediate neighbourhood of cultivation. As a 
rule it is an upland bird ; you may see it occasionally near 
jheels, but is most common in the neighbourhood of cultivation 
on waste and dry uplands. It keeps together in flocks of from 
twenty to one hundred, and until shot at once or twice is 
fearless and tame." Colonel E. A. Butler also gives a short 
note : " The Black-sided Lapwing is very common during the 
cold weather in the neighbourhood of Deesa (farther south it is 
not so plentiful), congregating in flocks, varying in numbers 
from four or five to fifty or sixty. Like ^?. cantianus and ^. 
curonicus, it frequents open sandy and grass maidans and bare 
cultivated or uncultivated ground." 

Nest. Apparently no details are known of the nidification 
of this species. 

Eggs Four in number, very similar to those of the Lapwing, 



i?6 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

but the spots rather more sparsely distributed. The ground- 
colour is of an olive clay-brown, with black spots and bl tches. 
Axis, 1-65-1-95 inch; diam., 1-25-1-35. 



THE TURN-STONES. SUB-FAMILY ARENARIIN^E. 

These curious little waders are distinguished by having the 
lower half of the tarsus plated or scaled transversely, while its 
hinder aspect is entirely reticulated. There is no " dertrum," 
or swelling, at the end of the bill as there is in most of the 
Plovers. The nasal groove does not extend for more than half 
the length of the culmen. Two species of Turn-stone are 
known, our own species, A.interpres, being found nearly all over 
the world, while the Black Turn-stone (A. melanocephala) is 
only known from Western North America, where it ranges 
from Alaska to California. 

THE TURN-STONES. GENUS ARENARIA. 

Arenaria^ Brisson, Orn. v. p. 132 (1760). 
Type, A. interprcs (Linn.). 

This is the single genus of the Turn-stones, and, therefore, 
the characters are the same as those of the Sub-family. 

I. THE TURN-STONE. ARENARIA INTERPRES. 

Tringa interpres, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 248 (1766). 

Strepsilas interpres, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 143 (1852) ; Dresser. 

B. Eur. vii. p. 555, pi. 532 (1875) ; B. O. U. List Brit. B. 

p. 161 (1883) ; S.iunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 289 

(1883); id. Man. Brit. B. p. 541 (1889); Lilford, Col. 

Fig. Brit. B. part xiv. (1890). 

Charadrius interpres, Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 12 (1885). 
Aienaria ititcrpres^ Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 92 

(1896). 

(Plate LXXX.) 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above black, 
mixed with chestnut, or partly chestnut, feathers on the centre 
of the mantle ; scapulars for the most part chestnut, but the 
outer ones black at the ends, or irregularly marked with black, 



\ 







THE TURN-STONES. I 77 

accessory scapular plumes white ; entire back below the 
mantle and rump pure white ; upper tail-coverts black, the 
longer ones pure white ; lesser wing-coverts blackish, the 
innermost rather broadly edged with white, as also those near 
the edge of the wing ; median coverts for the most part chest- 
nut, slightly mottled with black; greater coverts blackish, 
narrowly margined and broadly tipped, with white ; bastard- 
wing and primary-coverts black, the innermost of the latter 
with white tips ; quills black with white shafts, and white 
bases to the inner primaries, the secondaries for the most part 
white, blackish towards the ends of the fenthers, these black 
markings decreasing gradually towards the inner secondaries, 
some of which are pure white ; the innermost secondaries 
black, mottled with chestnut, like the scapulars ; tail-feathers 
black with white bases, all but the centre tail-feathers tipped 
with white, the black diminishing in size and forming a band 
towards the outer feathers, which are almost white ; crown of 
head and hind-neck white, the former streaked, the latter 
mottled with black ; base of forehead and narrow frontal-line 
black, followed by a band of white which unites with a broad 
eyebrow, and is extended over the ear- coverts ; lores white, as 
well as the fore part of the cheeks ; feathers round the eye and 
eyelid white, separated from the white loral patch by a narrow 
line of black, which joins the frontal- band to a square black 
patch beneath the eye, which is also joined with a malar line 
of black, which is connected with the sides of the neck and 
with the fore-neck and sides of breast, all these parts being 
black, but nearly divided by a semi-lunar band of white, which 
reaches from the sides of the neck almost to the breast ; 
throat white, as also the rest of the under surface of body from 
the centre of the chest downwards ; under wing-coverts and 
axillaries also pure white ; quills below ashy-whitish along the 
inner web ; bill black ; feet deep orange-red, claws black ; 
iris hazel. Total length, 8 inches ; culmen, 0*9 ; wing, 6-2 ; 
tail, 2-3 ; tarsus, 0-95 ; middle toe and claw, n. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Much duller than the male, 
ai-d having the same pattern of black and white about the face; 
but never developing the same amount of chestnut about the 
back ; the head and hind-neck being brown, mottled with 
blackish centres to the feathers. Total length, 8-5 inches ; 

i 1 N 



<7 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

julmen, 0-9; wing, 6*3; tail, 2-45; tarsus, 0-95; middle toe 
and claw, i. 

Young Birds. General colour above dusky-brown, all the 
feathers edged with sandy-buff or rufous ; wings and tail as in 
the adult ; crown of head dark brown, streaked with sandy- 
buff, the margins of the feathers being of this colour ; tail- 
feathers white, with a broad sub-terminal band of black, de- 
creasing in extent towards the outermost feathers, all the 
feathers tipped with sandy-buff; throat and under surface of 
body white; the lower throat, fore-neck, sides of neck, and 
sides of breast mottled with dusky-blackish centres to the 
feathers, marking the black pattern of the adults, even the 
semi-lunar neck-band of the adults being indicated by a broad 
crescentic band of sandy-buff in the young. 

Winter Plumage of the Adult. Above nearly uniform dusky- 
brown, but not showing the tawny-rufous margins to the 
feathers of the upper surface, the edges being ashy-brown. 
The head is uniform brown like the back ; the hind-neck and 
sides of neck are ashy, mottled with dusky centres to the 
feathers ; sides of face brown, with more or less white on the 
ear-coverts ; the black markings on the cheeks and throat as 
in the breeding bird, but the white semi-lunar band on the 
sides of the neck replaced by a patch of light brown. 

The difference between the winter plumage of the adult and 
the first full plumage of the young birds consists in the sandy- 
buff margins to the feathers of the upper surface, which are 
very distinct in the latter at first. Afterwards they become 
abraded, and then there is scarcely any distinguishing mark be- 
tween the winter plumages of the adult and young. In the spring 
the red plumage is very rapidly acquired, and I believe that it 
is gained quite as much by the change in the pattern of the 
feather as by a direct moult. 

Range in Great Britain. Although up to the present moment 
there is no authentic instance of the breeding of the Turn-stone 
in Great Britain, it is by no means improbable that the species 
does nest with us. Although a few remain during the winter 
in the milder parts of Southern England, the Turn-stone must 
be regarded as a migrant, principally in spring and autumn, on 
its way to and from its northern breeding quarters, coming 



THE TURN-STONES. 179 

north in May. The return journey lasts fronythe end of July 
to the end of September. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The Turn-stone may be re- 
garded as a circum-polar bird, for it breeds in the high north 
of both hemispheres, and wanders south in winter to the Cape 
of Good Hope, India and Ceylon, Australia, and the extreme 
south of South America. It has even been supposed to nest 
in some of its southern homes, as birds have been procured in 
full breeding plumage in the Azores, and in other places in 
May, but these are probably non- breeding birds, which remain 
in their southern homes during the whole of the summer. It 
nests regularly in Denmark and in Scandinavia, and on the 
Baltic coasts. 

Habits. This handsome little Plover is by no means shy, 
and, in autumn, the young birds may be approached within easy 
distance of observation. I have often seen them at this latter 
period of the year resting, at full tide, on the green herbage 
just beyond the high-water mark in some of our southern 
harbours. When sitting on the shingle, however, their 
plumage so completely harmonises with the surrounding stones 
that they are not discovered until they fly up, with a sharp 
note. It is essentially a bird of the sea-coasts, and is very 
seldom seen inland, although it is said to move across country 
in its migrations. Its name of Turn-stone is derived from its 
curious habit of turning over pebbles to look for the insects 
underneath, and Colonel Feilden has in his possession a slab of 
stone several inches square which he saw turned over by one 
of these birds. Edward, the Banffshire naturalist, noticed 
three of them engaged upon moving the body of a fish, which, 
as they could not overturn it, they undermined, and were 
then enabled to reach the insects which were underneath 
the body. Mr. E. VV. Nelson also says that the species feeds 
upon the larvae of the insects which are found upon the tens 
of thousands of seal carcases strewn about the Seal Islands 
in N.W. America. The call-note of the Turn-stone, writes 
Mr. Seebohm, is a clear, loud, shrill whistle, bearing some re- 
semblance to the call-notes of the Golden and Grey Plovers, 
which may be represented by the syllable ko or keet. It has 
also a double note, which may be represented by the syllable 

N 2 



180 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

kilter^ and not unfrequently the single note is added, making 
a treble note, kitter keet. In spring, during the breeding 
season, it is said that these notes are often so rapidly uttered 
that they form a trill. 

Nest. A little hollow, lined with a few dead leaves, and 
generally concealed behind a bush or under some broad leaf, 
or a tuft of herbage. 

Eggs. Four in number; ground-colour of a pale greeni.sh- 
grey to light clay-colour and olive-brown, the overlying spots 
being of a chocolate-brown, in some cases generally distributed 
over the egg, but in some clustered round the larger end. The 
underlying spots are distinct, and of a purplish-grey. Axis, 
i'5-i'7 inch; diam., ro5-i 2. 



THE OYSTER-CATCHERS. SUB-FAMILY 



Like the Turn-stones, the Oyster-catchers have no swelling 
near the tips of the mandibles, in this respect differing from the 
True Plovers. The bill is very much compressed and narrow, 
the angle of the lower mandible being very strongly marked 
and situated not far from the base of the bill, its distance from 
the tip being double that from the base of the mandible. The 
tarsus is reticulated both in front and behind. 



THE OYSTER- CATCHERS. GENUS H^MATOPUS. 

HczmatopiiS) Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 257 (1766). 
Type, H. ostralegus (Linn.). 

There is but one genus of these curious birds, with twelve 
species. They are found nearly all over the world, and are 
divided into two groups, the Pied Oyster-catchers and the 
Black Oyster-catchers, the former being mostly northern while 
the latter are southern birds, though H. niger reaches to North- 
west America, and H. moquini to the Canaries and Madeira. 



THE OYSTER CATCHER. iSl 

I. THE OYSTER-CATCHER. H/EMATOPUS OSTRALEGUS. 

Hczmatopus ostrakgus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 257 (1766); 
Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 152 (1852); Dresser, B. Eur. 
vii. p. 567, pi. 533 (1877) ; B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 162 
(1883); Saunders, ed. YarrelPs Brit. B. iii. p. 294 (1883); 
Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 4 (1885); Saunders, Man. 
Brit. B. p. 543 (1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part 
xii. (1890) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 107 
(1896). 

(Plate LXXXI.) 

Adult Male. General colour above glossy black ; lower back, 
rump, and upper tail- coverts white; wing-coverts black, the 
bastard-wing feathers and the median series with white tips, 
the greater coverts pure white, with only a little blackish 
concealed near the base; primaries black, with the greater 
part of the inner web white, except near the ends and for some 
distance parallel to the shaft, the latter with a sub-terminal 
white streak, widening into a broad white streak on the inner 
primaries, the white extending on to the outer web ; second- 
aries pure white with black tips, the central ones white, the 
long inner ones black ; tail white, with the terminal third 
black, forming a broad band ; head all round with the entire 
throat black ; under the eye a white spot ; remainder of under 
surface of body, from the lower throat downwards, pure white ; 
the feathers of the fore-neck which adjoin the black throat 
being half white and half black, to correspond with the 
adjacent plumage; under wing-coverts and axillaries white; 
bill vermilion, tinged with yellow as far as the end of the 
nasal groove, the attenuated part dull yellow ; feet pale lake or 
purplish-red ; edges of the eyelids vermilion ; iris crimson, 
Total length, 16 inches; culmen, 2*9; wing, 7-9; tail, 3*9; 
tarsus, 1*95. 

Adult Female Similar to the male in plumage. Total length, 
17 inches; culmen, 3-3 ; wing, io'i ; tail, 4; tarsus, 2. 

Young. Browner on the back than the adults, and with 
more or less sandy-brown vermiculations and margins to the 
ends of the feathers ; across the middle of the throat a broad 
band of white ; quills with a larger expanse of white, the white 
on the outer web of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth quills 



1 32 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

continuous with the white on the inner web. The white band 
on the throat is lost during the first winter, disappearing 
sooner in the females than in the males. 

Nestling. Clothed with down of a sandy-grey colour, not 
much mottled with black, of which two lines run down each 
side of the back, with a single narrow line down the rump to 
the tail, and a lateral stripe along the lo\ver flanks ; the head 
has seme irregular black stripes and patches ; throat dusky- 
black ; remainder of under surface of body white, as also the 
edge of the wing; thighs dusky-blackish. As the bird in- 
creases in size the plumage becomes darker, and is strongly 
barred with sandy-buff tips and edges to the feathers, but the 
black dorsal patches are retained in full force for a long 
time. 

Range in Great Britain. The Oyster-catcher is resident with us 
throughout the year, and breeds on our northern coasts and in 
Scotland, where it ascends the rivers for some little distance 
and nests on th? rocky beds. It also nests in certain parts of 
England as far south as the Scilly Islands. In Ireland Mr. 
R. J. Ussher says that it breeds on the coasts and islands of 
all the maritime counties, except, perhaps, Louth, Meath, Wick- 
low, and Waterford. Mr. H. C. Hart states that he has found 
it nesting on an island in Lough Erne. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species is found 
throughout most of the coasts of Europe from the North Cape 
to the Mediterranean, and as far east as the Valley of the Ob, 
but it ascends several large rivers of the Continent, as it does 
the Petchora and the Ob, while it also breeds on the shores of 
inland seas, such as the Black Sea and the Caspian. It is also 
found nesting on the Adriatic and about the mouth of the 
Rhone, but is principally known as a winter resident in the 
countries of the Mediterranean, and it also extends in winter 
down the Red Sea, and is said to have been met with in 
Mozambique, on the east coast of Africa, and in Sencgambia 
on the west. 

Habits. The common names for the Oyster-catcher are "Sen 
Pie " and " Olive," the latter being a favourite name with the 
gunners in Pagham Harbour years ago. Large flocks are 
oftfii seen in the autumn and winter, generally distributed 



THE OYSTER-CATCHERS. 183 

over the sands, as the latter are left by the receding tide. 
They will also feed on the edge of the saltings along the 
margin of the tide. Some which I had in confinement for 
several years were pretty ornaments to the garden, but were 
always shy and never became tame, while their soft feet were 
soon cut about on the hard ground in frosty weather. When 
undisturbed, the males were rather fond of executing a kind of 
dance, with their wings expanded. Although this bird may 
not feed on oysters, as its name would imply, it devours 
whelks, limpets, and small marine animals and Crustacea, as 
well as leaves and shoots of marine plants. It does not eat 
the shell of the whelk, but scoops its animal out with its power 
ful bill, and in pursuit of this kind of food the Oyster-catcher 
often frequents the rocks at low tide. I have seen numbers of 
them feeding and digging into the sand when the latter is 
quite dry, doubtless probing after some hidden mollusc, and 
the birds may always be observed from the railway as it skirts 
Morecambe Bay, as they often feed at no great distance from 
the line. 

Nest. Mr. Seebohm writes: "A peculiarity attached to the 
identification of the Oyster-catcher is the number of nests it 
forms and then deserts, ere making one to its liking. Frequently 
several empty nests are found near the one that is tenanted, as 
though the bird had tried several times before it had been 
suited. The nest is merely a little hollow amongst the rough 
shingle and broken shells, or in the sand, about six inches 
across and about one inch deep, and this is lined with little 
scraps of shells and small pebbles, generally more or less 
neatly and smoothly arranged. Sometimes the eggs are 
deposited in a little hollow amongst the drifted seaweed." The 
eggs of this bird have been found in several extraordinary 
situations, as, for instance, in a field and on the trunk of a 
felled pine-tree. A nest in the British Museum was taken by 
Mr. Bidwell in the Scilly Islands. It is a somewhat deep 
depression in the peaty moss, and the three eggs lie side by 
side, with a number of cockle-shells, one or two of which are 
also strewn about outside." 

Eggs. Mr. Robert Read writes to me : " Like the Ringed 
Sand-Plover, the Oyster-catcher breeds freely along the shores 



184 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

and on the islands both of salt and fresh wnter. It seems as much 
at home on the plough-fields and river-banks in Inverness-shire 
as on the sandy shores of the Fame Islands. I have found full 
sets of fresh eggs in Inverness-shire as early as April 2oth, and 
young birds by the middle of May. The markings on the 
eggs consist sometimes of zig-zag streaks, and sometimes of 
spots and blotches more or less well-defined, small specimens 
of the latter kind being difficult to distinguish from some 
varieties of the Great Plover." The eggs are three in number, 
the ground-colour varying from warm clay-brown to stone- 
colour and pale greenish-olive. The overlying spots are 
blackish or dark chocolate-brown, generally distributed over 
the egg, sometimes as blotches and often in lines and scrib- 
blings. The underlying spots are pale purplish-grey, and are 
distinctly perceptible, especially on the more lightly-marked 
eggs. Axis, 2-1-2-55 inches; diam , 1-5-175. 



THE AVOCETS AND STILTS. SUB-FAMILY 
HIMANTOPODIN^E. 

The members of this Sub-family have been associated 
together by recent students of the Charadriidce, and Mr. 
Seebohm has gone so far as to put the Avocet and the 
Stilt into the same genus, a conclusion with which I cannot 
agree ; and it is even doubtful to my mind whether these birds 
are not sufficiently distinct from one another as to deserve being 
classed in different Sub-families. There is no dertrum or 
swelling at the end of the bill, which shows that they are not 
Plovers, and the legs are very long, especially in the case of 
the Stilts. In the latter the bill is straight, whereas in the 
Avocets it is up-curved and awl-like. 

THE AVOCETS. GENUS RECURVIROSTRA. 

Recurvirostra, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 256 (1766). 

Type, R. avocetta (Linn.). 

Four species of Avocets are known, and the genus is 
found over the temperate and tropical portions of both 



\ 




THE AVOCETS. 185 

hemispheres. In addition to the up-turned bill, the lower 
edge of which is flattened, the Avocets are distinguished by 
the presence of a hind-toe, and by having the base of the toes 
distinctly united by a web. 

I. THE AVOCET. RECURVIROSTRA AVOCETTA. 

Rccuruirostra avocetta^ Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 256 (1766); 

Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 306 (1852); Dresser, B. Eur. vii. 

P- 577, pl- 534 (1875); B. O. U. List Brit. B, p. 162 

(1883) ; Saunders, ed. YarrelFs Brit. B. iii. p. 299 (1883); 

id. Man Brit B. p, 545 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. 

B. part xiii. (1890) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. 

p. 326 (1896) 

Himantopus avocetta^ Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 74 (1885). 
(Plate LXXXIL) 

Adult Male. General colour above varied with black and 
white ; the upper part of the mantle and scapulars black ; the 
rest of the back, rump, and upper tail-coverts pure white, as 
also the outer scapulars, which form a white band on each 
side of the lateral black bands on the back ; small wing-coverts 
along the carpal edge of the wing white; median coverts black, 
forming a broad band down the wing; bastard-wing and 
greater coverts pure white, primary-coverts white with black 
tips, the inner ones pure white ; outer primaries blackish with 
white at the base, the inner ones pure white as well as the 
secondaries, the innermost secondaries blackish ; tail-feathers 
pale ashy-grey, the outermost feathers whitish ; crown of head 
black, extending in a broad line to the hind-neck ; lores also 
blackish, and also the feathers below the eye ; sides of face and 
ear-coverts, sides of neck, and entire under surface of body, in- 
cluding the under wing-coverts, axillaries, and quill-lining, pure 
white ; bill black ; feet and toes pale blue ; iris reddish-brown. 
Total length, i6'5 inches; oilmen, 3-3; wing, 8'6; tail, 3; 
tarsus, 3. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in plumage. Total length, 
17 inches; culmen, 3-15; wing, 9; tail, 3-55; tarsus, 3-3. 

"Winter Plumage. Both the old and young birds appear tc 
have the white of the upper-parts sullied with grey, and the 



1 85 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

black of the head is confined to the crown, not reaching beyond 
the nape ; some specimens, probably young ones, have a good 
deal of brown mixed with the black of the upper-parts. The 
tail is light grey in winter, and becomes pure white in 
summer. 

Nestling. Ashy-grey, slightly mottled with dusky bars ; on the 
sides of the mantle two incomplete streaks of black ; a black 
streak on the middle of the rump and a black line extending 
along the sides of the body across the base of the tail ; minor 
black markings are seen upon the head and on the wings ; undel 
surface of body yellowish-white. 

Kange in Great Britain. The Avocet is now only a rare visito, 
to England, in spring and autumn, but it used to nest in formev 
times in many parts of England, especially in the Humbei 
district and on the coasts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, and Sussex, 
but it has not been known to breed, according to Mr. Howard 
Saunders, since the year 1824. It has never been more than 
a casual visitor to Scotland, Ireland, or the West of England. 

Range outside the British Islands. Although in many of the 
northern countries of Europe the Avocet has disappeared as a 
breeding bird as it has done in England, there are many places 
where it nests in localities suited to its habits. Thus on the 
shores of the Baltic, the Frisian Islands, and in Holland, the 
eggs may still be found; as well as on the deltas of the Rhone 
and Guadalquivir. Throughout the countries of the Mediterra- 
nean the bird is resident in suitable districts, becoming more 
abundant in Southern Russia and the Caspian to Central Asia, 
and thence to Dauria and Mongolia. It is also distributed 
from Ep;ypt to Southern Africa, and breeds in many places. In 
winter the Avocet visits China and the Indian Peninsula. 

Habits. The present species is a very handsome bird, and 
when a company is feeding together, or wheeling in flight, their 
black-and-white plumage renders them very conspicuous. Mr. 
Seebohm says that, on the wing, flocks have a strange appearance, 
looking like a series of black and white stripes. " Like the 
Stilt," he writes, "the Avocet haunts the margins of the water, 
running daintily along the wet shining sands, or exploring the 
black mud-banks in the shallow lakes. It is not particularly 
shy, but, if alarmed, will mount into the air, its long legs 



THE AVOCETS. 1 87 

stretched out behind in a line with its bill, and fly round and 
round, uttering its alarm-note, which resembles the syllables 
/'/, //>'/, tit-it, t it-it ! If one of the birds is wounded, its com- 
panions fly round over-head, incessantly uttering their notes, as 
if bewailing its fate. At all seasons of the year the Avocet is 
sociable, and may be observed in large or small parties. It is 
a very beautiful sight to watch a party of these birds, when their 
nesting-grounds are invaded, daintily running before you, their 
brilliant plumage contrasting strongly with the mud or sand. 
Every now and then they run a little way with up-lifted wings, 
occasionally rising in the air and flying round your head, utter- 
ing their anxious cries. The bird wades into water as deep as 
its belly, and will even venture farther, for it swims with ease, 
sitting lightly and gracefully on the water. In the course oi 
their wanderings over the mud-flats and tide-washed sands, they 
often swim a little distance across a stretch of deep water, and, 
if pursued, will readily make use of their swimming powers to 
carry them out of danger. The food of the Avocet is captured 
principally on the mud and in marshy places. It is chiefly com- 
posed of worms, small crustaceans, and vast quantities of 
aquatic insects. Their prey is searched for as the bird moves 
its long slender recurved bill from side to side across the sur- 
face of the sand or mud, or in the shallows. The Avocet 
never appears to probe in the soft ground with its bill, but 
always uses it in a side direction. A small quantity of gravel 
is swallowed to aid digestion. Sometimes the bird captures 
the small gnats and other insects as they flutter over the water 
or flit by it on the land." Lord Lilford says : " The method 
of feeding is by sidelong scoops in the soft mud, which they 
sift with a sort of nibbling action between the mandibles. 
They are very active on foot, and excellent swimmers, con- 
tinually shifting from place to place, uttering a pleasant, clear 
whistle, very different from their discordant cries when 
alarmed." 

Nest. A slight depression in the bare mud or sand or in short 
grass, with sometimes a little dry grass or leaves for lining. 
Mr. Seebohm says that those he found in the valley of the 
Danube were most of them slight, but some had more founda- 
tion than others ; they were always on the dry land. 

Eggs. Four in number, pear-shaped. The general aspect 



I 83 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY 

of the ground-colour is a warm or pale clay -brown, some of the 
lighter-coloured eggs having an olive tinge. The spots are 
black and generally distributed over the egg, some of the larger 
ones being confluent and forming blotches. In many examples, 
however, the markings are very small and take the form of 
scratches and scribblings. The underlying spots are stone- 
grey, and are more perceptible in the sparsely-marked eggs. 
Axis, 175-2-05 inches; diam., i'25-i'55. 

THE STILTS. GENUS HIMANTOPUS. 

Himantopus^ Briss, Orn. v. p. 33 (1760). 

Type, H. hirnantopus (L.). 

The Stilts are distinguished from the Avocets by their 
straight bill and thin, long legs, which extend far behind the 
body of the birds. The toes have scarcely any connecting 
web, and are divided almost to the base. They differ from the 
Avocets also in wanting the hind-toe, or hallux. In Australia 
an intermediate form, Cladorhynchus, occurs, which has 
webbed toes and wants the hallux, resembling the Stilts in 
these respects, but having a slightly upturned bill, as in the 
Avocets. 

Seven species of Stilts are known, and they inhabit both the 
Eastern and Western Hemispheres, though they do not range 
north of the temperate portions of the globe. H. mexicanus 
replaces H. hirnantopus in North America, H. knudseni is 
peculiar to the Sandwich Islands, H. melanurus is South 
American, while H. leucocephalus^ H. picatus, and //. me/as 
belong to the Australian Region. 

I. THE BLACK-WINGED STILT. HIMANTOPUS HIMANTOPUS. 

Charadrius himantopus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 255 (1766). 
Himantopus melanopterus, Meyer; Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 312 

(1852); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 79 (1885); Lil- 

ford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xiii. (1890). 
Himantopus caudidus^ Bonn.; Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 587, pis. 

535. 536 (1877); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 163 (1883); 

Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 305 (1883); id. 

Man. Brit. B. p. 547 (1889), 



PLATE LXXXIII. 




BLACK-WINGED STILT. 



THE STILTS. 189 

Himantopus himantopus^ Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 
310 (1896). 

(Plate LXXXIII.} f 

Adult Male. General colour above black wiih a greenish 
gloss ; entire back and rump pure white ; upper tail-coverts 
pale ashy-grey, the outer feathers with a certain amount of white 
on the inner web ; wings entirely black, glossed with green ; 
head and neck all round, upper mantle, and entire under sur- 
face of body pure white; under wing-coverts black; axillaries 
white; bill blackish; feet rose-pink; iris deep carmine. Total 
length, 13 inches; culmen, 2*5; wing, 9^6; tail, 3; tarsus, 4'6$. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but having the mantle, 
scapulars, and inner secondaries brown instead of black. 
Total length, 13 inches; wing, 9-1. 

Young in First Plumage. Similar to the adult female, and 
brown on the mantle, scapulars, and inner secondaries, which 
have sandy-buff margins to the feathers ; the wings are black, 
but have sandy-buff margins, the quills brown on their 
inner webs towards the tips, which are broadly fringed or 
tipped with white; forehead and sides of face white; the 
crown of the head and nape brown ; the hind-neck ashy-grey ; 
under surface of body pure white, with a shade of grey on the 
fore-neck. 

Nestling. Covered with down of an isabelline colour above, 
varied with rather broad lines of black, with a streak of black 
down the lower back and rump ; the first feathers being sandy- 
rufous, barred ; entire under surface of body creamy-white. 

Eange in Great Britain. A rare straggler to our islands, it 
has been recorded from all the three Kingdoms, but has 
seldom been noticed on the western side of Great Britain. 
It has occurred most frequently in the eastern and southern 
counties, and nearly always in summer. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Stilt breeds throughout 
the Mediterranean countries in suitable localities, as well as in 
Hungary, and thence eastwards through the Aralo-Caspian 
district to Turkestan and as far as the Hoangho Valley. It 
also nests in North-western India, and breeds in South Africa 
along with the Avocets. In winter it visits Africa and India 



1 9 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

as well as the Burmese provinces and Southern China. It is 
only a straggler to the countries of Northern Europe, as it is 
to Great Britain. 

Habits. This is one of the most extraordinary of all the 
Plovers, and is remarkable foi iti rung legs. These are carried 
out behind it, when the bird is flying, and from their bright 
colour are very conspicuous. Mr. Seebohm observes : 
"There are few sights more interesting to an English ornitho- 
logist than a breeding colony of Stilts. If quietly approached, 
they may be watched standing up to their knees in water, 
catching little tadpoles and water-beetles, picking up floating 
shell-fish, or snapping at the gnats in the air, or the water- 
spiders dancing on the surface of the lagoons. Perhaps it 
looks most elegant as it trips daintily on the yellow ooze, 
which scarcely seems to bend beneath its light weight. Some- 
times two or three may be seen feeding together, walking with 
deliberate, graceful step, which is occasionally quickened 
almost into a run ; but they seldom utter a note. They do 
not seem to be particularly shy, and it is not necessary to 
keep concealed among the reeds, except when you approach 
the nests. Then the habits of the birds change entirely : all 
idea of feeding is given up, and their whole attention is 
absorbed in the effort to decoy you from the colony ; they are 
alarmed for the safety of their eggs, and in their excitement 
they suddenly become noisy birds. As they run along the 
sand, with uplifted wings, they look the perfection of beauty 
and grace, but they soon take wing, and try hard to lead you 
inland to the steppe. Generally two or three fly together, 
looking almost like miniature Storks as they pass over; the 
neck is outstretched and the bill is slightly depressed, while 
the long red legs, which reach considerably beyond the tail, 
are also extended slightly below the horizontal line. The 
motion of the wings is not very rapid, but the line of flight is 
straight. Now and then the bird skims along for a short 
distance with outspread, motionless wings, and, whilst thus 
slowly sailing along, it has a curious habit of dropping its legs, 
but this action is performed so high in the air that the bird 
can scarcely be making preparations to alight, and may 
perhaps be only trying to attract attention to itself. All this 
time the birds are noisy enough. The Stilt has two cries of 



THE STILTS. IQl 

anxiety at the nest one a sharp, rapidly repeated kit-kit-kit, 
or hit, hit, hit, and the other a sort of rattling note, resembling 
the syllable peur-r-re. As the wily bird succeeds in luring 
the intruder away from its treasures, it does not fly so near 
him ; the former note only is heard, and is less rapidly and 
less anxiously repeated ; the final / is omitted, or is inaudible, 
and the note sounds like he, kee, kee" Lord Lilford writes: 
"I have always found this bird very easy of approach. In 
the breeding-season it is difficult to drive them from their 
nesting-places, over which they hover with loud outcries, and 
I have frequently ridden to within a few feet of Stilts wading 
in a few inches of water, and busily engaged in picking up 
small insects from the weeds, or snapping at them in the air. 
In Spain I have found the stomachs and throats of these birds 
crammed with what I believe to have been mosquitoes, or 
some very nearly allied and probably equally pestilent insects, 
and on this score alone this pretty bird is worthy of protection, 
more especially as its flesh is worthless, and its tameness so 
great that the most rabid collector can obtain more specimens 
than he can reasonably require in a few minutes." Colonel 
Irby says that the Stilt is, in spring, one of the most common 
of the marsh-birds on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar. 
At Meshree el Haddar, in Marocco, and in the marisma of 
the Guadalquivir, their numbers were perfectly marvellous. 
" In some seasons they have nested at the Laguna de la Janda. 
They frequent open shallow pools and lakes, and are very 
seldom seen where there is grass or rushes, being, as a rule, 
very tame and confiding, while their conspicuous black and 
white plumage and noisy habits render them certain to attract 
attention, either as they fly with their long pink legs stretched 
out, Heron-like, behind them, or as they wade about, usually 
up to their knees, in the shallow water, where they seek their 
food in the shape of aquatic insects, gnats, and flies." 

Nest. Placed in various situations, such as on the half-dried 
mud in Spain. Mr. Howard Saunders has found the .lest by 
the pools in the marismas, consisting of a slight nest of bents 
by the side of a tuft of rushes, often so near the water as to 
be coated with mud from the bird's feet. Sometimes they are 
more solid structures, and Mr. Seebohm found nests in the 
Dobrudscha built of weeds, broken bits of old dead reeds, and 



1 92 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

standing from two to three inches above the level of the water, 
while another had a foundation of yellow ooze. " The slight 
hollow was about six inches across and the nest was about 
eight inches in diameter at the surface of the water." 

Mr. A. O. Hume gives an interesting account of the 
breeding of the Stilt in the salt-district of North-western India. 
He writes: "The birds have their choice of sites, though 
on what this depends I could not find out. Not one nest was 
found in two successive seasons at Bulpoor or Kuliawas ; very 
few at Sultanpoor. On the other hand, at Moobarikpoor (and 
all the salt-works are exact facsimiles one of the other) the 
nests were, in some places, crowded to an inconceivable 
degree. On one strip, about three feet wide and one hundred 
feet long, there were twenty-seven nests on one margin and 
eleven on the other, bssides five nests of the Red-wattled 
Lapwing. So accustomed were the birds to the workmen 
walking up and down the middle of this strip, that many of the 
birds never moved, though we passed within a few inches of 
them, and those that did move merely stalked leisurely a few 
paces away into the salt-pans on either side." 

Eggs. Four in number, but often only three. In Ceylon, 
Colonel Vincent Legge says that he has found many nests 
containing three hard-set eggs, and he states, moreover, that 
for the most part they were not placed point to point, as is the 
usual rule with Plovers. The eggs of the Stilt have a great 
general resemblance to those of the Avocet, but are very much 
smaller. The colour of the eggs varies from clay-brown to 
olive stone-colour, but a lighter type is also sometimes met 
with, where the ground-colour is of a creamy stone-colour or 
buff. As a rule the eggs are heavily spotted and blotched, 
when the spots become confluent, and lightly spotted eggs are 
less frequent than in the Avocet. In the Hume collection are 
some which have the spots congregated at either the large or 
the small end. Axis, i '55-1 '85 inch; diam., 1*15-1 '3. 

THE PHALAROPES. SUB-FAMILY 
PHALAROPIN^:. 

These curious, soft-plumaged little Plovers are easily recog- 
nised by their lobed toes, which have scalloped webs like the 



\ 







THE PHALAROPES. 193 

Coots or Grebes. They have also another character which is 
Grebe-like, and which I have not yet seen recorded, viz., that 
on the hinder aspect or " sole " of the tarsus (planfyi tarsi) 
there is a distinctly coarse serration or pectination. Added 
to these characters, it must be noticed that the Pbalaropes are 
adepts at swimming, and I have, therefore, in the " Catalogue 
of Birds," placed them at the very end of the Plovers, as a con- 
nective link between these birds and the Grebes. Another 
peculiarity is that the female Phalarope is always larger and 
more brightly coloured than the male. 



THE TRUE PHALAROPES. GENUS CRYMOPHILUS. 

CrymophiluS) Vieill. Analyse, p. 62 (1816). 

Type, C.fulicarius (L.). 

In the present genus the bill is rather flat and slightly 
widened towards the tip, the culmen being about equal in 
length to the tarsus, which is again equal to the middle toe 
and claw. 

I. THE GREY PHALAROPE. CRYMOPHILUS FULICARIUS. 

Tringa fulicaria, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 249 (1766). 

Phalaropiis lobatus, L. ; Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 284 (1852). 

Phalaropus fulicarins. Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 606, pi. 538 
(1874) ; B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 164 (1883) ; Saunders, 
ed. YarrelPs Brit. B. iii. p. 310 (1883); Seebohm, Hist. 
Brit. B. iii. p. 85 (1885) ; Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 549 
(1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxx. (1895). 
(Plaie LXXXIV.) 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. General colour above sandy- 
buff, streaked with black centres to the feathers; scapulars like 
the back ; lower back dark slate-colour ; rump and upper tail- 
coverts chestnut with black centres to many of the feathers ; 
some of the tail-coverts slaty-grey with sandy margins ; lesser 
wing-coverts slaty-blue, with whitish edgings; the median 
series and greater coverts broadly tipped with white ; bastard- 
wing, primary-coverts, and quills blackish with white shafts, 

II O 



194 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

the inner primary-coverts tipped with white, most of the 
primaries white at the base of the outer web, the secondaries 
for the most part white, blackish towards the ends of the outer 
webs, the innermost secondaries dark slate-colour or blackish 
with sandy-rufous edges, like the back; centre tail-feathers 
blackish with sandy margins, the lateral ones dark grey fringed 
with white, the outermost more broadly edged and having a 
white shaft ; crown of head sooty-black ; nape and hind-neck 
also blackish ; forehead, lores, anterior part of face, chin and 
upper throat dark slate-colour ; feathers below the eye, a 
small streak above the latter, and ear-coverts white ; sides of 
neck and entire surface of body vinous chestnut ; under wing- 
coverts and axillaries white ; quills ashy below, whitish along 
the inner webs ; bill waxy-yellow with a jet-black tip ; feet dull 
yellowish. Total length, 7 inches; oilmen, i; wing, 5-4; tail, 
2'6 ; tarsus, 0-85. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage Similar to the female, but 
not so brightly coloured, the head being sandy-brown, streaked 
with blackish like the back, and not so sooty-black as in the 
female bird; sides of face vinous-chestnut, the base of the 
cheeks and chin tinged with slaty-grey, with a good deal of 
white on the throat and under surface of body, which never 
seems to get so uniformly vinous-chestnut as in the adult 
female. Total length, 7-5 inches; culmen, 0*85; wing, 5-05 ; 
tail, 2-55; tarsus, 2-55. 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage. Bluish-grey with a black patch 
on the nape ; wings more dusky than in summer, but with the 
white markings similar, the innermost secondaries bluish-grey 
like the back and scapulars ; forehead, eyebrow, sides of face 
and entire under surface of body pure white ; the top of the 
crown white, slightly mottled with dusky bases to the feathers ; 
feathers in front of the eye and a streak along the upper edge 
of the ear-coverts black. 

Young. Distinguished from the adults by the sandy-buff 
margins to the feathers of the upper surface and by the vinous 
tinge of the throat and fore-neck ; the fore part of the crown 
is buffy-white, with a broad horse-shoe mark of black on the 
hinder crown. 

Bange in Great Britain. The Grey Phalarope visits us every 



THE PHALAROPES. 195 

autumn and winter with tolerable regularity, but in some years 
a large immigration takes place and many are killed on our 
southern coasts. In the autumn of 1866 a large influx of 
individuals was recorded, and others have occurred,, in 1869, 
1886, and again in 1891. On the last occasion several were 
sent to me at the British Museum, some from inland localities, 
where they had been picked up dead. " On the east of Eng- 
land," writes Mr. Howard Saunders, "this Phalarope seldom 
alights above Norfolk, but in Scotland, according to Gray, it 
visits all the shores from Berwick to the Orkneys ; it is, how- 
ever, seldom met with in Sutherland, and has not yet been 
recorded from the Outer Hebrides, though found within their 
line. It is rare in Ireland ; a few were obtained in the south 
in the autumn of 1886, and others in 1891." 

Range outside the British Islands. The Grey Phalarope is a 
circum-polar species breeding in the Arctic Regions of both 
hemispheres. In America it breeds from Alaska to Green- 
land, and has been found as far north as 82 30 . It also 
breeds in Spitsbergen and Iceland, and was found by Von 
Middendorf in the Taimyr Peninsula. In winter the Grey 
Phalarope visits the British seas, the Mediterranean, and the 
Indian Ocean, and has been found as far south as New Zea- 
land ; it has also been met with off the coast of Chili. 

Habits. In America the present species is known as the Red 
Phalarope, this name being taken from the summer plumage, 
whereas in England it is called the Grey Phalarope from the pre- 
vailing colour of the bird when it visits us. Mr. E. W. Nelson 
states that in Alaska it arrives within the last few days of May 
and early in June, and remains near Point Barrow till the sea 
closes in October. He writes : " It is much more gregarious 
than its relative, and for a week or two after its first arrival fifty 
or more flock together. These flocks were very numerous on the 
ist of June, 1879, at the Yukon mouth, where I had an excellent 
opportunity to observe them. In the morning the birds which 
were paired could be found scattered here and there, by twos, 
over the slightly-flooded grassy flats. At times these pairs 
would rise and fly a short distance, the female, easily known by 
her bright colours and large size, in advance, and uttering now 
and then a low, musical 'clink, clink,' sounding very much 

O 2 



196 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

like the noise made by lightly tapping together small bars of 
steel. When the birds were disturbed, these notes were 
repeated oftener and became harder and louder. 

"A little later in the day, as their hunger became satisfied, 
they began to unite into parties, until fifteen or twenty birds 
would rise and pursue an erratic course over the flat. As 
they passed swiftly along, stray individuals and pairs might be 
seen to. spring up and join the flock. Other flocks would 
rise and the smaller coalesce with the larger until from two 
hundred to three or even four hundred birds were gathered 
in a single flock. As the size of the flock increased, its move- 
ments became more and more irregular. At one moment 
they would glide straight along the ground, then change to a way- 
ward flight, back and forth, twisting about with such rapidity 
that it was difficult to follow them with the eye. Suddenly 
their course would change, and the compact flock, as if animated 
by a single impulse, would rise high over head, and after a series 
of graceful and swift evolutions, come sweeping down with a 
loud, rushing sound to resume their playful course near the 
ground. During all their motions the entire flock moved in 
such unison that the alternate flashing of the under-side of their 
wings and the dark colour of their back, like the play of light 
and shade, made a beautiful spectacle. When wearied of their 
sport the flock disbanded and the birds again resumed their 
feeding. 

" When the Red Phalarope arrives in spring, its preference 
is for the flat wet lands bordering the coast and rivers, where 
it remains to breed. It is not usually found on the sea 
at this season, but on June 10, 1878, a number were seen 
swimming along the floating ice in the Bay of St. Michael's. 
Very early in June the females have each paid their court and 
won a shy and gentle male to share their coming cares." 

Nest, The nest, according to Mr. Nelson, consists of a 
slight depression, generally on the damp flats with very rarely 
any lining. One was found by him on the 8th of June within 
six feet of a* small brackish pool, the eggs being deposited upon 
a nest of dried leaves under a dwarf willow. 

Eggg. Four in number and very much pointed. The ground- 
colour is very dark, of a deep clay-colour, verging to chocolate- 



THE RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. 197 

brown, in some instances, with a slight olive tinge. More 
rarely eggs with a light clay-brown ground are found. The 
markings are heavy, and consist of large spots of dark brown 
or blackish, often confluent at the larger end of the egg, and 
forming large blotches. The underlying spots are of a greyish- 
brown. Axis, i -15-1 '4 inch; diam., 'o^-o^. 



THE RED-NECKED PHALAROPES. GENUS PHALAROPUS, 



y Briss. Orn. vi. p. 12 (1760). 
Type, P. hyperboreus (L.). 

In the Red-necked Phalaropes the bill is very long and 
slender, and tapers to a point without being widened in any 
way. The tarsus is longer than the middle toe and claw. 

Only one species is known. 

THE RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. PHALAROPUS 
HYPERBOREUS. 

Tringa hyperborea, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 249 (1766). 
Lobipes hyperboreus^ Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 291 (1852). 
Phalaropus hyperboreus, Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 597, pis. 537, 

539, fig. 2 (1874); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 164 

(1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarrell, Brit. B. iii. p. 315 (1883) ; 

Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. 89 (1885); Saunders, Man. 

Brit. B. p. 551 (1889). 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. General colour above dark 
siaty grey, with a band of sandy-buff down each side of the 
mantle; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts slaty-blackish 
with white margins ; some of the lateral tail-coverts, for the most 
part, white, with blackish spots ; wing-coverts slaty-black, the 
greater series tipped with white, forming a band ; bastard-wing 
and inner primary-coverts tipped with white, like the greater 
coverts; primary-coverts and quills blackish, the primaries with 
white shafts, the secondaries edged with white, the median ones, 
for the most part, white on the inner web also ; scapulars 
lengthened like the inner secondaries, and most of them exter- 
nally spotted with sandy-buff, forming a parallel band to the 



198 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

one which skirts the mantle ; tail slaty-blackish, the feathers 
narrowly fringed with white ; crown of head, nape, and hind- 
neck dark slaty-grey, as also the lores, feathers below the eye, 
and ear-coverts ; entire lower throat bright ferruginous, this 
colour extending over the sides of the neck to behind the ear- 
coverts ; the fore-neck mottled with slaty-grey, which colour 
extends over the upper breast, where it is slightly tinged with 
rufous ; remainder of under surface of body, from the fore-neck 
downwards, pure white ; the sides of the body streaked with 
ashy centres to the feathers; under tail-coverts white, the longer 
ones mottled with ashy-grey spots near the tips ; under wing- 
coverts white, the feathers round the bend of the wing dusky 
with white tips ; quills dusky below, ashy along the inner web. 
Total length, 7 inches; culmen, 0*9; wing, 4*35 ; tail, 1*85; 
tarsus, 075. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. Similar to the female, but not 
quite so brightly coloured, the rufous of the neck not being so 
strongly developed, and not extending across the lower throat, 
this part as well as the fore-neck and the sides of the breast 
being dark slaty-grey, mostly with whitish edgings to the feathers; 
bill black ; feet greyish-blue, the outer aspect of tarsus, outer 
toe, and the joints darker ; soles and outer web blackish ; iris 
dark brown. Total length, 6'8 inches; culmen, 0*9; wing, 4*2 ; 
tail, 17; tarsus, 075. 

Young. General colour above blackish, streaked with dark 
ochreous,the feathers of the back being of this colour, with black 
centres ; lower back and rump slaty-blackish ; the upper tail- 
coverts with ochreous margins ; wing-coverts entirely slaty- 
blackish with whitish margins to the median series, the greater 
series being broadly tipped with white ; quills as in the adult; 
the innermost secondaries and scapulars broadly edged with 
ochreous-buff; tail as in the adult, the centre feathers edged 
with ochreous, the outer ones with white ; crown of head and 
hind-neck dull slaty-blackish, a little clearer on the latter; fore- 
head, sides of face, and a broad eyebrow white; feathers in front 
of the eye and ear-coverts slaty-blackish ; cheeks and under 
surface of body white, dusted with ashy-brown on the fore-neck, 
chest, and sides of body ; bill black ; feet flesh-colour, outer 
aspect and joints dark greyish ; iris hazel. 



THE RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. 199 

Range in Great Britain. The Red-necked Phalarope breeds 
sparingly in the Shetlands and Orkney Islands, and in the 
Outer Hebrides ; but the demand for British-taken eggs has 
sadly diminished the numbers of those which nest wfthin this 
limited area. In other parts of Great Britain the species is 
only procured as a migrant, occurring chiefly in the autumn. 
Only one occurrence in Ireland has been recorded, namely, 
in Armagh in November, 1891. 

Range outside the British Islands. Although a circum-polar bird, 
like its ally, the Grey Phalarope, the present species has a more 
southern breeding-range than that species. It nests in the Arctic 
Regions of America from Alaska to Southern Greenland, and 
thence from Iceland and the Fseroe Islands to Northern Scan- 
dinavia, and eastwards as far as Kamtchatka. In winter it goes 
south as far as the Malayan Archipelago, passing by China 
and Japan, and occurring at the same time on the shores of 
the Indian Ocean. 

Habits. An excellent account of the habits of this bird is 
given by Mr. Nelson. Speaking of the birds in Alaska, he ob- 
serves: "As summer approaches on the arctic shores and coast 
of Bering Sea, the numberless pools, until now hidden under 
a snowy covering, become bordered or covered by water ; the 
mud about their edges begins to soften, and through the water 
the melting ice in the bottom looks pale green. The Ducks and 
Geese fill the air with their loud resounding cries, and the rapid 
wing-strokes of arriving and departing flocks add a heavy bass 
to the chorus which greets the opening of another glad season 
in the wilds of the cheerless north. Amidst this loud-tongued 
multitude suddenly appears the peaceful fairy-like form of the 
Northern Phalarope. Perhaps, as the hunter sits by the border 
of a secluded pool, still half-covered with snow and ice, a pair 
of slight wings flit before him, and there, riding on the water, 
scarcely making a ripple, floats this charming and elegant bird. 
It glides hither and thither on the water, apparently drifted by 
its fancy, and skims about the pool like an autumn leaf wafted 
before the playful zephyrs on some embosomed lakelet in the 
forest. The delicate tints and slender fragile form, combining 
grace of colour and outline with a peculiarly dainty elegance 
of motion, render this the most lovely and attractive among its 
handsome congeners. 



200 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

" The first arrivals reach St. Michael's in full plumage from 
May 14-15, and their number is steadily augmented until, in 
the last few days of May and first of June, they are on hand in 
full force, and ready to set about the season's cares. Every 
pool now has from one to several pairs of these birds gliding in 
restless zig-zag motion about its border, the slender necks at 
times darting quickly right or left as the bright black eyes catch 
sight of some minute particle of food. They may be watched 
with pleasure for hours, and present a picture of exquisite gen- 
tleness, which renders them an unfailing source of interest. The 
female of this bird, as is the case with the two allied species, is 
much more richly coloured than the male, and possesses all the 
' rights ' demanded by the most radical reformers. 

" As the season comes on, when the flames of love mount 
high, the dull-coloured male moves about the pool, apparently 
heedless of the surrounding fair ones. Such stoical indifference 
usually appears too much for the feelings of some of the latter 
to bear. A female coyly glides close to him and bows her head 
in pretty submissiveness, but he turns away, picks at a bit of 
food, and moves off; she follows, and he quickens his speed, but 
in vain; he is her choice, and she proudly arches her neck, and, 
in mazy circles, passes and repasses close before the harassed 
bachelor. He turns his breast first to one side, then to the 
other, as though to escape, but there is his gentle wooer ever 
pressing her suit before him. Frequently he takes flight to 
another part of the pool, all to no purpose. If, with affected 
indifference, he tries to feed, she swims along side by side, almost 
touching him, and at intervals rises on wing above him, and, 
poised a foot or two over his body, makes a half-dozen quick 
sharp wing-strokes, producing a series of sharp whistling noises 
in rapid succession. In the course of time, it is said, water 
will wear away the hardest rock, and it is certain that time and 
importunity have their full effect upon the male of this Phala- 
rope, and soon all are comfortably married, while materfamilias 
no longer needs to use her seductive ways and charming blan- 
dishments to draw his notice. About the first of June the dry, 
rounded side of a little knoll near some small pond has four 
dark, heavily-marked eggs laid in a slight hollow upon whatever 
lining the spot affords, or, more rarely, upon a few dry straws 
and grass-blades, brought and loosely laid together by the birds. 



THE LONG BILLED PHALAROPES. 2OI 

Here the captive male is introduced to new duties, and spends 
half his time on the eggs, while the female keeps about the pool 
close by. In due time the young are hatched and come forth, 
beautiful little balls of buff and brown. During incubation, if 
the nest is approached, the parent bird usually flies off the eggs 
when the intruder is some yards away, and proceeds' to feed 
about the surface or edge of the nearest pool, as though nothing 
unusual had occurred. At times the parent shows a little anxiety, 
and swims restlessly about the pool, uttering a low, sharp, metal- 
lic l pleep.' When a bird leaves the eggs, it is usually joined at 
once by its mate. In one or two instances a parent bird came 
gliding stealthily through the grass to the nest while I was occu- 
pied in packing the eggs in my basket." 

Nest. Messrs. Pearson and Bidwell state that the nests 
which they found in the north of Norway were neatly made 
of fine grass, and rather deep in proportion to their width. 
On the Lofodens and in the Porsanger-fjord the species often 
nested quite on the edge of small tarns or peat-holes, in grass 
about six inches high ; a few were in marsh ground covered 
with grass of the same height Mr. Seebohm found the nest 
in the Petchora to be a somewhat slight structure of dried 
stalks, generally placed in the middle of a tuft, so that it is not 
unfrequently a foot or more from the ground. In some places, 
where the grass was short, the nest was scarcely more than a 
hollow in the ground, lined with dry grass. 

Eggs. These are easily distinguished from those of the Grey 
Phalaropes by their smaller size, and by their somewhat darker 
general tone, the spots being often very large, and forming 
blotches, which cover a great part of the egg. Axis, 1*05-1 '2 5 
inch; diam, o'75-o'85. 



THE LONG-BILLED PHALAROPES. GENUS STEGANOPUS. 

SttganopuS) Vieill. N. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. xxxii. p. 136 (1819). 
Type, S. tricolor (Vieill.). 

The Genus Steganopus differs from the other genera of 
Phalaropes in having a longer bill, the web between the outer 



202 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

and middle toe not reaching to the second joint, and the latera 
membrane narrow, and scarcely scalloped. 

Only one species, peculiar to America, is known, viz. : 

I. WILSON'S PHALAROPE. STEGANOPUS TRICOLOR. 

Steganopus tricolor^ Vieill. N. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. xxxii. p. 136 

(1819). 
Phalaropus wilsoni, Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 552, note (1889). 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. General colour above light 
grey in the middle of the back, with a oroad streak of vinous- 
chestnut on each side of the mantle , scapulars for the most 
part dark vinous-chestnut, forming a broad streak on each side 
of the back ; lower back and rump brown, the sides of the 
latter white; upper tail-coverts dusky-brown, irregularly mottled 
and edged with white, the longer ones centred with pale rufous, 
the lateral ones pure white ; wing-coverts uniform dull brown, 
with a narrow white edging to the greater coverts ; bastard- 
wing and primary-coverts like the wing-coverts ; quills also 
dusky-brown with light brown shafts, the first primary with a 
white shaft ; centre tail-feathers ashy-brown, the remainder 
ashy-brown, with more or less white on the inner web, the 
white increasing in extent towards the outermost rectrix, 
which has little more than the outer web ashy ; crown of head 
uniform pearly-grey ; occiput, nape, and hind-neck white ; 
lores grey, like the head, followed by a white ante-ocular spot, 
which is surrounded by a black margin ; upper eyelid also 
white, lower eyelid black, like the feathers in front of the 
eye and below the latter, where they form part of a black band 
formed by the ear-coverts, and the sides of the neck and sides 
of the crown ; cheeks, chin, and upper throat white ; lower 
throat clear ferruginous or chestnut, sharply defined on the 
upper margin, and becoming paler on the fore-neck and sides 
of breast ; centre of fore-neck, breast, and under surface of 
body pure white ; under wing-coverts and axillaries also white, 
the feathers round the edge of the wing ashy-brown ; quills 
below dusky-brown, slightly paler along in the inner web ; bill 
black ; feet bluish-grey, claws black ; iris brown Total length, 
9-3 inches; oilmen, 1-45; wing, 5-5; tail, 2-3; tarsus, .1-35. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. Much duller than in the 



WILSON'S PHALAROPE 203 

female; the mantle-feathers blackish-brown, with reddish 
edges ; the crown of the head uniform blackish, the nape 
white, shading off into ashy-grey on the hind-neck; all the 
vinous parts of the upper surface indicated as in the female, 
but the colour never so bright, and always of a dull chestnut ; 
rump and upper tail-coverts white, with a sub-terminal line of 
dusky-brown, forming a kind of horse-shoe mark on the feather, 
the lateral upper tail-coverts white ; sides of crown chestnut, 
like the sides of the neck, slightly mixed with black, but not 
entirely black, as in the female ; under surface of body as in 
the female, but the rufous part duller. Total length, 8-3 
inches; culmen, 1*25; wing, 4*9; tail, 1*85; tarsus, 1*25. 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage. General colour above light 
ashy-grey, with narrow white fringes to the feathers ; lower back 
somewhat more dusky ; rump and upper tail-coverts white, 
the longer tail-coverts ashy-grey, with white margins ; crown of 
head ashy-grey, like the neck; forehead, a broad eyebrow, 
sides of face, and entire under surface of body pure white; 
feathers in front of the eye blackish ; along the top of the ear- 
coverts a line of ashy ; sides of upper breast shaded with light 
ashy. 

Young. Mottled on the upper surface, the feathers being 
blackish in the centre, with light sandy-buff edges, being 
broader and rather more distinct on the wing-coverts, scapulars, 
and inner secondaries; the lower back like the rest of the 
upper surface ; rump and upper tail-coverts white, the former 
with dusky centres to the feathers ; tail-feathers brown, all but 
the centre ones white on the inner web; bastard-wing, primary- 
coverts, and primaries as in the adult ; crown of head blackish, 
the feathers edged with sandy-buff, the hind-neck more ashy, 
the feathers with dusky centres and narrow ashy-brown margins; 
forehead, eyebrow, sides of face, and under-surface of body 
white, with a tinge of ashy on the eyebrow ; lower throat, fore- 
neck, and chest, as well as the sides of the body, tinged with 
isabelline, the sides of the breast and flanks mottled with 
blackish centres to the feathers. 

Eange in Great Britain. On May 18, 1886, at a meeting of the 
Zoological Society of London, Mr. J. Whitaker exhibited a 
specimen of this species, which was stated to have been shot 



204 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

some years ago at Sutton Ambion, near Market Bosworth, in 
Leicestershire. As far as the circumstances can be ascertained, 
the occurrence seems to be perfectly genuine. 

Range outside the British Islands. Wilson's Phalarope is gene- 
rally distributed through temperate North America, principally 
inland, and breeds from Northern Illinois and Utah to the 
Saskatchewan region, ranging south in winter, through Central 
America and South to Brazil and Patagonia. 

Habits, Mr. D. G. Elliott gives the following account of its 
habits : " As a rule, Wilson's Phalarope goes in small com- 
panies, though at times large flocks of several hundreds are 
met with. It is not very shy, frequently permitting one to 
approach within a few feet, and it does not swim so much upon 
the water as is the habit of the other species, but wades about 
up to its belly, picking its food from off the surface. When 
necessary, however, it swims gracefully, and with ease, and the 
young, soon after emerging from the egg, are equally at home 
upon the surface of ponds, paddling about and diving with 
facility. The female is the larger and altogether the handsomer 
bird, the male having very little of the brilliant tints which ren- 
der his mate so attractive when arrayed in her full summer dress. 
Upon him, too, devolves the duty of incubation to a very great 
degree, the female amusing herself upon or near the water. 
Like the other species of Phalarope, she makes all the advances 
at pairing-season, and sometimes more than one female fixes 
her affection upon some particular male, who thereupon has 
but little peace, as he is pursued from place to place by the 
rival suitors. Finally, the matter having been successfully 
arranged, the winged Dido bears off her ^Eneas, and a slight 
depression having been scratched in the soil, and lined with 
grass, or a loosely-constructed nest made in a clump of grass, 
the eggs, three or four in number, are deposited, and the male 
assumes the novel and unusual duties for one of his sex, of incu- 
bation. Wilson's Phalarope is a rather silent species, its note 
having a kind of nasal quack-like sound. Its food is similar 
to that of the other Phalaropes." 

Eggs. Vary from a fawn-colour to a rufous-drab, profusely 
spotted and speckled with rufous shades of brown, thickest at 
the larger end. Axis, 1*35 inch; diam., 0*95. 



THE WOOD-COCKS. 205 

THE SNIPES. SUB-FAMILY SCOLOPACIN/E. 

The Snipes, with which are associated the Wood-cocks, are 
principally distinguished from the Plovers by having no webs 
to the toes, which are cleft to the actual base. The tarsus is 
not reticulated, but is transversely scaled or plated, both before 
and behind. The bill is long and soft, and the nasal groove fs 
produced along the greater part of the upper mandible. The 
plumage is in every case marbled or mottled to an extreme 
degree. 

The bill of the Snipe is somewhat soft, and the birds possess 
a peculiar power of being able to elevate the distal extremity 
of the upper mandible. Dr. Shufeldt believes that "this 
achievement, taken in connection with ths extreme sensitive- 
ness of the end of the upper beak in these birds, enables them 
both to quickly detect and seize their food in the soft ooze 
wherein they probe for it." 

THE WOOD-COCKS. GENUS SCOLOPAX. 

Scolopax, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 243 (1766). 
Type, S. rusticula (Linn.). 

The Woodcocks belong to the long-billed section ot the 
Snipes, in which the culmen is longer than the tarsus. They 
have a large eye, which is placed far back in the head, so that 
its hinder-margin is just above the orifice of thj ear. The 
wing is more rounded than in the Snipes, the long, inner 
secondaries not reaching to the primaries. The tail-feathers 
are twelve in number and the tibia is feathered to the tarsal 
joint. 

I. THE WOOD-COCK. SCOLOPAX RUSTICULA. 

Scolopax rusticula, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 243 (1766); Dresser, 
B. Eur. vii. p. 615, pi. 540 (1877) ; B. O. U. List Brit. B. 
p. 165 (1883); Saunders, ed. YarrelPs Brit. B. iii. p. 320 
(1883); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 231 (1885); 
Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 553 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. 
Brit. B. part viii. (1888) ; xiv. (1890). 

Rusticola sylvestris, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 386 (1852). 
(Plate LXXXK) 



206 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

I Adult Male. General colour above rufous, black, and grey, 
the whole aspect of the upper surface being mottled ; the ground- 
colour is rufous, the feathers freckled with coarse black cross- 
lines and with large terminal or sub-terminal spots of black : 
many of the feathers tipped with grey, which is distributed over 
the whole of the upper surface in spots and patches ; the 
scapulars with dusky-greyish cross-bars, each bar with a narrow 
blackish marking ; wing- coverts more rufous than the back, the 
lesser-coverts barred with black spots, the median and greater 
series with dusky-grey cross-markings composed of bars or twin- 
spots, which have a narrow black line both above and below, 
the inner coverts spotted with white or greyish-white at the 
ends; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills dusky-brown, 
chequered with rufous notches on the outer web, the inner web, 
for the most part, uniform, except for some slight notches on the 
extreme inner margin ; the notches on the outer webs of the 
first two primaries much paler and inclining to whitish, or in 
old birds, almost disappearing, so that it becomes nearly uni- 
form ; the inner secondaries resembling the greater-coverts and 
being barred across or having twin-spots of blackish or ashy- 
brown, all the inner secondaries having an ashy-white spot at 
the ends, and being largely marked with black in continuation 
of the pattern of the scapulars ; lower back, rump, and upper 
tail-coverts rufous with obsolete cross-markings of ashy-brown ; 
tail-feathers blackish-brown, notched on the outer webs with 
rufous, and having a grey band at the tip, which is silvery-white 
underneath ; the forehead, eyebrow, and sides of face ashy, 
with a few bars of dusky-black, of which there is a spot at the 
base of the mandible as well as a blackish line from the base 
of the latter to the eye ; the hinder crown principally black, 
mottled with rufous, and barred across with ashy or greyish- 
white bands ; the hind-neck and sides of neck ashy-grey mot- 
tled with bars of dusky-blackish ; ear-coverts ashy with a black 
bar across them ; the cheeks somewhat whiter and minutely 
spotted with black ; chin white ; remainder of under surface 
ashy-white and barred with pale brown ; the fore-neck, breast, 
and sides of body buff, the latter having light brown bars, edged 
above and below with blackish lines ; under tail-coverts sandy- 
buff inclining to silvery white at the tips, the feathers barred 
with dusky-black and having a sub-terminal arrow-shaped black 



THE WOOD-COCKS. 207 

spot ; under wing-coverts and axillaries tawny-buff barred with 
blackish ; lower primary-coverts and quill-lining ashy-grey, 
notched with buff on the inner webs ; bill dusky-brown, livid 
at base of lower mandible ; feet greyish ; iris dark brown. 
Total length, 15 inches; culmen, 2-85; wing, 7-5; tail, 3*5; 
tarsus, 1-55. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male. Total length, 14 inches ; 
wing, 7-5. 

Young Birds. Always darker than the adults, and having 
creamy-whitish, instead of ashy, spots at the end of the dorsal 
and scapular feathers ; the lower back, rump, and upper tail- 
coverts are plainly barred across with dusky-brown, and the 
tail-feathers are not only largely notched with sandy-buff on 
their margins, but have a narrow sub-terminal line of sandy-buff 
between the ashy tip and the black of the rest of the feathers. 
The outer web of the primaries has a distinct series of fulvous 
notches. 

Winter Plumage. Darker than the summer plumage, but not 
otherwise different. 

The variation in size of Wood-cocks is very remarkable, but 
I quite agree with Mr. Ogilvie-Grant that there is only one 
species, and that the so-called " light " race is only the young 
bird ; but when this is admitted, the extraordinary difference in 
size in some individuals cannot be overlooked. Thus a specimen 
from Cornwall in the British Museum is a perfect dwarf, com- 
pared with the generality of British specimens, and has the bill 
only 2*15 inches in length, and the wing only 6*4, instead of 
2-85 and 7*5 inches respectively in averaged-sized birds. Al- 
though there are some individuals in the British Museum, 
which are marked as being females, and equal the males in size, 
there can, I think, be no doubt that, as a rule, she is a larger 
bird than her mate. 

Nestling. Covered with velvety down of a rufous colour, with 
a broad band of chestnut-brown down the centre of the crown, 
and another down the centre of the back, with three broad 
transverse bands down the sides of the body ; on each side of 
the crown and dorsal stripe a broad streak of isabelline ; a black 
loral line and a central streak on the forehead also black ; under 
surface of body pale rufous, inclining to isabelline on the abdo- 



208 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

men, and with some chestnut patches on the throat and fore- 
neck. 

Characters. The differences between old and young Wood- 
cocks have been well demonstrated by Mr. W. R. Olgivie-Grant 
in a paper in the "Zoologist" for 1890. The best test, in my 
opinion, is the uniform whitish outer web of the first primary in 
the old birds, this being clearly notched all along the outer web 
in young individuals. These notches gradually disappear and 
become obsolete ; the buff sub-terminal line which separates the 
black of the tail from the ashy tip is also a sign of immaturity, 
but as this is retained by many adult birds for some time, it is 
not so worthy a character. 

Range in Great Britain. Except in some of the most barren 
portions of our islands, the Wood-cock breeds in the wooded 
districts, and has considerably increased in numbers as a nesting 
bird with us of late years, principally owing to the increase of 
plantations. In Ireland, it is said by Mr. Ussher, to be found 
breeding in every county. A great migration takes place in 
spring and autumn, the birds passing over the whole of our 
islands, even such places as the Orkneys and Shetland Isles, 
where, however, they do not breed. By the time that the 
spring migration has set in, many of our resident Wood-cocks 
have already begun to nest. 

Kange outside the British Islands. The Wood-cock is generally 
distributed over Europe, but does not ascend very far north. 
In Eastern Russia and Siberia its range does not extend farther 
than 60 N. lat; in Western Russia to 65 N. lat, and in 
Scandinavia up to the Arctic Circle. It is found nesting also 
in Eastern Siberia and the mountains of Japan, as well as in 
the Himalayas at 10,000 feet; also in the Caucasus and the 
mountains of Southern Europe. In winter it visits the countries 
of the Mediterranean, India, Burma, and China, but it breeds, 
to the south, in the Azores, Canary Islands, and Madeira. It 
has been once found in the Faeroes, but has not been recorded 
from Iceland or Southern Greenland, though individuals have 
occasionally straggled to the coasts of North America. 

HaMts. The Wood-cock is a very shy and retiring bird, 
and is but seldom seen in the open, except during the season 



THE WOOD-COCKS* 2C>9 

of migration. I remember an interesting instance of Wood- 
cock-shooting before breakfast, when Mr. Seebohm, Mr. Frank 
Nicholson, and myself started off for a walk among the slippery 
debris of rock which lies scattered round the base of Heligoland', 
when the tide is out. We threw stones into every likely-looking 
chasm in the rock, and were rewarded by seeing several Wood- 
cock fly out from their concealment, and sail out sea-wards with 
an owl-like flight. In this way we procured several in the early 
morning. 

Mr. Howard Saunders writes : " During the day the Wood- 
cock rests in dry grassy bottoms, or beneath thick bushes, such 
as holly or laurel, but at dusk and early in the morning, especially 
during the breeding-time, the male persistently follows certain 
tracts along glades in woods often called 'cock roads ' 
uttering a deep as well as a whistling note. Similar routes are 
also traversed by both sexes on their way to and from their 
feeding-grounds. Worms, when procurable, are devoured in 
almost incredible quantities, while beetles and other insects, 
small crustaceans, and even mussels are also eaten ; and I 
have watched a bird obtaining its food under circumstances 
which, if narrated, would not conduce to a taste for ' trail.' Few 
birds exceed 15 ounces in weight, though such are on record." 

During the day, says Mr. Seebohm, the Wood-cock fre- 
quents the outskirts of woods and forests where there is 
plenty of cover under which it can lie concealed. In the 
evening it seeks the marshes to feed, but even under the 
protection of the shades of twilight it is still very cautious 
in exposing itself to view, and prefers swampy ground, either 
in the forest or in open places abounding with brushwood and 
rank vegetation. In its winter quarters, in India, it is described 
as avoiding stagnant swamps, and only frequenting those where 
running water is to be found. When disturbed during the day it 
rises with a whirring sound, occasionally, but not always, utter- 
ing a cry which resembles that of the Common Snipe, which 
may be represented by the syllable skaych. When fairly on 
the wing, its flight is much slower than that of the Common 
Snipe. The bill is always pointed considerably downwards, as 
though it were too heavy to be held out straight ; the wings are 
bent, and the general direction of the flight is straight, but oc- 
casionally it is varied with curious twists and twinings. The 



2i6 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Wood-cock seldom flies far; as soon as it finds a suitable cover it 
drops suddenly into it as if shot. Immediately on their arrival 
in this country the birds sit very close, and are difficult to flush, 
and may be found concealed under a hedge or ditch, or even 
in a field amongst turnips or long dried grass. It is said that 
on migration they generally fly upward to a considerable 
height, and that they have been seen to alight after an almost 
perpendicular descent. Much discussion has taken place as to 
the way in which the Wood-cock manages to remove its young, 
as it is known to do. The late Mr. St. John has stated that 
many Wood-cock carried their young ones down to the soft 
feeding-grounds, and brought them back again to the shelter of 
the woods before daylight, where they remained during the whole 
day. The nestlings are now believed to be carried between the 
thighs of the old bird, and held there by the bill of the parent 
as it flies. 

Nest, A depression in the ground, plentifully lined with leaves 
and dead grass. The species is an early breeder, and fresh eggs 
are procured throughout April, but they have also been found as 
early as the 3rd of March. Mr. Robert Read observes : " The 
Wood-cock will sit very closely on its eggs. I knew of a nest 
under a juniper bush, in a park beside a path, which was in 
constant use, but the bird sat there quite undisturbed by the 
passers-by. The eggs are usually very rounded, but I have a 
set from Scotland quite pyriform, like those of other Limicolae 

Eggs. Four in number, and generally somewhat rounded. 
The ground-colour varies from stone-grey to warm clay-brown, 
sometimes with a slight olive shade. The spots are reddish- 
brown, and they are sometimes clustered round the larger end, 
and form blotches. The underlying spots are purplish-grey, and 
are occasionally very large, and form as large blotches as the 
reddish overlying markings. Axis, i'6-i'8s inch; diam., 1-25- 
1-4. 

THE TRUE SNIPES. GENUS GALLINAGO. 

Gallinago, Leach, Syst. Cat. Mamm. &c. Brit. Mus. p. 30(1816). 

Type, G. major (Grn.). 

There are several differences between the Snipes and 
Woodcocks; the principal ones being the length of the inner 



THE TRUE SNIPES. 211 

secondaries, which are as long as the primaries, as well as the 
bare tibia and the number of the tail-feathers, which range from 
fourteen in the Common Snipe to twenty-six in the Wire-tailed 
Snipe (G. stenura). The Snipes have no bars on the inner 
webs of the primaries, and Mr. Seebohm has also pointed out 
that in the Snipes the markings on the head are longitudinal, 
whereas in the Wood-cocks they are transverse. 

I. THE GREAT SNIPE. GALLINAGO MAJOR. 

Scolopax major, Gm. Syst. Nat. i. p. 66 1 (1788); Macgill. Brit. 

B. iv. p. 364 (1852); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 237 

(1885). ' 
Galhnago major, Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 631, pi. 541 (1876); 

B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 165 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yar- 

rell's Brit. B. iii. p. 336 (1883); id. Man. Brit. B. p. 555 

(1889). 

Adult Male. General colour above black, mottled with sandy- 
buff, with which the feathers are fringed and barred in an 
irregular and wavy manner so as to leave large patches of 
black ; the scapulars with broader and whiter edges, so as to 
form a double line down the back ; lower back, rump, and 
upper tail-coverts sandy-buff, barred with dusky-brown, the 
ends of the tail-coverts whiter; wing-coverts blackish-brown, 
the marginal series with ashy fringes, the remainder with con- 
spicuous white tips, before which is a black sub-terminal bar, 
the inner greater coverts also barred with sandy-rufous ; bas- 
tard-wing and primary-coverts blackish, tipped with white; 
quills dark brown, the shafts of the primaries white at the base, 
the secondaries tipped with white, the innermost being barred 
with sandy-rufous and resembling the back ; tail-feathers 
bright rufous, with black bases and black bars on the terminal 
half of the feather, scarcely visible near the tip, the white tips 
to the feathers gradually increasing in extent, until the four 
outer ones on each side are entirely white, except for a little 
black near the base ; centre of crown whitish, bordered on 
each side by a broad band of black, slightly freckled with 
rufous, and followed by a broad superciliary streak, ashy- 
whitish in front and fulvescent behind ; a dusky streak from 
the base of the bill to the eye; sides of face whitiSh, with 

p 2 



212 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

numerous tiny blackish spots and a dark patch below the ear- 
roverts ; the hind-neck and sides of neck sandy-buff, streaked 
with black ; chin, breast, and abdomen white ; the lower 
rhroat, fore-neck, and chest pale sandy-buff, with central spots 
of black on the feathers ; the sides of the breast and flanks 
regularly barred with black ; the under tail-coverts sandy-buff, 
tinged with rufous, and having more or less complete bars of 
black ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white barred with 
black, the latter very distinctly banded ; lower primary-coverts 
and quills below uniform ashy-brown ; bill and feet brown ; 
iris hazel. Total length, n inches ; culmen, 2*45; wing, 5-55 ; 
tail, 2*0; tarsus, 1*35. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male. Total length, 10-5 inches; 
culmen, 2-5; wing, 5-3; tail, 2 - o; tarsus, 1-5. 

Winter Plumage. More sandy-buff than in summer, the buff 
edges to the feathers of the upper surface broader and more 
conspicuous ; the blackish markings on the fore-neck larger 
and coarser, and either circular or horse-shoe shaped. 

Young. Much more rufous than the adults, and having the 
black of the upper parts more uniform, the lateral edges to the 
scapular feathers not so distinct ; the inner greater coverts and 
inner secondaries regularly barred with black and rufous, the 
bars being of about equal width ; the white tips to the wing- 
coverts not so distinct and slightly tinged with buff; the sides 
of the face and hind-neck much more rufous than the adults, 
and the white upper breast also showing dusky circular bars ; 
the white outer tail-feathers also barred with dusky-brown. 

Characters. The Great Snipe is, as might be supposed 
from its name, a somewhat larger bird than the Common 
Snipe, though it has a somewhat shorter bill than the latter 
species. In full plumage it may be distinguished from the 
Common Snipe by the conspicuous white tips to the wing- 
coverts, and by the white outer tail-feathers. Young birds with 
the outer tail-feathers barred, are not so easy to tell, but the 
ground-colour of these feathers is white in the Great Snipe, 
and is tawny-rufous in the Common Snipe. The latter has 
also a white margin to the first primary, and the white tips to 
the primary-coverts are very small, while the white tips on the 
secondaries are conspicuous. In the Great Snipe the reverse 



THE TRUE SNIPES. 213 

is the case, for the tips to the primary-coverts are large, and 
the tips of the secondaries scarcely noticeable. The Great 
Snipe also has sixteen tail-feathers, whereas the Common Snipe 
has ov\\y fourteen. 

Range in Great Britain. An accidental visitor, of which a few 
specimens are killed nearly every autumn, mostly on the 
eastern and southern coasts, between the middle of August 
and the middle of October. These autumn arrivals are gener- 
ally young birds, but an adult has been killed near Yarmouth 
in spring. Its occurrence in the central and western portions 
of England is less frequent. In Scotland ten examples have 
been identified ; while three Irish records were admitted up to 
1889 in Mr. Howard Saunders' " Manual." One of these was 
shot in Co. Gal way in October, 1888, and another was ob- 
tained on Achill Island in November of the same year. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species breeds 
in Scandinavia up to 70 N. lat., and is also found nesting 
more or less sparingly in Holland, Denmark, and Northern 
Germany, as well as in Poland and Russia. Mr. Seebohm 
places its range on the Petchora and the Ob at 67 N. lat., 
but he states that in the Yen-e-sai Valley it does not extend 
farther north than 66^. It visits South Africa in winter, 
passing through the Caucasus and Persia, as well as the Medi- 
terranean countries, on migration. 

Habits. Mr. Seebohm has given an interesting account of 
the habits of the Great Snipe as observed by him on the 
Petchora and the Yen-e-sai. " In both of these valleys," he 
writes, " it was one of the last birds to reach the Arctic Circle, 
in the former locality arriving on the 3rd of June, and in the latter 
on the nth of that month. It migrates at night, singly or in 
pairs, but, so far as is known, not in flocks. In the pairing- 
season the males are gregarious, and have a sort of ' lek,' like 
that of the Ruff, or of many species of Grouse. Late one even- 
ing, as Harvie-Brown and I were drifting down the Petchora, 
we came upon a large party of these birds, making curious 
noises with their bills, in the long grass on the banks of the 
river. Sometimes as many as half-a-dozen were on the wing 
at once, but their flights were very short, and we succeeded in 
shooting ten of them, which all proved to be males. I saw 



a 14 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

the same remarkable performance in Siberia, where they were 
very common in the valley of the Koorayika, and soon after 
their arrival I used sometimes to watch them in the evening 
through my binocular. With a little caution I found it very 
easy to get near them, and frequently, as I sat partially con- 
cealed between a couple of willow-bushes, I was able to turn 
my glass on two or three pairs of these birds all within fifteen 
or twenty yards of me. They had one very curious habit 
which I noted : they used to stretch out their necks, throw back 
the head almost upside down, and open and shut their beaks 
rapidly, uttering a curious noise like that produced by running 
the finger along the edge of a comb. This was sometimes 
preceded by a short flight, or by spreading of the wings and 
tail. I have never heard the Great Snipe utter any other call 
or alarm-note. During the breeding-season it is not at all shy, 
and allows of a near approach ; and when nesting, it almost 
permits itself to be trodden upon before rising, which it does 
with a whir of the wings like that of a Grouse, but not so loud. 
It is a much easier bird to shoot than the Common Snipe, fly- 
ing much slower and straighter. On the ground it is a very 
comical-looking object ; plump, short-legged, it shuffles about, 
half walking, half running, its bill always depressed, and, how- 
ever intent it may be on feeding, it is ever on the watch for 
danger, and always tries to keep behind a bunch of rushes or 
a clump of sedge. It hides in the long coarse grass on the 
banks of rivers and lakes during the day, and comes out in 
the open in the evening, if there be any evening where it 
happens to live, to feed on worms and various small insects. 
The Great Snipe is a bird of the swamps, but prefers such as 
have open places of mud or peat, or even sand." 

Nest. According to Mr. Seebohm, the nest is sometimes 
placed in long grass, but more often in the middle of a hillock 
of sage or rushes. A small quantity of moss or dead grass is 
added as a lining to the depression. 

Egjs. Four in number, pear-shaped. The ground-colour is 
stone-grey or clay-brown, boldly marked with black, over which 
is spread a reddish lustre; these black markings clustering 
chiefly round the large end of the egg, where they form large 
blotches. The underlying markings are faint purplish-grey, 



THE TRUE SNIPES. 215 

o r ten of good size, and very distinct. Axis, 17-1 '9 inch; 
diam., 1-2-1-3. 

II. THE COMMON SNIPE. GALLINAGO GALLINAGO. 

Scolopax gallinagO) Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 244 (1766); Macgill. 

Brit. B. iv. p. 368 (1852); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. 

p. 241 (1885) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxxi. (1895). 
Gattinago ccelestis, Frenz. ; Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 641, pis. 542, 

543, fig. i (1880); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 166(1883); 

Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 342 (1883) ; id. Man. 

Brit. B. p. 557 (1889). 

Adult Male. General colour above black, with a broad line of 
sandy-buff along each side of the back, formed by the broad 
edges to the scapulars, which are blotched with black; the lower 
back dusky-blackish; rump and upper tail-coverts tawny-rufous, 
barred across with dusky-blackish, the long tail-coverts white at 
the ends ; wing-coverts blackish-brown, the marginal ones uni- 
form, the median and greater series spotted with ashy-white at 
the tips ; bastard-wing and primary-coverts blackish, with small 
white tips ; quills blackish, the first primary whitish along the 
outer web, the secondaries conspicuously tipped with white, the 
inner secondaries barred with black, and resembling the scapu- 
lars ; tail-feathers tawny-rufous, black at the base, and tipped 
with white, before which is a wavy sub-terminal bar of dusky- 
blackish, the outer feather regularly barred with blackish; crown 
of head sandy-isabelline along the centre, with a broad black 
band on each side, followed by an eyebrow of sandy-colour, 
whiter above the lores, across which, to the eye, is a broad black 
streak; sides of face white, with a blackish streak across the ear- 
coverts, which are narrowly streaked with dusky ; cheeks and 
chin white ; the throat and chest sandy-brown, mottled with 
blackish spots and bars; breast and abdomen pure white; sides 
of body conspicuously barred with dusky-blackish ; under tail- 
coverts more rufescent and barred with blackish ; under wing- 
coverts white, barred with dusky-blackish ; axillaries regularly 
barred with black and white ; lower primary-coverts and quill- 
lining ashy-grey. Total length, 10 inches ; oilmen, 2 -8; wing, 
5-2; tail, 2-3; tarsus, i'2. 



216 



LLOYD S NATURAL HISTORY. 



Admt *emaie. Similar to the male. Total length, 1 1 -5 inches ; 
culmen, 3*0; wing, 5-1 ; tail, 2*2 ; tarsus, 1-35. 

Young. Differs from the adult in being more rufous, especi- 
ally on the throat and neck. The black markings of the back 
are more broken up and mottled with rufous bars, and the pale 
outer bands along the scapulars are not so wide. Mr. Seebohm 
states that young Snipe may be recognised by not having a dark 
shaft-line on the light tips of the upper wing-coverts, but I have 
found indications of the latter in quite young birds. 

Many ornithologists have supposed that there is a second and 
more rufous species of Snipe found in England, but I believe 
that the differences are merely individual, and, in the majority 
of specimens, the rufous colour is due to immaturity. The 
curious form known as Sabine's Snipe is apparently only 
a melanism. It has been found chiefly in Ireland, and Mr. 
Barrett-Hamilton has written a very interesting paper on the 
subject in the Irish Naturalist for January, 1895. From this 
it appears that out of about fifty-five examples of " Sabine's 
Snipe " in collections, no fewer than thirty-one have been ob- 
tained in Ireland, twenty-two in England, one in Scotland, 
while the form has only once been found on the continent of 
Europe. 

Characters. The distinguishing features between the present 
species and the Great Snipe have been detailed under the head- 
ing of the latter bird. 

Range in Great Britain, The Common Snipe is a plentiful 
migrant to all parts of the United Kingdom in autumn. It 
breeds in suitable localities in all three kingdoms, and in the 
north at considerable elevations. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species breeds 
throughout the northern and temperate parts of Europe, but is 
rarely met with north of 70 N. lat. ; while eastwards, it extends 
to Turkestan and East Mongolia, where a certain number remain 
to breed. Its southern breeding-range in Europe is said to 
be the marshes of Northern Italy. It is resident in Iceland 
and the Faeroe Islands, and is said to have occurred in South 
Greenland. In winter it visits China and Formosa, and the 
Philippine Islands, as well as the Indian Peninsula, Ceylon, and 
the Burmese countries. At this season of the year it; is also 






THE TRUE SNIPES. 217 

found in the Mediterranean and North Africa, extending to the 
Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Senegambia, as well 
as the Nile Valley, and as far as Aden. 

Habits. The Snipe is a bird which is seldom seen in the day 
unless flushed from its marshy lair, and I only once remember 
having seen one flying of its own accord in full daylight. Off the 
beach at Gorleston, near Yarmouth, I was wandering one morn- 
ing in September, 1885, with a gun under my arm in case any 
bird came along which I might want for the British Museum, 
when I saw a cluster of small birds, apparently Dunlins or Stints, 
flying over the sea at a short distance from the shore. As they 
came nearer, I could make out a larger bird flying in front, and 
evidently acting as leader to the smaller fry, of which there 
were, perhaps, a dozen. As they passed by me at a consider- 
able distance I aimed at the foremost bird, which was about a 
yard or two in front of the others, thinking that it must be a 
Knot. My shot told, and the poor bird left his followers to shift 
for themselves, and turned shorewards, falling on a grassy cliff. 
When I had ascended the latter I was considerably astonished 
to find that my victim was a Common Snipe, which had been 
acting as guide, philosopher, and friend to a party of unsophis- 
ticated Dunlins at noonday. 

Pairs of Snipe, travelling in company, have been observed 
crossing the sea on migration, but, as a rule, the bird is found 
alone, though a goodly company may be in close proximity. 
Once, no doubt, the marshes in the west of London abounded 
with Snipe, and close to what is now Bedford Park I have my- 
self seen a Snipe shot within the last ten years, some day to be 
reckoned as great a marvel as the Ring-Ouzels from Turnham 
Green and the Nightingale from the country round Bayswater, 
of which birds specimens are in the British Museum. In the 
water-meadows and common-lands of the Thames Valley, left 
moist after the floods, I have known plenty of Snipe to be killed 
quite close to London, and the way in which they will cling to a 
locality, day after day, after having been constantly shot at, is 
as surprising as the way in which they will suddenly disappear 
from a place in which they have been plentiful the day before, 
without any apparent reason. Every sportsman knows how, in 
a favourite spot in the water-meadows, Snipe are almost sure to 
be found in favourable weather, and how, without being actu- 



2l8 

ally gregarious, they get up within a certain distance from each 
other, and their note of " scape " may be heard from several in 
the air at once. That they do associate together is certain, how- 
ever, for I remember my friend, the late Mr. Frederick Bond, 
telling me how, many years ago, in the days of muzzle-loaders and 
percussion caps, he was wending his way home by moonlight 
across the Cambridgeshire Fens, and looking out for an oppor- 
tunity of discharging one of his still loaded barrels. Crossing 
over a little bridge which spanned a ditch, he saw, by the light of 
the moon, a Snipe standing on the edge, and fired at it, only too 
delighted to have found something at which to let off his gun. 
On walking to the spot he picked up eleven Snipe. The late 
Mr. Booth also relates how, when he was punt-gunning on a 
river one winter in the north of Scotland during a severe frost, 
he noticed that Snipe were collected in numbers along the banks, 
where the mud was kept soft by the action of the tide. As a 
novel proceeding, he fired one shot at them with the big gun, 
but the poor birds were so tame that it could hardly be con- 
sidered sport, and fowl being plentiful on the water at the time, 
he left them alone in hopes of renewing their acquaintance on 
some future day. He discovered, however, when the weather 
changed, that he had lost his chance, as, after the breaking-up of 
the frost, not a Snipe could be found within a mile of the spot. 
The Snipe is always a bird of the swamps both in summer and 
winter, and is a skulking bird. It feeds largely on worms, 
slugs, and insects. Its flight is very swift, and when it rises from 
its concealment it twists and turns in a zig-zag flight until it has 
got well out of danger. It utters a harsh note when it rises. 

With regard to the drumming of the Snipe, various surmises 
as to the way in which the noise is produced have been 
hazarded, and Mr. Seebohm has given an excellent note on the 
subject : " In the breeding-season the note of the Snipe is 
rapidly uttered, tyik-tyuk, each syllable accompanied by a 
depression of the head. This note is common to both sexes ; 
but perhaps the most interesting fact connected with the 
history of the Snipe is the well-known drumming of the male 
bird during the pairing-season. He may then be seen in broad 
daylight high in air, wheeling round and round in enormous 
circles, flying diagonally upwards with rapid beats of the wings, 
then swooping down an imaginary inclined plane with half- 



THE TRUE SNIPES. 2IQ 

expanded and visibly-vibrating wings, but with outspread tail, 
uttering a sound which is technically called ' drumming.' The 
sound is only heard when the bird is descending, but some 
observers assert that they have heard it proceeding from a 
Snipe on the ground, or perched on a dead branch. It has 
been likened to the bleating of a Goat, and bears some re- 
semblance to the suppressed gobble sometimes heard from 
a Turkey. Great difference of opinion exists as to the means 
by which this sound is produced. Bechstein and many sub- 
sequent writers have argued that it proceeds from the throat. 
Naumann, Macgillivray, Hancock, Saxby, Jardine, Blyth, and 
others have maintained that it is caused by the rapid vibration 
of the wings. Altum, Meves, and most modem ornithologists 
find the musical note in the rush of air through the stiff feathers 
of the outspread tail. I have listened to the drumming of the 
Snipe scores of times with the express purpose of discovering 
the mode in which the sound is produced, and must confess 
myself completely puzzled. Arguing from analogy (a very 
dangerous proceeding, by the way, in ornithology), I should 
say it was produced by the vocal organs, and is analogous to 
the trill of the Stints and other Sandpipers. The fact that it 
appears to begin the instant the bird begins to descend in- 
clines me to think that, after allowance is made for the 
time it takes for sound to travel, it must really begin before 
the descent, whilst the bird is not moving very rapidly." 

Nest. This is generally placed in a clump of rushes or 
sedge, in which is formed the shallow depression lined with 
dead grass. 

Eggs. Four in number, laid between the middle of April 
and the middle of May, but in the high north not before 
June. Occasionally, they have been found in March. Mr. 
Robert Read writes to me that he has himself found the nest 
in the latter month in Northumberland, and that on the bare 
ground, in an exposed site, swept over by every wind that blew. 
The ground-colour varies from a brownish-clay colour to a 
pale stone-grey, but in nearly every instance a shade of olive 
is apparent. The spots are a mixture of reddish-brown, black, 
and purplish-grey, the latter being the underlying ones. In 
some eggs the spots are small, and are distributed over the 



22O LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

whole surface, while in others they are of good size, forming 
blotches, which are clustered round the larger end. Axis, 1-5- 
1-7 inch; diam., ro-i'2. 

THE JACK-SNIPES. GENUS LIMNOCRYPTES. 

Limnocryptes, Kaup. Nat. Syst. p. 118 (1829). 

Type, L. gallimila (Linn.). 

The present genus exhibits an important character in the 
breast-bone, which has two notches in the posterior margin 
instead of one, as in the ordinary Snipes and Woodcock. The 
tail has only twelve feathers, and is decidedly wedge-shaped, 
besides being uniform in colour. 

I. THE-JACK-SNIPE. LIMNOCRYPTES GALLINULA. 

Scolopax gallinula. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 244 (1766); Mac- 
gill. Brit. B. iv. p. 380 (1882) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. 
part xxx. (1895). 

Gallinago gallinula. Dresser, B. Eur. vii. p. 653, pi. 544 
(1877); Saunders, ed. YarrelPs Brit. B. iii.p. 351 (1883); 
Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 247 (1885) ; Saunders, 
Man. Brit. B. p. 559 (1889). 

Limnocryptes gallinula, B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 167 (1883). 

(Plate LXXXVII.) 

Adult Male. General colour above black, with reflections ot 
glossy-green and purple, and a few rufous markings on the back, 
mostly in the form of streaks ; the sides of the back orna- 
mented with a longitudinal band of ochreous-buff from the 
sides of the mantle along the scapulars ; a second buff band 
is not so distinct along the parapteral feathers and inner 
secondaries, being broken up by the black and rufous mark- 
ings of these feathers ; lower back and rump uniform black ; 
upper tail-coverts blackish, slightly freckled with rufous, and 
having broad margins of ochreous-buff; wing-coverts blackish, 
with pale rufescent margins, less distinct on the marginal 
jeries, which are almost uniform ; the greater coverts uni- 
form dusky-brown, with pale fringes; bastard- wing, primary- 
coverts and quills dusky-brown, with slight white tips to the 



\ 



\ 




HE JACK-SNIPE. 221 

primary-coverts, the secondaries pale and more ashy at the 
tips, the long inner ones mottled like the scapulars ; tail-feathers 
pointed, uniform dusky-brown, with pale sandy-buff margins ; 
crown of head and nape black, scarcely spotted with rufous, 
and bordered by a broad superciliary band of sandy-buff, the 
lores and feathers round the eye being blackish ; cheeks and 
ear-coverts dull white, spotted with black, and having a black 
line along the upper cheeks ; chin and upper-throat white ; 
sides of neck and hind-neck earthy-brown, slightly mottled 
with blackish, and separating the head from the back ; lower 
throat and fore-neck pale rufous-brown, spotted and streaked 
with black, the sides of the breast and flanks being similarly 
marked; breast, abdomen, and under tail- coverts pure white; 
the latter with a few dusky streaks ; under wing-coverts ashy- 
whitish, with dusky bases ; axillaries pure white ; lower primary- 
coverts and quill-lining dull ashy. Total length, 7*5 inches; 
culmen r6; wing, 4*35; tail, 1-9; tarsus, 0-9. 

Adult Female, Similar to the male. Total length, 7*5 inches; 
culmen, 1*6 ; wing, 4-1 ; tail, 1*7 ; tarsus, 0*95. 

Winter Plumage. Scarcely to be distinguished from the sum- 
mer plumage, except by the greater amount of blackish mott- 
ling, the bars on the hinder neck, and the generally more 
rufescent colour. The pale bands on the back are brighter, 
but soon fade with exposure and wear to the paler tints of the 
spring and summer dress. 

Range in Great Britain. The Jack-Snipe is a regular visitant in 
winter, arriving in October or late in September, and leaving 
again in March and April. No instance of its breeding within 
the limits of the United Kingdom has yet been authenticated. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species breeds 
in the Arctic Regions from the Dovrefjeld and the tundras ot 
Lapland, above the limits of forest-growth ; and as it has been 
met with in Eastern Siberia, where Middendorf found it on the 
Boganida, south of the Taimyr Peninsula in 70 N. lat, Mr. 
Seebohm is probably right in supposing that it nests in the 
Arctic Regions from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He did not, 
however, find it breeding either on the Pctchora or in the 
Yen-e-sai Valley. In winter it passes in numbers to the Medi- 



222 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

terranean countries, and migrates through Turkestan as well as 
through Japan and China. It is found in India and Burma 
during the cold season, and has been known to occur as far 
east as the Island of Formosa. 

HaMts. These differ very little from those of the Common 
Snipe, with the exception that, when it rises, the Jack-Snipe 
seldom utters any note. When in Heligoland with the late 
Mr. Seebohm and Mr. F. Nicholson, I frequently kicked up 
Jack-Snipe in the potato-fields, and when disturbed from the 
grass on Sandy Island, I have often seen these birds perch on 
the heaps of sea-weed, and have shot them sitting on several 
occasions. 

Nest The first taking of the nest of the Jack-Snipe was one 
of the achievements of the late John Wolley in Lapland. I give 
the following extract from his account published in Hewitson's 
" Eggs of British Birds " : " It was on the i;th of June, 1853, in 
the great marsh of Muonioniska, that I first heard the Jack-Snipe, 
though at the time I could not at all guess what it was ; an ex- 
traordinary sound, unlike anything that I had heard before. I 
could not tell from what direction it came, and it filled me 
with a curious surprise ; my Finnish interpreter thought it was 
a Capercaillie, and at that time I could not contradict him, but 
soon I found that it was a small bird gliding at a wild pace at 
a great height over the marsh. I know not how better to 
describe the noise than by likening it to the cantering of a horse 
in the distance, over a hard, hollow road ; it came in fours in 
similar cadence, and with a clear yet hollow sound. The same 
day we found a nest which seemed to be a kind unknown to me. 
The next morning I went to Kharto Uoma with a good strength 
of beaters. I kept them as well as I could in a line, myself 
in the middle, my Swedish travelling companion on one side, 
and the Finn talker on the other. Whenever a bird was put 
off its eggs, the man who saw it was to pass on the word, and 
the whole line was to stand whilst I went to examine the eggs 
and take them at once, or observe the bearings of the spot for 
another visit, as might be necessary. We had not been many 
hours in the marsh when I saw a bird get up and I marked it 
down. . . . The nest was found. ... A sight of the 
eggs as they lay untouched raised my expectations to the high- 



THE BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPERS. 223 

est pitch. I went to the spot where I had marked the bird, 
put it up again, and again saw it, after a short low flight, 
drop suddenly into cover. Once more it rose a few feet 
from where it had settled. I fired ! and in a minute had in 
my hand a true Jack-Snipe, the undoubted parent of the nest 
of eggs ! ... As usual, I took measures to let the whole 
party have a share in my gratification before I again gave the 
word to advance. In the course of the day and night I found 
three more nests and examined the birds of each. One allowed 
me to touch it with my hand before it rose, and another only 
got up when my foot was within six inches of it. I was never 
afterwards able to see a nest myself, though I beat through 
numbers of swamps ; several with eggs, mostly hard sat upon, 
were found by people cutting hay in boggy places in July." 

Eggs. Four in number, and pear-shaped. The colour varies 
very much in the same way as in the eggs of the Common 
Snipe, but the reddish-brown spotting is more frequent, and I 
have not seen any of a pale stone-grey colour. Axis, 1*45-1 7 
inch; diam., i -05-1-1. 

THE BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPERS. GENUS LIMICOLA. 

Limicola, Koch, Syst. baier. Zool. p. 316 (1816). 

Type, L. platyrhyncha (Temm.). 

The single species representing this genus has much of a 
Snipe in its general aspect, but is, in reality, a Sandpiper, 
allied to the Dunlins and the Curlew Sandpiper. Like the 
latter, it has the eye placed in the side of the head like a 
Dunlin, and not like a Wood-cock or a Snipe. The bill is 
broad and flat and tapers to an awl-shaped point, but is slightly 
curved downwards at the tip. It is of considerable length, 
and is longer than the tarsus. 

I. THE BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER. LIMICOLA 
PLATYRHYNCHA. 

Tringa platyrhyncha, Temm. Man. d'Orn. p. 398 (1815); 
Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 224 (1852) ; Seebohm, Hist. Brit. 
B. iii. p. 197 (1885) 



224 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

Liinicola platyrhyncha. Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 3, pi. 545 
(1876); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 167 (1883); Saunders, 
ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 362 (1883) ; id. Man. Brit. B. 
p. 563 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxiv. 



Adult Male in Winter Plumage. General colour above light ashy- 
grey, somewhat paler on the edges of the feathers, which have 
dusky-brown centres ; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts 
blackish, with slight remains of sandy-buff fringes ; sides of 
rump and lateral upper tail-coverts white ; wing-coverts rather 
darker than the back, the marginal ones dark brown, the 
median series blackish in the centre with hoary-white margins ; 
the greater series dusky-blackish, edged with hoary-grey, in- 
clining to white at the ends, and forming a narrow band across 
the wing ; bastard-wing and primary-coverts black tipped with 
white, the latter broadly; quills black, paler brown on the 
inner webs of the primaries, excepting at the tips, which are 
black ; secondaries merely fringed with white near the ends, 
and with a little white towards the base of the inner web, the 
inner secondaries ashy like the back, the shafts of all the 
quills white or whity-brown ; centre tail-feathers blackish like 
the upper tail-coverts, the rest ashy-brown with white shafts 
and white fringes ; crown of head like the back ; the lores 
dusky, surmounted by a broad white streak which is continued 
into a narrow eyebrow ; sides of face white with a few tiny 
streaks of dusky-brown ; ear-coverts uniform dusky-brown ; 
under surface of body white with a few streaks of dusky-brown 
on the lower throat and sides of breast ; under wing-coverls 
and axillaries white, the marginal-coverts mottled with dusky 
bases ; lower primary-coverts ashy ; bill dusky black ; legs and 
feet slaty-black; iris dark brown. Total length, 6-5 inches; 
culmen, 1*3; wing, 4-1; tail, r6; tarsus, 0*8. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above black, 
slightly varied with rufous edgings to the feathers, some of 
those of the mantle, scapulars, inner greater coverts, and 
inner secondaries having sandy-buff margins, the black form- 
ing large sub-terminal spots ; crown of the head black, with a 
sandy-buff lateral stripe; lores black; sides of face rufescent, 
thickly spotted with dusky-black like the sides of the neck ; the 



THE BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPERS. 225 

ear-coverts rufous and surmounted by a pale buff eyebrow 
which becomes lighter above the lores ; chin and under sur- 
face of body white, the throat, fore-neck, and chest thickly 
spotted with dusky-blackish, those on the fore-neck and chest 
somewhat arrow-shaped, as they are also along the sides of the 
body ; all these parts slightly tinged with rufous ; lateral upper 
tail-coverts barred with black ; tail-feathers as in the winter 
plumage, but with a more extensive white area on the inner 
webs. Total length, 6*5 inches ; culmen, i'2 ; wing, 4/15 ; tail, 
1*5 ; tarsus, o'8. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Similar to the male, but not 
quite so plentifully spotted underneath. Total length, 6*5 
inches ; wing, 4*3. 

Young Birds. Very similar to the summer plumage of the 
adults, being rufous above, mottled with black centres to the 
feathers, and having very broad whitish margins ; centre of 
the crown black, the outer tail-feathers having a great deal 
of white on the inner web confining the ashy-grey colour to a 
broad marginal line ; the fore-neck slightly tinged with buff, as 
also the sides of the upper-breast, these parts being very scantily 
streaked with brown. During their first winter the pale edges 
to the feathers become worn off, so that the general aspect of 
the upper surface is black. 

Eange in Great Britain. The number of specimens of the Broad- 
billed Sandpiper which have been killed in England appear to 
be seven in number, four of which have been shot on Breydon 
Broad in Norfolk. One in Mr. Borrer's collection was obtained 
near Shoreham in Sussex, and Sir Henry Boynton has a speci- 
men from Hornsea Mere in Yorkshire. Mr. Walter Burton also 
shot one near Rye in August, and of the others, four have been 
killed in spring and two in autumn, so that it is evident that 
the species is a rare visitor during the spring and autumn 
migration. One specimen was procured in Belfast Bay, in 
Ireland, in October, 1844. 

Range 01 1 ,ide the British Islands, The Broad-billed Sandpiper 
nests on the mountains of Scandinavia as far south as 60 N. 
lat., and in Lapland, and it probably breeds throughout the 
tundra regions of Northern Euiope and Sil.eria; but it appears 
to be eveiywhere a local bird, and not much is known con- 

ll Q 



226 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

earning its distribution during the nesting-season. lc passes 
through fne greater part of Eastern and Central Europe during 
migration, visiting the Mediterranean countries and occurring 
even as far south as Madagascar. It likewise appears to cross 
Central Asia to North-western India, and also visits Japan, 
China, and the Burmese provinces during the cold season. 

Habits. The late Mr. Richard Dann contributed a very in- 
teresting article to YarrelPs " British Birds " on the nesting of 
this species, which he had found in Lulea and Tornea-Lap- 
mark, as well as on the Dovrefjeld in Norway, where it arrived 
at the latter end of May. It frequented grassy morasses and 
swamps in small colonies, having the same habitat as the 
Wood-Sandpiper. On their first appearance, tht-y were wild 
and shy, and similar in their habits to other Sandpipers, feed- 
ing on the grassy borders of small pools and lakes in the 
morasses. On being disturbed they soared to a great height 
in the air, rising and falling suddenly like the Snipe, uttering 
the notes tivo-who, rapidly repeated. As the weather becomes 
warm, the habits of the species totally change, as it skulks and 
creeps through the dead grass, and allows itself to be followed 
within a few yards : when flushed, it drops again a short 
distance off. 

Nest. The following account is given by Mr. Wolley, who 
discovered the nest in Lapland : " The Broad-billed Sand- 
piper differs from other wading birds in the situation of its nest, 
choosing open soft places in the marsh, where there is little 
else than bog moss with a little growth of a kind of sedge, and 
on a low tuft, just rising above the water, its nest may be found 
often without much difficulty. . . . But it must not be 
supposed that this kind of bird-nesting is very easy work. The 
marshes where the Broad-billed Sandpipers are to be found are 
few and far between ; they are soft and full of water, and often 
every step is a struggle, whilst the swarms of hungry gnats 
require almost individual attention. The sun is scorching at 
midday, but at midnight has not enough power to keep off an 
unpleasant chill. The country to be gone over is of vast extent, 
and the egg-season very short ; sleep is seldom obtainable ; a 
feverish feeling comes on, and present enjoyment soon ceases. 
It is just where the thickest clouds of gnats rise from the water. 



THE DUNLINS. 22} 



which is so generally spread over the recently thawed 
that the Broad-billed Sandpiper has its eggs, and this is just 
before midsummer, about the third week in June. Many 
empty nests are found for one which is occupied, and I 
suppose them to be of former years, for the moss in which 
they are usually worked long retains any mark made in it, 
being hard frozen for more than half the year ; they are neatly- 
rounded hollows, and have a few bits of dried grass at the 
bottom. The bird sometimes flies, and sometimes runs, off 
her eggs ; and if she has sat for a day or two, she will come 
back even while men are standing round." 

Eggs. Four in number, and very dark in appearance, the 
ground-colour appearing pinkish -brown, very thickly mottled 
and spotted with dark chocolate-brown, generally almost hiding 
the ground-colour itself. In a pale type of egg the ground- 
colour is stone-grey or olive-clay colour, the spotting being 
very minute, and sometimes accompanied by a cluster of 
blotches at the larger end of the egg. The underlying spots, 
which are often prominent, are of a violet-grey. Axis, 1-2-1-4 
inch ; diam., 0-9-0-95. 



THE DUNLINS. GENUS PELIDNA. 

Pelidna, Cuvier, Regne. Anim. i. p. 490 (1817). 

Type, P. alpina (Linn.). 

The Dunlins have the culmen longer than the tarsus, but 
they may be distinguished from the Snipes and Wood-cocks by 
the position of the eye, which is placed much more forward in 
the head and does not approach the level of the opening of the 
ear. The bill is slender and straight at the tip, and is not 
curved downwards ; there is a slight tendency to broadening at 
the end, so that the genus Pelidna holds an intermediate posi- 
tion between Limicola and Ancylcchihts. The Dunlins, more- 
over, differ from the genus Tringa in having the middle tail- 
feathers prolonged and sharpened at the ends ; the inner 
secondaries also are very long, and so nearly equal to the 
primaries in length, that the difference between these two sets 
of quills is less than the length of the tarsus. 

Q 2 



228 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

I. THE DUNLIN. PELIDNA ALPINA. 

T'ringn alpina^ Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 249 (1766); Dresser, B. 
Eur. viii. p. 21, pi. 548 (1876) ; B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 
169 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 377 
(1883); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 184(1885); Saun- 
ders, Man. Brit. B. p. 569 (1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. 
B. part xxiv. (1893). 

Tringa cinclus, L.; Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 203 (1852). 

(Plate LXXXVff.) 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage. General colour above bright 
sandy-rufous, mottled with b'ack centres to the feathers ; the 
markings longitudinal on the head and neck, broader on the 
latter ; on many of the feathers of the back and scapulars are 
remains of whitish edgings ; rump dusky-brown, with centres 
to the feathers ; the greater coverts edged with white at the 
tips ; bastard-wing and primary-coverts dark brown, the latter 
with white tips ; quills dusky-brown, with whitish shafts ; the 
secondaries white at base of inner web, and also fringed with 
white at the ends ; tail-feathers light brown, with white shafts 
and narrow white fringes ; lores and a faint eyebrow dull whitish, 
with tiny streaks of black ; sides of face sandy-rufous, lined with 
small streaks of blackish ; the cheeks and throat whiter, but 
similarly lined; the lower throat tinged with sandy-buff; fore- 
neck and chest white, with mesial streaks of black to all the 
feathers ; remainder of under surface pure white, with a large 
horse-shoe mark of black on the breast ; the lower flanks and 
under tail-coverts lined with blackish ; under wing-coverts and 
axillaries pure white, the primary-coverts light ashy, like the 
lower surface of the quills ; bill, legs, feet, and claws black ; 
iris hazel. Total length, 6'8 inches; culmen, 1*1 ; wing, 4*2; 
tail, 1*9 ; tarsus, 0-9. 

Adult Female in Summer Plumage. Similar to the male, but having 
the black horse-shoe mark on the breast less strongly developed. 
In old birds, however, this is as strongly marked as in the male. 
Total length, 5-8 inches; culmen, 1*15; wing, 47; tail, r8; 
tarsus, i'o. 

Adult in Winter Plumage. General colour above ashy-brown, 
with slightly indicated dusky centres to a few of the feathers. 



tHE DTJNLltfS. 229 

especially distinct on the wing-coverts, the greater series tipped 
with white so as to form a wing-band; primary-coverts and 
quills dark brown, narrowly fringed with whitish and having 
white shafts ; secondaries for the most part white, with a longi- 
tudinal dusky mafk towards the end of the outer web ; rump and 
upper tail-coverts brown like the back, the sides of the rump and 
the lateral tail-coverts pure white ; centre tail-feathers also dark 
brown, the remainder light ashy-brown, fringed with white at 
the ends and with white shafts ; head like the back, with liny 
dark centres to the feathers ; lores dusky-brown, surmounted 
by an indistinct whitish eyebrow ; sides of face and ear-coverts 
light brown, with darker shaft-streaks; cheeks, throat, and under 
surface of body pure white, the lower throat and chest light 
ashy, with darker centres to the feathers, more distinct on the 
sides of the chest. 

Young Birds. Above brown, with sandy-rufous edges to the 
feathers ; under surface white, with scattered spots of dusky- 
brown on the breast ; throat w r hitish ; fore-neck tinged with 
sandy-buff. 

Range in Great Britain. The present species, familiarly known 
as the " Ox-bird," breeds in Scotland and the northern islands, 
and in the north of England as far south as Lancashire and 
Yorkshire, and even in Lincolnshire, though it is nowhere so 
common in the nesting season as it is in some parts of Scot- 
land. It is also known to breed in Cornwall and Devonshire, 
where there are moors suited to its habits, but nothing is 
known of its nesting in any part of Wales. In Ireland, ac- 
cording to Mr. Ussher, the Dunlin breeds "in limited numbers, 
and locally in Donegal, Londonderry, Westmeath, Wicklow, 
King's County, Mayo, and Sligo, and probably elsewhere in 
the midland and northern counties." It is a very common 
bird on all our coasts in winter, and is sometimes seen o:j 
inland waters during migration. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Dunlin may be con- 
sidered a circum-polar bird as it nests throughout northern 
Europe from Iceland and the Faeroes to Scandinavia and 
thence across Northern Europe and Siberia to the Pacific. It 
also nests throughout Arctic America, though the birds from 
the western side of the latter continent are usually rather larger 



230 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

in size, and have been separated as Pelidna pacifica. In winter 
the Dunlins migrate south as far as California and the West 
Indies in the New World, and also visit the coasts of China, 
North-western India and the Mediterranean countries to the 
Canaries on the west, and as far as Zanzibar on the East 
African coast. As with so many of the waders, the Dunlin 
varies considerably in size, and there is a small form found in 
Europe which breeds along the Baltic and is not uncommon 
on our English coasts. This is the bird usually known as 
Schinz's Dunlin {Pelidna schi/izi). It is probably this small 
form which has been found breeding in Italy and also in Spain. 
I have often shot specimens of the small form, and was at one 
time inclined to consider it a more solitary bird than the 
common Long-billed Dunlin of our coasts, but I have also 
found both long- and short-billed birds mixed up in the same 
flock. 

Habits. In winter the Dunlin is decidedly the commonest 
ot all our shore birds, and is sometimes seen in immense 
flocks. When the tide is out, little parties may be seen feed- 
ing in company on the edges of the shallow pools left by the 
receding waters, while others are busily engaged in procuring 
food on the mud-flats. When alarmed, they fly off with a 
harsh note like the syllable s-k-r-e-e, and as one takes wing it is 
generally joined by several others in the vicinity, which fly off 
in company. When the tide is full, and the mud-flats are 
covered, the Dunlins betake themselves to the sea-beach, and 
congregate in large or small companies, occupying the time in 
preening their plumage, or in sleeping with theii head turned 
round and the bill hidden under their shoulder-feathers. 
Even then they are not easy of approach, as they have 
generally one or two sentinels posted, or are watched over by 
the wary Ringed Plover. On such occasions they generally fly 
a little way out to sea and settle again on the shingle at some 
little distance, and as they wheel off, they go through some 
evolutions which are interesting to watch, as at one moment 
the flock becomes almost invisible in the bright sunlight and 
then reappears as a little dark cloud moving about the surface 
of the waves. At these times it is not easy to whistle them 
within hail, but a^ the hour approaches for the tide to ebb, the 
Dunlins become much more restless and occasionally little 






THE KNOTS. 231 

parties will leave the shingle and fly over the mud-flats, 
settling on any little point which may become uncovered, 
or thronging on to a sand-spit from which the tide has re- 
ceded. 

In the spring the Dunlins pair before going north, but small 
flocks of individuals in full summer plumage remain in the 
south during the nesting season ; these are evidently non- 
breeding birds. 

Nest A depression in the ground with a slight lining of 
dead grass, roots, or sometimes a little moss. Mr. Seebohm 
says that the site generally chosen is in the middle of a tuft of 
grass, or a bare place on the moor surrounded by heather or 
rushes. Mr. Robert Read gives the following note : " I have 
always found them nesting in the vicinity of water, but they 
are not particular whether it is salt or fresh. The slight nest 
is usually built in a patch of grass growing amongst short 
heather, the eggs being well concealed by the over-hanging 
grass." 

Eggs. Four in number, pear-shaped. The ground-colour 
varies from a light greenish or olive-grey to stone-colour or 
even chocolate. The markings are equally variable, for though 
the grey underlying spots are sometimes in evidence, they are 
often obscured by blotches and spots of reddish-brown or even 
black, which are mostly congregated towards the larger end. 
As a rule, however, in the Dunlin's egg, the spots are of 
moderate size and fairly evenly distributed. Axis, 1*35-1 '45 
inches; diam., 6 95-1 '05. 

THE KNOTS. GENUS TRINGA. / 

Tringa, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 247 (1766). 
Type, T. canutus (Linn.). 

The genus THnga contains but two species, the Knot of 
Europe and the Japanese T. crassirostris. The latter breeds 
in Eastern Siberia and travels south in winter, as far as the 
Malay Archipelago and Australia, as well as to the shores 
of North-western India. The length of the culmen exceeds 
that of the tarsus, and the latter is longer than the middle toe 
and claw. The bill is stout and has a distinct ridge on the 



?32 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

culmen, which widens slightly towards the end. The Knots 
may be distinguished from the Dunlins by the shape of the tail, 
which is square, with the middle feathers not prolonged. The 
inner secondaries also are shorter, and the distance between 
their tips and the tips of the primaries is more than the length 
of the tarsus. 

I. THE KNOT. TRINGA CANUTUS. 

Tringa canutus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 251 (1766) ; Macgill. 
Brit. B. iv.p. 185 (1852); Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 77 pis. 
555, 556 (1877); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 171 (1883); 
Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 413 (1883); See- 
bohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 174 (1885); Saunders, Man. 
Brit. B. p. 581 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part 
xii. (1890). 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage General colour above ashy- 
grey, perfectly uniform except on the rump, where there are a 
few dusky bars; upper tail-coverts white, barred across with 
black ; wing-coverts ashy like the back, except the marginal 
coverts, which are dusky-brown, the median series also with 
dusky centres, the greater series tipped with white ; bastard- 
wing and primary-coverts black, the inner ones broadly tipped 
with white ; quills dull ashy-brown, blackish on the outer web 
and at the tip of the inner web, the shafts white, the inner pri- 
maries plainly edged with white near the base of the outer web ; 
the inner secondaries ashy-brown like the back; tail ashy-grey, 
with whitish shafts to the feathers ; crown of head ashy-grey, 
slightly mottled with dusky centres to the feathers ; lores dusky- 
grey, surmounted by a broad streak of white, continued into a 
narrow white eyebrow, slightly streaked with dusky lines ; sides 
of face white, with narrow dusky streaks, the upper margin of 
the ear-coverts ashy-grey ; under surface of body white, the chin 
unspotted, but the throat streaked, and the fore-neck and chest 
mottled, with dusky spots or bars, the sides of the neck and of 
the chest dull ashy-brown ; the flanks white, with irregular bars 
or arrow-head marks of dusky-brown ; under wing-coverts 
white, the axillaries with a few dusky bars; lower primary-coverts 
and quill-lining ashy-grey. Total length, 9 inches; culmen 
1*3 ; wing, 6'i ; tail, 2-3; tarsus, i'2. 



THE KNOTS. 233 

Young Birds. Very similar to the winter plumage of the 
adults, being grey above and white below. They may, how- 
ever, be easily distinguished by the marbled appearance of 
the upper surface, the feathers being fringed with white, 
before which is a narrow sub-marginal line of black. There is 
also a tinge of buff over the throat, breast, and sides of the 
body, these parts being thickly spotted with dusky-brown, 
especially on the flanks. 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage. Differs from the winter 
plumage in having the under surface of the body chestnut, as 
well as the eyebrow and sides of the face. The whole of the 
upper surface also is suffused with chestnut, the feathers being 
black in the centre with chestnut margins, while on the scapu- 
lars and long inner secondaries, the chestnut colour is distri- 
buted in the form of twin spots, often forming nearly complete 
bars ; the white of the rump and upper tail-coverts is strongly 
tinged with chestnut, and the black bars are very distinct ; bill 
and feet black ; iris dark hazel. Total length, 10 inches; cul- 
men, 1*3 ; wing, 6*5 ; tail, 2^3 ; tarsus, i'i. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Similar to the male, but 
not so strongly suffused with chestnut above, and rather paler 
chestnut below, with more white on the abdomen than in the 
male, and having still considerable remains of black bars on 
the flanks ; the axillaries regularly barred with black instead of 
being white or only slightly freckled as in the male. Total 
length, 10 inches ; wing, 6*6. 

Range in Great Britain. The Knot is a very interesting bird, 
visiting us in May on its journey northwards, while numbers 
are observed on the return journey in the autumn ; many spend 
the winter on our coasts, and some few, non-breeding birds, 
appear never to migrate, as I have known birds in full red 
plumage to have been shot in June. On the nth August, 1895, 
a very early date for their return south, I was startled by hearing 
their well-known notes above my garden at Chiswick. A large 
migration was passing over-head at eleven o'clock in the day, 
which was a very hot one, with a brilliant sun, but the birds were 
at too great a height to be seen by the naked eye. At all times 
the Knot seems to be more common on the east of Great 
Britain, being rare on the western coast of Scotland, but occur- 



234 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

ring again in numbers along the coast of the West of England 
and on the Irish coast. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Knot breeds in the 
Arctic Regions and was found nesting by the explorers in the 
early part of the century on Melville Island and also on Mel- 
ville Peninsula, but no eggs seem to have been brought back 
by them. Colonel Feilden obtained young birds in Grinnell 
Land, lat. 82 33', and Mr. H. C. Hart also procured nestlings 
in lat. 81 44', but no eggs were obtained by these naturalists 
during the voyage of the " Alert " and " Discovery." No other 
record of the breeding of the Knot has yet been authenticated, 
and although it has been observed on migration in many parts 
of Northern Russia and Siberia, it has not been found nesting 
in any part of the Old World. Dr. Bunge noticed the species 
on Great Liakoff Island, the most southerly of the New Siberian 
islands, on the 6th of July, and shot specimens throughout the 
greater part of the month, but on the 2oth the birds became 
rarer, and were not recorded after the 3ist. Colonel Feilden 
writes to me : " If Bunge was correct in the identification of the 
bird, I see no reason to doubt that the Knot breeds in the New 
Siberian Islands, for we obtained old birds and nestlings on 
the i ith of July at Discovery Bay, and again at Floe Berg beach 
on the 3ist of July. There is, of course, some possibility that 
the Liakoff Knot might be T. crassirostris and not T. canutus, as 
the occurrences of the latter bird in Eastern Siberia have been 
very few." In winter the Knot passes as far south as Australia 
and New Zealand, and is found, but more rarely, on the coasts 
of India and Africa. In America it migrates along the Atlantic 
coast to the West Indies, and has even been recorded from 
Brazil. 

HaMts. On its northward journey in spring, the present 
species is far less often observed than on its return in autumn, 
when it is very plentiful. At the former time of year it is also 
much more shy, and seems intent upon reaching its Arctic 
breeding home with as much expedition as possible. In the 
autumn, on the contrary, it is not only much more plentiful, but 
is very much tamer. It is found either singly or in small flocks 
in most of our tidal harbours, where its cheerful note, which is 



THE KNOTS. 235 

very easily imitated, is one of the most familiar to shore-shooters 
at that period of the year. It often associates with flocks of 
Dunlins, and rests with them on the shingle at high tide, and 
feeds with them on the mud-flats when the water has receded. 
Although, as recorded above, I have been witness to the migra- 
tion of Knots by day, I have also heard them passing over 
London by night, and have many times whistled to them from 
the top of Primrose Hill. In the old days of shore-shooting at 
Pagham Harbour, when I have been waiting for the dawn, I have 
seen them arrive from the north at daybreak, and have whistled 
them down from the sky. These arrivals are nearly always young 
birds, and they appeared so glad to know that some of their 
species were in the neighbourhood, that they have often 
descended to within twenty yards of my boat and commenced 
to feed ravenously. When seen at such a close distance, the 
Knot is an extremely pretty bird, and can easily be distinguished 
from other shore birds by its plump appearance. When flying 
it utters a musical note like the syllables tui-tiiii tui-tui. 

Nest. Described as being placed close to a stream and 
composed of a few leaves and dried grass loosely put 
together. 

Eggs. Lieutenant Greely who took an egg fully developed 
from the body of a female Knot told Mr. Seebohm that it was a 
very handsome egg, very boldly blotched, and about as large as 
that of the Common Snipe. My friend Mr. J. T. Thomasson was 
recently informed by Captain Bendire that, up to the present 
time, there is no authentic egg of the Knot in the United States 
National Museum at Washington. One egg is in the British 
Museum, to which it was presented by the late Mr. Seebohm, 
who states that it was from a clutch of four sent with the parent 
bird from Disco in Greenland to Mr. Versler in Copenhagen, 
who had received it from Mr. Bolbroe, the original captor. 
The egg is of an olive stone-colour with the usual spots, and 
confluent blotches of reddish-brown or black congregating near 
the large end of the egg and mixed with the under-lying grey 
markings, which are very prominent. It looks exactly like the 
kind of egg one might expect the Knot to lay. Axis, i *6 inches ; 
diam., n. 



236 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

THE PURPLE SANDPIPERS. GENUS ARQUATELLA. 

Arquatdfa) Baird, B. N. Amer. p. 717 (1858). 

Type, A. maritima (Gm.). 

The genus Arquatdla is very closely allied to the genus 
Tringa, and is considered by most ornithologists to be identical 
with it. The Purple Sandpiper, however, is a very short-legged 
bird, and differs from the Dunlins in having the tarsus shorter 
than the middle-toe. The tibia-tarsus, too, which is bare in 
the Dunlins, is feathered down to the joint of the tarsus in the 
genus Arquatella. Besides the ordinary Purple Sandpiper 
there are two races which are closely allied to it, A. couesi, from 
the Aleutian Islands and Alaska, and A. ptilocneinis, from the 
Prybilof Group. 

I. THE PURPLE SANDPIPER. ARQUATELLA MARITIMA. 

Tringa maritima^ Gm. Syst. Nat. i. p. 678 (1788); Macgill. 

Brit. B. iv. p. 197 (1852); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 
( 192 (1885). 
Tringa striata, Linn. ; Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 69, pi. 554 

(1877); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 171 (1883); Saunders, 

ed. Yairell, Brit. B. iii. p. 408 (1883); id. Man. Brit. B. 

P- 579 ( J 889) ; Lilford Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxiv. 

'1893)* 

Adult in Winter Plumage. General colour above sooty-black 
with a purplish gloss, the feathers having pale margins of dull 
ashy-grey, less distinct on the lower back, rump, and upper 
tail-coverts, the longest of which have white tips; sides of rump 
and lateral upper tail-coverts white, with narrow blackish shaft- 
lines; wing-coverts like the back and having the same pale fringes; 
bastard-wing and primary-coverts black, with white tips ; quills 
dusky-brown, black along the outer web and at the tip of the 
inner one, the secondaries tipped with white and having a con- 
siderable amount of white on the inner web, which increases 
in extent on the inner secondaries, which are entirely white or 
have only a small mark of black on the outer web ; the inner- 
most secondaries black ; centre tail-fealhers blackish, the 
remainder ashy-grey, fringed with white and having whitish 
shafts ; head and neck uniform sooty-black, with a faint streak 



THE PURPLE SANDPIPERS. 237 

of dull white on the lores and behind the eye; eyelid whitish ; 
sides of face, throat, and fore-neck sooty-brown, the chin whiter; 
breast and abdomen, as well as the under tail-coverts, white, 
the breast and sides of the body mottled with dusky-brown 
centres to the feathers, the flanks streaked with the same colour ; 
axillaries and under wing-coveits pure white ; quill-lining ashy- 
grey. Total length, 7-5 inches; culmen, 1*2; wing, 4-9; tail, 
2'i ; tarsus, 0-85. 

Young Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the adults, 
but are distinguished by the white fringes to the feathers of the 
upper surface, especially on the wing-coverts, scapulars, and 
inner secondaries ; the chest and sides of the body more 
plentifully mottled with spots of dusky-black. 

Adults in Summer Plumage. Differ from the winter plumage in 
being browner below and not so ashy, the fore-neck being either 
uniform brown or mottled with spots of black, the upper breast 
and sides of the body being also thickly spotted with black. 
The upper surface is black, with rufous margins to the feathers 
instead of ashy or whitish ones; bill dark brown, paler at the 
base ; feet dull yellow ; claws black ; iris hazel. Total length, 
8-5 inches; culmen, 1-5 ; wing, 5-2; tail, 2*15; tarsus, 0*95. 

Characters. The Purple Sandpiper can always be distin- 
guished by its black rump and upper tail coverts, combined 
with the white inner secondaries. 

Range in Great Britain The present species inhabits the 
coasts of Great Britain during winter, but is everywhere rather 
local and is more common in some years than others. Like 
other waders, individuals of the Purple Sandp per have been 
known to remain in Great Britain during summer, and these 
doubtless have been non-breeding birds. Indeed, the species 
has been credibly supposed to have bred within our limits, 
as Mr. Howard Saunders says : " Young scarcely able to fly 
have been obtained on the Fame Islands, where they are sup- 
posed to have been hatched ; while adults have been observed 
in the Outer Hebrides and other northern localities as late as 
the end of May. There is even strong presumptive evidence 
that the bird nests on the high ground in the Shetlands, though 
jdeptified eggs have not yet been obtained. On the ruggec} 



238 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

portions of the Irish coast it is met with in winter, and I found 
it, still in small flocks, on May i5th, in Co. Donegal." 

Range outside the British Islands. The Purple Sandpiper occurs, 
and probably breeds, throughout the Arctic Regions, retiring only 
for a comparatively short distance southwards in winter, though 
some visit at this season of the year the Mediterranean countries 
and the Azores ; and in the New World it occurs on the Great 
Lakes and the Atlantic coasts of North America as far south 
as the Bermudas. Even in Western Scandinavia it is found in 
winter as well as in summer. 

Habits. Of these Mr. Seebohm gives the following account : 
" Unlike most of its congeners, the Purple Sandpiper 
loves a rocky coast, a bold shore where the rocks gradually 
shelve down into the water or are left exposed in huge 
masses at low tide. It is not often seen on a low sandy 
beach ; but the wide, almost interminable, mud-flats which 
have such a charm for most wading birds, are occa- 
sionally frequented by the Purple Sandpiper. It visits the 
coast in little parties ; but now and then a solitary bird is met 
with, which will sometimes join a flock of Dunlins or other 
small Waders. In many of its habits the Purple Sandpiper 
differs considerably from its congeners. It loves to frequent 
the shore when the waves are dashing over the rocks, and to 
seek for its food, literally surrounded by the spray. Nimbly the 
little creature trips, sure-footed over the wet, slippery rocks, 
exulting in the wild strife of the waters, and appearing every 
moment as though the huge angry waves would overwhelm it. 
Tightly it clings to the boulders until each succeeding wave 
has broken, when its active search commences. When the 
gale is at its height it shuns the shore, or seeks safety and 
shelter amongst the rocks at high-water mark ; and Saxby 
states that in Shetland he has known it to take refuge under 
the lee of a wall, and to feed within a few yards of his house. 

"The Purple Sandpiper is a very tame little biid, often allow- 
ing the observer to approach to within a few feet as it stands 
on the shore. Sometimes it is flushed with difficulty, or merely 
contents itself with running along the shore just out of arm's 
length. Saxby states that it is an excellent swimmer, and that 
he has seen as many as three or four in calm weather swim- 



THE CURLEW-SANDPIPERS. 239 

ming at the base of the rocks on which their companions were 
searching for food. It never seems to dive, however, except 
when wounded. Sometimes, when flushed, it has been known 
to alight on the water several yards from shore. The food of 
the Purple Sandpiper is composed of marine insects, small 
crustaceans and molluscs, and the seeds of several shore-plants. 
It obtains most of its food as the tide comes in or ebbs, 
usually sitting on the rocks at high water, pluming itself, bask- 
ing in the sun, and waiting for the sea to go down again. The 
flight of the Purple Sandpiper is rapid, but not usually 
very high. Sometimes it skims along for a short distance, 
hovers in the air, or runs along the ground with wings out- 
spread over its back. The note of this bird somewhat re- 
sembles that of the Common Sandpiper : it is loud, clear, and 
shrill, and often repeated, but very difficult to express on paper 
a kind of t'nce, not unlike the note of the House-Martin, but 
louder." 

Nest. A slight depression, lined with a little moss or dried 
grass. 

Eggs. Four in number, pear-shaped, and resembling the 
eggs of the Dunlin, from which, however, they can be 
distinguished by their larger size. The variation in the tint 
of the ground-colour is just as marked as in that species, 
the colour ranging from greenish stone-grey to brownish clay- 
colour, or even reddish-brown. The spots are reddish-brown, 
sometimes inclining to black, and are thickly distributed over 
the eggs, in the same manner as in those of the Dunlin. Axis, 
j'4-i'5 inch; diam., ro-i'i 

THE CURLEW-SANDPIPERS. GENUS ANCYLOCHILUS. 

AncylocheihiS) Kaup, Natiirl. Syst. p. 50 (1829). 

Type, A. subarcuatus (Giildenst). 

In general appearance the Curlew-Sandpiper for there is 
only one representative of the genus Ancylochilus is very like 
a Dunlin, and as in the genus Pelidna, the bill is longer than 
the tarsus. The shape of the bill, however, is different, being 
very long and slender and tapering to a point, without any 



240 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

widening before the tip. It has a sharp ridge on the culmen, 
and the end is decidedly decurved, whence its Latin name of 
sub-arcuatus, and its English name of " Curlew "-Sandpiper, 
from a certain resemblance of its curved bill to that of a Curlew. 

I. THE CURLEW-SANDPIPER. ANCYLOCHILUS SUBARCUATUS. 

Scolopax subarquata, Giildenst. N. Comm. Petrop. xix. p. 471 

. (1774). 

Tringa subarquata, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 215 (1852); 
Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 59, pi. 553 (1878); B. O. U. 
List Brit. B. p. 170 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarrell, 
Brit. B. iii. (1883); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. Hi. p. 180 
(1885); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. 403 (1889); Lilford, 
Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxv. (1893). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above deep 
bay or dark cinnamon-rufous, varied with whitish edges to the 
feathers, which are mottled with black centres, taking the form 
of stripes on the head and back, and of cross-bars on the 
scapulars ; lower back dull ashy-brown, with whitish edges ; 
sides of lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts white, the latter 
tinged with rufous, and showing a few black bars ; wing-coverts 
brown, with whitish edgings, the greater series tipped with white, 
forming a wing-bar ; some of the coverts rufous like the back, 
and some of the inner secondaries also rufous on their edges ; 
primary-coverts and quills darker brown, the latter with white 
tips and white shafts, the secondaries fringed with white, more 
broadly on the shorter ones, which are white at the base of the 
inner web ; tail-feathers ashy-brown with white fringes and white 
shafts ; head like the back, but showing less distinct blackish 
centres to the feathers ; the hind-neck distinctly hoary, owing 
to the edgings of the feathers ; sides of face and under surface 
of body rich vinous chestnut with more or less distinct remains 
of hoary margins to the feathers ; vent and under tail-coverts 
white, the latter tinged with rufous, and having a few black 
bars ; sides of body and flanks pure white, the latter with a few 
black bars ; under wing-coverts and axillaries pure white ; lower 
primary-coverts and under surface of quills light ashy ; bill, legs, 
feet, and claws black; iris hazel. Total length, 7 '4 inches j 
gujmen, 1-35; wing, 5-3; tail, 1*9; tarsus, 1-15. 






THE CURLEW- SANDPIPERS. 241 

Adult Female in Summer Plumage. Like the male, but not So 
richly coloured, the tint of the under surface being duller chest- 
nut and not so vinous. Total length, 7 inches ; wing, 4-9. 

Adult in Winter Plumage. Ashy-brown above, slightly mottled 
with darker centres to the feathers ; wing-coverts like the back ; 
quills as in the summer plumage ; rump and upper tail-coverts 
pure white ; tail-feathers ashy-brown, fringed with white, with 
white shafts, a sub-terminal bar of dusky-blackish, and the 
inner webs having a good deal of white at the base; lores 
dusky, with a supra-loral streak of white ; under surface of body 
pure white, with tiny lines of dusky-brown on the sides of the 
face, sides of neck, lower throat, and fore-neck. 

Young in First Autumn Plumage. Similar in general colour to 
the winter plumage of the adult, but distinguished by the 
absence of rufous colour on the upper surface. On the under 
surface the streaks on the fore-neck are almost obsolete, and a 
fulvescent shade overspreads the fore-neck and chest, in some 
specimens even extending to the breast itself. On the upper 
surface it is very similar to the winter plumage of the adult, 
but has always some distinct pale edgings to the feathers, these 
being generally fulvescent, while the mantle is decidedly 
darker, being blackish with pale margins to the feathers. 

Kange in Great Britain. The Curlew-Sandpiper is a spring and 
autumn visitor to our coasts, being much more plentiful in the 
latter season than in the former, and frequenting more parti- 
cularly the east coast, both of Scotland and England. In 
Ireland, Mr. Howard Saunders states that it has been known 
to remain in the southern counties until November, or even 
December. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species occurs 
in winter in the southern parts of the old world, visiting Aus- 
tralia and Tasmania, the Indian Peninsula, and South Africa. 
Its nesting habitat, however, is still unknown. It is evident 
that it does not follow the summer course of the Knot in its 
western range, as it is not known from the Fseroes, Iceland, 
Greenland, or Spitsbergen. In Scandinavia it is more plentiful 
in autumn and is rare in spring. Specimens have been observed 
in June and July at various points of Northern Siberia, and one 
was obtained by Dr. Murdoch at Point Barrow in Alaska, in 

II R 



242 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

June. The breeding home of the species will probably be 
found in the New Siberian Islands, as the nesting of the species 
on Kolguev, where it was thought that the Curlew-Sandpiper 
might breed, has not been verified by the recent explorations 
of Mr. Trevor-Battye and the Messrs. Pearson. 

Habits. The Curlew-Sandpiper is often found in flocks on 
our mud-flats and shingles in the autumn, where they either feed 
in company or consort with the Dunlins, from which they can 
hardly be distinguished by an ordinary observer. Occasionally 
a single bird may be procured, and in the case where it is found 
solitary, it is generally a young bird which is wending its way 
south alone, or an old bird which is resting on its way to com- 
plete its moult, as is evidenced by the number of red feathers 
which it has not shed. Its habits and food are so precisely 
like those of the Dunlin, that no special description is neces- 
sary. 

Nest. Unknown. 
Eggs. Unknown. 

THE PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. GENUS HETEROPYGIA. 

Heteropygia, Coues, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 1861, p. 191. 
Type, H.fuscicollis (V.). 

The members of this genus are four in number, and three 
of them have occurred accidentally in Great Britain. They 
have generally been associated with the Knots and Dunlins in 
the genera Tringa and Pelidna, but they differ from these 
in the shorter bill, which is not longer than the tarsus, and 
thus they are more closely allied to the Stints (Limonites) and 
the Sanderling (Calidris). They differ, however, from the latter 
genera in having the tarsus longer than the middle toe and 
c aw. 

i. BONAPARTE'S SANDPIPER. HETEROPYGIA FUSCICOLLIS. 

Tringa fuscicollis, Vieill. N. Diet. d'Hist Nat. xxxiv. p. 461 
(1819); Dresser. B. Eur. viii. p. 15, pi. 547 (1873); 
B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 168 (1883); Saunders, Man. 
Brit. B. p. 567 (1889). 



THE PECTORAL SANDPIPERS* 243 

Tringa schinzii (nee Brehm), Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 222 (1852) : 

Saunders, ed. Yarrell, Brit. B. iii. p. 373 (1883). 
Tringa bonaparti) Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 189 (1885). 

Adult Male. In appearance like a small Dunlin, but distin- 
guished by the generic characters recorded above, and by the 
upper tail-coverts being entirely white, so that they contrast 
sharply with the dark rump and dark centre tail-feathers ; bill, 
feet, and legs greenish-black ; iris dusky-brown. Total length 
7 inches; culmen, 0*95; wing, 4*5; tail, 1*95; tarsus, 0*9. 
The white upper tail-coverts of this species distinguishes it at 
all seasons from any of its near allies. 

Range in Great Britain. An accidental visitor from America, 
of which some dozen specimens have occurred within our 
limits. According to Mr. Howard Saunders, "the first British 
example was shot prior to 1839, in Shropshire, while subse- 
quently three others have been obtained in Cornwall, two 
in the Scilly Islands, four at Instow in North Devon, two in 
Sussex, and one at Kingsbury reservoir in Middlesex. There is 
also a specimen in the Museum at Belfast, which is believed to 
have been killed near that city." 

Range outside the British Islands. This is a common North 
American species, which breeds throughout the greater part of 
the Arctic Regions, becoming rarer in the north-western portion 
of the new world. In winter it ranges south through Central 
America and the West Indies to the extreme south of South 
America. 

HaMts. Mr. D. G. Elliot, in his " North American Shore 
Birds," writes : "It visits the eastern portion of North America 
on its migrations, not making a lengthy stay in any place. 
Coues observed it in Kansas migrating northwards in flocks, 
and we may suppose it ranges from the Rocky Mountains east- 
ward. Along the Atlantic coast it appears at regular periods, 
passing northward in May, and back again on its southern 
journey in July or early in August. It associates with the 
Semi-palmated Sandpiper (E. pusillus\ which it somewhat 
resembles, but from which it is easily distinguished by its greater 
size. This species is one of the gentlest of all waders, appar- 
ently paying little attention to an intruder upon its haunts, but 



244 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

allowing one to approach closely, not even suspending its occu- 
pation of searching for food. Should a gun be discharged as 
the little company draws itself together, the survivors fly a short 
distance in a compact flock, uttering a low, soft tweet, exhibit- 
ing the upper- and then under-side of the body as they wheel 
and turn swiftly, and then frequently alight near the very spot 
where their companions were slaughtered. When on the wing 
it is recognisable by its white upper tail-coverts, which are very 
conspicuous. In Labrador it is very abundant, frequenting 
the rocky shores covered with sea-weed or green and slippery 
from the flying spray. It also resorts to muddy flats and shal- 
low pools, into which it wades up to the breast in search of 
marine insects and various animalculae, on which it feeds. It 
is rather a common bird at certain seasons on the shores of 
Lake Michigan, having been taken in Illinois, and also in 
Michigan. In the far north it is a straggler at Point Barrow in 
Alaska, and also breeds on the Mackenzie river. MacFarlane 
found the nest on the shore of the Arctic Sea, and on the Bar- 
ren Ground. This was merely a depression in the ground 
lined with a few decayed leaves, and contained three or four 
eggs, rufous-drab in colour, blotched with dark brown or black, 
confluent at the larger end, and measuring 0*35 inch long by 
0*95 broad." 

II. THE SHARP-TAILED PECTORAL SANDPIPER. HETEROPYGIA 
ACUMINATA. 

Totanus acumtnata, Horsf. Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii. p. 192 (1821). 
Tringa acuminata, Seebohm, Ibis, 1893, PP- 181-183, pi. v. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above sandy- 
rufous, streaked with black down the centre of the feathers, 
these black centres being much more distinct on the scapulars 
and inner secondaries, where the rufous margins are very 
bright ; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts dusky-black, 
the lateral ones sandy-rufous barred with black ; lesser wing- 
coverts dull brown ; the median-coverts brown with blackish 
centres and ashy fulvous margins ; the greater coverts uniform 
dusky-brown with white tips ; bastard-wing uniform brown ; 
the primary-coverts blackish, the inner ones tipped with white ; 



THE PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. 245 

quills brown, dusky-blackish at the tips and along the outer 
webs, the shafts for the most part white, brown towards the 
bases ; the secondaries brown, with a little white at the base of 
the inner webs and narrowly fringed with white near the tips, 
the inner ones a little more broadly ; tail-feathers ashy-brown, 
fringed with white round the ends, the centre ones blackish 
and extended a little beyond the ends of the others ; crown of 
head bright sandy-rufous, minutely streaked with black ; lores 
and a distinct eyebrow white with narrow streaks of blackish ; 
sides of face also white with dusky streaks, the ear-coverts 
tinged with rufous ; under surface of body white, the chin un- 
spotted ; fore-neck and chest tinged with sandy-rufous and 
minutely spotted with dusky-black, which sometimes takes the 
form of longitudinal streaks or arrow-head bars, the latter form 
of markings being especially distinct on the sides of the body ; 
breast and abdomen white, the latter with a few linear streaks of 
black ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white, those round 
the bend of the wing mottled with blackish bases ; lower pri- 
mary-coverts dusky with whitish tips ; quills dusky below ; bill, 
black at tip, greenish-yellow at base of mandible ; feet and 
tarsi greenish-yellow. Total length, 7 inches; culmen, i'i ; 
wing, 5 -4; tail, 2*1 ; tarsus, 1*2. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male. Total length, 7 inches ; 
wing, 5-4. 

Adult in Winter Plumage Much browner than the summer 
plumage and without any rufous, except perhaps a slight tinge 
on the head ; under surface of body white, the lower throat 
and chest ashy-fulvous with a few narrow streaks and lines of 
blackish, the flanks slightly washed with brown ; on the under 
tail-coverts a few narrow mesial shaft streaks of blackish. 

Young Birds. Much more rufous on the upper surface even 
than in the breeding plumage, the back much blacker than in 
any other age of the bird, intermixed with a great deal of rufous 
and distinguished by the conspicuous whitish edgings to the 
dorsal feathers, scapulars, and inner secondaries ; the wing- 
coverts with broad margins of sandy-rufous, but the quills the 
same as in the adults ; crown of head distinctly rufous with 
longitudinal black centres to the feathers ; chin white, as also 
the breast and abdomen, which sometimes have a tinge of buff; 






246 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

lower throat, fore-neck, and sides of breast sandy-rufous, the 
fore-neck and chest more ashy and uniform, so that the black 
shaft-streaks are confined to the lower throat, sides of neck, 
and sides of breast, being here a little broader. 

Characters. Distinguished from H. pectoralis (infra, p. 247) 
by the characters given below. 

Eange in Great Britain. Two specimens of this species have 
been procured within our limits. One was obtained near Yar- 
inouih as long ago as September, 1848. It remained for many 
years in the Norwich Museum, and was supposed to be an 
example of H. maculata. The second specimen was shot near 
the same place on the 2Qth of August, 1892, by Mr. T. Ground. 

Range outside the British Islands. There can be no doubt that 
the present species nests in North-east Siberia, and thence 
passes on migration by the coasts of Alaska, as well as those 
of China and Japan, to the islands of the Malayan Archi- 
pelago, as far as Australia and New Zealand, occurring also 
in the Friendly Islands in the Pacific. 

Habits Mr. E. W. Nelson gives the following note on the 
species : " On the north shore of Siberia, near North Cape, 
we found these birds very common, scattered over damp grass 
flats near the coast, the ist of August, 1881. The ground was 
covered with reindeer tracks, and among these the Sharp- 
tailed Snipe were seen seeking their food. They were very un- 
suspicious, arid allowed us to pass close to them, as they circled 
close about us. From their movements, and other circum- 
stances, I judged that this district formed part of their breed- 
ing grounds, whence they reach the neighbouring coasts of 
Alaska in the fall. 

"They usually make their first appearance on the shore of 
Norton Sound the last of August, and in a few days become 
very common. They sometimes remain up to the i2th of 
October, and I have seen them searching for food along the 
tide-line when the ground was covered with two inches of snow. 
When feeding along the edges of the tide-creeks they may 
almost be knocked over with a paddle, and when a flock is 
fired into, it returns again and again." 

$est and Eggs. Unknown, 



THE PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. 247 

III. THE PECTORAL SANDPIPER. HETEROPYGIA MACULATA. 

Tringa maculata^ Vieill. N. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. xxxiv. p. 465 
(1819); Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. u, pi. 546(1878); B. 
O. U. List Brit. B. p. 168 (1883) ; Saunders. ed. Yarrell, 
Brit. B. iii. p. 368 (1883) ; Seebohm, Hist Brit. B. iii. p. 
201 (1885); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 201 (1889); 
Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part. xiv. (1890). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumag e Similar to H. acuminata, but 
never so rufous, with a more blackish head, contrasting with 
the ashy-brown of the hind-neck. It may always be distin- 
guished from H. acuminata by the greater extent of the ashy- 
fulvous colour, which reaches from the upper throat to the 
chest, and is thickly and regularly streaked with dusky-black- 
ish, instead of being rufous with black spots ; apical half of bill 
brownish-black, basal half dull greenish-yellow ; legs and feet 
buff. Total length, 8 inches; culmen, n ; wing, 4*9; tail, 
i -9 ; tarsus, 1*0. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male. Total length, 8 inches ; 
wing, 4-9. 

Adult in Winter Plumage. Differs very little from the summer 
plumage, but is browner and with less rufous on the upper sur- 
face, the head and neck being of the same colour as the back; 
the character of the throat and fore-neck is exactly the same as 
that of the summer plumage. 

Young. Much more rufous than either the breeding or winter 
plumage, and distinguished by the whitish margins to the 
scapulous and inner secondaries. The young birds appear to 
have almost as much striping on the throat and breast as the 
old ones; in this respect they differ from the young of H. acumi- 
nata, where the stripes are confined to the lower threat and 
sides of neck. 

Characters. The Pectoral Sandpiper may be easily distin- 
guished from our other British species by the generic char- 
acters above given, and by its brown legs, dark upper tail- 
coverts, and by the band across the fore-neck and chest. 

Range in Great Britain This American species has often 
occurred during autumn and winter, and has been shot alo 



248 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

in spring, the presumption being that the bird has remained 
here during the winter, having wandered from its home during 
the autumn migration, as so many of the waders do. Some 
twenty-five instances of its capture were recorded by Mr. 
Howard Saunders up to the year 1889. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Pectoral Sandpiper breeds 
in the tundras of North America, and migrates south in winter 
to South America, where it has been obtained even in Pata- 
gonia and Chili. It has not yet been noticed on the continent 
of Europe. 

HaMts. Mr. Nelson gives the following account of the 
species in Alaska: "The last of May, 1879, I pitched my 
tent in a lonely island in the Yukon delta and passed several 
weeks in almost continual physical discomfort owing to the 
cold rains and snow-storms which prevailed. However, 1 
look back with pleasure upon the time passed here among the 
various water-fowl, when every day contributed new and strange 
experiences. 

"The night of May 24th I lay wrapped in my blanket, and 
from the raised flap of the tent looked out over as dreary a 
cloud-covered landscape as can be imagined. The silence 
was unbroken save by the tinkle and clinking of the disinte- 
grating ice in the river, and at intervals by the wild notes of 
some restless Loon, which arose in a hoarse, reverberating cry 
and died away in a strange gurgling sound. As my eye-lids 
began to droop and the scene to become indistinct, suddenly 
a low, hollow, booming note struck my ear and sent my 
thoughts back to a spring morning in Northern Illinois, and 
to the loud vibrating tones of the Prairie Chickens. Again the 
sound arose nearer and more distinct, and with an effort I 
brought myself back to the reality of my position and, resting 
upon one elbow, listened. A few seconds passed and again 
arose the note ; a moment later and, gun in hand, I stood out- 
side the tent. The open flat extended away on all sides, with 
apparently not a living creature near. Once again the note 
was repeated close by, and a glance revealed its author. Stand- 
ing in the thin grasses ten or fifteen yards from me, with its 
throat inflated until it was as large as the rest of the bird, was 
a. male T- maailata. The succeeding days afforded oppor- 



THE PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. 249 

tunity to observe the bird as it uttered its singular notes, under 
a variety of situations, and at various hours of the day, or 
during the light Arctic night. The note is deep, hollow, and 
resonant, but at the same time liquid and musical, and may be 
represented by a repetition of the syllables too-ti^ too-u, too-ii^ 
too-u, too-ii) tdd-U) too-ii) too-ii. Before the bird utters these 
notes it fills its sesophagus with air to such an extent that the 
breast and throat is inflated to twice or more its natural size, 
and the great air-sac thus formed gives the peculiar resonant 
quality to the note. 

" The skin of the throat and breast becomes very flabby and 
loose at this season, and its inner surface is covered with 
small globular masses of fat. When not inflated, the skin, 
loaded with this extra weight and with a slight serous suffusion 
which is present, hangs down in a pendulous flap or fold 
exactly like a dewlap, about an inch and a half wide. The 
sesophagus is very loose, and becomes remarkably soft and 
distensible, but is easily ruptured in this state, as I found by 
dissection. The bird may be frequently seen running along 
the ground close to the female, its enormous sac inflated and 
its head drawn back and the bill pointing directly forward, or, 
filled with spring-time vigour, the bird flits with slow but with 
energetic wing-strokes close along the ground, its head raised 
high over its shoulders and the tail hanging almost directly 
down. As it thus flies it utters a succession of the hollow 
booming notes, which have a strange ventriloquial quality. At 
times the male rises twenty or thirty yards in the air and, in- 
flating its throat, glides down to the ground with its sac hang- 
ing below. Again he crosses back and forth in front of the 
female, puffing his breast out and bowing from side to side, 
running here and there, as if intoxicated with passion. When- 
ever he pursues his love-making, his rather low but pervading 
note swells and dies in musical cadences, which form a strik- 
ing part of the great bird chorus heard at this season in the 
north." 

Nest. Placed in some high and dry situation and built in 
the grass. 

Eggs. Four in number, of the usual pear-shaped form. 
The ground-colour is pale stone-grey, the spotting being very 



2fO LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

numerously distributed, and consisting of blackish-brown spots 
and confluent blotches, as well as tiny dots ; the underlying 
spots are pale grey. Axis, 1*55 inch; diam., i'o5. 

THE STINTS. GENUS LIMONITES. 

Limonites, Kaup. Natiirl. Syst. p. 55 (1829). 

Type, L. minuta (Leisl.). 

The Stints consist of five species, of which three belong to 
the British list. They are all birds of small size and may be 
distinguished from the Dunlins by having the culmen as nearly 
as possible of the same length as the tarsus, while the latter is 
of about the same length as the middle toe and claw. By this 
last character they can be distinguished from the Pectoral 
Sandpipers (Heteropygid), in which genus the tarsus is longer 
than the middle toe and claw. 

L. minuta is the species of Europe and Western Asia, and 
is replaced in Eastern Asia by L. ruficollis and L. sub-minuta. 
L. minutilla is North American, and L. temmincki is found 
both in Northern Europe and Asia, from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific. All the species migrate far to the south in winter. 

I. THE LITTLE STINT. LIMONITES MINUTA. 

Tringa minuta, Leisl. in Bechst. Naturg. Deutschl. Nachtr. i. 

p. 74 (1812); Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 227 (1852); Dresser, 

B. Eur. viii. p. 29, pi. 549, fig. i. (1871); Saunders, ed. 

Yarrell, Brit. B. iii. p. 386 (1883); B. O. U. List Brit. 

B. p. 169 (1883) ; Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 204 

(1885); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 571 (1889); Lilford, 

Col. Fig. Brit. B.part xix. (1891). 
Limonites minuta, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 539 

(1896). 

Adult in Winter Plumage. General colour above ashy-brown, 
slightly darker along the shafts ; lower back, rump, and upper 
tail-coverts blackish-brown ; sides of lower back and lateral 
upper tail-coverts pure white ; tail feathers light smoky-brown, 
the long central ones dark brown, with a very narrow whitish 
fringe ; wing-coverts rather darker brown than the back, with 
a.shy fringes to the median series, the greater coverts tipped 



THE STINTS. 251 

with white, forming a wing-band ; bastard-wing and primary- 
coverts blackish-brown, edged with white at the tips; quills 
dark-brown with white shafts, a few of the inner primaries also 
edged with white near the base ; the secondaries dark-brown, 
fringed with white at the tips, and having the base of the inner 
webs white, forming a continuous band with the one on the 
greater coverts ; the long inner secondaries light brown, like 
the scapulars, with the shafts blackish-brown ; crown of head 
brown, like the back, with darker brown centres to the feathers; 
forehead and supra-loral region pure white ; lores dusky-brown ; 
ear- coverts and feathers below the eye light brown, with narrow 
streaks of dark brown ; above the ear-coverts a streak of white, 
lined with brown, forming an indistinct eyebrow; cheeks, 
throat, and under surface of body pure white, or slightly ashy 
on the throat and fore-neck ; sides of neck and upper breast 
brown, with slightly darker centres or shaft-streaks ; under 
wing-coverts and axillaries white ; the coverts round the edge 
of the wing dark brown with white margins ; lower primary- 
coverts dull ashy-brown, forming an inconspicuous wing-patch ; 
bill, legs, feet, and claws black ; iris hazel. Total length, 5*2 
inches ; culmen, 07 ; wing, 3-8; tail, i'6; tarsus, o'8. 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage- Much more rufous than in 
winter, the whole of the feathers of the upper surface being 
sandy-rufous with black centres and white margins to many 
of the scapulars and feathers of the back ; head rufous with 
black centres to the feathers ; the neck also rufous streaked 
with dusky-blackish, these streaks being smaller and less 
distinct on the sides of the face, which are also rufous; a 
slight indication of a whitish eyebrow ; under surface of body 
white, tinged with rufous on the throat, the chest pervaded 
with ashy, and both the throat, fore-neck, and sides of breast 
mottled with dusky spots in the centre of the feathers. Total 
length, 6'o inches ; culmen, 075 ; wing, 3-8 ; tail, 1-4 ; tarsus, 
0-8. 

Adult Female in Summer Plumage. Similar to the male, but 
somewhat less distinctly spotted on the breast. Total length, 
6*0 inches; culmen, 07 ; wing, 3-85 ; tail, 1*45 ; tarsus, o'8. 

Young. Blackish above, with rufous edgings to the feathers, 
and thus somewhat resembling the summer plumage of the 



252 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

adults, but they may always be distinguished by the more 
numerous white edgings to the dorsal and scapular feathers, by 
the ashy colour of the hind-neck, by the absence of spots on 
the fore-neck and chest, both of which are tinged with isabel- 
line-buff. 

Nestling. Mottled with rufous and black down, the tips 
of which are silvery-white or sandy-buff, the hind-neck sandy- 
buff, forming a collar ; the crown of the head is black, slightly 
mottled with rufous and dotted with silvery-white, the black 
extending in a line on the forehead, which is buff, continued 
into a somewhat broad eyebrow; a black loral line and a black 
spot on each side of the hinder crown as well as on the ear- 
coverts ; under surface of body whitish, with a tinge of sandy- 
buff on the lower throat. 

Range in Great Britain. The Little Stint visits us in autumn 
and spring, much more frequently at the former season, when 
flocks are sometimes observed on the eastern coasts. It is 
never very plentiful in the north, and on our western shores it 
is practically unknown. To Ireland it is also a rare visitor, 
and is only found on the eastern shores. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species breeds 
on the tundras of Northern Europe from Scandinavia to the 
Taimyr Peninsular, in Siberia. The late Professor Taczanow- 
ski separated the Siberian bird as a distinct race, which he 
called Tringa minuta orientalis, but specimens from Lake 
Baikal in the Seebohm collection cannot be separated from 
true L. minuta. The Little Stint has been found breeding in 
Finmark, in the Kola Peninsula, near Archangel, and in the 
valleys of the Petchora and the Yenesei, as well as by Mid- 
dendorf in the Taimyr Peninsula, where the first authentic 
eggs were obtained. In winter the species goes south as far 
as the Cape of Good Hope, the Indian Peninsula, and Ceylon. 
In Eastern Siberia the Little Stint is replaced by the Red- 
necked Stint (L. ruficollis\ which migrates by way of China 
and the Malay Archipelago to Australia in winter. 

Habits. In its appearance and habits the Little Stint is a 
miniature Dunlin, and only its small size distinguishes it from 
those birds, with which it is also frequently found in company. 
In the autumn, single birds, and those nearly always bir4 



THE STINTS. 253 

of the year, are to be observed near the edge of the mud- 
flats on our tidal harbours. The food of the species is similar 
to that of the Dunlins and other small Sandpipers, but Mr. 
Seebohm says that in summer its food also probably comprises 
berries and small ground-fruits. 

The same author has given a most interesting account of the 
taking of the nest of this species, during the expedition to the 
Lower Petchora made by Mr. J. A. Harvie-Brown and himself. 
Mr. Seebohm writes: "We had walked on together a short 
distance, when I heard the now familiar cry of a Little Stint 
behind me, a sharp wick, almost exactly the same as the cry of 
the Red-necked Phalarope or that of the Sanderling. Turning 
quickly round, I saw the bird flying past, as if coming up from 
its feeding-grounds ; it wheeled round us at some distance and 
alighted on the ground about eighty yards ahead. We walked 
slowly up towards it, and stood for some time watching it 
busily employed in preening its feathers. By-and-bye we sat 
down. It presently began to run towards us, stopping now 
and then to preen a feather or two. Then it turned back a 
few paces, and, lifting its wings, settled down, evidently on its 
nest. We gave it three minutes' grace, to be quite sure, and 
then quietly walked up to the place, and sat down, one on each 
side of the eggs. The bird as quietly slipped off the nest, and 
began to walk about all round us, now and then pecking on 
the ground as if feeding, seldom going more than six feet from 
us, and often approaching within eighteen inches. It was a 
most interesting and beautiful sight, and the tameness of the 
bird was almost ludicrous. We chatted and talked, but the 
bird remained perfectly silent, and did not display the slightest 
symptom of fear or concern, until I touched the eggs ; she then 
gave a flutter towards me, apparently to attract my attention. 
I turned towards her, and she resumed her former unconcern. 
I stretched my hand towards her, and she quietly retreated, 
keeping about two feet from my hand. She seemed so ex- 
tremely tame that I almost thought for the moment that I 
could catch her, and getting up on all fours, I crept quietly 
towards her. As soon as I began to move from the nest, her 
manner entirely changed. She kept about the same distance 
ahead of me ; but instead of retreating with the utmost 
apparent nonchalance, she did everything in her power to 



254 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

attract me still farther; she shuffled along the ground as if lame, 
she dropped her wings, as if unable to fly, and occasionally 
rested on her breast, quivering her drooping wings and spread 
tail, as if dying. 1 threw one of my gauntlets at her, thinking 
to secure her without damage, but she was too quick for me. 
Piottuch then fired at her, and missed. He followed her 
for some distance, but she kept just out of range, and finally 
flew away. We waited about a quarter of an hour at the nest, 
talking and making no effort to conceal ourselves, when she 
flew straight up and alighted within easy shot, and I secured 
her. The Little Stint seems to be a very quiet bird at the 
nest, quite different from Temminck's Stint. When you invade 
a colony of the latter birds, especially if they have young, the 
parents chase you from the spot, flying wildly round and round 
and crying vociferously, often perching on a stake or a tree, or 
hovering in the air and trilling. We observed none of these 
habits in the Little Stint. So far as we saw, only the female takes 
part in incubation, and only the female is seen near the nest." 
Nest. Mr. C. E. Pearson, who accompanied his brother's 
expedition to the Arctic Ocean in 1895, has kindly sent me the 
following account of the nesting of the species on Kolguev : 
" My notes on the breeding habits of the Little Stint were made 
last summer on the Island of Kolguev, where we had the rare 
good fortune to take fifteen clutches of eggs, the first being found 
on July the 6th and the last on the day of our departure, July 
1 5th; each clutch, with two or three exceptions, consisting of 
four eggs. The nest, as is usual in this tribe, is a very slight 
affair, a small cup-shaped hollow scratched in the sod, and very 
sparingly lined with a few dead leaves of Arctic willow, &c. 
The favourite position appeared to be the lower part of the 
grassy bank, which sloped down to the river Gobista, but the 
bird is not at all particular on this point, as we found nests in 
low boggy ground, in the middle of a clump of Arctic sallow 
growing six or eight inches high, and in one case right up 
on the bare tundra, without any protection or a scrap of vege- 
tation near it. All the nests, however, agreed in one point, 
viz., that they were within fairly easy reach of tidal water, the 
flats left bare by the receding tide being the birds' favourite 
feeding-ground ; above the tidal limit their place is taken by 
Temminck's Stint. 



THE STINTS. 255 

u The sitting bird runs a dozen or twenty yards from the nest 
on being disturbed before taking flight, but one has only to sit 
down and watch quietly for ten minutes when she will return,* 
and, after a few preliminary runs, settle down on the eggs ; this 
is the best way to find them, as the nest is very difficult, in fact 
almost impossible, to discover without the assistance of the old 
bird. 

"The behaviour of the bird when the nest was found, was 
really extraordinary ; it often ran around our feet while we were 
blowing the eggs, looking reproachfully on the operation ; one 
time sitting on my gun which lay within easy reach of my hand. 
Then it would sit down in the now empty nest a second or two, 
after which, pathetic attempts would be made to beguile us 
from the spot; the whole scene so touchingly pretty as to 
almost induce a hardened collector to give back his treasures." 

Eggs. Four in number, and pyriform in shape. Ground- 
colour olive-grey to creamy, or dull, brown ; the eggs being 
rather remarkable for the boldness of their spotting, which is 
chocolate-brown or blackish. Sometimes the spots are reddish- 
brown and are distributed over the egg, but the darker mark- 
ings are generally near the larger end, and often form confluent 
blotches. The underlying spots are light grey. Total axis, 1*1- 
1*2 inch; diam., o'S-o'85. 

II. THE AMERICAN STINT. LIMONITES MINUTILLA. 

Tringa minutilla^ Vieill. N. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. xxxiv. p. 466 
(1819); Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 51, pi. 552 figs. 2, 3 
(1871) ; B. O. U. List. Brit. B. p. 170 (1883) ; Saunders, 
ed. Yarrell, Brit. B. iii. p. 396 (1883); Saunders, Man. 
Brit. B. p. 573(1889). 

Tringa minuta minutilla^ Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 205 

(.885). _ 

Limomtes minutilla, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 548 
(1896). 

Adult in Winter Plumage Similar to that of L. minuta, but 
the size smaller and further distinguished by the distinct ashy- 
brown of the fore-neck and chest, which is mottled with dark 

* It is to be noticed that Mr. Pearson found the male to be the sitting 
bird, as is the case with L. tctnmincki. 



256 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

shaft streaks and spots ; bill and feet black ; iris dark brown. 
Total length, 5 inches; culmen, o'8 ; wings, 3*55; tail, r6; 
tarsus, 0*75 ; middle toe and claw, 0*75. 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage. Similar to Z. minuta, but much 
smaller, and blacker on the upper surface, where the rufous is 
never so strongly characterised as in L. minuta ; sides of face 
dusky-brown with scarcely any tinge of rufous; lower throat and 
chest ashy, with strongly-marked streaks and spots of blackish- 
brown, with scarcely any tinge of rufous ; bill black ; feet 
dark olive-brown; iris dark brown. Total length, 5*2 inches; 
culmen, 0*8; wing, 3^4; tail, 1*5; tarsus, 075; middle toe 
and claw, o - 8. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage Similar to the male ; " bill 
blackish-brown ; feet light clay-brown ; iris dark brown." Total 
length, 5-3 inches; culmen, 0-9; wing, 3-35; tail, 1-4; tarsus, 
07. 

Young. Resembles the summer plumage of the adult, being 
black with rufous margins to the feathers, but is distinguished 
by the white margins to the feathers of the upper surface, and 
by the absence of spots on the lower throat and fore-neck, 
which are tinged with buff. 

Characters. The American Little Stint is a smaller bird than 
L. minuta, and the measurements will serve to distinguish it 
in all stages. In colour of plumage, and in its changes, it is, at 
all times, similar to the last-named bird, but has a very much 
more slender bill. 

Range in Great Britain. The present species is only an acci- 
dental visitor to our south-eastern coasts, where it has occurred 
on three occasions once in Mount's Bay in Cornwall and 
twice in North Devonshire. 

Range outside the British Islands. Z. minutilla breeds in the 
high north of the New World, and migrates south in winter, 
when it extends its range over the greater part of the South 
American continent. 

Habits. These, as might be expected, are very similar to 
those of Z. minuta and the other small Stints, and call for no 
special description. 






THE STINTS. 257 

in. TEMMINCK'S STINT. LIMONITES TEMMINCKI. 

Tringa temmincki, Leisl. in Bechst. Naturg. Deutsch. Nachtr. 

ii. p. 78 (1812); Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 230 (1852); 

Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 45, pi. 549, fig. i ; 555 fig. 2 

(1871); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 169 (1883); Saunders, 

ed. YarrelPs Brit. B. iii. p. 398 (1883); Seebohm, Hist. 

Brit. B. iii. p. 217 (1885); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 

575 (1889) ; Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxxi. (1895). 
Limonites temmincki, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 555 

(1896). 

Adult in Winter Plumage. General colour above ashy-grey, 
slightly varied with dusky shaft-streaks ; scapulars bronzy- 
brown like the inner secondaries ; lower back and rump brown, 
with a sub-terminal shade of darker brown ; upper tail-coverts 
also dark brown, with longitudinal shaft-streaks of darker 
brown ; wing-coverts brown, with a slight bronzy gloss, the 
shaft-lines darker with slight indications of paler edges ; the 
greater coverts tipped with white, forming a cross-band on the 
wing ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills blackish-brown, 
the shafts of the primaries pale whity-brown, that of the first 
long primary white ; the bastard-primary white, with a brown 
centre ; all the primaries white at the extreme base ; secon- 
daries brown, white at base of the inner web, and fringed with 
white at the ends ; the long inner secondaries Vjronzy-brown, 
with dusky centres ; centre tail-feathers dusky-brown, the 
remainder ashy-brown with white in the centre, increasing 
in extent towards the outer feathers, the two external ones en- 
tirely white ; crown of head ashy-brown like the back ; lores 
dull brown, surmounted by a streak of white, hardly joined to 
a second streak above the ear coverts, which forms an indistinct 
eyebrow ; eyelid white ; sides of face and ear-coverts ashy- 
brown, streaked with dusky-brown; the cheeks and throat 
white, with a few dusky streaks on the cheeks and lower 
throat ; fore-neck and upper breast light ashy-brown ; lower 
breast, abdomen, sides of body, and flanks pure white ; thighs 
brown, white internally ; under tail-coverts white ; under wing- 
coverts and axillaries white ; the coverts round the bend'of the 
wing dusky-brown with whitish edges, the lower primary-coverts 
brown, forming a patch ; quills below ashy-brown, somewhat 

II S 



258 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

lighter along the inner edge; bill brownish black ; feet brown- 
ish-grey ; iris hazel. Toial length, 5-5 inches; culmen, o'6; 
wing, 3'8 ; tail, 1*8 ; tarsus, 07 ; mid toe and claw, 07. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. Only differs from the winter 
plumage in being more mottled above, the feathers having 
black centres and being tinged with rufous, especially on the 
edges of tlu feathers, the lower throat and chest having also 
some distinct shaft-lines ; " bill olive-black, lighter olive- 
brownish at base, especially on the lower mandible ; feet 
olive-yellow, the joints more dusky; iris dark brown." Total 
length, 5*3 inches ; culmen, 075 ; wing, 37 ; tail, rS; tarsus, 
0^65 ; middle toe and claw, 07. 

Adult Female in Breeding- Plumage. Similar to the male, and 
apparently quite as much mottled. Total length, 5-2 inches; 
culmen, o'8; wing, 3*9; tail, 1*85 ; tarsus, 0*65 ; middle toe 
and claw, 07. 

Young Birds. These can always be distinguished from the 
adults, in summer or winter plumage, by the narrow sandy-buff 
margins to the feathers of the upper surface, and by the ashy- 
fulvous tinge on the fore-neck, which is devoid of the dusky 
streaks seen in the adults. 

Nestling. Covered with golden-buff down, spotted with black, 
and spangled with silvery tips to the down ; the black forms a 
line down the centre of the back; under surface dull white, 
tinged with buff on the fore-neck. 

Characters Temminck's Stint is easily recognised from the 
other species of the genus Limonites by its smaller size and 
white outer tail-feathers. 

Range in Great Britain. Like the Little Stint, the present 
species visits us in spring 'and autumn as it passes to its 
northern breeding-grounds, or to its winter home in the south. 
It is, however, not nearly so often observed as the Little Stint, 
and is somewhat irregular in its visits, being generally observed 
singly. It has been doubtfully recorded from Caithness, and 
appears seldom to visit Ireland, as both the Scotch and Irish 
records are not altogether satisfactory. On the west coast of 
England, too, it has not been often met with, and the principal 
counties where the species has been observed are those of the 






THE STINTS. 259 

east coast, though it has be:n found also along the entire south 
coast, and has been obtained on several inland waters. 

Range outside the British Islands. Temminck's Stint breeds in 
Northern Europe and Asia, above the limits of forest growth, 
but in countries further west than those frequented by the 
Little Stint, so that its eggs have never been so rare in collec- 
tions as those of the latter bird. In winter it visits the Medi- 
terranean countries and extends to North-eastern Africa and 
to Senegambia, but does not go so far south in the African 
continent as L. minitta. It also passes the winter in the 
Indian Peninsular, and also migrates by way of China to 
the Burmese provinces. 

Habits. On the few occasions on which I have met with this 
species in England I have always found single individuals, 
and those young birds. There was nothing in their ways to 
distinguish them from the Littla Stint, but according to Mr. 
Seebohm, there is considerable difference in the habits of the 
two species in their Arctic breeding-homes, and he says that 
Temminck's Stint is less exclusively a marine bird than L. 
minuta. "I first made the acquaintance of Temminck's 
Stint," he writes, "at Tromso, on the west coast of Finmack, 
where it was very common. These charming little birds were 
in full song in the middle of June. It was a most interesting 
sight to watch them flying up into the air, wheeling round and 
round, singing as vigorously, and almost as melodiously, as a 
Skylark. Sometimes they were to be seen perched on a rail 
or a post, or even on the slender branch of a willow, vibrating 
their little wings like a Wood Wren, and trilling with all their 
might ; and often the song was uttered on the ground, as they 
ran along the short grass with wings elevated over the back. 
The song of this bird is not unlike that of the Grasshopper 
Warbler, but is louder and shriller; its usual call-note is a 
spluttering but very distinct pt r-r-r" 

Nest. Mr. Seebohm observes : " It can scarcely be said to 
breed in colonies, but I have frequently found several nests 
within a few yards of each other. They are mere depressions 
in the ground, lined with a little dry grass, and are seldom far 
from water. They are not difficult to find, the sitting bird be- 
traying its treasures by its peculiar flight. When the nest is 

s 2 



260 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

discovered, like the Little Stint, the bird appears to assume an 
unnatural tameness, walking about and feeding close to the 
observer. The nest is often in longish sedge or rushes, and 
less frequently in short grass." The male is said to be the 
parent which hatches the eggs. 

Eggs. Four in number. As a rule paler than in Z. minuta, 
and with the markings rather smaller and less distinct. The 
ground-colour varies from a coffee-brown to a greyish or olive 
stone-colour. The spots are reddish-brown or dull chestnut, 
sometimes very minute, in the case of the stone-coloured eggs, 
but in other instances the markings are bolder and somewhat 
confluent towards the larger end of the egg. The large spots are 
often distributed over the egg in equal variety, and the under- 
lying spots are grey, and are often as prominent as the over- 
lying ones. Axis, i "05-1 '2 inch; diam., o'75-o*8. 

THE SANDERLINGS. GENUS CALIDRIS. 

Calidris, Illiger, Prodromus, p. 249 (1811). 

Type, C. arenaria (Linn.). 

The well-known Sanderling is the single representative of the 
genus Calidris, which may be described as a three-toed Sand- 
piper, for it belongs to the same group as the Stints and Pectoral 
Sandpipers, but is distinguished from all of them by the absence 
of the hind-toe. The bill is somewhat stout, and the culmen 
is about equal in length to the tarsus. The range of the genus 
will be found in detail below under the heading of the species. 

I. THE SANDERLING. CALIDRIS ARENARIA. 

Tringa arenaria, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 251 (1766). 

Calidris arenaria, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 237 (1852) ; Dresser, 

B. Eur. viii. p. 101, pis. 559, 560 (1877); B. O. U. List 

Brit. B. p. 172 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. 

iii. p. 420 (1883); Seebohm,Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 221 (1885); 

Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 583 (1889); Sharpe, Cat. B. 

Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 526 (1896). 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage. General colour above light 
ashy-grey, with more or less distinct hoary white edgings to the 



THE SANDERLINGS, 261 

feathers, and obsolete blackish shaft-stripes, somewhat more 
distinct on the lower back and rump; scapulars like the back; 
sides of lower back and rump white ; upper tail-coverts black- 
ish, edged and tipped with white, the lateral ones entirely white; 
lesser wing-coverts blackish; median ones ashy, broadly edged 
with white, and wilh a blackish shaft-line ; greater coverts 
blackish, narrowly edged and broadly tipped with white, form- 
ing a broad white band across the wing ; bastard- wing and 
primary-coverts bLckish ; the outer primaries narrowly, but the 
inner ones broadly, tipped with white ; quills with white shafts, 
and a broad white base to the feathers ; the secondaries edged 
with white at the tip ; the primaries ashy-white for the greater 
part of the inner web, the elongated inner secondaries white on 
both webs ; centre tail-feathers ashy-grey, blackish towards the 
tips, with white shafts and margins to the feathers ; remainder 
of tail-feathers dusky-brown, whitish on the inner webs, mar- 
gined externally and having white shafts ; crown of head like 
the back ; a broad frontal band, lores, eyebrow, sides of face, 
and under surface of body pure white; sides of neck light 
ashy-grey like the back; under wing-coverts and axillaries pure 
white ; quills below dusky whitish along the inner web ; bill 
and feet olive-black; iris dark brown. Total length, 7 inches; 
culmen, 1*05; wing, 475; tail, i*S; tarsus, o'9 ; middle toe 
and claw, 07. 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage. Differs from the winter plu- 
mage in being mottled and not uniform, the upper surface 
being cinnamon-rufous, mottled with black centres to the 
feathers, which have hoary whitish or ashy edges ; the inner 
secondaries cinnamon-rufous like the scapulars and back; sides 
of lower back and lateral upper tail-coverts pure white ; sides 
of face, throat, and sides of breast deep cinnamon-rufous, 
mottled with black centres to the feathers ; rest of under sur- 
face white. Total length, 6*5 inches; culmen, o'g; wing, 4/9; 
tail, i '9 ; tarsus, 0*9 ; middle toe and claw, 075. 

Adult Female in Summer Plumage. Similar to the male, but has 
not quite so much bright rufous in the plumage, the fore-neck 
being barred with blackish. Total length, 8 inches ; culmc n, 
1*05; wing, 4'9 ; tail, 1*95 ; tarsus, i; middle toe and claw, 
0-8. 



262 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Young. Somewhat similar to the winter plumage of the adult, 
but not so uniform above; the entire under surface of body pure 
white, as also the forehead and sides of face, but the centre of 
the forehead mottled with blackish to the base of the bill, and 
with a dusky streak between the bill and the eye, as well as 
along the upper edge of the ear-coverts ; on the sides of the 
breast and on the fore-neck there is generally a tinge of vinous 
buff or vinous ; the sides of the upper breast and the sides of 
the neck are distinctly spotted with black. The upper surface 
is for the most part black, mottled with spots of white or sandy 
whitish, these spots being mostly terminal on the back and 
scapulars ; the lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts ashy, 
with a sandy-buff tip, and a sub-terminal spot of black, and 
fringed at the tips with a narrow blackish line, giving the 
rump the appearance of being lined transversely with black ; 
the head is also blackish, varied with brown or whitish edges 
to the feathers, and forming a more or less distinct cap, which 
is separated from the mantle by the light colour of the hind 
neck, which is ashy, streaked with dusky-brown ; wings much 
as in the winter plumage of the adult, but the greater and 
median coverts, as well as the inner secondaries, mottled like 
the back. 

Range in Great Britain. The Sanderling is a frequent visitor to 
our coasts in the autumn, and a few are said to remain during 
the winter. The migration, consisting of old as well as of young 
ones, commences about the middle of August. In spring, 
birds in summer plumage are noticed on their return journey 
from April to June, but at this season of the year they are less 
frequently observed. 

Range outside the British Islands. As regards its breeding- range, 
the Sanderling is decidedly a circum-polar species and probably 
breeds in most portions of the Arctic tundra, although its eggs 
are still very rare in collections. It was found nesting by Sabine 
on the Parry Islands in the early part of the century, but no 
eggs appear to have been brought back. Colonel Feilden 
procured two eggs in Smith's Sound (Lat. 82 35') on the 4th 
of June, 1876, while eggs and nestlings of the species have been 
found by the German Arctic expedition on Sabine Island in 
Eastern Greenland, and on the west side nestlings have been 



Hfc SANDERLINGS. 263 

captured near Godhaab and also in Lat. 81 38' N. by Dr. 
Bessels, of the " Polaris." Mr. Howard Saunders, from whose 
"Manual" I have gathered the above records of facts, sums up 
the breeding range as follows : " Mr. MacFarlane killed a 
female from the first authenticated eggs on the barren grounds 
near Anderson River. Westward, it ranges to North Alaska, 
and ; following up its circum-polar distribution, it has been found 
on the Liakof Islands, Taimyr Peninsula, in the Yenesai delta, 
on Waigats and Novaya Zemlya, and it probably breeds near 
the mouth of the Petchora." 

Habits. When seen at large, the Sanderling bears considerable 
resemblance to the Dunlin, and might be taken for that bird 
by anyone who is unaccustomed to its appearance and ways. 
The generally whiter look of the Sanderling, however, will 
distinguish it, as a rule ; its pure white breast giving it a lighter 
appearance than the Dunlins, with which it often associates. It 
is also found in flocks of considerable size, consisting entirely 
of its own species, and isolated individuals are also often seen 
running about on the margins of the pools left in the sand by 
the receding tide. The species is, indeed, very often to be 
found on the extreme margin of the tide, running about on the 
edge of the water, and actively picking up its food, which 
consists of tiny molluscs, searworms, &c. Colonel Feilden 
states that in Grinnell Land he found it, like the Knot, feeding 
on the buds of Saxifraga oppositifolia, and on insects. The 
note uttered by the bird as it flies off is like the syllable wick, 
very different from the " skreaking " note of the Dunlin. 

Nest. The one which Colonel Feilden found in Grinnell 
Land was discovered by him on the 24th of June, at a height 
of several hundred feet above the sea ; it was situated on a 
gravel ridge and was merely a depression in the centre of a 
recumbent plant of Arctic Willow, and was lined by a few dead 
leaves and catkins. The nest found by Mr. MacFarlane, near 
the Anderson River in Arctic America, was lined with a little 
dried grass and leaves. 

Eggs. Four in number. Colonel Feilden's specimen in the 
British Museum is of a pale olive-brown ground colour, with 
faint spots and mottlings of brown, with violet-grey underlying 
spots, very indistinct. All the spots and mottlings are very 
slightly indicated. Axis, 1-4 inch; diam. ro. 



264 LLOYD'S NATURAL 

THE I) U I' F- BREASTED SANDPIPERS. GENUS TRINGITKS. 

Tringites, Cat. J. f. O. 1856, p. 418. 

Type, T. sub-ruficollis (Vieill.). 

In most of the Snipes and Sandpipers the bill is longer than 
the tarsus, but in the present genus the bill is very short and 
does not equal the tarsus in length. The peculiar black 
marbling on the inner web of the quills is also a peculiar feature 
of the genus, which contains but a single American species, 
which sometimes strays to Europe, and thus finds a place 
within the British List. 

I. THE BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER. TRINGITES 
SUB-RUFICOLLIS. 

Tringa subruficoltis, Vieill. N. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. xxxiv. p. 465 

(1816). 
Tringa rufescens, Vieill. N. Diet. d'Hist. Nat. xxxiv. p. 470 

(1819) ; Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 194 (1852) ; Lilford, Col. 

Fig. Brit. B. part xix. (1891). 
Tringites rufescens, Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. iii. pi. 561 (1876) ; 

B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 172 (1883); Saunders, ed. 

Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 435 (1883); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. 

B iii. p. 222 (1885) ; Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 587 

(1889). 
Trtngttes sub-ruficollis (Vieill.), Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. 

p. 521 (1896). 

Adult Male. General colour above mottled, the feathers 
being black, with sandy-coloured edges, the scapulars like 
the back ; the lower-back, rump, and upper tail-coverts like 
the rest of the back, but the sandy margins deeper in colour 
and not so distinct, the lateral upper tail-coverts be'ng whitish, 
with a sub-terminal line of brown ; outer lesser wing-coverts 
black, fringed with white; the remainder of the coveits brown, 
with blackish centres and pale edges, the greater series with 
some irregular sub-terminal lines of blackish; bastard-wing, 
primary-coverts, and primaries brown, tipped with white, with 
a sub-terminal shade or bar of black, the inner webs marbled 
with black; the secondaries white, marbled with black near 



tllE UUFF-BREASTEt) SANDPIPEk. 265 

the ends and having a black sub-teiminal bar, the long inner 
secondaries blackish, with broad sandy-buff edges ; centre tail- 
feathers blackish-brown, the remainder pale ashy-brown tipped 
with white, before which is a broad sub-terminal bar of black, 
the outer feathers with other interrupted bars of black ; crown 
of head like the back, but the black markings smaller than on 
the latter ; base of forehead, lores, a narrow eyebrow, sides of 
face, and under surface of body rufescent buff, the feathers 
slightly obscured by whitish margins ; the chin whitish ; sides 
of upper breast spotted with black, the centres of the feathers 
streaked and spotted with black ; under wing-coverts white, 
the inner ones beautiful rufescent buff; axillares white ; lower 
primary coverts marbled with black ; quills below white, 
marbled with black along the inner web ; bill dull olive-green, 
dusky towards the point ; feet dull yellowish-green, claws 
dusky ; iris hazel. Total length, 8 inches ; culmen, 0*95 ; 
wing, 5'i ; tail, 2*4; tarsus, 1*2. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in colour, but the black 
marblings on the inner web of the primaries not so distinct. 
Total length, 7-5 inches ; wing, 5. 

Young Birds. Differ from the adults in having whitish edgings 
to the feathers of the upper-surface ; the lower back, rump, 
and upper tail-coverts with dark sandy-buff margins ; the black 
sub-terminal bar on the primary-coverts and bastard-wing not 
so distinct, and the secondaries nearly uniform ashy-brown, 
with white towards the base of the inner web, but only a little 
black marbling near the ends ; the black spots on the sides of 
the breast very minute, and the black marbling on the lower 
primary-coverts and inner webs of quills much ICFS distinct 
than in the adults. 

Characters. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper may always be 
distinguished by the black freckling on the inner webs of the 
primaries. 

Range in Great Britain. About sixteen authentic occurrences 
of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper in England are admitted by Mr. 
Howard Saunders. Nearly all of them have taken place in 
autumn, with the exception of a male bird said to have been 
killed at Formby, in Lancashire, in May, 1829; while the only 
instance of the occurrence of the bird in Europe, outside the 



265 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

British Islands, also took place in May, when a specimen was 
obtained on Heligoland. The British record is as follows : 
Cambridgeshire i, Norfolk 4, Sussex i, Cornwall and the Scilly 
Islands 4, Lundy Island i, Cumberland i, Dublin i, Belfast 2. 

Range outside the British Islands. This species breeds in Arctic 
America and winters to the South, ranging as far as Amazonia, 
Brazil, and Paraguay. 

HaMts. These, says Mr. D. G. Elliot, "resemble those 
of Bartram's Sandpiper (Bartramta longicaud'i], and like that 
bird it prefers fields and grassy plains rather than the wet and 
swampy lands frequented by other Sandpipers. During the 
breeding season they indulge in curious movements, one of 
which is to walk about with the wing stretched out to its 
fullest extent and held high in the air. Two will spur like 
fighting cocks, then tower for about thirty feet with hanging 
legs. Sometimes c ne will stretch himself to his full height, 
spread his wings forward and puff out his throat, at the same 
time making a clucking noise, while others stand around and 
admire him. They are silent birds at all times, and, the breed- 
ing season over, they quietly disappear, never assembling in 
flocks, and by the beginning of August all have gone south. 
When fired at, this Sandpiper will fly but a short distance, 
performing a half circle along the shore, and alight again near 
to the place from which it started, or, if on the plain, drop 
down again at a little distance and run about seeking for 
insects, without exhibiting any signs of alarm. Its note is low 
and weak, merely a tweet once or twice repeated." 

Nest. Is like those of most waders, merely a depression in 
the ground, lined with a little moss. 

Eggs. " Four in number, usually deposited with the small 
ends down. They are ashy or olive-drab with stone-grey under- 
lying markings, smaller at the pointed, larger and more con- 
fluent at the rounded, end." 

THE TATTLERS. SUB-FAMILY TOTANIN/E. 

The Tattlers agree with the Snipes and Sandpipers in 
having the nostril produced nearly to the end of the bill, and 



THE LONG-TAILED TATTLERS. 267 

they have the tarsus transversely plated with scales both before 
and behind. They differ from the Snipes, however, in having 
a distinct web connecting the base of the outer toe with that 
of the middle one, and a smaller web connecting the inner 
toe with the middle one, so that the toes are not distinctly 
cleft to the base, as is the case with the Snipes and Sand- 
pipers. 

THE LONG -TAILED TATTLERS. GENUS BARTRAMIA. 

Bartramia, Less. Traite d'Orn. p. 553 (1831). 

Type, B. longicanda (Bechst.). 

From the other Tattlers the genus Bartramia differs in the 
following characters. The bill is short, and the tail is rather 
long, so that the latter exceeds the length of the culmen. The 
tarsus, on the other hand, is decidedly long, and measures more 
than the length of the bill. The bare part of the tibia is exten- 
sive, and is equal to half the length of the tarsus. The tail, 
moreover, is peculiar in shape, being long and graduated, the 
outer feathers falling short of the middle ones. There is a dis- 
tinct thickening of the end of the bill, which has a dertral swel- 
ling, as in the Plovers ; the feathers of the chin also are pro- 
duced forwards, so as to extend considerably beyond the line 
of the forehead. 

i. BARTRAM'S TATTLER. BARTRAMIA LONGICAUDA. 

Tringa longicanda, Bechst. Kiirze Uebers. Latham, p. 453, pi. 

184 (iSn). 

Actiturus longicauduS) B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 173 (1883). 
Bartramia longicauda, Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 440 

(1884); id. Man, Brit. B. p. 589 (1889) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. 

Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 509 (1896). 
Totanus bartrami, Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. no, pi. 32 

(1885). 

Adult Male. General colour above mottled, the feathers being 
black, with sandy-buff or whitish edges, the scapulars barred 
with black; lower back and rump uniform black; central upper 
tail-coverts also blackish, the lateral ones sandy buff with more 



263 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

or less complete black bars, irregular on the inner web ; lesser 
wing-coverts blackish-brown, with sandy margins ; median and 
greater-coverts sandy-buff in appearance, the feathers ashy- 
brown, notched with sandy-buff, and barred with black ; bas- 
tard-wing, primary-coverts, and primaries uniform blackish- 
brown ; the secondaries dark brown, notched with white, 
minutely on the outer web, and more deeply on the inner one; 
the long inner secondaries, like the scapulars, barred with black, 
and notched and tipped wi;h white ; centre tail-feathers ashy- 
brown, barred with black, the sub-terminal bar broader than 
the others; remainder of the feathers tawny-buff, broadly tipped 
with whitish, before which is a broad sub-terminal bar of black, 
the feathers having also some narrower bands of black, not 
regular or co-terminous ; crown of head blackish, with a mesial 
streak of sandy-buff, all the feathers also edged with sandy-buff; 
hind-neck sandy-buff, narrowly streaked with black ; sides of 
face and ear-coverts sandy-buff, with narrow streaks and spots 
of black; cheeks and throat pure white; lower throat, fore-neck, 
and chest tawny-buff, the feathers centred with triangular spots 
of black, taking the shape of irregular bars on the latter ; breast 
and abdomen creamy-white, the sides of the body and flanks 
barred with blackish-brown ; thighs and under tail-coverts uni- 
form isabelline-buff ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white, 
regularly barred across with black ; quills below ashy, with 
numerous bars and notches of white along the inner web ; bill 
yellowish-green, the tip dusky, the edges towards the base yellow; 
legs and tarsi light yellowish-grey, toes rather darker, claws 
brownish-black ; iris dark hazel. Total length, 1 1 inches ; 
oilmen, 1-15 ; wing, 6-5 ; tail, 3-3 ; tarsus, 175. 

Young. Similar to the adults, but the buff on the head, jugu- 
lum, wings, &c., much deeper; the streaks on the fore-neck and 
jugulum much less distinct, and the back plain black, the 
feathers bordered with buff. 

Range in Great Britain. Eight records of the occurrence of 
this American species within our limits are considered to be 
authentic. Although strictly a bird of the New World, it ap- 
pears to wander considerably during its autumn migration, 
and has even been found in Australia. In England it has 
occurred between October and December in the following 



THE LONG-TAILED TATTLERS. 269 

counties: Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire, Somersetshire, Corn- 
wall (twice), Northumberland, and Lincolnshire, while one in- 
stance of its capture in Ireland has been noted. The details 
of these occurrences are fully given in the " Manual " of Mr. 
Howard launders. 

Range outside the British Islands. Bartram's Tattler has been 
killed in Italy, and also on the Island of Malta. Its breeding 
home is in temperate North America, where it ranges to 
Alaska ; it seldom occurs on the Pacific coast on migra- 
tion, but follows the line of the Central and Southern United 
States to Central America and the West Indies, and thence 
south to Buenos Ayres on the east and to Chili on the western 
side of South America. 

Habits. Mr. D. G. Elliot, who writes of this species as the 
"Upland Plover, "gives the following note: " Jt is a bird of the 
plains and uplands, rarely seen near water, into which it seldom, 
if ever, wades; and in its habits is more of a Plover than a Sand- 
piper, frequenting grassy fields and prairie-like stretches, hunt- 
ing with active steps the insects that form its chief means of 

subsistence It walks well and gracefully ; and 

when standing erect, as it watches some suspicious object, with 
its slender neck stretched to its full extent and topped by the 
well-shaped head, the bird seems much taller than it really is. 

" The note of the Upland Plover is a loud, long, yet soft 
whistle, and can be heard for a considerable distance. As one 
is walking over the grassy plain, there falls upon his ear this 
distinct cry, coming from some unknown locality. He stops 
and listens, and again, clear and soft, the note is borne to him, 
this time distinguished as from above. He looks up, and sees 
nothing but the interminable blue, spread all around. But 
soon, as he continues gazing, a tiny speck is visible that floats 
motionless along ; and from time to time, from out the very 
heavens, there descends the soft note of the Plover's voice. 
Descrying some suitable ground, the bird begins to lower, and 
on fixed pinions, often at an acute angle, it sails downwards, 
and alights, sometimes on the ground, or occasionally on a 
fence or stake. It stands erect and motionless, with its wings 
raised high above the back, exhibiting the beautiful markings 
to the greatest advantage, and then slowly folds them into 



270 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

their proper place. If on the ground, it then moves forward 
slowly and deliberately, nodding at every step as if in emphatic 
approval of its surroundings and its sagacity in selecting so suit- 
able a spot, and pays its attention to such insects as may catch 
its eye, uttering at times a peculiarly mournful sound, quite dif- 
ferent from its usual flute-like cry, to be answered possibly 
from out the heavens above by some comrade not yet distin- 
guishable to the naked eye. The flight of the Upland Plover 
is well sustained and swift, and often performed (as will be 
imagined from the above) at a great height j indeed, so lofty at 
times that its voice alone indicates its presence, the bird being 
fairly out of si^ht. It will alight indiscriminately on the ground, 
fence, telegraph-pole, or, as has been noticed, even on a barn. 
When mated the pair keep close company, seeking food to- 
gether, and are rarely separated by any distance." 

Nest. " The nest is placed on the plain or prairie in some 
open spot, frequently near some water. It is not much of a 
structure, just a little grass in a depression of the ground ; but 
almost impossible to find at any time, even when the bird is on 
the eggs, so admirably does her plumage harmonise with that 
of her surroundings." 

Eggs. Four in number, clay-colour, spotted all over with 
dark brown, and purplish-grey. 

THE RUFFS. GENUS PAVONCELLA. 

Pavoncella, Leach, Syst. Cat. Mamm. and Birds, Brit. Mus. 
p. 29 (1816). 

Type, P. pugnax (L.). 

The extraordinary difference in the plumage of the sexes of 
the Ruff constitutes, perhaps, the most remarkable characteris- 
tic of the genus Pavoncella, which contains but a single species. 
It may almost be said with truth that scarcely two males are 
alike in plumage. The breast-shield and ruff, which the bird 
dons at the period of the nesting- season, is one of the most 
striking nuptial garments of any bird in the world. 

I. THE RUFF. PAVONCELLA PUGNAX. 

Tringa pugnax, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 247 (1766). 



THE RUFFS. 271 

Machetes pi/gnax, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 171 (1852); Dresser, 
B. Eur. viii. p. 87, pis. 557, 558 (1878); B. O. U. List 
Brit. B. p. 171 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. 
iii. p. 426 (1883); id. Man. Brit. B. p. 585 (1889). 

Totanus pugnaX) Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 113 (1885). 

Pavoncella pugnax, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 500 
(1896). 

(Plate LX XX VIII.'] 

Adult Male (Ruff). As every male bird varies in this species, 
it is impossible to give any exact description of this sex. In 
the " Catalogue of Birds," however, I have endeavoured to 
classify the different styles of plumage which the males 
assume. 

The main divisions into which the males may be separated 
are two, viz., those with the ruff uniform and those with the 
ruff barred. In the former section the ruff is white or black, 
orange-buff or chestnut. The occipital plumes vary from 
white to black, blue-black, purplish-black, greenish-black, 
rufous, chestnut, or sandy-buff. 

In those males which belong to the section wherein the ruff 
is barred, there are many types. The ruff is glossy greenish- 
black, barred with rufous ; or rufous, barred with blue-black ; 
or sandy-buff, broadly barred with purplish-black ; or buffy- 
white, with purplish-black bars or spots; or white, narrowly 
barred or vermiculated with black ; or black, barred with 
white ; or purplish-black, streaked with white. 

In the barred forms, the occipital tufts also vary. They 
may be greenish-black ; rufous ; rufous barred with purplish- 
black; greenish-black, barred with sandy-buff and purplish- 
black ; buffy-white, barred with black ; white, spotted or barred 
with black; pale cinnamon ; pure white; black, narrowly barred 
with white; or black, vermiculated with brown. 

Between these well-marked variations numbers of inter- 
mediate forms may be found, but the above appear to me to 
be the main types of plumage indulged in by the Ruff. In ad- 
dition to the frill and ornamental ruff, the males also lose the 
feathers of the face, which becomes covered with tubercles of 
various tints, corresponding, according to Mr. Abel Chapman, 
to the colour of the ruff itself. 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage. Devoid of all ornamental 



272 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

plumes, and looking like an ordinary Tattler or Sandpiper. 
Ashy-brown above, the feathers fringed with whitish, the centres 
of which are dusky-brown ; lesser and median wing coverts like 
the back ; the greater coverts blackish with a slight greenish- 
gloss, and broadly tipped with white ; bastard-wing and prim- 
ary-coverts blackish ; quills brown, with white shafts, the 
outer webs and tips of the feathers blackish, the secondaries 
white at the base of the inner webs, and fringed with white at 
their ends ; the innermost secondaries browner, like the scapu- 
lars ; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts a little darker 
brown than the rest of the back, with darker brown centres to 
the feathers ; tail-feathers dark brown, the tips and the shafts 
white; crown of head and neck light brown, with dark 
centres to the feathers ; lores and cheeks ashy- white ; ear- 
coverts and neck light brown with dusky streaks ; under surface 
of body white, the lower throat and chest mottled, with ashy 
bases to the feathers, and the sides of the body marked in a 
similar manner; axillaries and under wing-coverts white, the 
lower primary-coverts and quill-lining ashy-grey; bill dark 
brown, paler at the gape ; feet yellowish- brown ; iris dark 
brown. Total length, 12 inches; culmen, i - 3 ; wing, 7 '4; 
tail, 2*6 ; tarsus, i'8. 

Adult Female in Winter Plumage. Similar to the male, but much 
smaller. Total length, io - 5 inches; culmen, i'2; wing, 6'i ; 
tail, 2-15; tarsus, 1-55. 

Adult Female in Summer Plumage. Much darker than in winter, 
the feathers of the upper surface being blackish with a purplish 
gloss, but no ornamental feathers present, as in the male. 
Otherwise the summer plumage of the female, as regards the 
colour of the body, shows a strong similarity to that of the 
male. 

Young Birds. Resemble the winter plumage of the male, but 
are much more tawny-rufous, and have sandy-buff or whitish 
margins to the feathers of the upper surface ; hind-neck more 
ashy than the back ; sides of face, lower throat, and fore-neck 
pale cinnamon-buff, the chin whiter ; chest and sides of body 
ashy-grey, marked with cinnamon-buff, the rest of the under- 
parts white. Total wing, 7 -0-7 '3 inches. 



THE RUFFS. 273 

Adult Female in Winter Plumage. Similar to the male, but dis- 
tinguished by its smaller size. Wing only 5 '9-6' 2 inches. 

Characters. Reeves and Ruffs in winter or in immature 
plumage are often sent to me at the Museum for identification, 
and it may be as well, therefore, to state that in winter 
plumage the length of wing, combined with the comparatively 
short bill and the colour of the feet and toes, will generally dis- 
tinguish the species. Mr. Seebohm also adds the following 
characters : the ivhite axillaries, and the absence of white on 
the primaries ', secondaries^ and central upper tail-coverts. 

Range in Great Britain. This handsome wader is now chiefly 
a migrant, but in the fens and marshes of our Eastern counties 
it used to breed, and might do so still in limited numbers if 
protection were afforded to the few birds which still struggle 
to nest occasionally in Lincolnshire and Norfolk. In the 
present day, however, but few Ruffs come to England in the 
spring, though the species is more plentiful in the autumn 
migration ; and it sometimes occurs even in winter. It 
mostly visits our eastern and southern coasts, and is some- 
times found on inland waters ; but on the western side of 
England and Scotland, and in Ireland, it is much more rare. 

Range outside the British Islands The Ruff breeds in Northern 
Europe and Siberia, and is also found nesting in Holland, 
Belgium, the north of France, as well as in Poland and parts 
of Germany. It migrates south to the Medi:erranean and 
occurs on both sides of the African continent as far as Cape 
Colony. In the East its winter range extends to India, China, 
the Burmese Provinces, and as far as Borneo. Occasional 
instances of the occurrence of the species in the Faeroes and 
in Iceland have been recorded, and it sometimes visits North 
America, and has twice been met with in Barbados and once 
in Guiana. 

Habits. In autumn single examples are generally obtained 
on migration, and these are nearly always young birds of the 
year. At least that has been my experience, but the species is 
also known to collect in flocks, often of considerable size. 
In May the male begins to moult and to put on his elaborate 
breeding-dress, and nothing can be more amusing than to see 
one of these birds tiying to attract the attention of a Reeve, 



274 

who all the time appears to be utterly indifferent to the fact 
that his pirouetting and dancing is done for her edification. 
In the Zoological Gardens at Rotterdam I have seen a dozen 
males engaged in showing off, and the antics they play are 
very amusing. After springing up into the air and turning 
round several times, they always end by standing stock still, 
with the bill pointed to the ground, so as to show their neck- 
shield and hood to the greatest advantage, and in this position 
they remain for two or three minutes at a time. Occasionally 
two males will engage in a fight, dancing opposite to each 
other, but the combats are bloodless and very few feathers fly. 
The habit of the Ruff in selecting some bare knoll of ground 
on which to conduct his display has gained for it the ordinary 
term of " hill "-ing. Mr. A. C. Chapman has given a good 
account of the habits of the birds as observed by himself and 
his brother Mr. Abel Chapman in West Jutland. He observes : 
"The Ruffs, according to their well-known habit, had 
selected certain 'hills' on which to conduct their amorous 
conflicts, and it was with the greatest interest that we watched 
these singular birds, in congregations of from six to eight to 
twenty or thirty individuals, beating their flanks and otherwise 
performing the strangest antics. Often a pair of Ruffs would, 
with ruff and ear-tufts erect, stand facing each other for 
minutes together, their heads lowered, and their bills nearly 
touching each other. Then one would spring into the air and 
make a desperate rush at his retiring adversary, their aptitude 
for running over the ground at a marvellous speed being most 
extraordinary. Very frequently no Reeve was present during 
these exhibitions, and the persistency with which the birds 
refuse to be driven away from their selected ' hills ' merits 
attention. Some of these actions of the Ruffs, when at play, 
reminded me of the gambols of an old Black-Cock on a 
Northumbrian hill-side in the month of April." 

The food of the Ruff consists, like that of other wading 
birds, of insects and worms, but they will also eat vegetable 
substances and rice, as well as the seeds of aquatic plants. 

Nest. Mr. Chapman says : " The Reeves seem to breed 
quite separately from each other, and invariably choose a tuft 
of long rough grass for the nest, which is deep and always 
well concealed. In one instance a Red-shank and a Reeve 



THE WOOD-tATfLERS. $75 

had laid together in the Fame nest." The duties of incubation 
and the rearing of the young are left entirely to the female 
bird, the male busying himself but little with the bringing up 
of his family. 

Eggs. Four in number. The ground-colour is generally 
olive, but lighter eggs are found in which the ground is clay- 
brown or stone-colour. The markings vary much both in size 
and intensity, some eggs having the spots elongated and more 
like linear streaks, so that the surface of the egg appears to be 
marbled. The majority, on the other hand, are rather boldly 
spotted and blotched with rufous-brown, almost blackish, 
while some of the larger spots are light brown, almost olive. 
Although in some the large spots are distributed over the 
whole egg, in the majority of specimens they congregate near 
the larger end. The underlying markings are faint purplish- 
grey, and are never very distinct. Axis, i'6-i'8 inch. ; diam., 
1-1-1-3. 

THE WOOD-TATTLERS. GENUS RHYACOPHILUS. 

Rhyacophilus, Kaup, Natiirl. Syst. p. 140 (1829). 

Type, R. glarcola (L.). 

The genus Rhyacophilus belongs to the long-tailed group of 
Tattlers, in which the bill is short and the length of the tail 
exceeds that of the culmen. The tarsus is long and exceeds 
the culmen in length. The tail is nearly square, and the 
centre feathers are scarcely produced beyond the others. The 
plumes on the chin reach to about the level of the frontal 
line. 

Only one species of Wood-Tattler is known, confined to the 
Old World, where it is very widely distributed. 

I. THE WOOD-TATTLER. RHYACOPHILUS GLAREOLA. 

Tringa glareola, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 250 (1766). 

Totanus glareola, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 346 (1852); Dresser, 

B. Eur. viii. p. 143, pi. 565 (1877); B. O. U. List Brit. 

B. p. 175 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 

463 (1884); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 133 (1885); 

Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 593 (1889). 

T 2 



376 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Rhyacophilus glareola, Sharpc, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 491 
(1896). 

Adult Male in Winter Plunage. General colour above bronzy- 
brown, with light ashy-bronze margins to the feathers, which 
are slightly spotted with white on both edges ; scapulars like 
the back, but with somewhat larger white spots : lower back 
and rump uniform brown, the feathers of the latter part edged 
with white ; upper tail-coverts pure white, the lateral ones with 
blackish shaft-streaks and irregular longitudinal markings ; 
lesser wing-coverts uniform brown ; the median and greater 
coverts spotted with white on both webs, and resembling the 
scapulars ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts and quills blackish- 
brown, fringed with white at the ends, the secondaries notched 
with white on both webs, with a barred appearance of blackish 
intermediary bands ; centre tail-feathers ashy-brown, barred 
with blackish-brown, and deeply notched with white ; the 
lateral feathers white, barred with blackish, these bars becoming 
irregular on the lateral feathers, and reduced to a few freckles 
on the outermost ones ; crown of head and hind-neck almost 
uniform ashy-brown, slightly mottled with darker brown 
centres to the feathers ; lores dusky, surmounted by a dis- 
tinct white eyebrow; sides of face white, slightly streaked 
with dark brown ; the ear-coverts uniform dark brown along 
their upper edge; cheeks and throat white; sides of neck, 
lower throat, fore-neck, and chest, ashy, varied with shaft-lines 
of brown ; remainder of under surface of body pure white ; 
sides of upper-breast ashy-brown ; lateral under tail-coverts 
with blackish shaft -streaks, and a few frecklings of black ; 
under wing-coverts white, mottled with blackish bases to the 
feathers ; axillaries white, with a few irregular bars and 
freckles ; lower primary-coverts and quills below dusky-brown, 
with whitish spots on the edges of the inner secondaries ; 
basal half of bill olive-brown, terminal half black ; legs and 
feet pale greenish ; claws dark horn-colour ; iris brown. Total 
length, 8-5 inches; culmen, 1*15; wing, 4-6; tail, r85; 
tarsus, i '4. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male ; bill blackish, olive at 
base of lower mandible ; feet olive ; iris very dark brown. 
Total length, 8 inches ; wing, 4-9. 



THE WOOD-TATTLERS. 277 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage. More variegated than in winter, 
the back being uniform dark brown, with large notches of white 
on both webs, and having very distinct white edges to the sca- 
pulars and inner wing-coverts; the long upper tail-coverts barred 
with dusky blackish, and resembling the centre tail-feathers; 
the head and neck streaked with white, the sides of the face, 
lower throat, and fore-neck very distinctly and broadly streaked 
with blackish centres to the feathers; the sides of the body and 
under tail-coverts mottled with cross-bars of blackish-brown ; 
the axillaries also narrowly barred with blackish-brown ; bill 
blackish-olive below, at base lighter brownish-olive ; feet light 
greyish-olive ; iris dark brown. Total length, 7 inches ; culmen, 
1-3; wing, 4-9; tail, 1*85; tarsus, 1-4. 

Young after First Moult. Differs from the adults in being 
closely spotted on the upper surface, but the spots are more or 
less rufescent ; the lower throat and chest are ashy as in the 
winter plumage of the adults, but the dusky-brown stripes are 
very distinct, and are also visible on the sides of the body; the 
axillaries are pure white, or with the merest trace of frecklings 
of brown ; bill dusky-brown, inclining to greenish-olive towards 
the base ; feet greenish-olive ; iris blackish-brown. 

Range in Great Britain. The Wood-Tattler visits our shores on 
migration, occurring on our eastern and southern coasts every 
autumn with tolerable regularity, and also visiting inland waters. 
On the west coast it is decidedly rare, and only one instance of 
its capture has been recorded from Ireland. During the spring 
migration the species also appears, but is very rare. That it 
formerly bred within our limits is certain, and the late Mr. 
John Hancock obtained a nest and eggs in June, 1853, on 
Prestwick Car in Northumberland, a locality now drained. 
" The late Mr. F. Bond received eggs which he considered to 
be well authenticated from the vicinity of Elgin " (Cf. Saunders' 
" Manual," p. 593). 

Eange outside the British Islands. The breeding area of the 
present species extends throughout Northern and Temperate 
Europe and Asia as far as Kamtchatka, while its winter range 
carries it to South Africa, India, and the Malayan Archipelago, 
passing through all the intervening countries in its flight. 

. The Wood-Tattler is a somewhat late arrival in Europe 



278 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

from its winter haunts, and I saw the species still in flocks in 
the Han sag Marshes in Hungary towards the end of May. 
They arrive still later in their northern haunts, and are not seen 
in their Arctic breeding-grounds till early in June. Mr. Seebohm 
writes : " I first made the acquaintance of this most interest- 
ing bird on the fjelds of Lapland, near the Varanger Fjord in 
1874; but in the following year I had much better opportuni- 
ties of watching its habits in the valley of the Petchora. On 
their first arrival, the birds were absurdly tame, allowing us to 
approach within a few yards of them as they frequented the 
pools formed by the rapidly-melting snow in the streets of the 
town of Ust Zylma. A week later we found them at Haberiki, 
thirty miles further north. They were feeding on the edges 
of the marshes and the little forest-tarns; and after we had shot 
one from the summit of a dead larch-tree, between sixty and 
seventy feet from the ground, we became more reconciled to the 
name of W^^-Sandpiper. They were excessively tame, and 
were in full song. The note which the male utters during 
the pairing-season is much more of a song than that of the 
Grasshopper-Warbler, which it somehow resembles ; it is a 
monotonous til-il-il^ begun somewhat low and slow, as the bird 
is descending in the air, with fluttering upraised wings, becom- 
ing louder and more rapid, and reaching its climax as the bird 
alights on the ground, or on a rail, or sometimes on the bare 
branch of a willow, the points of its trembling wings almost 
meeting over its head, when its feet find support. This song 
is a by no means unmusical trill, and has an almost metallic ring 
about it. The alarm-note of the Wood-Sandpiper is somewhat 
like the tyii-tyii of the Red-shank, but much softer." The food 
of the species consists of worms, insects and their larvae, and 
small molluscs. 

Nest. According to Mr. Seebohm, the nest of the Wood- 
Tattler is exceedingly difficult to find ; it is generally discovered 
by accident, in consequence of the female, who is a somewhat 
close sitter, flying off, and thus revealing the place where her 
eggs are concealed. This is generally in open country, not 
absolutely on swampy ground, but not very far from it; a 
patch of dry ground, overgrown with heath, sedges, and coarse 
grasses, is generally selected, frequently not, far from a few 
tunted willow-bushes, on which the bird frequently alights, 



THE GREEN-SHANK. 279 

The nest itself is a mere hollow in the ground, lined with a few 
dry stalks and blades of grass. Mr. Robert Read writes to 
me: "This species is exceedingly wary, and although very 
demonstrative when an intruder is in the vicinity of its nest, it 
is very careful not to betray the whereabouts of the latter. In 
June, 1894, on the edge of a reed-covered lake or swamp, I 
watched a pair unsuccessfully for more than an hour. They flew 
around, uttering the most noisy cries of alarm, and kept on 
settling on the tops of the young Scotch fir-trees which grew 
here and there amongst the willow-scrub, perching within a 
dozen yards of me. It was very curious to observe these 
birds, apparently so ill-adapted for perching, clinging some- 
times to the side of, and sometimes to the extreme tip of the 
topmost shoot or ' leader ' of the tree. So bold were they that 
I was able to photograph them as they sat on the summits of 
the trees." 

Eggs. Four in number, and very handsome. The ground- 
colour varies from olive-grey or olive-brown to light clay- 
colour or stone-grey, and the markings are reddish or chestnut, 
or even blackish, when they form blotches. Although the 
.arger spots are congregated near the thicker end of the egg, in 
some cases they are distributed fairly evenly over the whole 
egg, and the purplish-grey underlying markings are decidedly 
distinct. In other examples, however, only the larger end of 
the egg shows blotches and spots, and the greater part of it has 
only scanty spots distributed over its otherwise uniform surface. 
Axis, 1-4-1-55 inch.; diam., 1-0-1-05. 

THE GREEN-SHANK. GENUS GLOTTIS 

Glottis, Koch, Syst. Baier. Zool. p. 305 (1816). 

Type, G. nebularius (Gunn.). 

Our Green-shank is the only representative of this Old- 
World genus, and is distinguished from the other British 
members of the Sub-family by having an upturned bill, 
in which respect it resembles the Terek Tattler (Terekia 
cinerea] and Haughton's Tattler (Pseudoglottis guttifer). 
The outer toe is united to the middle one by a basal mem- 



280 LLOYD'S NATURAL HisTOnr. 

brane, but tnere is scarcely any indication of a web between 
the latter and the base of the inner toe. 

Only one species of the genus Glottis is known. 

I. THE GREEN-SHANK. GLOTTIS NEBULARIUS. 

Scolopax nebularius, Gunner. Leem. Lapp. Beschr. p. 251 

(1767). 

Glottis chloropus, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 319 (1852). 
Totanus canescens. Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 173, pi. 570 (1871) , 

B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 177 (1883); Saunders, ed. 

Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 483 (1884); id. Man. Brit. B. p. 

605 (1889). 
Totanus glottis, Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 149, pi. 29 

(1885). 
Glottis ncbulariuS) Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 481 

(1896). 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage. General colour above ashy- 
brown, mottled with whitish edges to the feathers, which are 
freckled and sub-terminally lined with darker brown, the shafts 
being also well marked ; scapulars clearer ashy-grey, with an 
interrupted sub-terminal line of blackish-brown ; lower back, 
rump, and upper tail-coverts, pure white ; exterior wing-coverts 
uniform blackish-brown ; median and greater coverts lighter 
brown, fringed with white ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and 
quills blackish, the latter fringed with white at the end of the 
inner web ; the secondaries ashy-brown, edged with white, the 
long innermost secondaries spotted with black on the margins ; 
tail-feathers white, the centre ones crossed with regular but 
somewhat interrupted bars of brown, the other feathers with a 
few broken spots and bars of brown on the outer web ; crown 
of head and hind-neck greyish-brown, the feathers edged with 
white, imparting a streaked appearance, more marked on the 
head ; forehead, lores, and sides of face pure white ; the sides 
of the neck narrowly streaked with ashy-brown, as well as the 
upper margins of the ear-coverts ; entire under surface of body 
pure white ; sides of upper breast irregularly freckled with 
bown ; under wing-coverts white, with a sub-terminal bar of 
bown, or a central arrow-head line of the latter colour ; axillaries 
white, with a few remains of brown spots ; lower primary- 



THE GREEN-SHANK. 281 

coverts ashy, with whitish edgings ; quills below ashy, the 
lateral markings of the secondaries indicated below ; bill and 
feet light slate-colour; iris dark brown. Total length, 13 
inches; oilmen, 2*2 ; wing, 7*2 ; tail, 2-85; tarsus, 2*15. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. Of a more ruddy-brown than 
in the winter plumage, and with black centres to the feathers of 
the upper surface; the head and neck also streaked with black; 
sides of face white, narrowly streaked with black ; under surface 
of body white, the lower throat, fore-neck, and chest with 
numerous ovate spots of black ; the flanks with a few irregular 
bars of black; under wing-coverts and axillaries white, barred 
with black, the bars on the latter somewhat interrupted; 
lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts white, the lateral 
coverts barred with black ; two central tail-feathers ashy-grey, 
slightly freckled with dusky, and notched with black on the 
margins ; remainder of tail-feathers white, barred with blackish, 
the bars becoming more irregular on the lateral feathers, which 
have distinct bars only on the outer webs ; bill blackish-brown 
lighter brownish-grey towards the base, especially on the lower 
mandible ; feet yellowish-grey, the joints bluish. Total length, 
12 inches; oilmen, 2-1 ; wing, 7-5 ; tail, 3 ; tarsus, 2-2. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in colour ; bill blackish- 
brown, the basal half lighter, on the upper mandible with a 
bluish tinge, on the lower one, with a reddish-grey one ; feet 
dirty olive-grey, the joints darker and more bluish-grey. 

Young after First Moult. Similar to the winter plumage of the 
adults, but much more tinged with rufous- brown ; the 
feathers spotted with whity-brown on both webs ; centre tail- 
feathers white, distinctly barred across with black, the chest 
also distinctly streaked with dusky; the sides of the breast 
spotted and mottled with dusky-brown. 

Range in Great Britain. The Green-shank breeds in the north 
of Scotland and in the Hebrides, also in the Isle of Skye and 
some of the other islands off the west of Scotland. In Eng- 
land it is a migrant only, occurring sparingly in its northward 
journey, but more frequently during the autumn migration, 
seldom remaining through the winter. In Irelnnd, it appears 
to stay throughout the cold season. 



282 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Range outside the British Islands. The breeding-area of the 
Green-shank extends from Great Britain to Scandinavia, 
Northern Europe generally, and Northern Asia to the Stanovoi 
Mountains in Eastern Siberia. In winter this species visits 
South Africa, India, and China, and even reaches Australia, 
passing through the intervening countries on its passage. 

Habits. I have always found the Green-shank a very shy 
bird, and extremely difficult to whistle within range. The few 
specimens which I was able to procure in the tidal harbours of 
the south coast have always been birds of the year, and I have 
never seen the species in flocks, but always singly. Nor have 
I seen it consorting with Red-shanks or other shore-birds. It 
nests on hilly ground, and in the breeding-season is as wary as it 
is during its migration to and fro in England. Its food consists 
of the usual fare common to waders, but from its large size it 
is able to capture prey unattempted by its smaller relations. 
Thus tadpoles and frogs have been discovered to form part 
of its diet, and even small minnows have been found in its 
stomach. 

Nest. Sometimes built in a tuft of grass, or concealed 
amongst the heath and short herbage ; it is, according to Mr. 
Seebohm, very slight, being a mere depression in the ground, 
lined with a few bits of dry grass or withered leaves. 

Eggs. Four in number, and like large Wood-Tattlers' in 
appearance. The ground-colour varies from creamy-buff to 
deep clay-brown. The spots and blotches are deep chestnut, 
often blackish, and, as a rule, congregated round the larger 
end of the egg. When distributed over the surface of the 
latter they are smaller, and are accompanied by numerous 
little dots and freckles, and the underlying grey spots and 
blotches are almost as much in evidence as the dark over- 
lying ones. Axis, rS-2'i inches; diam., i'25-i'35. 

THE SUMMER-SNIPES. GENUS TRINGOIDES. 

TringoideS) Bp. Saggio distr. Met. An. Vert. p. 58 (1831). 

Type, T. hypokucus (Linn.). 

The Summer-Snipes, of which our " Common Sandpiper," 
as it is usually called, is the type, belong to the short-billed 
section of the Tattlers. The bill is not so long as the tail. 




a tf 
K w 

pu Q, 



Q Q 
z s 



? b 



THE SUMMER-SNIPES. 283 

though the culmen exceeds the length of the middle toe and 
claw. It is nearly straight, with only a slight curve at the end, 
but the tarsus is comparatively short and is not longer than the 
middle toe and claw. Thus the Summer-Snipes never stand 
so high on their legs as Red-shanks or Green Sandpipers, and 
are expert swimmers, like the Phalaropes. 

Two species of Tringoides are known, our British T. hypo- 
kucus and the American T. macularius, which also visits us 
occasionally. 

I. THE SUMMER-SNIPE, OR COMMON SANDPIPER. 
TRINGOIDES HYPOLEUCUS. 

Tringa hypoleucus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 250 (1766). 
Actitis hypoleucus, Macgill. Brit. B. iv p. 351 (1852). 
Totanus hypoleucus, Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 127, pi. 563 

(1877) ; Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 446 (1883) ; 

Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 117, pi. 30, figs 7-9 (1885); 

Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 591 (1889). 
Tringoides hypoleucus, B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 173 (1883); 

Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 456 (1896). 

(Plate LXXXIX. Fig. i.) 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above bronzy- 
brown, the feathers with arrow-shaped central markings of 
black, which take the form of bars on the scapulars and inner 
secondaries, which are like the back; wing-coverts bronzy- 
brown like the back, but regularly barred across with blackish, 
the median and greater coverts with ashy fringes, the latter 
rather broadly tipped with white ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, 
and quills brown with an olive gloss, the secondaries tipped 
with white and having a bread white base ; lower back, rump, 
and upper tail-coverts like the back, the lateral coverts barred 
with blackish and with white on the outer web ; tail-feathers 
bronzy-brown, with irregular cross-bars of blackish-brown, the 
middle feathers narrowly, but the outer feathers broadly, tipped 
with white, the penultimate feather barred with white on the 
outer web, the outermost feather almost entirely white, with a 
little brown on the inner web, which is barred with blackish ; 
crown of head and neck bronzy-brown, with narrow mesial 
shaft-lines of blackish-brown; a narrow superciliary line of 



*4 

whitish, extending from the base of the bill ; sides of face 
bronzy-brown, with blackish shaft-lines to the feathers ; fore- 
part of cheeks and under surface of body pure "White, with 
dusky streaks on the throat, these being a little larger on the 
chest, the sides of the latter and sides of upper-breast brown ; 
under wing-coverts white, mottled with blackish bases to the 
feathers, especially distinct on the edge of the wing ; axillaries 
pure white ; quills dusky below, white towards the base of the 
inner web ; bill dusky above, grey beneath ; feet greyish, 
tinged with green, claws black; iris brown. Total length, 
8 inches; culmen, n ; wing, 4-1 ; tail, 2 ; tarsus, 0*96. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Similar to the male in 
colour, but not quite so heavily marked, and the streaks on 
the fore-neck and chest less pronounced. Total length, 7 
inches; culmen, ri ; wing, 4-3 ; tail, 2-4.; tarsus, 0-85. 

Adults in Winter Plumage. A little more bronzy-olive than in 
the summer, and uniform above, without the black central 
streaks and black spear-shaped spots, which are characteristic 
of the summer dress ; the streaks on the throat are also much 
narrower and not so distinct. 

Young Birds. Easily distinguished by the cross-bars of sandy 
or reddish-buff and dusky-brown, which give the upper surface 
a freckled appearance; the throat uniform, with scarcely any in- 
dication of streaks on the lower part. 

Range in Great Britain The Summer-Snipe visits us in spring, 
and remains to breed ; and in the autumn migration it is one 
of the commonest of our wading birds, occurring both on the 
inland rivers and lakes, and also in the tidal harbours. It breeds 
in the north of England and Scotland, as well as in Wales and 
the south-western counties of England. Mr. Ussher states that 
it breeds in every county of Ireland, except perhaps, Kilkenny. 
It only breeds locally in Wexford and the north of Waterford, 
and is very common on the lakes throughout Ireland. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Summer-^nipe breeds 
throughout temperate Europe and Asia, and passes in winter 
to Africa, the Indian Peninsula, and even as far as Ausu Jia. 

Habit* That the Summer-Snipe passes across England, 
froth in i s northward and southward migration, is proved by 



HE StTMMEfc-SNlPES. 2 #5 

the variety of places in which the species is encountered. In 
May I have found it in pairs, in full breeding plumage, on 
the sides of the lake in Avington Park in Hampshire ; and the 
specimens which my friend, the late Sir Edward Shelley, 
allowed me to procure for the British Museum, are pre- 
served in the national collection. On its arrival in spring 
the species is not shy, and I found several pairs at Avington, 
where they frequented the shores of the lake for several days 
before passing northward. The habits of the old birds in 
spring are exactly similar to those of the species in autumn, ex- 
cepting that, at the latter time of year, it is possible to see 
family parties of five or six together. A certain number of 
non-breeding birds remain in the south, for I have met with 
solitary individuals on the shores of the Thames in June. 
Towards the end of July and early in August the migrants 
arrive from the north, and small flocks of half-a-dozen or more 
frequent the edges of the river, or retreat on to the adjacent 
grass-lands, where they run about among the cows, catching 
insects and bobbing their tails after the manner of Wag- 
tails. In fact, when feeding or running on the mud, the tail 
of the Summer-Snipe is always in motion. Excepting in the 
case when family parties keep together, and are somewhat 
easily approached, the Summer-Snipe is decidedly a shy bird, 
and the isolated individuals which are met with are not only 
difficult to get within gun-shot, but are always wary in the ex- 
treme. And this is true, not only of those one may encounter 
on the river-side, but also of the stray birds that one meets 
with on the muddy creeks of a tidal harbour. Another aid to 
escape is exhibited by the excellent diving powers of this little 
bird. I well remember how, in Romney Hoy, I shot at a Summer- 
Snipe, and only wounded it ; so the bird commenced to swim, 
and paddled away at a great rate. Not liking to shoot a bird and 
not preserve it, I waded into the water, fancying that I knew 
every step on the green saltings then covered by the sea ; but 
the bird swam as fast as I could walk, and I was soon knee- 
deep and more in the water. Holding my gun well up, and 
lifting my coat to keep my upper garments dry, I waded 
on to try and head the bird, when in a second I stepped into 
a deep hole, and went head-over-heels beneath the water. 
After that I became reckless, and determined to catch my 



286 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

bird, as my cartridges were soaked, and my day's collecting 
over ; but I often look at the skin of my little friend in the 
cabinet in the British Museum, and remember how well he 
swam, and how bravely he dived, ere I was able, after being 
half drowned, to capture him at last. 

The note of the Summer-Snipe is a somewhat shrill ivheet, 
and is generally uttered as it rises, and develops into a piping 
cry of several syllables as the bird hurries along, just above 
the surface of the water, with rapid vibrating strokes of the 
wing, this motion being sometimes exchanged for a steady 
sail for a few yards at a time. 

Mr. Seebohm writes : "Shortly after their arrival at their 
breeding-grounds the males are very demonstrative and ex- 
cessively noisy. In early summer they may often be seen 
running along the rough ctone walls near the water, with 
drooping wings, as if displaying their charms to the females 
crouching amongst the herbage below. At this season the 
cock birds sometimes soar into the air. and utter a short trill, 
as is the case with most other waders. It is said sometimes 
to perch on bushes ; and Mr. Carter informs me that he once 
saw one perched on the top branch of an ash tree thirty feet 
from the ground. The food of the Common Sandpiper is 
composed largely of worms and insects, with their larvae. It 
may sometimes be seen searching for beetles amongst the 
droppings near water where cattle drink, and it also catches 
many insects as they flit past, as well as takes them from the 
water or the stems of plants. It is very possible that it also 
eats mountain-fruits, such as bilberries, and small bits of gravel 
are found in its gizzard." 

Nest and Eggs. Mr. Robert Read writes to me: "A sloping 
bank near the shore of an inland loch or river is the favourite 
breeding-place of the Common Sandpiper. Alongside Loch 
Tay I found six nests one afternoon. I have known eggs to be 
taken near Glasgow as early as May 6th. The weight of nor- 
mal eggs of the Common Sandpiper is about 178 grains, but in 
1891 I took a miniature set (still in my collection), complete 
as to shell and markings, containing a yolk, and perfect in every 
respect, averaging only 90 grains; whilst in Sweden, in 1894, I 
took a large light-coloured set, averaging 202 grains per .egg." 

Eggs. Generally four in number, varying in colour from pale 



THE SUMMER-SNIPES. 287 

clay-colour to greenish-white, with chocolate-brown spots and 
blotches, as a rule equally distributed, but sometimes more 
thickly round the larger end, the underlying spots purplish-grey. 
Axis, 1*3-1-6; diam., 0-95-1-05. 



II. THE AMERICAN SUMMER-SNIPE, OR SPOTTED SANDPIPER. 
TRINGOIDES MACULARIUS. 

(Plate LXXXIX., Fig 2. ) 

Tringa macularia. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 249 (1766). 
Actitis macularia, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 356 (1852). 
Totanus macularius, Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 452 

(1883) ; Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 122, pi. 30 (1885) ; 

Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 592 (1889). 
Tringoides macularius, B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 174 (1883); 

Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 468 (1896). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. Similar to T. hypohucus, but 
much more strongly barred with black on the upper surface, 
and thickly spotted with black underneath ; the size is also 
smaller, and, in the skin, the bill is almost entirely fleshy-yellow; 
the inner secondaries likewise show less white than in the allied 
species ; bill greenish-olive above, yellow beneath, the point of 
both mandibles black ; feet pale yellowish flesh-colour, claws 
black ; iris hazel. Total length, 6-5 inches; culmen, i ; wing, 
4; tail, 1*85 ; tarsus, 0-85. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Similar to the male, and 
quite as heavily spotted below. Total length, 6*5 inches ; wing, 
4-1. 

Young. Differs from the adult in being more olive-brown, 
and entirely wanting the black spots of the under-surface ; the 
upper surface barred across with reddish-brown and black. 

Adult in Wintor Plumage. More olive-brown than in summer, 
and lacking the bronzy shade ; the under surface of the body 
white, with few or no shaft-lines of brown on the fore-neck and 
chest, and having the sides of the upper-breast ashy-brown. 

Characters. The spotted breast of the adult readily distin- 
guishes this species from T. hypoleucus^ but specimens in winter 



288 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORV. 

plumage or in immature dress are difficult to distinguish from 
the same phases of our Common Summer-Snipe. The Ameri- 
can species, however, may be distinguished by the greater 
amount of yellow on the under mandible, and by the broad sub- 
terminal band which is continuous throughout the secondary 
quills. In T. hypokucus the inner secondaries are, for the most 
part, white. 

Range in Great Britain. This species has a very doubtful right 
to be included in the British List, and Mr. Howard Saunders 
considers that, of all the recorded instances, only two are pos- 
sibly genuine. I have retained it simply because, like so many 
other American waders which visit us, it is a bird which may 
occur accidentally. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The American Summer Snipe 
breeds throughout North America, generally not beyond the 
Arctic Circle, and visits, in winter, Central America, the 
West Indies, and the northern part of the South American 
Continent. 

Habits. We quote the following note from Mr. D. G. 
Elliot's recent work : " It arrives in April from the far 
southern lands where it has passed the winter, and soon com- 
mences the courtship preparatory to the nesting season. The 
'Tilt-up,' or 'Peet-weet' as it is also called, does not go in 
flocks of any size, but is rather solitary in it?, disposition, an 
individual or pair seeming to appropriate a certain amount of 
the shore, where they dwell contentedly, only flying when dis- 
turbed higher up or lower down the river, as the case may be ; 
and then if any * Tilt-up ' is on the particular spot near where 
they desire to alight, they move on to some other part of the 
bank or beach. The flight is rapid, performed with quick, 
stiff beats of the wings, and the bird utters frequently its cry 
otpeet-iveet as it passes alons^. It is a most comical species to 
watch upon the shore. When it alights after its short flight, 
it may stand for an instant motionless, contemplating its sur- 
roundings, and then it makes a profound bow, inclining both 
head and neck, at the same time elevating its hindquarters in 
a seeming derogatory manner, very disrespectful to the on- 
lookers ; and as if to emphasise the fact that the motion was 
intended for each and all of those present, it deliberately 



THE GREEN-LEGGED TATTLERS. 289 

moves around onits feet, presenting head and tail alternately 
to first one point of the compass and then to another. It is 
usually silent during this performance, its importance and 
solemnity doubtless precluding any such thing as idle remarks. 
So long as it remains upon the shore, these depressions and 
elevations of alternate ends occur frequently, and sometimes 
the bird stops even when in chase of some elusive insect to 
repeat this mark of its distinguished consideration for its 
observer." 

Nest. "The nest, lightly built of straws and grasses, is 
placed in open spots, either along the borders of streams or 
ponds, or in fields among the stubble." 

Eggs. Four in number, the ground-colour being generally 
stone-colour or pale clay, and sometimes olive, with blackish- 
brown or reddish-chocolate over-lying spots and blotches, the 
small spots being equally distributed over the whole surface, 
while the blotches are more often clustered round the larger 
end, where they are sometimes confluent, the under-lying 
markings pale grey. Axis, i'2-i'4; diam., 0-85-1-0. 

THE GREEN-LEGGED TATTLERS. GENUS HELODROMAS. 

Helodromas, Kaup, Natiirl. Syst. p. 144 (182 9). 

Type, H. ochropus (Linn.). 

The genus Helodromas contains two species, one belonging 
to the Old World and one to America. In structure the genus 
closely resembles the genus Tetanus, with which it has usually 
been associated, but the tarsus is much shorter, and is scarcely 
longer than the middle toe and claw, whereas in Totanus it is 
much longer. Helodromas has a moderately long bill, not ex- 
ceeding the length of the tail, the tarsus longer than the middle 
toe and claw, and the outer toe is connected to the middle 
one by a perceptible web at the base, the inner toe having 
scarcely any broad web and being cleft almost to the base. 

I. THE GREEN-LEGGED TATTLER. HELODROMAS OCHROPUS. 

Tringa ocropus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 250 (1766). 

Totanus ochropus, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 342 (1852); Dresser, 
B. Eur. viii. p. 135, pi. 564 (1875); Saunders, ed. Yarrell's 
TT u 



290 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Brit. B. in. p. 457 (1884) ; Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 
126, pi. 30, figs. 1-3 (1885); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 
595 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxvi. (1893). 
Helodromas ochropus, B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 174 (1883); 
Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 437 (1896). 

Adult in Winter Plumage. General colour above uniform olive- 
brown, with a slight gloss of bronzy-olive ; scapulars and wing- 
coverts like the back, but having a few tiny white spots on the 
margins ; lower-back and rump darker, blackish-brown with 
whitish edges to the feathers ; upper tail-coverts pure white ; 
lesser wing-coverts as well as the outer median and outer 
greater coverts uniform olive-brown ; bastard-wing, primary- 
coverts, and quills blackish-brown; the secondaries like the 
back and freckled with tiny white spots on the edges; tail- 
feathers white, the centre ones with three black bars on the 
terminal half, these bars gradually disappearing on the lateral 
feathers, the outer ones being entirely white ; crown of head, 
hind neck, and mantle, uniform ashy-brown ; a supra-loral streak 
of white ; lores dusky, surmounted by an indistinct white eye- 
brow, lined with blackish streaks; sides of face, ear-coverts, and 
cheeks white, rather broadly streaked with blackish-brown ; 
throat white, streaked with brown on the sides ; lower throat, 
sides of neck, and fore-neck also distinctly streaked with brown ; 
remainder of under surface of body pure white; sides of upper 
breast brown, slightly mottled with white; under wing-coverts and 
axillaries blackish, barred very plainly with white ; lower prim- 
ary-coverts and inner lining of quills uniform, with white dots 
along the inner edge of the secondaries ; bill dusky above, red- 
dish beneath ; feet greyish-blue, tinged with green ; iris dusky. 
Total length, 9 inches; culmen, 1-4; wing, 5-4; tail, 2*2; 
tarsus, 1*3. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. Differs from the winter plu- 
mage in being much more variegated, the whole of the back 
being spotted with white, the spots being arranged in pairs on 
the edges of the feathers, which are also tipped with a bar or 
twin spots of white ; the whole of the head and neck streaked 
with white, and the brown streaks on the side of the face, fore- 
neck, and chest, broad and distinct, the sides of the upper-breast 
being brown, very much mottled with bars of white. Total 



THE GREEN-LEGGED TATTLERS. 2QI 

length, 9-3 inches; oilmen, 1-4; wing, 5-4 ; tail, 2-15 ; tarsus, 

I'2. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage, Does not differ from the 
male in colour, but is not quite so strongly marked. Total 
length, 9 inches; wing, 5'6. 

Young in Autumn Plumage. Scarcely differs from the winter 
plumage of the adult, but, when freshly moulted, it has indis- 
tinct margins of ashy-bronze on the feathers of the upper sur- 
face; the tail-bands are narrower on the centre feathers of 
the upper surface, while the sub-terminal band is broader than 
in the adults. 

Range in Great Britain. The present species is not known to 
breed within our limits, but is noticed during migration, being 
most commonly observed in the autumn. It is rarer on our 
western coasts than in the eastern counties, and in Ireland 
occurs chiefly during the autumn migration. 

Eange outside the British Islands. The Green Tattler, or Green 
Sandpiper, as it is usually called, breeds throughout the nor- 
thern parts of the Old World, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, 
and is found from the Arctic Circle to most parts of Northern 
Europe, being known to nest from Holstein to Northern Ger- 
many, Poland, and Central Russia. In winter it visits Africa, 
India, and China, but in many parts of its northern range a few 
individuals remain during the cold season. 

Habits. This species is generally met with singly, at least 
on the river Thames, where I have procured a few specimens, 
young birds in autumn plumage. On the south coast of Eng- 
land I have met with it in small parties, frequenting, throughout 
the autumn, the muddy dykes in the vicinity of our southern 
harbours. It is, according to my experience, a singularly shy 
bird, and one which needs most careful stalking, whether by 
the river-side or in the mud-gullies near the sea-shore. It flies 
off with a note very much like that of the Summer-Snipe, but 
the flight is more steady, and not of such a " skimming " char- 
acter as that of the last-named bird. In fact, in its ways it 
more resembles a Red-shank than a Summer-Snipe. "Its 
note," says Seebohm, "is very soft and musical, not nearly so 
loud as that of the Red-shank, and may be represented by the 

U 2 



292 LLOYD S NATURAL HISTORY. 

syllables tye-tye-tye, which, when the bird is alarmed, becomes 
a loud excited tyuk-tyiik-tyiik" 

Nest The present species has the curious habit of nesting 
on trees, at a height from three to thirty feet above the ground. 
Mr. Seebohm states that, although it does not build a nest of 
its own, its eggs are placed in the fork of a tree-trunk, on the 
leaves, or lichen and moss which may have accumulated there. 
The eggs have been found in the old nests of the Song- 
Thrush, Mistle-Thrush, and Fieldfare, while those of the Ring- 
Dove, Jay, Red-backed Shrike, and even old Crows' nests 
or deserted Squirrel's dreys have been utilised by the Green 
Tattler. He writes : "On the 3oth of May, 1882, as I was 
walking in a forest about twenty miles south of Stolp in Pome- 
rania, with my friend Dr. Holland, we passed a small swamp, 
where a Green Sandpiper attracted our attention by its loud 
cries. A few stunted larches and alder-bushes still grew in the 
swamp, and the bird flew from branch to branch and bush to 
bush in the most excited manner, having, no doubt, young for 
whose safety it was so anxious. Hintz says that he has known 
the nest to be in a hole in a fallen tree-trunk, on the stump of a 
felled or broken-down tree, but most commonly in old nests from 
three to twelve feet from the ground, though, on one occasion, 
he took the eggs from an old Squirrel's nest in a birch tree at 
a height of thirty feet." It would be interesting to know the 
way in which the old birds carried their young to the ground 
from such an elevation. 

Eggs. Four in number. The ground-colour varies from 
greenish-white to pale clay and stone-colour ; the overlying spots 
are chocolate or reddish-brown, and are distributed over the 
entire surface, but more numerously at the larger end; the 
underlying spots are of a purplish-grey, and are equally dis- 
tributed. Axis, 1-5-1-65; diam., 1-05-1-2. 

II. THE SOLITARY TATTLER. HELODROMAS SOLITARIUS. 

Tringa solitaria, Wilson, Amer. Orn. vii. p. 53, pi. 58, fig. 3 

(1813)- 

Totanus solitarius, B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 175 (1883); See- 
bohm, Hist. Brit. B. Hi. p. 130 (1885); Saunders, Man. 
Brit. B. p. 597 (1889) ; Lilford. Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxvi. 
(1893). 



THE GREEN-LEGGED TATTLERS. 293 

Helodromas solitarius, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p 444 
(1896). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. Similar to H. ochropus, but 
smaller, and wanting the white rump of the latter species ; the 
rump, as well as the mesial upper tail-coverts dusky-blackish ; 
the lateral upper tail-coverts white, broadly barred with black, 
exactly like the tail-feathers, all of which have broad black bars; 
under surface of body resembling that of H. ochropus, but the 
white bars on the axillaries and under wing-coverts much wider 
than in that species ; bill greenish-black ; the edges of the eye- 
lids dark grey ; feet greenish-grey, claws brownish-black ; iris 
bro.vn. Total length, 7 inches; culmen, i'2 ; wing, 5-1 ; tail, 
2-1 ; tarsus, ri5. 

Wiator Plumage. Differs from the winter plumage of H. ochro- 
pus exactly in the same way as the summer plumage of the two 
birds differ. From the summer plumage it is distinguished by 
being more uniform above, with scarcely any white spots, the 
head uniform and not streaked with white; eyelid and a supra- 
loral streak white; lower throat, fore-neck, and sides of neck 
ashy-brown, slightly mottled with darker brown spots or bars. 

Young after the First Moult. Similar to the winter plumage of 
the adults, but all the margins of the feathers of the back and 
wings are notched or spotted with light rufous-brown ; under 
surface of body pure white, the lower throat streaked with brown, 
and the sides of the fore-neck and of the b:ea.st nearly uniform 
dark brown. 

Range in Great Britain. Three specimens of this species are 
recorded as having been procured in the British Islands. The 
first was obtained on the banks of the Clyde, the second in the 
Scilly Islands, and the third in Cornwall. 

Range outside the British Islands. The " Solitary Sandpiper" 
or " Wood-Tattler," as it is called by the American ornitholo- 
gists, is generally distributed throughout North America during 
the nesting-season, breeding, in suitable localities, from Alaska 
to the Atlantic coast, ranging south, in winter, through Central 
America, the West Indies, to Brazil and Paraguay. 

Habits. The following is taken from Mr. D. G. Elliot's recent 
work on American Shore-birds : '' While loving soJ'tude, it is 



294 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

not a morose or monkish species, shunning its kind, but is fre- 
quently met with in small companies of five or six individuals, 
on the banks of some quiet pool in a secluded grove, peacefully 
gleaning a meal from the yielding soil or surface of the placid 
water. As they move with a sedate walk about their chosen 
retreat, each bows gravely to the others, as though expressing 
a hope that his friend is enjoying most excellent health, or else 
apologising for intruding upon so charming a retreat and such 
select company. At times they run rapidly along the margin 
of the pond, often with wings raised high above the back, occa- 
sionally rising in the air to pursue some flying insect, which is 
caught with much skill and agility. The actions are light, quick 
at times, and graceful, and the bird flies rapidly, its neat plu- 
mage showing to great advantage when the wings are outspread, 
as it skims swiftly over the surface of the water, across open 
glades, or amid the trunks and branches of the trees. In addi- 
tion to such places as the one described, the Solitary Sandpiper 
frequents tidal creeks, and rivulets away from the sea, and, occa- 
sionally, salt marshes ; but I have never seen it on the beach, 
although I believe it does visit the borders of the ocean at rare 
intervals. It is often seen at high elevations in damp meadows 
or margins of springs and pools among the mountains; where 
its low soft whistling note sounds mournfully amid the stillness 
of the surrounding forest. When startled, as a rule they do not 
fly far, but settle soon again, and regard the cause of their tem- 
porary alarm with quiet, indifferent gaze. It feeds on insects, 
larvae, worms, small crustaceans, &c., such as compose the daily 
bill of fare of the members of the Snipe family, and when it has 
satisfied its hunger, it will remain standing often up to its breast 
in the water, or drawn into a small compass on the shore. It 
frequently may be seen walking calmly in the water with slow 
measured steps, like the Heron does when looking for a good 
place to exercise his piscatory abilities." 

Nest. According to Mr. Elliot, only one authentic instance 
of the finding of the nest of this species is known, Mr. Richard- 
son having discovered a nest, on the ground. 

Eggs. Those taken on the above occasion are described as 
pyriform in shape, light drab in colour, spotted with various 
shades of brown. They measured 1-37 by 0-95 inch, and re- 
sembled those of the Piping Sand-Plover (^Egialitis meloda). 



THE TRUE TATTLERS. . 295 

THE TRUE TATTLERS. GENUS TOTANUS. 

Tetanus^ Bechst. Orn. Taschenb. ii. p. 282 (1803). 

Type, T. calidris (Linn.). 

The representatives of this genus are distinguished from the 
foregoing by their shorter bill, which never exceeds the length 
of the tail, though the culmen is longer than the middle toe 
and claw. The bill is nearly straight, but with the tip slightly 
curved downwards, and the tarsus is longer than the middle 
toe and claw. The outer toe is joined to the middle one by a 
basal membrane, but the inner toe has only a slight web, and 
is cleft nearly to the base. 

Five species of the genus Totanus are known, of which three 
are found in the Old World, viz., T. fuscus, T. calidris, and T. 
otagnatilis, while America has two species, T. melanolencus and 
T. flavipes. 

I. THE SPOTTED RED-SHANK. TOTANUS FUSCUS. 

(Plate XC.) 

Scolopax fusca. Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 243 (1766). 
Totanus fuscus, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 328 (1852); Dresser, B. 
Eur. viii. p. 165, pis. 568, 569 (1875); B. O. U. List Brit. 
B. p. 176 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. YarrelPs Brit. B. iii. p. 474 
(1883); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 145, pi. 32, figs. 
4-6 (1885); Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 603 (1889); 
Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 409 (1896). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above sooty- 
black, the head uniform ; the hind-neck varied with white 
fringes and spots on the feathers, many of which are barred 
with brown ; scapulars also blackish, with broader white spots 
and edges; wing-coverts blackish, edged with white, and 
notched with white on both webs ; the greater coverts more 
distinctly barred and notched with white; bastard-wing, pri- 
mary-coverts, and primaries bronzy-brown, the latter white on 
the inner web and freckled with brown ; the secondaries barred 
with white and brown, the brown bnrs irregular in shape, and 
producing a mottled appearance ; the innermost secondaries 
bronzy-brown, notched with white or brownish-white on both 
webs 1 : the lower back pure white; rump and upper tail-coverts 



296 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

regularly and distinctly barred with black and dull white ; tail- 
feathers also blackish, narrowly barred across with white, the 
bars somewhat interrupted on the outer feathers ; sides of face, 
throat, and under surface of body sooty-black, with the remains 
of whitish margins, these being more distinct on the abdomen ; 
the under tail-coverts distinctly barred with black and white ; 
under wing-coverts and axillaries pure white, the edge of the 
wing and lower primary-coverts barred with black ; bill very 
dark brown, the basal half of the lower mandible dusky-red ; 
legs and toes orange-red ; claws black ; iris brown. Total 
length, 12 inches; oilmen, 2*4; wing, 6-25; tail, 2-4; tarsus, 

2'I. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Not to be distinguished 
from the male. Total length, 12 inches; oilmen, 2-3; wing, 
6-45; tail, 2-5; tarsus, 2-1. 

Adult in Winter Plumage. Entirely different from the summer 
plumage, but with red legs; upper surface grey, the lower 
back white ; the rump and upper tail-coverts barred with black 
and white ; wings bronzy-brown, all the coverts and secondaries 
edged or notched with white, the secondaries as plainly barred 
with black and white as in the breeding-plumage ; the inner- 
most secondaries bronzy-brown, with imperfect bars of black on 
the margins ; head grey like the back, with a supra-loral mark 
of white ; lores ashy ; sides of face white, streaked with ashy- 
grey ; under surface of body white, with streaks of dusky- 
grey on the fore-neck ; sides of upper breast also ashy-grey ; on 
the flanks and under tail-coverts a few incomplete dusky cross- 
bars. 

Young Birds in First Plumage Similar to the winter plumage of 
the adults, but darker and more bronzy-brown, with white spots 
on the edges of the feathers, very distinct on the scapulars and 
wing-coverts ; centre tail-feathers regularly barred with dusky ; 
under surface of body broadly barred with dusky black- 
ish on the breast, flanks, and under tail-coverts; the lower 
throat, fore-neck, and chest thickly mottled with dusky grey ; 
the secondaries not so distinctly barred with white as in the 
adults, the white bars not being continuous across the feathers 
bill olive, the base of the lower mandible orange; feet 
orange, claws olive ; iris hazel. 



THE TRUE TATTLERS. 297 

Characters. The Dusky Red-shank can always be recognised 
by its white lower back and rump. It is the largest of all the 
genus Totanus, with white lower back and rump, and it may 
be distinguished from the Common Red-shank by having the 
secondaries regularly barred with white and dusky-blackish, 
none of them being entirely white. 

Range in Great Britain. The present species is an occasional 
visitant on migration, seldom occurring on the western coasts 
at all, and is decidedly rare in Scotland and Ireland, where but 
few have been obtained. It is principally met with in the 
eastern and southern counties, and more often in autumn than 
in spring. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Spotted Red-shank nests 
in the high north, within the Arctic Circle, from Scandinavia to 
Eastern Siberia. It migrates south in the autumn, and winters 
in the Mediterranean countries, and apparently in other parts 
of Europe, as Mr. W. E. De Winton recently presented the 
Museum with four specimens killed near Harlingen in Hol- 
land, in December. It also visits, during the cold season, the 
Indian Peninsula, the Burmese Provinces, and China. 

Habits. I have only once seen the Spotted Red-shank alive, 
and the specimen which I shot on the 3rd of September at 
Pagham was a solitary bird which I mistook for an ordinary 
Red-shank at the time. I am, therefore, obliged once more 
to quote the observations of Seebohm and other writers. 
The above-named author writes: "The Dusky Red-shank 
is not so much of a shore-bird as the Common Red-shank, and 
is rarely found upon the coast except at the two seasons of 
migration. It loves to haunt inland marshes and the vast 
swampy ground near large rivers, where the water lies in small 
pools. It is also partial to the low banks and dry parts of the 
beds of rivers. Its habits do not differ much from those of 
the other waders. It runs along the marshy shores, or wades 
into the shallow water, in search of food. It is rather shy, and 
when alarmed, it generally flies off for some considerable dis- 
tance. Its flight is rapid, and, as is customary with so many 
wading birds, it sometimes skims along before it alights. Dur- 
ing migration it keeps in small parties and flocks, which do not 
scatter much whilst feeding. It is said to be fond of wading, 



298 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

and, when it gets beyond its depth, to swim with ease, siting 
gracefully on the water, and bowing its head, like a Phalarope, 
with every stroke of its feet. When wounded it has been 
known to dive for some distance." 

Nest. Our best information regarding the breeding of the 
Spotted Red-shank is derived from the researches of the late 
John Wolley, from whose account I make a short extract : 
" This bird not unfrequently lays its eggs in a part of the forest 
which has formerly been burnt ; and here is one of its most 
unexpected singularities a marsh bird choosing the dryest 
possible situation, even hills of considerable height, and 
covered with forest timber. I have myself seen t\vo nests so 
placed, and one of them at least was on ground which, from 
the charred wood lying about, had evidently been burnt at 
some former period. They were nearly at the top of long hills, 
many hundreds of yards from any marshy places, with good- 
sized fir-trees on all sides ; but they were not in the thickest 
part of the forest, and the vegetation on the ground about was 
very scanty, diminutive heather and such-like plants growing 
thinly amongst short rein-deer lichen, slight depressions in the 
ground, placed near some little ancient logs, so nearly buried, 
however, as to afford no shelter ; the bedding only a few dry 
leaves of the Scotch fir. The bird sits sometimes so close that 
one is tempted to try and reach it with the hand. Its white 
back is conspicuous as it crouches with its neck drawn in ; it 
either gets up direct, or runs a short way before it rises, and 
then it flies round, with an occasional ' tjewtyj or stands upon 
the top of a neighbouring tree, showing the full length of its 
slender legs, neck, and bill. But it is not until it has young 
that all its powers of eloquence are fully brought into play ; it 
then comes far to meet any intruder, floating over him with a 
clear cry that echoes through the forest, or is heard over a great 
extent of marsh ; or it stands very near one, bowing its head 
and opening its beak in the energy of its gesticulation." 

Eggs. Four in number, of a rich green ground-colour, when 
fresh, according to Wolley ; or sometimes of a bright brown, 
with reddish-brown blotches and scribblings, which are con- 
gregated principally at the larger end, while in some they are 
almost equally distributed over the entire surface. Axis, 175- 
1*85; diam , i*2-i'3. 



THE TRUE TATTLERS. 299 

II. THE COMMON RED-SHANK. TOTANUS CALIDRIS. 

Scolopax calidris, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 248 (1766). 

Totanus calidris, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 333 (1852) ; Dresser, B. 

Eur. viii. p. 157, pi. 568, fig. i, pi. 569, fig. 2 (1875); 

B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 176 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yar- 

rell's Brit. B. iii. p. 469 (1883) ; Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. 

iii. p. 140, pi. 32, figs. 1-3 (1885) ; Saunders, Man. Brit. 

B. p. 60 1 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xviii. 

(1891) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 414 (1896). 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage. General colour above brown, 
with more or less of a reddish hue, the feathers mottled with 
black centres, and notched or barred with black on the mar- 
gins ; scapulars brown, barred with black; lower back and rump 
pure white, with a few black spots on the latter; upper tail- 
coverts ashy-white, barred across with black ; wing-coverts uni- 
form, excepting the median and greater coverts, which are bar- 
red with lighter brown and notched with white at the ends ; 
bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and primaries uniform blackish- 
brown ; the inner primaries white towards the ends, freckled 
with brown ; secondaries white, with blackish bases ; the inner 
secondaries brown, notched with whity-brown, and more or 
less distinctly barred with black; centre tail-feathers brown, 
barred with darker brown, the remainder white, barred across 
with blackish ; crown of head dark brown, the feathers edged 
with lighter brown ; lores blackish ; sides of face and ear- 
coverts white, streaked with blackish-brown ; cheeks, throat, 
and under surface of body white, streaked with broad central 
markings of blackish-brown, most of the breast-feathers with 
more or less concealed bars of brown ; abdomen white ; sides 
of body and flanks with arrow-shaped bars and streaks of 
brown ; under tail-coverts white, barred across with brown ; 
under wing-coverts and axillaries pure white, with a few narrow 
brown bars near the edge of the wing ; quills below dusky- 
brown, ashy on the inner web, many of the quills freckled or 
barred with brown ; bill black, red near the base ; feet bright 
orange-red; iris brown. Total length, 9-5 inches; oilmen, 1*55; 
wing, 5-85 ; tail, 2-4; tarsus, 1-65. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but not quite so strongly 
mottled with black above, and somewhat less spotted below. 



300 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Total length, 10 inches.; oilmen, 1*5; wing, 6'2 ; tail, 2*45; 
tarsus, 1-65. 

Adult in Winter Plumage. Differs from the summer plumage in 
being more uniform both above and below. The upper sur- 
face is dark ashy-brown, the wing- coverts and inner secondaries 
are also uniform brown, excepting for a few whitish notches and 
bars at the end of the greater coverts and on some of the inner 
secondaries ; otherwise the quills and tail-feathers are the same 
as in the summer plumage ; throat and underparts white ; the 
sides of the face and lower throat narrowly streaked with 
blackish ; the fore-neck, chest, and sides of breast uniform 
ashy-brown; the sides of the body, flanks, and under tail- 
coverts white, with wavy bars of blackish-brown ; the centre of 
the breast also mottled with a few spots and bars of brown ; 
bill dark brown ; feet yellow iris dark brown. 

Young after First Moult. Similar to the winter plumage of the 
adults, but more spangled above, with reddish-brown edges to 
the feathers, and white or fulvous notches or bars on the wing- 
coverts and inner secondaries ; under surface of body with 
triangular spots of brown on the fore-neck and breast, and the 
sides of the body irregularly barred with brown. 

Nestling. Reddish above, longitudinally streaked with black; 
the sides of the crown and sides of face buff, with a black line 
through the eye ; down the centre of the crown rufous, with a 
median line of black ; the nape and hind neck for the most 
part black ; down the back a central line of black mesially mot- 
tled with buff, and on each side of the back a broad line of pale 
buff intersected by a line of black. 

Characters. The present species is easily told from the 
other Tattlers by its white rump and white inner secondaries. 
No other species of Totanus offers the above combinations of 
characters. 

Range in Great Britain. The Red-shank breeds in suitable 
places throughout the greater part of the United Kingdom, 
affecting the marshy country, especially on the Broads and near 
the coast rivers. It nests less commonly in Wales, and is rare 
on the outer Hebrides, but occurs nearly everywhere else, either 
as a nesting species or as an autumn visitor to tru coasts and 



THE TRUE TATTLERS. 301 

tideways. Mr. R. J. Ussher states that it is reported to breed 
in every county in Ireland, except Dublin, Carlow, and Water- 
ford. On the callows of the Shannon, and in marshy districts, 
it often breeds numerously. 

Kange outside the British Islands. This species breeds through- 
out the greater part of Europe and the Mediterranean, to 
the Faeroes and Iceland, in Scandinavia up to 70 N. lat. 
and in Northern Russia near Archangel. It is also found nest- 
ing in Central Asia as far east as Mongolia, and north to about 
55 N. lat. in Siberia. In winter the Red-shank visits Africa as 
far as the Cape, India, and the Burmese provinces, Japan, and 
China, and extends to the islands of the Indo-Malayan Archi- 
pelago. 

Habits. In autumn the Red-shanks are met with on most 
of our tidal harbours, either singly or in flocks, and they are 
generally seen frequenting the saltings or the green margins of 
the harbours left by the receding tide. Even at full tide they 
are fond of resting on the very edge of the saltings, standing 
motionless on one leg, and keeping a sharp look-out. Their 
clear and liquid note is not difficult to imitate by whistling, and 
small flocks may be decoyed within shooting range, especially 
when the tide has begun to ebb, and the green land becomes 
once more uncovered. The call-note is a syllable, pi-u y 
generally uttered three times, pi-u, pit, /, in a minor key. 
During the breeding-season the love-note of the male is a lively 
flute-like whistle, and is often heard as he accompanies his 
mate in a short flight. The species may be said to nest in 
communities, as many pairs are found in close proximity on the 
marshy ground which they love to frequent. Like many other 
waders, the male often soars into the air with a trill, and he 
also indulges in many bowings and scrapings, opening and clos- 
ing his wings, and spreading out his tail. Mr. Seebohm says that 
at this time of year the bird will often settle on a tree or a post. 

Nest. Generally well concealed in the centre of a hummock 
of long grass, the bents of which bend over and hide it. A few 
scraps of moss or bents are sometimes used as lining, but the 
nest is often nothing but a depression in the ground. 

Eggs> _Four in number, pear-shaped, and rather large for the 
size of the bird. They are laid in April in the south, but later 



302 



LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 



in the north of Europe, and Mr. Seebohm relates that he took 
fresh eggs in the north of Norway on the 22nd of June. The 
ground-colour varies from stone-colour to warm clay-brown or 
pale cinnamon; the overlying spots and blotches are of a 
blackish-brown generally, though sometimes reddish, and vary 
considerably in their distribution. Axis, 17-1-9 ; diam, 1-1-1-2. 

III. THE MARSH GREEN-SHANK. TOTANUS STAGNATILIS. 

Tetanus stagnatilis, Bechst. Orn. Taschenb. ii. p. 292, cum tab. 
(1803); Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 422 (1896). 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage. General colour above nearly 
uniform ashy-brown, some of the feathers slightly margined 
with white ; scapulars like the back ; lower back and rump 
pure white; upper tail-coverts white, mesially streaked and 
transversely barred with black ; lesser wing-coverts darker 
brown than the back ; median and greater coverts ashy-brown 
like the back, with narrow margins of paler brown ; bastard- 
wing brown like the coverts; primary coverts and quills blackish, 
fringed with white at the end of the inner web ; secondaries 
ashy-brown like the greater coverts, and fringed with white at 
the ends ; the inner secondaries ashy-brown, irregularly spotted 
with black ; centre tail-feathers ashy, irregularly barred with 
black, the remainder white, freckled on the outer web and 
barred on the inner one with blackish ; crown of head ashy- 
brown like the back, mottled with blackish centres to the 
feathers; forehead and an indistinct eyebrow hoary-white; 
lores white ; sides of face, ear-coverts, and cheeks white, spotted 
or streaked with ashy-brown ; chin, throat, and under surface 
of body pure white, with a few dusky streaks and bars on the 
sides of the upper breast; under wing-coverts and axillaries 
pure white, the lower primary-coverts grey, edged with white ; 
quills below ashy, with white fringes to the secondaries ; bill 
black, olive-brown at base ; feet yellowish-brown with an olive 
tinge; claws dark brown; iris brown. Total length, 9-5 
inches; culmen, r6; wing, 5-2; tail, 2-1; tarsus, 2'i. 

Adults in Summer Plumage. Differ from the winter plumage 
in having black bars and centres to the feathers of the upper 
surface; on the throat and breast are some spots and streaks 
of black, as well as some arrow-head markings, these being less 
distinct on the flanks. 






THE TRUE TATTLERS. 303 

Characters. The Marsh Tattler is distinguished from the 
Red-shanks by its smaller size, the wing scarcely exceeding 
five inches. The outer tail-feathers are white, freckled with 
brown on the outer web, but not barred as in the above-men- 
tioned birds. 

Range in Great Britain. The Hon. Walter Rothschild informs 
me that he himself shot a specimen of a Marsh Sandpiper on 
the Tring Reservoirs in October, 1887. He identified it from 
Dresser's " Birds of Europe," and believes the identification to 
have been correct. As, however, the specimen was burnt in a 
fire, along with other valuable birds, he has been unable to 
submit it to me for examination. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Marsh Green-shank oc- 
curs throughout Southern Europe, across Central Asia to 
Eastern Siberia, and migrates in winter to South Africa, the 
Indian Peninsula, and the Moluccas as far as. Australia. 

IV. THE YELLOW-SHANK. TOTANUS FLAVIPES. 

Scolopax flavipes, Gm. Syst. Nat. i. p. 659 (1788). 
Totanus flavipes, B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 176 (1883); Saun- 
ders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 480 (1883); Seebohm 
Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 136, pi. 32, fig. 8 (1885); Saunders, 
Man. Brit. B. p. 599 (1889); Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. 
xxiv. p. 431 (1896). 

Adult in Winter Plumage. General colour above uniform ashy- 
brown, with obsolete white fringes to the feathers ; scapulars 
like the back ; lower back and rump black, the feathers edged 
with white ; upper tail-coverts white, the lateral ones with a few 
irregular bars of black; lesser wing-coverts blackish, fringed 
with white ; median and greater coverts brown, rather broadly 
edged with white, and sub-marginally barred with black in an 
interrupted manner ; bastard-wing, primary-coverts, and quills 
blackish, the inner primaries and the secondaries browner, 
fringed with white ; the long inner secondaries like the greater 
coverts, and sub-marginally spotted with black; tail-feathers 
white, barred with black, the bars more numerous and distinct 
on the outer webs, though closer together, and more broken on 
the inner webs, which are mostly white for the basal half; the 
centre feathers ashy towards the ends, with broad dusky bars ; 



304 LLOYD S NATURAL HISTORY. 

crown of head uniform, like the back, or only slightly streaked 
with blackish ; lores dusky-blackish, surmounted by a broad 
streak of white; eyelid white; sides of face and ear-coverts 
brown, streaked with white ; cheeks, throat, and under surface 
of body white, the throat with hair-like blackish streaks ; sides 
of neck, fore-neck, and chest ashy-brown, with whitish vermi- 
culations, or whitish mottled with ashy-brown; breast and ab- 
domen pure white, freckled with bars and vermiculations of 
ashy-brown on the sides of body and flanks ; thighs and under 
tail-coverts white, the latter with a few bars of blackish; under 
wing-coverts white, barred with sub-marginal markings of black- 
ish; axillaries white, with dusky bars, not very perfect, of brown ; 
lower primary-coverts and quills below ashy, the former with 
whitish bars near the end. Total length, 9 inches ; culmen, 
1-45 ; wing, 67 ; tail, 2-3 ; tarsus, 2. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male. Total length, 9-5 inches; 
culmen, r6; wing, 6*5; tail, 2-2; tarsus, 2-25. 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. Differs from the winter 
plumage in being mottled with black, the centres to the 
feathers being black ; median and greater wing-coverts being 
more or less conspicuously barred and notched with black ; 
centre tail-feathers ashy-brown, barred with black, the lateral 
ones white with less complete blackish bars ; head black, 
streaked with white; under surface of body white, with 
blackish streaks on the sides of the face, throat, and breast, 
the latter broader and more arrow-shaped; the sides of the 
breast distinctly barred with black; axillaries with only a few 
blackish bars; bill black; feet bright yellow ; iris dark brown. 
Total length, 9 inches; culmen, 1*4; wing, 6*4; tail, 2*45; 
tarsus, 1*9. 

Young after First Moult. Much more mottled than the winter 
plumage of the adult, which it otherwise resembles ; all the 
feathers having spots or notches of brownish- white on the mar- 
gins ; the throat and chest minutely streaked with ashy-brown, 
and the sides of the breast mottled with larger spots of ashy- 
brown ; axillaries almost entirely white, with scarcely any evi- 
dences of dusky bars. 

Characters. The Yellow-shank is distinguished from both of 
the Red-shanks by having the lower back and rump dusky- 



SNIPE-TATTLERS. 305 

brown instead of white, and by the upper tail- coverts being 
white, with the longer ones banded. Its yellow legs are also a 
specific character. 

Range in Great Britain. Only two specimens are recorded as 
having been met with in this country : one in Nottingham- 
shire some years ago, and another in Cornwall, in September, 
1871. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species breeds in 
Arctic America, from Hudson's Bay to Alaska, and south to 
Lake Superior, and probably to the vicinity of Chicago. In 
winter it migrates to Central and Southern America as far as 
Patagonia and Chili. 

Habits. Mr. D. G. Elliot writes: "This Snipe is very soci- 
able, goes in flocks of considerable size, and is always calling foi 
others to come and join it. It is easily decoyed, more so than 
T. melanoleucus, and as it approaches the lures, it lowers its 
long legs and hovers over them. On the sea-coast, like all the 
waders, it is apt to have a sedgy flavour, but this is not ap- 
parent in the birds obtained in the interior away from salt- 
water." 

Nest. "A depression in the ground, placed amid the grass 
near water, lined with twigs and leaves." 

Eggs. " Four in number, of a light drab-colour or brown, 
blotched with chocolate or rufous, sometimes with a much 
paler tint, pyriform in shape. Axis, 1-5-1 7 5 inch; diam. 
i -25 "(Elliot). 

THE SNIPE-TATTLERS. GENUS MACRORHAMPIIUS. 

MaerorhamphuS) Leach, Syst. Cat. Mamm. and Birds Brit Mus. 
p. 3i (1816). 

Type, M. griseus (Gm.). 

This genus has generally been considered to be closely re- 
lated to the true Snipes, but I think that its most natural place 
will be found to be near the Godwits. Like these birds, it has 
a very long bill, with the culmen exceeding the tail in length. 
In appearance the bill is Snipe-like, and is slightly widened at 

II X 



306 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

the end of both mandibles, which are pitted. The female has 
a longer bill than the male. 

Two species of Macrorhamphus are recognised, one being 
North American and the other inhabiting Eastern Siberia. It 
is the former which has visited Great Britain on several occa- 
sions. 

I. THE RED-BREASTED SNIPE-TATTLER. MACRORHAMPHUS 
GRISEUS. 

Scolopax grisea, Gm. Syst. Nat. i. p. 658 (1788). 
Macrorhamphus griseus, Macgill. Brit. B, iv. p. 275 (1852); 

Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 187, pi. 571 (1878); B. O. U. 

List Brit. B. p. 177 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. 

B. iii. p. 357 (1883); id. Man. Brit. B. p. 561 (1889); 

Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 394 (1896). 
Ereunetes griseus, Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 168 (1885). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above very 
dark, the feathers being black, with pale cinnamon or buffy- 
white spots on either web of the feathers, the scapulars barred 
with rufous or buffy- white like the long innermost secondaries; 
wing-coverts like the back, with white tips to the greater series, 
the coverts uniform brown where the rufous spotting of the sum- 
mer plumage has not commenced; bastard-wing, primary- 
coverts, and quills blackish, the latter with brown shafts, except 
the first one, which has a white shaft ; the inner primary- 
coverts and inner primaries tipped with white, the latter with a 
whity-brown longitudinal streak along the terminal region of 
the shaft ; the secondaries margined with white externally and 
round the tip, with a white shaft-streak also; the innermost 
secondaries like the back; lower back and rump white, the 
latter with black spots or horseshoe-shaped bars ; the upper 
tail-coverts and centre tail-feathers white, washed with rufous, 
and barred across with dusky black, the former with a sub-ter- 
minal black spot as well; remainder of the tail-feathers blackish- 
brown, barred with white, these bars narrower than the dusky 
ones and somewhat irregular in shape ; crown of head nearly 
uniform blackish, except for a few spots of pale cinnamon, the 
hinder-neck streaked with the latter colour and dusky blackish; 
a broad eyebrow of sandy-buff; sides of the face of the same 



THE SNIfE-TATfLERS. 307 

colour, with tiny streaks of dusky-brown ; lores dusky-brown ; 
cheeks and under surface of body light cinnamon-rufous, with 
a few dots of dusky black, mostly on the sides of the upper 
breast, the sides of the body with dusky-blackish bars ; under 
tail-coverts again spotted ; axillaries white, barred with blackish; 
under wing-coverts also white, barred with horse-shoe markings 
of blackish ; bill dark olive ; feet light yellowish-olive ; iris red- 
dish-hazel. Total length, 10 inches ; oilmen, 2-2 ; wing, 5*5 ; 
tail, 2'o ; tarsus, 1*3. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male in colour, but apparently 
with a longer bill. Total length, n inches; oilmen, 2*9 ; wing, 
5*65; tail, i "9; tarsus, 1*15. 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage. Uniform ashy-grey above, with 
a few blackish shaft-lines on the feathers of the mantle ; wing- 
coverts darker brown than the back, and fringed with white ; 
quills as in the summer plumage ; centre of the back white; the 
lower back, rump, and upper tail coverts white, barred with 
black, the bars not always transverse, but sometimes horse-shoe- 
shaped ; tail barred with black and white, the bars complete on 
the centre tail-feathers, but somewhat broken up and irregular 
on the other ones ; crown of head and hind-neck uniform ashy- 
brown ; lores and sides of face dull ashy, with a tolerably broad 
streak of white above the lores, minutely streaked with dusky ; 
the sides of the face also with dusky streaks ; throat, chest, and 
sides of the body white, with dusky streaks on the former and 
small bars on the latter, the lower throat and fore-neck shaded 
with ashy ; lower breast and abdomen pure white, unspotted ; 
under tail-coverts white with distinct black spots; under wing- 
coverts and axillaries white, with black spots on the former, the 
greater series with bars of an irregular form, the cross-markings 
on the axillaries broken up into spots and irregularly shaped 
bars, some of which are sub-marginal. 

Young Birds. Are like the winter plumage of the adults, but 
are very much darker ashy-brown ; the feathers of the back black, 
edged with rufous, before which is a mark of black ; the grey on 
the throat is altogether darker, and is washed with rufous, and 
there is a distinct wash of rufous all over the breast and on the 
under tail-coverts ; the bars on the axillaries are distinct, but 
are fewer in number than in the adult. 

X 2 



308 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Kange in Great Britain. Some sixteen occurrences of this 
species have been recorded, and others, Jess genuine, have 
been noted. It is evident that stray individuals visit us occa- 
sionally in the autumn, and naturally most of them have been 
captured on our western coasts, though examples have been 
obtained in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Middlesex. In 1889 
Mr. Howard Saunders knew of no specimens from Ire- 
land, but the occurrence of the species in that country 
was recorded in 1894 by Mr. Barrett-Hamilton, two examples 
having been procured in Queen's co. and Tipperary respec- 
tively in November, 1893. The latter were supposed to 
belong to the western race, M. scolopaceus. I may remark 
that I have been unable to recognise the distinctions between 
M. griseus and M. scolopaceus, for it seems to me that long- 
billed and short-billed examples of the Red-breasted Snipe- 
Tattler occur, just as they do with the Dunlins and other 
waders, and that specific differences founded on these charac- 
ters cannot be defined. 

Range outside the British Islands. The present species inhabits 
Arctic America, and breeds there, both long and short-billed 
forms being found in the north, and occurring together in their 
winter-homes in Texas and elsewhere in Central and South 
America. 

Habits. Mr. Elliot describes this species as a tame and 
unsuspicious bird, and one which is easily allured to its fate 
by means of decoy birds and an imitation of its note. Mr. E. 
W. Nelson writes : " They are very demonstrative birds in 
their love-making, and in the last of May and first of June 
their loud cries are heard everywhere about their haunts, 
especially in morning and evening. Two or three males start 
in pursuit of a female, and away they go twisting and turning, 
here and there, over marsh and stream, with marvellous swift- 
ness and dexterity. At short intervals a male checks his flight 
for a moment to utter a strident peet u iveet ; ivee-too, wee-loo ; 
then on he goes full tilt again. After they have mated, or 
when a solitary male pays his devotions, they rise fifteen or 
twenty yards from the ground, where, hovering upon quivering 
wings, the bird pours forth a lisping but energetic and fre- 
quently musical song, which can be very imperfectly expressed 
by the syllables peet-peet ; p'ee-ter- wee-too ; wee-too ; pee-ter-wee- 



THE GODWITS. 309 

too ; pee-ter-wee-too ; wee-too ; wee-too. This is the complete 
song, but frequently only fragments are sung, as when the bird 
is in pursuit of the female." 

Nest. According to Mr. E. W. Nelson, "it is merely a shal- 
low depression in the ground formed by the bird's body in the 
soft moss, and without a trace of lining." 

Eggs. Four in number. Of these Mr. Nelson gives the 
following description : " The ground-colour varies from a 
greenish-clayey-olive to a light greyish or clay-colour. The 
spots are large, well-defined, and scattered sparsely, except 
about the tip of large end, where they are crowded. These 
spots are dark umber-brown, and present a striking contrast to 
the ground-colour." Axis, i'8; diam., 1*2. 

THE GODWITS. GENUS LIMOSA. 

Limosa^ Briss. Orn. v. p. 261 (1760). 

Type, L. lapponica (L.). 

The Godwits are distinguished from the Curlews by their 
straight bill. This is very long, and exceeds the tail in length ; 
it is also slightly upturned, and is longer in the female than in 
the male. 

Five species of Godwits are recognised, of which two are 
British, though neither of them breed within our limits. The 
Bar-tailed Godwit (L. lapponica) has an eastern representative, 
L. nova zealandia, and L. limosa is also an Old World species, 
while two, L. hudsonica and L. fedoa, are American. These 
birds breed in the high north, but migrate so far south in 
winter that the range of the genus may be said to be almost 
cosmopolitan. 

I. THE BAR-TAILED GODWIT. LIMOSA LAPPONICA. 

Scolopax lapponica^ Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 246 (1766). 
Limosa rufa, Briss.; Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 260 (1852). 
Limosa lapponica, Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 203, pi. 573, fig. i 

pi. 574, fig. 2 (1872); B. O. U. List Brit. B. p. 177 

(1883) ; Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. p. 494 (1883) ; 

id. Man. Brit. B. p. 607 (1889); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. 

B. part xxii. (1892); Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxjv. 

P- 373 (1896). 



3 TO LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Totamti sufuS) Briss. ; Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 156 
(1885). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above t>fack- 
ish, mottled with chestnut-red, with which each feather is 
notched or margined ; wing-coverts dark brown, with white 
edgings to the feathers, a little broader on the inner webs ot 
the greater series, many of the coverts tinged with chestnut, 
especially on the inner greater coverts ; bastard-wing, primary- 
coverts, and quills blackish, the primaries lighter brown on the 
inner web, freckled towards its base, which is whitish, the first 
primary with a white shaft, the rest with brown shafts ; secon- 
daries brown, edged with white, and with a longitudinal sub- 
terminal mark of white along the inner web ; the innermost 
secondaries like the back, blackish notched with rufous ; lower 
back and rump white, mottled with spear-shaped spots of 
black ; the upper tail-coverts barred with black and white 01 
chestnut and black ; tail-feathers brown or greyish-brown, 
tipped with white and barred across with white, the white bars 
sometimes tinged with chestnut; crown of head chestnut, 
streaked with blackish-brown centres to the feathers, narrower 
on the hind-neck ; a broad chestnut eyebrow ; lores and sides 
of face chestnut, with numerous blackish spots on the former ; 
under the eye a whitish spot ; entire under surface of body 
chestnut, with blackish streaks on the sides of the upper breast ; 
under wing-coverts and axillaries white, with indistinct spots 
on the former, and bars on the latter of dusky brown ; quills 
dusky below, with more or less white on the inner webs ; bill 
flesh-colour, dusky on its terminal half; feet greyish -blue, toes 
darker, claws black ; iris brown. Total length, 18*5 inches, 
culmen, 2-65; wing, 7-9; tail, 2'8; tarsus, r8. 

Adult Female. Similar to the male, but with a longer bill, 
and apparently never becoming so entirely chestnut below or 
on the sides of the face and neck. Total length, 16 inches; 
wing, 8-25. 

Adult in Winter Plumage. Ashy-brown above with longi- 
tudinal black centres to the feathers, and evident ashy-white 
margins, the wing-coverts like the back, and the white edges 
very strongly marked; wings and tail as in the breeding 
plumage, but the bars lighter brown and not so black, and 



THE GODWITS. 311 

those on the outer tail-feathers considerably broken up ; lower 
back, rump, and upper tail-coverts pure white with a few 
arrow-head-shaped markings and bars, more distinct on the 
upper tail-coverts ; head and neck light ashy-brown, streaked 
with lines of darker brown, the sides of the face speckled with 
light-brown ; under surface of body pure white, with a few 
streaks of brown on the lower throat, sides of breast, and sides 
of body, where the streaks take the form of arrow-head-shaped 
markings; on the chest a few obsolete dusky cross-bars; 
axillaries and under-wing coverts white, the former with twin 
spots of blackish-brown ; the centre tail-feathers ashy-brown 
with a few remains of darker brown mottlings, the rest of the 
feathers notched and barred with white on the inner webs, and 
usually uniform on the outer webs. 

Young Birds. Resemble the adults in winter plumage, but 
are much more fulvescent, and especially of an ashy-fulvous 
shade over the lower throat and chest, and more decidedly 
fulvous on the sides of the body. The* whole of the upper 
surface is mottled with rufous-buff in the shape of tawny 
notches to most of the feathers, and the whole of the tail is 
regularly barred across with dusky-brown and buffy-whitish, 
the bands being about seven in number. 

Range in Great Britain. Although the present species does 
not breed in Great Britain, it passes on migration in con- 
siderable numbers, especially in autumn. It is, however, some- 
what local in its distribution, for while this Godwit is found in 
winter sparingly in the eastern and southern counties of Eng- 
land, Mr. Abel Chapman has observed it in thousands on the 
coast of Northumberland, even in very severe weather. On 
the return migration in spring it is often seen in the south- 
eastern counties of England, and as far north as Norfolk ; but 
it becomes rarer in Scotland, on the west coast of which country 
it is very local, though it is tolerably plentiful in Ireland during 
autumn and winter, receiving ah accession of numbers in the 
spring, particularly on the west coast. (Cf. Saunders, " Manual," 
p. 607.) 

Range outside the British Islands. The Bar-tailed Godwit 
breeds as far west as Finland and Lapland, and occurs as 
far east as the Yenesei Valley. In winter it migrates to the 



3i2 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

Mediterranean and extends to Senegambia in West Africa, and 
to the Somali coast in East Africa, its eastern winter range 
being apparently Sind. In Eastern Siberia, east of the 
Taimyr Peninsula, its place is taken by an allied species, Z. 
novce zealandice, which passes in winter, by way of China and 
Japan, as far south as Australia and New Zealand. 

Habits. The present species is by no means rare on the 
mud-flats and tidal harbours on our coasts in autumn, and I 
have found it either singly or in small flocks. At this time of 
year the specimens obtained are nearly all young birds, and 
they may be decoyed down from an immense height in the air 
by imitating their note. I have sometimes whistled a little 
band till they settled on the mud within twenty paces of me, 
and they seemed so hungry as to disregard my presence 
entirely, and begin at once to feed voraciously, digging their 
bills down into the mud up to the hilt. I have never ob- 
served Godwits scooping with their bills in the sand or mud, 
or working their bills from side to side like an Avocet, as 
described by Seebohm, though I agree with the last-named 
writer that in its ways the Godwit is very like a Green-shank, 
or, for that matter, any other member of the genus Totanus. 

In the spring the Godwits frequent the tidal harbours and 
mud-flats, feeding out on the latter at low-tide, and wing 
their way to the neighbouring fields when the tide begins to 
flow and cover their feeding grounds. They are then very 
wary, and fly to and fro at a considerable height, nor will any 
amount of whistling induce them to settle within shooting 
distance. The red-plumaged birds which I have obtained for 
the British Museum were shot by me in May after a great deal 
of trouble, and I only obtained them by watching their line of 
flight to the pasture-lands, and waiting patiently till they flew 
over. Even in the spring-time they were in companies, and quite 
a goodly number of birds in their full nesting plumage could be 
seen with a glass, sitting out on the fields and engaged in doz- 
ing on one leg or preening their feathers. In autumn the young 
birds which arrive on our coasts are exceedingly unsuspicious, 
and they migrate right across country, for I have heard their 
call-notes high in the air, when standing on Primrose Hill in 
North London on a September night ; and I have also heard 
them pass quite low down over Bournemouth in the night. 



THE GODWITS. 313 

Their food is of the usual kind devoured by wading birds. Ac- 
cording to Mr. Wolley, the species breeds in marshes chiefly in 
the neighbourhood of mountains, and the nest is very difficult 
to find. 

Nest. Like that of the next species. 

Eggs. Four in number, of an olive or olive-brown colour, 
somewhat sparsely-marked with light brown and underlying 
purplish-grey spots in about equal intensity. In some 
examples the spots are of a richer brown, and congregate 
somewhat towards the larger end of the egg. The form 
varies from a stout to an elongated pear-shape. Axis, 2-05- 
2-35 inches; diam., 1-45-1-55. 

II. THE BLACK- TAILED GODWIT. LIMOSA LIMOSA. 

Scolopax limosa^ Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 246 (1766). 

Limosa agocephala (Linn.), Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 269 (1852) ; 
Dresser, B. Eur. viii. p. 211, pi. 574 (1872); B. O. U. List 
Brit. B. p. 178 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. 
p. 488 (1883); Lilford, Col. Fig. Brit. B. part xxvii. 

(1893). 

Totanus melanurus, Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 162 (1885). 
Limosa belgica (Gm.), Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 609 (1889). 
Livwsa limosa, Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 381 (1896). 

(Plate XCf.) 

Adult Male in Winter Plumage. General colour above ashy- 
brown, with slightly paler edges to the feathers ; lower back 
and rump blackish-brown ; upper tail-coverts white, the long 
ones tipped with black ; lesser wing-coverts darker brown than 
the back ; median coverts dusky-brown, lighter brown exter- 
nally, and fringed with white ; greater coverts broadly tipped 
with white, forming a wing-band ; bastard-wing blackish ; pri- 
mary-coverts also blackish, the inner ones broadly tipped with 
white ; primaries blackish, with white shafts, the greater part 
of the inner webs white, and then sub-terminally brown, the 
white extending to the base of the outer web on all but the first 
primary, and increasing in extent on the inner primaries and 
secondaries, the latter being white, with a broad blackish tip, 
which gradually diminishes in size on the inner secondaries ; 
the innermost secondaries brown like the back tail white at 



314 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

the base, with, a broad black terminal band, gradually decreasing 
in size towards the outer feathers, which are edged with white 
at the tip, the centre feathers brownish at the tip ; head ashy- 
brown, the forehead more hoary; an indistinct whitish eyebrow 
extending from the base of the nostril to behind the eye ; lores 
dusky-grey ; below the eye a whitish spot ; sides of face, sides 
of neck, throat, and chest light ashy-brown, a little darker on 
the sides of the body ; fore-part of cheeks and upper throat 
white, as well as the whole of the centre of the breast, abdo- 
men, under tail-coverts, under wing-coverts, and axillaries ; the 
edge of the wing mottled with dark brown bases to the feathers; 
quill-lining white; bill pale fleshy, blackish-brown at the tip; 
feet olivaceous-green, toes blackish-brown ; iris brown. Total 
length, 16-5 inches ; culmen, 4/4 ; wing, 8*8 ; tail, 3 ; tarsus, 
3'2- 

Adult Female in Winter Plumage. Similar to the male in colour, 
but rather larger ; bill livid pink, blackish-horny at the tip ; 
feet blackish-plumbeous, toes brownish ; iris brown. Total 
length, 17-5 inches; culmen, 5; wing, 8-5; tail, 3; tarsus, 
3*35- 

Adult Male in Summer Plumage. Differs in having the back 
more or less mottled with rufous and black, the crown of the 
head rufous, with short broad streaks of black, the sides of the 
face and entire neck all round rufous, the fore-neck and breast 
overshaded with rufous, and barred with dusky-blackish, these 
bars also developed on the abdomen and on the sides of the 
body. 

Adult Female in Summer Plumage. Similar to the male, but with 
less rufous, and distinguished by the larger size. 

Young. Distinguished from the adults by being darker brown 
above, with broad sandy-rufous edges to the feathers of the 
upper surface, the innermost secondaries banded with blackish- 
brown and sandy-rufous ; the head rufous, streaked with dark 
brown, but indistinctly ; sides of face buffy-white, with very fine 
streaks of brown ; throat white ; lower throat, sides of neck, 
and chest reddish-buff, slightly mottled with dusky bases to the 
feathers of the side of the breast ; remainder of under surface 
white, suffused with rufescent buff, and shaded with ashy-brown 
on the sides of the body. 



THE GODWITS. 315 

Range in Great Britain. The Black-tailed Godwit is now only 
a migrant to Great Britain, occurring more or less locally on all 
our coasts, and appearing principally in our eastern and southern 
counties. It still breeds in Holland, and used to do so in 
England less than fifty years ago. The fens of Lincolnshire 
and the Isle of Ely were its habitat, and one of the last 
recorded nests was taken in Norfolk in 1847. 

Range outside the British Islands. From Belgium and Holland 
to Northern Germany, Poland, and Silesia, the present species 
nests, as well as in Scandinavia up to 65 N. lat. It also 
breeds in the Faeroes, and in the south-east of Iceland. It 
ranges to Western Siberia as far as the valley of the Ob, and 
migrates south in winter to North-western India. At the same 
time of year it visits the Mediterranean, and also North-eastern 
Africa. 

Habits. The traveller by the train from Rotterdam to Am 
sterdam in May may often see Black-tailed Godwits standing 
in pairs by the muddy dykes, taking no notice of the rushing 
locomotive, and placidly standing on one leg by the side of 
the water, or dozing, with the bill tucked under the shoulder- 
feathers. Like that of the Bar-tailed Godwit, its nest is very 
difficult to find, as related by Seebohm in his " History of 
British Birds," where he tells of the toils af searching for the 
nests in the marshes of Jutland. Mr. A C. Chapman has 
given a vivid account of the finding of the aests of the Black- 
tailed Godwit in West Jutland by his brother, Mr. Abel Chap- 
man, and himself. He writes : " The marshes, as distinct 
from the islets and salt-grass promontories, are areas of squashy 
moss, grass, rush, and bog-plants, difficult, if not dangerous, 
to explore ; but in most cases there are creeks of water which 
intersect these marshes in various directions, and enable a 
flat-bottomed boat to be pushed about, so as to give access to 
their interiors. Then it becomes necessary, in the search for 
eggs, to traverse on foot their squashy surfaces, where, at every 
step, the ground quakes for yards around in a most unpleasant 
fashion, and the water oozes out of the moss well over one's 
boot-tops. Such are the places most loved by the Black-tailed 
Godwit, and, on approaching, the wailing cry will soon be 
followed by the note of a bird high in air. That bird has 



316 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

left its nest perhaps a thousand yards ahead, nor will it usually 
return thereto until it has made itself pretty confident that the 
danger has disappeared. To find the nest, therefore, is no 
easy matter. Indeed, after considerable experience, I may 
say that few birds are so cautious at their nests as Godwits, 
and even after the nest has, after long search, been luckily dis- 
covered, still the old birds never come within range of ordinary 
gun-shot. The general cry of these waders, when not dis- 
tressed, may be syllabled as * tu-ee-tdooj often repeated ; but 
they have a variety of cries, their distress-call being a clamorous 
wail, not unlike that of a Common Buzzard, though, of course, 
not so loud." In food and general habits the present species 
resembles the Bar-tailed Godwit. 

Nest. Those found by Mr. Chapman were mere depressions 
in the moss, without any special lining material. " The date 
of laying," he writes, " seems to vary considerably, for on May 
loth we found our first nest, containing four very hard-set 
eggs, which must have been laid about the last week in April. 
Then, on May i3th we not only found a nest containing four 
fresh eggs, but we were also fortunate enough to discover a brood 
of young ones, perhaps two days old. It should be mentioned, 
in explanation, that we had thrice tried to find this last nest ; 
but the bird always rose from a different part of the marsh, 
which led us to believe that she must have young, and it was 
while making, after a long watch, a final effort to find the eggs, 
that we accidentally stumbled on the young birds in the long 
grass. On one occasion, after we had been lying for some 
time pretty well concealed, we noticed, through the binoculars, 
a Godwit walking and running towards us, until it eventually 
disappeared quite suddenly. We thought that it might have 
sat down on the nest, so we marked the place carefully, and 
then stood up ; the bird instantly rose about 150 yards from 
us, and on walking straight to the spot, we were delighted to 
find the nest with four olive-green eggs. In another instance 
we observed two birds playing together in the air, over a certain 
part of the bog, in such a manner, that our suspicions were 
sufficiently aroused to cause us to cross the quaking surface, 
until we actually walked right on to the nest and its four eggs." 

Eggs. Four in number, very similar to those of L. lappoirica. 




/ 



THE CURLEWS. 317 

but sometimes darker olive-brown than the latter. Axis, 
2-05-2-3 inches; diam., 1-45-1-55. 



THE CURLEWS. GENUS NUMENIUS. 

NumtniuS) Briss. Orn. v. p. 311 (1760). 

Type, N. arquatus (Linn.). 

Nine species of Curlews are admitted by ornithologists, of 
which four may be considered to be true Curlews, viz., N. arcna- 
tus, N. tenuirostris of the Mediterranean region, N. cyanopus of 
Australia, and N. longirostris of North America. All of these 
have the head marked like the back, and do not show a pale 
median stripe along the crown like the other species of the 
genus, viz., the Whimbrels. Taking our common species of 
Whimbrel as the type of the second section, we find five species, 
all of which have the sides of the crown dark, with a broad pale 
band down the centre. The Whimbrels are : our own species 
and its eastern race N. variegatus, N. hudsoniais and N. borea- 
lis of North America, and N. tahitiensis of the Pacific Islands. 
Thus it will be seen that the genus Numenius is well nigh 
cosmopolitan in its range. 

I. THE COMMON CURLEW. NUMENIUS ARQUATUS. 

Scolopax arquata, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 242 (1766). 
Aumenius arquatus, Macgill. Brit. B. iv. p. 243 (1852); Dres- 
ser, B. Eur. viii. p. 243, pi. 578 (1873); B. O. U. List 
Brit. B. p. 179 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. 
p. 499 (1883) ; Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 94 (1885); 
Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 611 (1889); Lilford, Col. 
Fig. Brit. B. part xix. (189.1); Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. 
xxiv. p. 341 (1896). 

(Plate XCIL \ad.\ Plate XCIII., Fig. 3 [>//.].) 
Adult Male in Breeding Plumage General colour above brown, 
with longitudinal black centres to the feathers imparting a 
broadly striped appearance, the feathers of the upper surface 
being notched with ashy or rufous, giving to many of the 
scapulars a somewhat barred appearance ; wing-coverts dark 



LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORV. 

brown, edged with whity-brown, the median and greater series 
also chequered with the latter colour, imparting a somewhat 
barred appearance to this part of the wing ; bastard-wing, 
primary-coverts, and primaries blackish, externally glossed 
with bottle-green, the primary-coverts slightly tipped with 
white, the shafts of the outer primaries white, those of the 
inner ones brown ; the primaries notched or barred, on the 
inner web only, with sandy-buff or whitish, the inner primaries 
being thus marked on both webs, the secondaries distinctly 
barred with brown and white, both webs being deeply notched 
with ashy-whitish, the innermost secondaries ashy-brown with 
dusky-brown cross-bars, the centre of the feathers being also 
dusky-brown ; lower back and rump pure white with black 
longitudinal spots or streaks, a little more distinct on the rump; 
the upper tail-coverts barred with black and white or with 
sagittate sub-terminal spots, the longer ones tinged with sandy- 
buff and the brown bars often not co-terminous ; tail white or 
slightly tinged with sandy-buff, or shaded with ashy-brown, and 
crossed with nine or ten rather broad bars of blackish- brown ; 
head dark brown, the feathers edged with sandy-buff, giving a 
streaked appearance ; the neck more ashy, streaked with 
brown ; over the eye a white streak, narrowly lined with black ; 
sides of face and sides of neck, throat, and chest pale sandy- 
buff streaked with blackish-brown, more narrowly on the sides 
of the face ; chin and upper throat white ; breast, abdomen, 
sides of body, thighs, and under tail-coverts white, streaked 
with dark brown on the breast, and very narrowly on the 
abdomen and under tail-coverts ; thighs unstreaked ; sides of 
body with distinct bars or sagittate markings of dark brown ; 
under wing-coverts and axillaries pure white, mottled with 
blackish centres to the feathers, the axillaries more or less 
regularly barred with blackish cir with a sub-terminal heart- 
shaped spot ; lower primary-coverts and quills below ashy- 
grey with white notches to the inner webs ; bill fleshy-brown, 
shading into dark brown towards the tip; feet dusky; iris 
brown. Total length, 21 inches; culmen, 4*75; wing, n ; tail, 
4*25 ; tarsus, 2*9. 

The Curlew begins to put on its breeding plumage very 
early in the year, and I have examined a male bird procured 
in Ireland by Colonel Irby in January, which was so small 



THE ClJRLfcWS. 319 

and so heavily striped, when compared with others in the 
British Museum, that I was for a long time doubtful as to 
whether there was not a smaller race of Curlew to be dis- 
tinguished. I am, however, now convinced that the specimen 
is nothing but a male, with the summer plumage unusually 
advanced. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Similar to the male, but 
larger, and with a longer bill. Total length, 24 inches ; cul- 
men, 6'i ; wing, 12; tail, 57 ; tarsus, 3*2. 

Adults in Winter Plumage. Very similar to the breeding- 
plumage, but paler, and much less heavily striped, especially 
on the uncer surface of the body; the black spots and streaks 
on the rump scarcely apparent, and concealed by the white 
plumage ; upper tail-coverts white, with very few brown cross- 
bars ; tail white, barred with brown ; feet pale leaden-grey, 
claws blackish ; bill blackish-brown, flesh-colour at the base of 
the lower mandible. 

Young. Differs from the adult in being much more tawny, 
and, as Seebohm has pointed out, young birds may always be 
distinguished from old ones by the much lighter pattern of 
the notches and bars on the innermost secondaries, these 
markings being tawny-buff, and the black centres to the feathers 
being much broader. The nestling is figured below. (Plate 
XCIIL Fig. 3.) 

Kange in Great Britain. The Curlew is a resident species in 
the British Islands, breeding throughout Scotland, the north of 
England, and also in Wales, as well as on the high moor-lands of 
Southern England, from Wiltshire and Hampshire to Cornwall. 
Mr. Ussher records it as breeding in nearly every county in 
Ireland, on the bogs and moors. In the autumn and winter 
numbers of immature Curlews frequent the coasts of Great 
Britain, and many of them do not breed, but remain through- 
out the whole summer, and examples have often been found 
inland when any sudden floods cause a wide expanse of water. 

Eange outside the British Islands. Throughout Scandinavia the 
Curlew nests, as well as in Northern Europe, generally from 
Brittany to Northern Germany, Poland, and Russia, and as far 
east asLakeBaikal; forlam unable to find anyspecific difference 
between the so called -A 7 , lineatus^ which occurs on the shores 



320 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISIORY. 

of the Indian Peninsula in winter. The absence of the black 
stripes on the lower back and rump is simply caused by the 
fact that the birds are killed in winter plumage before the 
black stripes, which are part of the summer dress, have begun 
to develop. In winter the Curlew also visits the countries of 
the Mediterranean, Africa, and Madagascar. 

HaMts. The following excellent account of the Curlew has 
been given by the late Mr. Seebohm: " In summer, when it has 
retired to the heaths and mountain-marshes, it rises, screaming 
in the air at the least alarm, arousing all its companions in the 
vicinity, so that soon the whole swamp or heath resounds with 
their wild impressive cries. The Curlew flies with great quick- 
ness, flapping its long wings with regular beats, or sometimes 
holding them motionless and expanded as it glides along 
for a few yards ere alighting. The wings are bent at a con- 
siderable angle, the neck outstretched, the bill slightly de- 
pressed, but the legs are extended straight, and show beyond 
the tail. As a rule the Curlew flies high ; when flushed it soon 
mounts into the air, and at times performs various graceful evo- 
lutions above its marshy haunts. Upon the ground the Curlew 
wa'ks about in a solemn Heron-like manner, only occasionally 
running, as if such a mode of progression were beneath its 
dignity. It often wades on the little pools on the marshes or 
sea-shore, and bathes frequently. It is very fond of basking 
in the sun on some exposed sand-bank, where it can easily 
detect the approach of danger. It is very seldom that the 
actions of the Curlew on the ground can be watched in sum- 
mer, when the bird is in its breeding haunts ; it is so excessively 
wary that it generally takes wing long before it is observed, and 
it so much resembles the colour of its surroundings that it is 
almost invisible until it takes wing. Its feeding-grounds on the 
moors are in marshy spots, near the dark brown peaty pools, 
where rushes grow so thickly as to hide it from view, or by the 
side of the little trout-streams that dance and dash along over 
the heath. Here its actions and mode of progression are very 
similar to those on the shore ; it probes the soil in search of 
food, and explores the surrounding herbage for a similar 
purpose. Every now and then it raises its long neck above the 
vegetation, looking warily around, as if scenting danger from 
afar, ready at the least alarm to fly hastily away to safer 



THE CURLEWS. 321 

quarters. The distant alarm-note of another Curlew puts it on 
the alert, and generally it rises at once, with startling cries, 
warning in its turn all its kindred that may happen to be in 
hearing of its call. In the course of feeding, either on the up- 
Jand marshes or on the shore, the bill is often thrust for a con- 
siderable distance into the ground ; and this long bill, ill-adapted 
as it may seem for the purpose, can readily secure a passing 
insect, or pick one adroitly from the water or from a grass- 
:tem. 

" In summer the food of the Curlew is principally composed 
of worms, insects and their larvae ; and on the moors the birds 
vary their diet with the fruit of the whortle-berry and crow-berry. 
In winter its food is more varied, and consists of sand-worms, 
small crustaceans and shells, little crabs, &c. In the stomachs 
of birds shot at their winter quarters the shoots of grasses and 
fragments of leaves have been found. At the nest the Curlew 
has two perfectly distinct notes or whistles. The well-known 
kerr-lee is the call-note ; and the other, which may be expressed 
as wiw-i-wiw-i-wiw t is as unquestionably the alarm-note. It is 
said that it has a third note, resembling wha-up, whence its trivial 
name of ' Whaup ' ; but that is a note with which I am entirely 
unacquainted." 

Nest. A slight depression in the ground or in a tuft of grass, 
lined with a few dead leaves or dead grass. Mr. Robert Read 
writes to me : " The Curlew usually nests in wild open moor- 
lands, but I have also found its eggs in a grass meadow. It 
is also fond of nesting on tree-less islands covered with grass 
and heather." 

Eggs. Four in number, somewhat large for the size of the 
bird. Mr. Read says : " The eggs are usually of the well- 
known pyriform shape common to the Limicofa, but some- 
times one gets them quite round, and at others very much 
elongated, like those of the Colymbidce. The colour varies from 
an olive stone-grey to a light olive-brown, or even greenish- 
olive. The markings are brown, nearly always prominent, 
sometimes distributed over the entire egg, and mixed with 
light grey underlying markings, while at other times the mark- 
ings become confluent and form blotches, continuous round 
the larger end of the egg. More rarely the markings con* 

ii 



322 LLOYDS NATURAL HISTORY. 

gregate at the smaller end. Axis, 2-65-2-9 inches; diam., 
1-8-2-0. 

II. THE WHIMBREL. NUMENIUS PH^EOPUS. 

Scolopax phaopuS) Linn. Syst Nat. i.p. 243 (1766). 

Numenius phaopus, Macgill. Brit. B. iv.p. 253 (1852) ; Dresser, 
B. Eur. viii. p. 227, pi. 576 (1873) ; B. O. U. List Brit. B. 
p. 179 (1883) ; Saunders, ed. YarrelPs Brit. B. iii. p. 507 
(1883); Seebohm, Hist. B. iii. p. 100 (1885); Saunders, 
Man. Brit. B. p. 613 (1889); Sharpe, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. 
xxiv. p. 355 (1896). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. General colour above nearly 
uniform dark brown, excepting for the broad ashy-brown mark- 
ings on the feathers of the mantle and upper back ; the wing- 
coverts like the back, but the margins paler and more whitish, 
the greater series with whitish notches on both webs ; bastard- 
wing and primary-coverts dark brown, fringed with white at the 
ends ; primaries blackish-brown, notched with white on the 
inner webs, which have a barred appearance along the edge of 
the latter, the inner primaries notched with white, also on the 
outer webs ; secondaries brown, notched on the outer web and 
barred on the inner web with white, the innermost secondaries 
nearly uniform brown like the back ; the shafts of the outer pri- 
mary white, of the second whity-brown, and of the rest pale 
brown; lower back and rump white, slightly mottled with longi- 
tudinal spots of blackish-brown, more or less concealed on the 
back, but larger and more distinct on the rump ; upper tail- 
coverts barred with brown and whitish, the brown bars some- 
what irregular and not co-terminous; tail-feathers ashy-brown 
and tipped with white, and crossed by regular bars of dark 
brown, about nine in number; centre of crown whitish and 
streaked with brown, the remainder of the crown dark brown, 
forming two broad bands, and followed by a broad eyebrow of 
dull white, and narrowly streake.d with small lines of blackish ; 
lores and upper margin of ear-coverts dark brown ; remainder 
of sides of face and neck all round pale brown, streaked with 
darker brown, the cheeks somewhat whiter ; chin and upper 
throat white, with scarcely any brown spots ; lower throat, 
bre ist, and sides of body pale rufescent-buff, thickly clouded 



THE CURLEWS. 323 

with longitudinal streaks of dark brown on the throat and 
breast, and with bars of dark brown, of a more or less sagittate 
shape, on the sides of the body and flanks ; abdomen and 
under tail-coverts white, the latter with streaks and bars of dark 
brown ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white, with dusky- 
brown bars, very distinct on the latter ; quills dusky-brown 
below, notched with white ; bill black, the base of the under 
mandible pale brown; feet light greyish-blue, claws black; iris 
brown. Total length, 15 inches ; culmen, 3*4; wing, 9*5; tail, 
37; tarsus, 2-5. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Similar to the male in plu- 
mage, and scarcely differing in size. Total length, 15 inches; 
culmen, 3-3; wing, 9-8; tail, 3-9; tarsus, 2-25. 

Adults in Winter Plumage. Similar to the summer plumage, 
but with the lower back perfectly white, the black streaks being 
concealed ; the under parts less distinctly streaked, and the 
flanks less distinctly barred than in the summer plumage. 

Young Birds. May always be distinguished by the more mottled 
appearance of the upper surface, most of the feathers being 
spotted on both webs with whitish or pale rufescent-buff ; the 
lower back and rump are plentifully mottled with spots of dusky- 
brown, and the innermost secondaries very distinctly notched 
with rufescent-buff; the streaks on the throat and breast, and 
the bars on the flanks, almost as plentifully developed as in the 
adults ; the bars on the axillaries are often very incomplete, anc 
are, in rare instances, entirely absent. 

Range in Great Britain. The Whimbrel is chiefly known as a 
migrant, but it breeds sparingly in the Orkneys and Shetlands, 
as well as in North Ronay in the Outer Hebrides. A certain 
number remain during the winter, especially on the west coast 
of Ireland, but the species is for the most part migratory in Great 
Britain, coming north in April and May, and returning in August 
and September. The first heralds in autumn migration are the 
young birds returning south in July. 

Range outside the British Islands. From Iceland and the Faeroes 
to Scandinavia and Northern Russia, as far as the Valley of the 
Petchora, the Whimbrel breeds above the limit of forest growth. 
The exact eastern limit of the breeding-range is at preset un- 



324 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

known, as in Eastern Siberia the Whimbrel is replaced by an 
allied species, N. variegatus, which breeds in Eastern Siberia, 
and passes through Japan and China to the Malayan Archi- 
pelago and Australia in winter. The ranges of the two species 
coalesce in their winter quarters in Burma and the Malayan 
Peninsula, but, as already noticed, information as to the exact 
division of the summer ranges of the two species is still want- 
ing. The Whimbrel wanders occasionally to Greenland, but 
is not known to breed there. In winter it goes south to the 
Mediterranean, and passes to South Africa. It is also found 
at that season on the shores of the Persian Gulf and many parts 
of the Indian Peninsula, occurring in the islands of the Bay of 
Bengal and on the shores of the Burmese Provinces and the 
Malayan Peninsula. In the last-named localities N. variegatus, 
coming from the east, inhabits the same winter quarters. 

Habits. The quivering note of the Whimbrel gains for it, on 
some of our southern coasts, the common name of " Titterel." 
In the autumn it is found in small flocks which are, as a rule, 
remarkably shy. They feed out on the mud-flats or on the 
margin of the sea at low water, and, as the tide begins to flow, 
they gradually retrace their steps towards the shore, until, when 
the tide has made good head-way, they rise and seek the in- 
land pastures, after the manner of the Godwits in spring. Thus 
I found them somewhat difficult to obtain in autumn, as the 
birds flew high in the air, keeping up their " tittering " note, 
and carefully avoided the point of concealment which I 
selected. Occasionally a young bird will be found singly on 
the mud-flats and may be procured without difficulty, but I 
have known the wariness of the Whimbrel to be circumvented 
at night-time, for have I not often listened to the tale of my 
old shore-shooting companion, Alfred Grant of Sidlesham, of 
how he shot twenty-one Whimbrel on the sand-spit of the 
"Dobbin" in the Pagham Harbour of yore. On one of my 
old collecting trips for the British Museum I also procured 
from the little embankment which he had erected for the shoot- 
ing of the Whimbrel the largest number of shore-birds which 
it was my lot to procure in my life. He had noticed that at 
night time the Whimbrel instead of going outside the harbour 
on to the sand beyond, were wont to Collect on the " Dobbin," 



THE CURLEWS. 325 

but more especially on the sand-spit above mentioned. Havirg 
ascertained that this point of the " Dobbin" was their favourite 
resting-place at night-time, he double-shotted his great Bir- 
mingham gun, and tied a string to the trigger, the charge 
being too heavy to fire from the shoulder. He directed the point 
of the muzzle on to the end of the sand-spit and covered the 
single barrel of the gun with a huge heap of stones ; then, in 
the dark, judging the time when the Whimbrel would congre- 
gate, he crossed a mile of mud-flats, forded the creek, and 
crept up towards the unsuspecting birds. By dint of crawling 
over the shingle of the " Dobbin" he gained possession of the 
string attached to the gun ; listening for the " tittering " of the 
Whimbrel to announce their nightly assemblage. When the 
whistling notes of the birds had assured him that a goodly 
number were present, he discharged his gun. It did not burst, 
as he had fully expected, but, as a reward of his enterprise, he 
picked up twenty-one Whimbrel. 

On the spring migration I have found the Whimbrel much 
more easy to procure. They are then generally met with 
singly, and I have obtained several birds in full breeding 
plumage on the saltings of Romney Hoy, where by a careful 
stalk they could be approached within distance. Although in 
many respects resembling the Curlew, there are many points of 
difference in the habits of the two birds, and I have never seen 
the Whimbrel distributed singly over the mud-flats as is often 
the case with the Curlew, nor is their call-note so often heard. 
Curlew likewise do not go in close flocks like the Whimbrel. 

Nest. Seebohm writes: "The favourite breeding-grounds 
of the Whimbrel are the moors and heaths in close proximity 
to the sea. When the vicinity of their nest is intruded 
upon, the Whimbrels fly into the air and circle round and 
round. The nest is very slight, a little hollow amongst the 
heath, or under the shelter of a tuft of coarse grass, in a dry 
part of the swamp, and is lined with a few scraps of dry 
herbage." 

Eggs. Four in number, laid at the end of May, pyriform in 
shape, and resembling those of the Curlew, but smaller. 
Axis, 2-05-2-45 inches; diam., 1-6-175. 



326 LLOYD'S NATURAL HISTORY. 

III. THE ESKIMO CURLEW. NUMENIUS BOREALIS. 

Numemus borealis, Lath. Ind. Orn. ii. p. 712 (1790); Dresser, 
B. Eur. viii. p. 221, pi. 575 (1873); B. O. U. List Brit. 
B. p. 178 (1883); Saunders, ed. Yarrell's Brit. B. iii. 
p. 512 (1883); Seebohm, Hist. Brit. B. iii. p. 94 (1885); 
Saunders, Man. Brit. B. p. 615 (1889); Sharpe, Cat. B. 
Brit. Mus. xxiv. p. 368 (1896). 

Adult Male in Breeding Plumage. May easily be distinguished 
by its smaller size from the two preceding species. It has a 
longitudinal pale band down the crown like the Whimbrel, but 
from this bird it is easily recognised by its uniform primaries, 
which have no pale notches on the inner web, but sometimes 
show slight indications of frecklings along the inner margin ; 
the lower back and rump dark like the upper back ; the lower 
throat and chest streaked with blackish, the latter having 
numerous sagittate markings, very distinct on the flanks , the 
axillaries and under wing-coverts cinnamon-rufous, barred 
with dark brown; bill brownish-black, the lower mandible 
flesh-colour at the base ; feet greyish-blue, claws black ; iris 
dark brown. Total length, 13*5 inches; culmen, 2-5; wing, 
8*6; tail, 3*2; tarsus, r8. 

Adult Female in Breeding Plumage. Similar to the male. Total 
length, 14 inches; wing, 87. 

Young. Recognised by the spotted character of the upper 
surface, which is uniform brown, with scattered spots and 
notches of rufous-buff on the plumage, especially on the inner- 
most secondaries ; the streaks plentiful on the throat and neck ; 
the chest and breast with irregular and sagittate markings of 
dusky-brown, which are also very distinct on the sides of the 
body. 

Range in Great Britain. The Eskimo Curlew has occurred as 
an accidental visitor in all three kingdoms, and the record 
of British-killed examples amounts to some half-a-dozen 
individuals. 

Range outside the British Islands. The Eskimo Curlew nests 
in Arctic America and migrates south in winter through South 
America, even to Patagonia. 



THE CURLEWS. 327 

Mr. D. G. Elliot writes : When feeding about in such 
large flocks, they keep up a constant low chattering noise, 
as if indulging in an uninterrupted flow of conversation. 
They frequent the open flats in the vicinity of the sea- 
shore, feed on insects, worms, &c., and are shy birds, and 
in the autumn become very fat, and their flesh is highly 
esteemed. It is known as Doe Bird, Futes, Small Curlew, &c. 
It flies with great rapidity, is easily alarmed and difficult to 
approach, unless when feeding quietly among other waders ; 
but is more readily shot when flying to and from its feeding- 
grounds, when, if one stations himself on their route, as they 
generally pass at no great height, many can be secured. In 
Labrador this Curlew is seen in flocks of various sizes ; some- 
times several thousands of the birds are gathered together, and 
their flight is swiftly performed by regular beat of the wings, 
and they often execute many beautiful evolutions, frequently 
massing together in compact ranks. On alighting, the wings 
are raised over the back, as is the habit of many Snipes and 
Plovers, and then folded carefully and with deliberation into 
the accustomed place. The note is a soft, clear whistle, and 
the birds come readily to the gunner (if he can imitate their 
call cleverly), dropping the legs and curving the wings as they 
sail unsuspectingly to the decoys. They feed on grasshoppers, 
berries of various kinds, and small snails, which they detach 
from the rocks. 

Mr. E. W. Nelson writes : " Small flocks of this Curlew 
will follow a single Hudsonian Curlew all over the country in 
the same manner as smaller species of Snipe will follow one of a 
larger kind." He imagines that it is on account of the superior 
watchfulness of the larger bird, and that a greater degree of 
protection is thereby secured. 

Nest. Merely a depression in the ground, lined with a few 
decayed leaves and dried grass. 

Eggs. Four in number. The solitary specimen in the 
British Museum, is of a light olive-brown, with distinct grey 
underlying spots distributed over its surface, the overlying 
spots being brown and chiefly congregated about the larger 
end, where some of them are confluent. Axis, 2-25 inches; 
diam, 1-55. 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



Actiturus longicaudus. 267. 
acuminata, Heteropygia. 244. 

Totanus. 244. 

Tringa. 244. 
^Egialitis. 150, 152, 158. 

alexandrina. 166, 168. 

asiatica. 150. 

cantianus. 166, 175. 

curonicus. 162, 175. 

dealbatus. 168. 

dubia. 162. 

hiaticola. 158, 163, 165. 

interpres. 176. 

meloda. 294. 

minutus. 168. 

vocifera. 155. 
oegocephala, Limosa. 313. 
iegyptius, Pluvianus. 130. 
sethiopica, Ibis. 103. 
affinis, Fuligula. 1 8. 
africana, Nyroca. 9. 
Ajaja ajaja. 107. 
alba, Ardea. 74. 

Ciconia. 97. 

Egretta. 74. 

Herodias. 73, 74. 

Platalea. 107. 
albellus, Mergus. 51, 52. 
albeola, Anas. 24. 

Charitonetta. 24. 

Clangula. 22, 24. 

Fuligula. 24. 

alexandrina, .^Egialitis. 166, 168. 
alexandrinus, Charadrius. 166. 
alpina, Pelidna, 227, 228. 



alpina, Tringa. 228. 
American Bittern. 95. 

Stint. 255. 

americanus, Merganser. 59. 
Anas albeola. 24. 

clangula. 20. 

ferina. 5. 

fuligula. 12. 

fusca. 46. 

glacialis. 26. 

glaucion. 20. 

histrionica. 31. 

marila. 16. 

mollissima. 37. 

nigra. 43. 

nyroca. 9. 

perspicillata. 48. 

rufina. 2. 

spectabilis. 41. 

stelleri. 34. 
Anatidae. I, 43, 51. 
Ancylochilus. 227, 239. 

subarcuatus. 239, 240. 
Anseriformes. I. 
Anthropoides. 114. 

virgo. 114. 
Archasopteryx. 51. 
arcuatus, Numenius. 317* 
Ardea. 69. 

alba. 74. 

bubulcus. 86. 

ciconia. 97. 

cinerea. 69. 

comata. 84. 

garzetta. 77, 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



3 2 9 



Ardea grus. ill 

lentiginosa. 95. 

lucida. 86. 

minuta. 88. 

nigra. 100. 

nycticorax. So. 

purpurea. 66. 

ralloides. 83. 

stellaris. 92. 
Ardece. 65. 
Arc! cola. 83. 

idw. 84. 

minuta. 89. 

ralloides. 83, 84. 
ardeola, Dromas. 130. 
Ardetta. 88. 

minuta. 88, 90. 

podicipes. 90. 
Arenaria. 1 76. 
arenaria, Calidris. 260. 

Tringa. 260. 
arquata, Scolopax. 317. 
Arquatella. 236 

maritima. 236. 
arquatus, Numenius. 317. 
Asiatic Dotterel. 150. 
asiatica, ^Egialitis. 150. 
asiaticus, Charadrius. 150. 

Ochthodromus. 150. 
Attagis. 115, 150. 
aurea, Pluvialis. 143. 
australis, Merganser. 58. 
avocetta, Himantopus. 185. 

Recurvi rostra. 184, 185. 
Avocets. 37, 184, 185. 
Aythya ferina. 5. 

rufina. 2. 

Balearica pavonina. 1 14. 
Baleeniceps. 65. 
Balcenicipitidse. 65. 
Bar-tailed Godwit. 309. 
bartrami, Totanus. 267. 
Bartramia. 267. 

longicauda. 267. 
Bartram's Tattler. 267. 
belgica, Limosa. 313. 
bernieri, Ibis. 103. 
bifrontatus, Oxyechus. 155. 



Bittern, American. 95. 

Common. 92. 

Little. 88. 

Black-and-Grey Courser. 130. 
Black-breasted Dotterels. 152. 
Black Oyster-catchers. 180. 
Black Stork. 100. 
Black-tailed Godwit. 313. 
Black Turn-stone. 176. 
Black-winged Stilt. 188. 
Bonaparte's Sandpiper. 242. 
bonapartii, Tringa. 243. 
borealis, Numenius. 326. 

Somateria. 39. 
Botaurus. 91. 

capensis. 92. 

comatus. 84. 

lentiginosus. 92, 95. 

minutus. 88. 

pinnatus. 92 

poecilopterus. 92. 

stellaris. 91, 92. 
boyciana, Ciconia. 98. 
brasilianus, Merganser. 58. 
Broad-billed Sandpipers. 223. 
bubulcus, Ardea. 86. 
Bubulcus. 86. 

lucidus. 86. 

Buff-backed Cattle Egret. 86. 
Buff- breasted Sandpipers. 264. 
Buffel-heads. 24. 
Burhinus. 127. 
Bustard. 115. 

Great. 115, 116. 

Lesser. 119. 

Little. 115, 116, 120. 

Macqueen's. 115, 123. 

Ruffed. 123. 

Calidris. 260. 

arenaria. 260. 
calidris, Scolopax. 299. 

Totanus. 295, 299. 
canescens, Totanus. 280. 
cantianus, yEgialitis. 166, 775. 

Charadrius. 166. 
canutus, Tringa. 231, 232. 
capensis, Botaurus. 92. 
castor, Merganser. 58. 



33 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



caudidus, Himantopus. 188. 
Choetusia. 173. 

gregaria. 173. 
Charadrii. 137. 
Charadriidae. 137, 148. 
Charadriiformes. 115. 
Charadriince. 137. 
Charadrius. 143. 

alexandrinus. 166. 

asiaticus. 150. 

cantianus. 166. 

dominicus. 147, 148. 

dubius. 162. 

fulvus. 147. 

gallicus. 131. 

gregarius. 173. 

helveticus. 138. 

hiaticola. 158. 

hiaticola major. 158. 

himantopus. 188. 

interpres. 176. 

minor. 162. 

cedienemus. 127. 

pluvialis. 143, 147. 

vociferus. 155. 
Charitonetta. 24. 

albeola. 24. 
Chettusia gregaria. 173. 
Chionis. 115. 

chrysophthalma, Clangula. 2O. 
Ciconia. 97. 

alba. 97. 

boyciana. 98. 

ciconia. 97. 

nigra. 100. 
ciconia, Ardea. 97. 
Ciconii. 97. 
Ciconiidoe. 65. 
cinclus, Tringa. 228. 
cinerea, Ardea. 69. 

Grus. in. 

Squatarola. 138. 
Cladorhynchus. iSS. 
Clangula. 19. 

albeola. 22, 24. 

chrysophthalma. 20. 

clangula. 19, 20. 

glaucion. 20. 

histrionica. 31. 



Clangula islandica. 22. 
clangula, Anas, 20. 

Clangula. 19, 20. 

Fuligula. 20. 
coelestis, Gallinago. 215. 
collaris, Fuligula. 18. 
Colymbidae. 321. 
comata, Ardea. 84. 
comatus, Botaurus. 84. 

Merganser. 59. 
Common Bittern. 92. 

Crane, in. 

Eider Duck. 39. 

Heron. 69. 

Night-Heron. 80. 

Red-shank. 299. 

Scoter. 43. 

Snipe. 215. 
communis, Grus. in. 
coromandelicus, Cursorius. 131. 
Cosmonetta. 30. 

histrionica. 30, 31. 
Coursers. 130. 
Courser, Black-and-Grey. 130. 

Cream-coloured. 131, 132. 
Crab- Plover. 130. 
Crane, Common, in. 

Crowned. 1 14. 
Crane-like Birds, no. 
Cranes, Demoiselle. 114. 

True. in. 

crassirostris, Tringa. 231. 
Cream-coloured Courser. 131, 132. 
crepitans, CEdicnemus. 127. 
Crestless Lapwing. 173. 
cristata, Fuligula. 13. 
cristatus, Vanellus. i/o. 
Crowned Crane. 1 14. 
Crymophilus. 193. 

fulicarius. 193. 
cucullatus, Lophodytes. 52, 56. 

Merganser. 56. 

Mergus. 56. 
Curlew. 317. 

Eskimo. 326. 

Stone-. 126, 127. 
Curlew-Sandpipers. 239, 240. 
curonicus, /Egialitis. 162, 175. 
Cursorii. 130, 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



331 



Cursorius. 130, 131. 

coromandelicus. 131. 

europaeus. 131. 

gallicus. 130. 
cyanocephalus, Nycticorax. 82. 

dealbatus, ^Egialitis. 168. 

Demoiselle Cranes. 114. 

dispar, Stelleria. 34. 

Diving Ducks. I. 

dominions, Charadrius. 147, 148. 

Dotterel. 152. 

Asiatic. 150. 

Kill-Deer. 155. 
Dotterels, Black-breasted. 152. 

Red-breasted. 150. 

Sharp-tailed. 155. 
dresseri, Somateria. 37. 
Dromas ardeola. 130. 
dubia, ^Kgialitis. 162. 
dubius, Charadrius. 162. 
Ducks, Diving, i. 

Golden-eyed. 19, 20. 

Harlequin, 30, 31. 

Long-tailed. 26. 

Rosy-billed. 3. 

Scaup. 12, 16. 

Soft-tailed Diving. I. 

Stiff-tailed Diving, i. 

Torrent, i, 51. 

Tufted Scaup. 12. 
Dunlins. 227, 228. 
dybowskii, Otis. 116, 118. 

Egret, Buff-backed Cattle. 86. 

Little. 76, 77. 
Egretta alba. 74. 

garzetta. 77. 

russata. 86. 
egretta, Herodias. 73. 
Eider Ducks, Common. 39. 

King. 41. 

Rufous-breasted. 34. 

Steller's. 34. 

True. 37. 
Eniconetta. 34. 
Ereunetes griseus. 306. 
Erismatura. 51. 
Erismaturinoe. I. 



Esacus. 127. 
Eskimo Curlew. 326. 
Eudromias. 152. 

morinellus. 152. 
europoeus, Cursorius. 131. 

falcinellus, Ibis. 104. 
Plegadis. 103, 104. 
Tantalus. 104. 
fedoa, Limosa. 309. 
ferina, Anas. 5. 
Aythya. 5. 
Fuligula. 5. 
Nyroca. 5. 
ferruginea, Nyroca. 9. 
flavipes, Scolopax. 303. 

Totanus. 295, 303. 
forbesi, Oxyechus. 155. 
fuerteventurne, Otis. 125. 
fulicaria, Tringa. 193. 
fulicarius, Crymophilus. 193. 

Phalaropus. 193. 
Fuligula. 5, 12. 
affinis. 1 8. 
albeola. 24. 
clangula. 20. 
collaris. 18. 
cristata. 13. 
ferina. 5. 
fuligula. 12, 13. 
fusca. 46. 
glacialis. 26. 
histrionica. 31. 
marila. 16. 
nigra. 43. 
nyroca. 9. 
perspicillata. 49. 
rufina. 2. 
fuligula, Anas. 12. 
Fuligula. 12, 13. 
Fuligulinae. I. 
fulvus, Charadrius. 147. 
fusca, Anas. 46. 
Fuligula. 46. 
Melanonetta. 47. 
CEdemia. 46, 49. 
Scolopax. 295. 
fuscicollis, Heteropygia. 242. 

Tringa. 242. 
fuscus, Totanus. 295. 



332 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



gallicus, Charadrius. 131. 

Cursorius. 1 30. 
Gallinago. 210. 

coelestis. 215. 

gallinago. 215. 

gallinula. 220. 

major. 210, 211. 
gallinago, Gallinago. 215. 

Scolopax. 215. 
gallinula, Gallinago. 220. 

Limnocryptes. 220. 

Scolopax. 220. 
gardeni, Nycticorax. 80. 
Garzetta. 76. 

garzetta. 76, 77. 
garzetta, Ardea. 77. 

Egretta. 77. 

Garzetta. 76, 77. 
glacialis, Anas. 26. 

Fuligula. 26. 

Ilarelda. 26. 
Glareola. 133. 

melanoptera. 135. 

pratincola. 133. 
glareola, Rhyacophilus. 275. 

Tetanus. 275. 
glaucion, Anas. 20. 

Clangula. 20. 
Glossy Ibises. 103, 104. 
Glottis chloropus. 280. 

nebularius. 280. 
glottis, Totanus. 280. 
Godwit, Bar-tailed. 309. 

Black-tailed. 313. 
Golden-eyed Duck. 19, 20. 
Golden Plover. 143. 
Goosander. 58. 
Great Bustard. 115,116. 

Snipe. 211. 

White Heron. 73, 74. 
Green-legged Tattlers. 289. 
Green Sandpiper. 289. 
Green-shank. 279, 280. 

Marsh. 302. 
gregaria, Chgetusia, 173. 

Chettusia. 173. 
gregarius, Charadrius. 273. 

Vanellus. 173. 
Grey Phalarope. 193. 



Grey Herons. 69. 

Plovers. 138. 
grisea, Scolopax. 306. 
griseus, Ereunetes. 306. 

Macrorhamphus. 305, 306, 308. 

Nycticorax. 80. 
Grues. in. 
Gruiformes. 1 10. 
Grus cinerea. in. 

communis. ill. 

grus. ill. 

Hlfordi. 112. 
gms, Ardea. in. 

Grus. ill. 
guarauna, Plegadis. 104, 105. 



Hcematopodinse. 137, 180. 
Ilcematopus. 180. 

moquini. 180. 

niger. 180. 

ostralegus. 180, 181. 
Hammer-heads. 65. 
Ilarelda. 26. 

glacialis. 26. 
Harlequin Ducks. 30, 31. 
Helodromas. 289. 

ochropus. 289, 290. 

solitarius. 292, 293. 
helvetica, Squatarola. 138, 143. 

Tringa. 138. 

helveticus, Charadrius. 138. 
Heniconetta. 34. 

stelleri. 34. 
Herodias. 73. 

alba. 73, 74. 

egretta. 73. 

timoriensis. 73, 74. 
Herons. 65. 

Common. 69. 

Great White. 73, 74. 

Grey. 69. 

Night-. 80. 

Squacco. 83. 

True. 65. 
Hesperornis. 51. 
Heteropygia. 242. 

acuminata. 244. 

fuscicollis. 242. 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



333 



Ileteropygia maculata. 247. 
hiaticola, ^igialitis. 158, 163, 
165. 

Charadrius. 158. 
hiaticola major, Charadrius. 158. 
llimantopodinse. 137, 184. 
Himantopus. 188. 

avocetta. 185. 

caudidus. 188. 

himantopus. 188. 

melanopterus. 188. 

mexicanus. 188. 
himantopus, Charadrius. 188. 

Himantopus. 188. 
Hirundo pratincola. 133. 
histrionica, Anas. 31. 

Clangula. 31. 

Cosmonetta. 30, 31. 

Fuligula. 3 1 . 
Histrionicus minutus. 31. 
Hooded Mergansers. 55, 56. 
Hoplopterus speciosus. 138. 
Houbara. 123. 

macqueenii. 123. 

undulata. 123, 125. 
hudsonica, Limosa. 309. 
hyperborea, Tringa. 197. 
hyperboreus, Lobipes. 197. 

Phalaropus. 197. 
hypoleucos, Actitis. 283. 

Totanus. 283. 

Tringa. 283. 

Tringoides. 283. 



Ibididse. 103. 
Ibis. 65, 103. 

bernieri. 103. 

falcinellus. 104. 

melanocephala 103. 

oethiopica. 103. 
Ibis, Glossy. 103. 

Sacred. 103. 
idae, Ardeola. 84. 
Indian Skimmer. 136 
interpres, ^Igialitis. 17 j. 

Charadrius. 176. 

Strepsilas, 176. 

Tringa. 176. 



islandica, Clangula. 22. 

Jacanas. 115. 
Jack-Snipes. 220. 

Kentish Sand -Plover. 166. 
Kill-Deer Dotterel. 155. 
King Eider. 41. 
Knots. 231, 232. 

lapponica, Limosa. 309. 

Scolopax. 309. 
Lapwings. 170. 
Lapwing, Crestless. 173. 

Sociable. 173. 
Leimonites. 250. 
lentiginosa, Ardea. 95. 
lentiginosus, Botaurus. 92, 95. 
Lesser Bustards. 1 19. 

Golden Plover. 147. 
leucerodia, Platalea. 107. 
leucorodia, Platea. 107 

Platea. 107. 
lilfordi, Grus. 112. 
Limicola. 223, 227. 

platyrhyncha. 223, 224. 
Limicolge. 321. 
Limnocryptes. 220. 

gallinula. 220. 
Limonites. 250. 

minuta. 250. 

minutilla. 255. 

ruficollis. 252. 

temmincki. 257. 
Limosa. 309. 

regocephala. 313. 

belgica. 313. 

fedoa. 309. 

hudsonica. 309. 

lapponica. 309. 

limosa. 309, 313. 

novae zealandiie. 309. 

rufa. 309. 

uropygialis. 312. 
limosa, Limosa. 309, 313. 

Scolopax. 313. 
Little Egrets. 76, 77. 

Bitterns. 88. 

Bustard. 115, 116, 120. 



334 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



Little Ringed Sand- Plover. 162. 
lobatus, Phalaropus. 193. 
Lobipes hyperboreus. 197. 
Lobivanellinse. 137. 
longicauda, Bartramia. 267. 

Tringa. 267. 

longicaudus, Actiturus. 267. 
Long-billed Phalaropes. 201. 
Long-tailed Ducks. 26. 
Long-tailed Tattlers. 267. 
Lophodytes. 55. 

cucullatus. 55, 56. 
lucida, Arclea. 86. 
lucidus, Bubulcus. 86. 

Machetes pugnax. 271. 
macqueenii, Houbara. 123. 
macqueeni, Otis. 123. 
Macqueen's Bustard. 115, 123. 
Macrorhamphus. 305. 

griseus. 305, 306, 308. 

scolopaceus. 308. 
macularia, Actitis. 287. 

Totanus. 287. 

Tringa. 287. 

Tringoides. 287. 
maculata, Tringa. 247. 

Ileteropygia. 247. 
major, Gallinago. 210, 21 1. 

Scolopax. 211. 
marila, Anas. 1 6. 

Fuligula. 1 6. 
maritima, Arquatella. 236. 

Tringa. 236. 
Marsh Green-shank. 302. 
melanocephala, Ibis. 103. 
melanoleucus, Totanus. 295. 
Melanonetta fusca. 47. 
melanoptera, Glareola. 135. 
melanopterus, Himantopus. 188. 
melanurus, Totanus. 313. 
meloda., ^Egialitis. 294. 
Merganetta. 51. 
Merganser, Red-breasted. 61. 
Merganser americanus. 59. 

australis. 58. 

brasilianus. 58- 

castor. 58. 

comatus. 5. 



Merganser cucullatus. 56. 

merganser. 58. 

serrator. 61. 
merganser, Merganser. 58 

Mergus. 58. 
Merginae. 51. 
Mergus. 51. 

albellus. 51, 52. 

cucullatus. 56. 

merganser. 58. 

serrator. 61. 
Metoponiana peposaca. 3. 
mexicanus, Himantopus. 1 88. 
minor, Charadrius. 162. 

Platalea. 107. 
minuta, Ardea. 88. 

Ardeola. 89. 

Ardetta. 88, 90. 

Limonites. 250. 

Tringa. 250. 
minutilla, Limonites. 255. 

Tringa. 255. 
minutus, ^Egialitis. 168. 

Botaurus. 88. 

Histrionicus. 31. 
mollissima. Anas. 37. 

Somateria, 37. 
moquini, Hnematopus. 180. 
morinellus, Eudromias. 152. 

Netta. i, 5. 

rufina. 2. 

niger, Haematopus. 180. 
Night-Heron, Common. 80. 
Night- Herons. 80. 
nigra, Anas. 43. 

Ardea. 100. 

Ciconia. 100. 

Fuligula. 43. 

CEdemia. 43, 49. 

Oidemia. 43. 
Nile Plover. 138. 
Nordmann's Pratincole. 135. 
novae zealandioe, Limosa. 309. 
Numenius. 127, 317. 

arquatus. 317. 

borealis. 326. 

phreopus. 322. 
Nycticorax. 80. 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



335 



Nycticorax cyanocephalus. 82. 

gardeni. So. 

griseus. 80. 

nycticorax. 80. 

tayazu-guira. 82. 
nycticorax, Ardea. 80. 
Nyroca. 5, 12. 

africana. 9. 

ferina. 5. 

ferruginea. 9. 

nyroca. 5, 9. 
nyroca, Anas. 9- 

Fuligula. 9. 

Nyroca. 5, 9. 

ochropus, Helodromas. 280, 290. 

Totanus. 289. 

Tringa. 289. 
Ochthodromus. 150, 152. 

asiasticus. 150. 

wilsoni. 150. 
Oidemia. 43. 

fusca. 46, 49. 

perspicillata. 48. 

nigra. 43, 49. 
CEdicnemi. 126. 
Oldicnemus. 127. 

crepitans. 127. 

oedicnemus. 127. 

scolopax. 127. 
nedicnemus, Charadrius. 127. 

(Edicnemus. 127. 
Oidemia. 43. 

nigra. 43. 

perspicillata. 48. 
orientalis, Tringa. 252. 
Orthorhamphus. 127. 
ostralegus, Hcematopus. 180, 181. 
Glides. 115. 
Otis. 115. 

dybowskii. 116, 118. 

fuerteventune. 125. 

macqueeni. 123. 

tarda. 115, 116, 118. 

tetrax. I2O. 
Oxycchus. 152, 155. 

bifrontatus. 155. 

forbesi. 155- 

tricollaris. 155. 



Oxyechus vociferus. 155. 
Oyster-catchers. 137, 180, 181. 

Black. 1 80. 

Pied. 180. 

Parrse. 115. 
Pavoncella. 270. 

pugnax. 270, 271. 
pavonina, Balearica. 114. 
Pectoral Sandpipers. 242, 247. 
Peewit. 170. 
Pelidna. 227, 239. 

alpina. 227, 228. 
Pelionetta. 49. 
peposaca, Metoponiana. 3. 
perspicillata, Anas. 48. 

Fuligula. 49. 

Oidemia. 48. 

Oidemia. 48. 
phceopus, Numenius. 322. 

Scolopax. 322. 
Phalaropes. 137, 192, 193. 

Grey. 193. 

Long-billed. 201. 

Red. 196. 

Red-necked. 197. 

True. 193. 

Wilson's. 202. 
Phalaropinre. 137, 192. 
Phalaropus. 197. 

fulicarius. 193. 

hyperboreus. 197. 

lobatus. 193. 

wilsoni. 202. 
Phoyx. 66. 

purpurea. 66. 
Pied Oyster-catchers. 180. 
pinnatus, Botaurus. 92. 
Piping Sand- Plover. 294. 
Platalea. 106, 107. 

alba. 107. 

leucerodia. 107. 

minor. 107. 

regia. 107. 
Plataleze. 103, 106. 
Plataleidae. 103. 
Platea leucoroclia. 107. 
Platibis. 106, 107. 
platyrhyncha, Limicola. 223, 224 



33* 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



platyrhyncha, Tringa. 223. 
Plegadis. 103. 

falcinellus. 103, 104. 

guarauna. 104, 105. 
Plovers. 115, 137. 
Plover, Crab-. 130. 
Plovers, Golden. 143. 

Grey. 138. 

Lesser Golden. 147. 

Nile. 138. 

Ringed Sand-. 158,170. 

Sand. 158. 

Spurred. 138. 

True. 137. 

Wattled. 137. 
Pluvialis aurea. 143. 

squatarola. 138. 
pluvialis, Charadrius. 143, 147. 
Pluvianus aegyptius. 130. 
pratincola, Glareola. 133. 

Hirundo. 133. 
Pratincole, Nordmann's. 135. 
Pratincoles. 133. 
Pochards. 5. 

Red-crested. I, 2. 

White-eyed. 9. 
podicipes, Ardetta. 90. 
poecilopterus, Botaurus. 92. 
pugnax, Machetes. 271. 

Pavoncella. 270, 271. 

Totanus. 271. 

Tringa. 270. 
Purple Herons. 66. 
Purple Sandpipers. 236. 
purpurea, Ardea. 66. 

Phoyx. 66. 

ralloides, Ardea. 83. 

Ardeola. 83, 84. 
Recur virostra. 184. 

avocetta. 184, 185. 
Red-breasted Dotterels. 150. 
Red-breasted Merganser. 61. 
Red breasted Snipe-Tattler. 306. 
Red-crested Pochards, i, 2. 
Red-necked Phalaropes. 197. 
Red Phalaropes. 196. 
Red-shank, Common. 299. 

Spotted. 295. 



regia, Platalea. 107. 

Ringed Sand-Plover. 158, 170. 

Rosy-billed Duck. 3. 

rufa, Limosa. 309. 

rufa, Totanus. 310. 

rufescens, Tringa. 264. 

Tringites. 264. 
Ruffs. 270. 
Ruffed Bustards. 123. 
ruficollis, Limonites. 252. 
rufina, Anas. 2. 
rufina, Aythya. 2. 
rufina, Fuligula. 2. 
rufina, Netta. 2. 

Rufous-breasted Eider Ducks. 3;. 
russata, Egretta. 86. 
Rusticola sylvestris. 205. 
rusticula, Scolopax. 205. 

Sacred Ibis. 103. 
Sanderlings. 260. 
Sandpipers. 137. 

Bonaparte's. 242. 

Broad-billed. 223. 

Buff-breasted. 264. 

Common. 283. 

Curlew. 239. 

Green. 289. 

Pectoral. 240, 247. 

Purple. 236. 

Sharp-tailed Pectoral. 244. 
Sand-Plover, Kentish. 166. 

Little ringed. 162. 

Piping. 294. 
Sand-Plovers. 158. 
Scaup Duck. 12, 16. 
schinzii, Tringa. 243. 
scolapaceus, Macrorhamphus. 3 )S 
Scolopacinoe. 137, 205. 
Scolopax. 205. 

arquata. 317. 

calidris. 299. 

flavipes. 303. 

fusca. 295. 

gallinago. 215. 

gallinula. 220. 

grisea. 306. 

lapponica. 309. 

limosa. 313. 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



337 



Scolopnx major. 21 1. 

nebularius. 280. 

phoeopus. 322. 

rusticola. 205. 

subarquata. 240. 
scolopax, CEdicnemus. 127. 
Scopid?e. 65. 
Scopus. 65. 
Scoter, Common. 43, 

Surf. 48. 

Velvet-. 46. 
Scoters. 43. 
Seed-Snipes. 115. 
serrator, Merganser. 61. 

Mergus. 61. 
Sharp-tailed Dotterels, 155. 

Pectoral Sandpiper. 244. 
Sheath-bills. 115. 
Shoe-bills. 65. 
Skimmer, Indian. 136. 
Smews. 51, 52. 
Snipes. 137, 205. 

Common. 215. 

Great. 211. 

Jack-. 220. 
Snipe-Tattlers, 305. 

Red-Breasted. 306. 
Sociable Lapwing. 173. 
Soft-tailed Diving Ducks. I. 
solitaria, Tringa. 292. 
solitarius, Helodromas. 292, 293. 

Totanus. 292. 
Solitary Tattler. 292. 
Somateria. 37. 

borealis. 39. 

dresseri. 37. 

mollissima. 37. 

spectabilis. 37, 41. 

stelleri. 34. 

speciosus, Hoplopterus. 138. 
spectabilis, Anas. 41. 

Somateria. 37> 41- 
Spoon-Bills. 103, 106, 107. 
Spotted Red-shank. 295. 
Spurred Plovers. 138. 
Squacco Herons. 83. 
Squatarola. 138. 

cinerea. 138. 

helvetica. 138, 143. 

II 



squntnrola, Pluvialis. 138. 
stagnatilis, Totanus. 295, 302. 
Steganopus. 201. 

tricolor. 201, 202. 
stellaris, Ardea. 92. 

Botaurus. 91, 92. 
stelleri, Anas. 34. 

Heniconetta. 34. 

Somateria. 34. 
Stelleria dispar. 34. 
Steller's Eider Duck. 34. 
Stiff-tailed Diving Ducks. I. 
Stilt. 37, 184, 188. 
Stilt, Black-winged. 188. 
Stint. 250. 
Stint, American. 255. 

Temminck's. 257. 
Stone-Curlews. 126, 127. 
Stork, Black. 100. 

True. 97. 

White. 97. 

Strepsilas interpres. 176. 
striata, Tringa. 236. 
subarcuatus, Ancylochilus. 239, 

240. 
subarquata, Scolopax. 240. 

Tringa. 240. 
subruficollis, Tringa. 264. 

Tringites. 264. 
Summer-Snipe, American. 287. 

Common. 283. 
Surf Scotter. 48. 
sylvestris, Rusticola. 205. 

Tantalus falcinellus. 104. 
tarda, Otis. 115, 116, 118. 
tayazu-guira, Nycticorax. 82. 
temmincki, Limonites. 257. 

Tringa. 257. 
Temminck's Stint. 257. 
Tetrax. 119. 

tetrax. 116, 119, 120. 
tetrax, Otis. 120. 

Tetrax. 116, 119, 120. 
Thick-knees. 115, 126. 
timoriensis, Herodias. 73, 74. 
Torrent -Ducks, I, 51. 
Totaninae. 137, 266. 
Totanus. 295. 



333 



ALPHABETICAL INDEX. 



Totanus acuminatus. 244. 

bartrami. 267. 

calidris. 295, 299. 

flavipes. 295, 303. 

fuscus. 295. 

melanoleucus, 295. 

melanurus, 313. 

ochropus. 289. 

pugnax. 271. 

rufus. 310. 

solitarius. 292. 

stagnatilis. 295, 302. 
tricollaris, Oxyechus. 155. 
tricolor, Steganopus. 201, CC2. 
Tringa. 227, 231. 

arenaria. 260. 

acuminata. 244. 

alpina. 228. 

bonaparti. 243. 

canutus. 231, 232. 

cinclus. 228. 

crassirostris. 231. 

fulicaria. 193. 

fuscicollis. 242. 

helvetica. 138. 

hyperborea. 197. 

interpres. 176. 

longicauda. 267. 

maculata. 247. 

maritima. 236. 

minuta. 250. 

minutilla. 255. 

ochropus. 289. 

orientalis. 252. 

platyrhyncha. 223. 

pugnax. 270. 

rufescens. 264. 

schinzii. 243. 

solitaria. 292. 

striata. 236. 

subarquata. 240. 

subruficollis. 264. 

temmincki. 257. 

vanellus. 170. 
Tringites. 264. 



Tringites rufescens. 264. 

subruficollis. 264. 
Tattlers. 266. 

Bartram's. 267. 

Green-legged. 289. 

Long-tailed. 267. 

Snipe. 305. 

Solitary. 292. 

True. 295. 

Tringoides. 282. 
Tufted Scaup Duck. i~. 
Turn-stone, Black. 176. 
Turn-stones. 137, 176. 

undulata, Houbara. 123, 125. 
uropygialis, Limosa, 312. 

Vanellus. 170. 

cristatus. 170. 

gregarius. 173. 

vanellus. 170. 

vulgaris. 170. 
vanellus, Tringa. 170. 

Vanellus. 170. 
Velvet -Scoter. 46. 
virgo, Anthropoides. 114. 
vocifera, ^igialitis. 155. 
vociferns, Charadrius. 155. 

Oxyechus. 155. 
vulgaris, Vanellus. 170. 

Waders. 136. 
Wattled Plovers. 137. 
Whimbrel. 322. 
White-eyed Pochard. 9. 
White Stork. 97. 
Wilson's Phalarope. 202. 
wilsoni, Ochthodromus. 150. 
vvilsoni, Phalaropus. 202. 
Wood-cock. 205. 
Wood-Sandpiper. 275. 
Wood-Tattler. 275. 

Yellow-shank. 303. 



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