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VOL. I. 



NO. 1. 

0ttTtial 0f #rtiit|0l0gg 





NOVEMBER, 1872. 

In the nncertainty that existed as to whether 
arrangements could be matured for the publication 
of this little Journal in India, I did not venture to 
solicit communications from any of the numerous 
collectors for and contributors to my Museum, 
though many of these are far better qualified to 
amuse and interest the Ornithological public than 
myself. Now that the work has been fairly started, 
I hope that all brother Ornithologists in India will 
aid me to make the work somewhat worthy of the 
Science of which we are common votaries. Single- 
handed, and with almost my whole time devoted to 
the performance of public duties, it is certain that 
even were I far better qualified for the task than I 
can pretend to be, no satisfactory results could be 
hoped for, — it is on the co-operation of Indian Orni- 
thologists generally, that success must be depen- 
dant, and that co-operation I now most earnestly 

The Editor. 

1st JSfovemheTi 1872. 



No. I.- — Novemher. 

Novelties — Ptionoprog-ne pallida 

Saxicola alboniger ... 

Pellorneum palustre 

PuffiniTS persiciis 

Pomatorliiniis obscurus ... 

Ephialtes Brucei 

Drjmoipus insignis 

Ninox obscurus 

Mirafra imniaculata 

Procarduelis Mandellii 

Eudromias tentiirostris ... 
FalcO Baebarus in India ... 
On tlie breeding of Elanus Melanopteeus 
The Wagtails of India, No. 1 
Phosnicoptekus Minor 


Otocokis Elwesi. Blanford ... 

The Skylarks of India ... 


Contributions to the Ornithology op India. Sindh, No. 1 
Eii'st di-aft of a Conspectus of the Avifauna of India and 

.. 1 
.. 2 


No. 2, 3, & 4. — February. 



Birds of the Andamans and Nicobaes, V. Ball, Usq. ... 51 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sindh, No. 2 ... 91 

Indian and European Eagles. W. E. Brooks, Usq., No. I. ... 290 

Novelties. — CoUocalia innominata ... ... ... 294 

Brachypodius fuscoflavescens ... ... 297 

Pellorneum minor ... ... ... 298 

Blanfordius striatulus ... ... ... 300 

Carpophaga palumboides ... ... 302 

Mareca albogularis ... ... ... 303 



Additional remarks on the Andaman Avifauna ... ... 304 

Spizaetus kignerii ... ... ... ... 310 

Notes. — Eggs of Megapodins nicobaricus ... ... 313 

Indicator xanthonotus ... ... ... ih. 

Archibuteo hemiptilopus ... ... ...315 

Procarduelis Mandellii = P. rubescens ... ... 318 

Poliornis liventer ... ... ... 319 

Asiatic Spizaeti and Spizaetus sphynx ... ... ih. 

Chelidon urbica ... ... ... ... 323 

Palaeornis rosa, a Lutino of ... ... ... ib. 

No. 5. — July. 

Indian AND European Eagles, No. II. W. E. Broohs, Esq. ... 325 

Notes on the Paroquets op India. Gapt. T. HuUon, c. m. z. s. 331 

Phcenicophaus pyrrhocephalus. Vincent Legge, Esq., R. A. ... 346 

Notes on a collection of Eggs made at Murree. Gapts. Gock 

and G. H. T. Marshall ... ... ...348 

Indian Pipits. W. E. Broolcs ... ... ... 358 

The Ornithology op the Sambhur Lake. H. M. Adam, Esq. 361 

Novelties. — Aracbneclitlira andamanica ... ... 404 

Ephialtes Balli ... ... ... ... 407 

Dissemuroides dicruriformis ... ... ... 408 

Locustella STibsignata ... ... ... 409 

Rliyticeros Darcoiidami ... ... ... 411 

^thopyga Tiicobarica ... ... ... 412 

New Birds PROM Sikhim. L. Mandelli, Esq. ... ... 415 

Heterorliynchus Hninei ... ... ... ih. 

Miiila rufogiilaris ... ... ... ... 416 

Notes. — Correclions by Mr. W. T. Blanford ... ... 417 

Ptionoprogne pallida, nobis, to stand as P. obsoleta, Cab ih. 

Eudromias tenuirostris nobis ... ... ... ih. 

Pyri'hulauda affinis, Blyth, to stand as P. melanaucben, 

Cab.... ... ... ... ... 418 

Diagnosis of female and immature barriers ... ih. 
A new Indian barbet from Western India, MfiGALiEMA 

Sykesi ... ... ... ... 419 

Sindh Avifauna ; additions ... ... ... ih. 

Avifauna of the Islands of the Bay of Bengal ... 421 
Occurrence of Mergus castor in the Mahanuddee, dis- 
trict of Sumbulpoor ... ... ... 422 

Letters to this Editor. — Capt. G. P. S. Marshall on Gallinago 

stenura ... ... ... ... 423 

Mr. P. H. Aitkin on the nidification of GaUinula phoenicura ... 424 

Dr. F. Stoliczka on the Anatomy of Indicator xanthonotus ... 425 


No. 6. — December. 


Notes on some Cetlonese Birds ... ... ... 429 

ACHEEN ... ... ... ... ... 441 

Notes dpon some of the Indian and European Eagles, By W. 

JE. Brooks, Esq., c. E., No. Ill ... ... ... 463 

Novelties.— Spilornis minimus ... ... ... 464 

Heteroglaux, Geu. nov. ... ... ... 467 

„ Blewitti ... ... ... 468 

Athene pulchra ... ... ... 469 

Caprimulgus andamanicus ... ... 470 

Chgetura indica ... ... ,. 471 

Carcineutes amabilis ... ... ... 474 

Myioplioneus Eugenei ... ... ... 475 

Hydrornis Oatesi ... ... ... 477 

Criniger griseiceps ... ... ... 478 

Stachyris rufifrons ... ... ... 479 

Calornis Tytleri ... ... ... 480 

DicEeum virescens ... ... ... 482 

Mirafra mici'optera ... ... ... 483 

Notes on the Skylarks of India. Bij W. E. BrooJcs, Esq., c. e. 484 
Additions to the Avifauna of Ceylon. By W. Vincent Legge, 

Esq., R. A., F. Z. S., &C. ... ... ... 487 

Notes. — Melanocorypha maxima ... ... ... 492 

Pelloi'neum Mandellii to stand as P. nipalensis, Hodgs. 493 

Abrornis albosnperciliaris and xanthoshistus ... 494 

Dumeticola bruneifrons and affinis ... ... ib. 

Neornis flavolivacea ... ... ... ib. 

Regidoides macalipennis, Blyth, to stand as R. cUoro- 

notus, Hodg. ... ... ... ... ib. 

Phyllopneuste Sylvicultrix, SwinL., to stand as P. mag- 

nirostris, Blyth. ... ... ... ib. 

Eudi'omias tenuirostris ... ... ... 495 

Letters to the Editor — 

Captain Vipan ... ... ,., ... ^ib. 

H. J. Rainey, Esq.... ... ... ... 496 

J. R. Cripps, Esq ... ... ... ib. 

Index. — New genera ... ... ... ... i. 

Species described or discriminated ... ... ib. 

Species noticed ... ... ... ... iH. 


On the completion of this first bundle of Stray Feathers, in 
other words of Vol. 1., the Editor feels bound to acknowledg-e 
most g-ratefully, the cordial support that, during- the past year, 
he has met with from Indian Ornithologists. 

When Buffon wrote his Natural History of Birds^ he congra- 
tulated himself on a knowledge of nearly 900 species, and esti- 
mated that the world miff/ii contain 1,500 species altogether, a 
number, so vast, that it seemed impossible to him, that they 
should ever be properly dealt with in one work. 

■ The Avifauna of India and its Dependencies, already includes 
nearly 1,600 species, and it has always appeared to me impossi- 
ble that so vast a fauna should be adequately dealt with, until it 
possessed a special local organ of its own, in which the observa- 
tions and discoveries of professed ornithologists, working on the 
spot amongst the living birds, could \)q. promptly and convenient- 
ly recorded, in which only matters bearing on our great work 
out here sliould find a place, and which by being, so to say, always 
at hand, and humble in its scope, should tempt the innumerable 
" bird-fanciers," who will not call themselves, (though they often 
truly are) ornithologists, because their acquaintance with scientific 
nomenclature is sinall, to put on record some of the multitu- 
dinous facts in regard to the distribution and habits of birds that, 
as travellers and sportsmen, are daily brought to their notice. 

It was to supply such a special local organ, that our little 
Magazine was called into existence, and, so far as professed orni- 
thologists are concerned, it has succeeded beyond the expectations 
and deserts of its Editor. 

But, where the " bird-fanciers" are concerned, it has been, 
in great measure, a failure. There are hundreds of sportsmen 
in India, who could tell us facts about the nidification, habits, 
migrations, distribution, &c., of species of which we know little, 
and what I would urge upon all my kind coadjutors is, each in 
his own circle of friends, to endeavour to stir observant Sports- 
men up, to add, each, their quota of knowledge to the general 

If would-be contributors have doubts as to the names of birds, 
in regard to which they have observations to record, let them 
send me skins (the veriest rags, will in most cases sufiice) and 
I will with pleasure identify and return them. 

Specially, in the matter of nidification and eggs are we in want 
of additional information ; what is already on record on this 
subject, so far as I am acquainted with it, and what I have been 

able to ascertain personally or from others, is set forth in my 
Roug-h Draft of " Eg-g-s and Nests ^^ of Indian Birds, Parti., 
of which has just been printed, and the two remaining parts of 
which will be available during the course of this present year. 
I venture to hope, that a perusal of this will show many " bird 
fanciers" and sportsmen, as well as ornithologists, that much in- 
formation possessed by them is as yet not g-enerally known, and 
that they will make it so through the pages of Steay Feathers. 

As to distribution again much remains to be worked out, and 
the importance of careful local faunas, in a vast region like that 
with which we deal, and in which, as it were, the Palsearctic and 
Palsetropic faunas meet, cannot be overrated. 

No special scientilic knowledge is necessary for the prepara- 
tion of these — a man has only to collect steadily, in almost am/ 
locality for a year or eighteen months, one or two specimens of 
everi/ species he can come across in his neighbourhood, to note, 
so far as practicable, in regard to each, whether they are rare or 
common, whether they are permanent residents or seasonal visi- 
tants, and if the latter, when they arrive and when they leave ; 
whether they breed in his neighbourhood, and if so, when ; what 
their nests are like, where they are situated, how they are com- 
posed, how many eggs they lay, and what these are like, and 
what their dimensions are ; what the nestling-s and what the young- 
birds are like ; what localities and what food the birds affect, 
and, even if he does all this very, very imperfectly in regard to 
a vast number of species, he will still (after his birds have been 
identified) possess materials for a most useful axidi instnictive local 
avifauna, such as the most critical professed ornithologist will 
welcome cordially. 

May I not hope that some of my supporters will turn their 
especial attention to local avifaunas such as that contributed by 
Mr. E.. M. Adam to this present volume ? 

In conclusion, I must crave indulgence, especially from Euro- 
pean readers, who have no conception of the difficulties attend- 
ing the printing of works of this nature in India, for the many 
typographical errors that have — anything but adorned — our 
pages. In this as in other matters we shall try to improve, and 
in the mean time, I would pray all, both Indian and European^ 
readers to be 

" To our sad faults a little blind, 
To our small merits, very kind ! " 

A. O. HUME. 


' Decemher Isi, 1873. 


Vol.1.] NOVEMBER, 1872. [No. 1. 


In placing- on record, now and hereafter^ supposed new species, 
it must be clearly understood that I do not dogmatically assert 
that they are all positively new. 

They are not to be found in Jerdon_, nor are they among-st the 
400 odd species omitted by him, but ascertained now to occur 
within our limits. 

Nor have I been able to identify them with any known species 
of which I have plates or descriptions. 

With only my own private library and museum however to 
consult, I am naturally peculiarly liable to error, and shall be 
grateful to all who will correct my inevitable mistakes. 

The birds having occurred within our limits, it is of great 
importance to make sure whetlier they are new or not, and if 
not, to ascertain what name they should rightly bear; and no 
more ready means of attaining this object suggests itself to me 
than that of publishing descriptions such as follow: 

itiOtt0p0P^ fallik, S]). Nov. 

Similar to P. Rupestris Scop., hut much paler and very considerably 
smaller. Wing, 4*4 to 4"75 inches.. 

I FOUND this new species very common along the course of the 
Gaj, the Nurrinai, and other small streams that issue from 
the bare stony hills that divide Sindh from Kelat. I found it 
ag*ain along with Cypseltts Apus, or C. BarbaMs, Tristram 
and Temminck, if this species, which I doubt, be really distinct, 
off the rocky headland of Minora, at the mouth of the Kurra- 
chee Harbour, and in similar localities along the Mekran Coast. 
The flight is rapid, and the birds are somewhat difficult, as some 
of our party found, to bring to bag. I think I heard of a whole 
flask of shot being fired away without any tangible results. 

3 Novelties. — Ftionojn-ogne Pallida. 

The sexes do not differ materially in size^, though individuals 
differ in each sex considerably. The males^ (seven of each sex 
were preserved) J varied in length from 5"35 to 5 '6 inches; ex- 
panse, 12'25 to 13 inches; wing, 4"4 to 4'7 inches. In the 
females^ the length varied from 5'25 to 5'5 inches; expanse, 12"3 
inches; wing 4'5 to 4* 75 inches. In both sexes the tail measures 
about 1'8 inch from vent. The wings, when closed, exceed the 
tail by a little more than 0'5 inch, and the weight was a trifle 
over U"5 oz. 

Description. — Bill black ; legs and feet horny brown. The whole 
upper surface, a very pale greyish earthy brown, very much paler 
than the same parts in either P. Rupestiis, or Coiyle Sinensis : 
the quills only slightly darker, yet sufficiently so to contrast 
pretty markedly with the scapulars, back, rump, and upper tail 
coverts : the lateral tail feathers, all but the external feather on 
each side, with a large oval white spot on the inner web, as in 
Riipestris, and with dark shafts, and a darker tint on the web 
near the shaft as in that latter species. Lower surface as in 
liupestris, but much paler ; the whole of the chin, throat, breast, 
and abdomen being white with only a faint fulvous or rufous 
tinge, and the wing lining and lower tail coverts, which in 
Mufiestris are a decided dark brown, are in this species the same 
pale earthy grey brown as the upper surface. 

No specimen of the true Mupestris that I have seen has the 
wing less than 5 inches and some have it full 5'5 inches. Jerdon 
indeed gives it at 5*75 inches ; but this, I think, is greatly above 
average. The true Ihtpestris, of which I saw no specimen in Sindh, 
occurs a little further east in Kutch, whence I have a specimen 
with the wing 5*2 inches, exactly similar to other specimens 
from Simla, and Khandala, and to European birds. 

la^icolfi gllknipr^ Sp. Nov. 

Very similar to 8. Picata, (BlytliJ hut larger ; the hlack not extending on 
to the breast as m this latter, and with the white extending further up 
the back. Sexes alike, but male considerably larger. Male's length, 
7'5 inches; wing, 4!'25 wiclies ; bill at front, 0'6b inch. 

Another species new to our Indian Avifauna is Saxicola 3Io- 
naclia, lliipp. — [Gracilis : Licht. PI. Col. 359) — which is not 
uucommou in, and immediately at the foot of, the stony hills 
which divide Kelat from Sindh and in the similar hills that run 
along the Mekran Coast. In the plains of Sindh this species 

Novt!LTiES. — Saxicola Alboniger. 3 

never occul'S ; it is there^ curiously enough^ replaced by a much 
smaller, but in many respects similar, species, Saxicola Capis- 
trata. Now the remarkable thing- is, that in the plains where 
Capistrafa occurs, there also occurs Picata : but in the localities 
where Monacha occurs, there we find another bird very similar 
in plumage to Picata, but much larger in every way. I am, 
I confess, unable to prove it, but, as I have long since stated, 
I am strongly inclii^ed to believe S. Ca.jnstrata and *S'. Picata 
to be different stages of the same species. At any rate I can 
shew an apparently almost perfect series between the two. I 
am also (so similar are they in size, length, and bill, &c.,) inclined 
to believe that possibly the apparently new Saxicola which I am 
about to characterize, may be a different stage of S. Monacha. 
Prom Picata, which it closely resembles, it is distinguished at 
once by its much larger size, longer bill, and the greater extent 
of white upon the back, as well as its much stronger and larger 
legs and feet. This species may be Leiicopygia, (Brehm,) from 
Palestine, of which I can find no description ; but for the present 
I must give it some name, and I therefore provisionally christen 
it S. Alboniger. The sexes are perfectly similar as to plumage, 
but differ as to size, the males being considerably larger. 

Bimensions. — Male; length, 7*75 inches ; tail, 2"8 to 3 inches ; 
wing, 4'1 to 4'25 inches; bill at front, '65 inch; tarsus, 1"1 inch. 
Female; length, 6*5 to 6'75 inches; wing, 3"8 to 4 inches ; 
tail, 2*75 to 2*9 inches ; bill at front, 0*56 to nearly 0*6 inch. 

The plumage is very similar to Picata, but the black is, I 
think, even brighter and more intense. The tail agrees with 
Picata and not with Monacha in having the tips of all the lateral 
tail feathers black. The black, however, in Alboniger only 
covers the chin and throat, whereas in Picata it descends some- 
what on the breast. The sides of the breast are black in both 
species. On the back again the black does not extend as far 
down as Picata. In the latter species, measuring from the tips 
of the longest tail coverts to where the black of the back com- 
mences, we have about 1"6 inch of white, while in Alboniger 
there are 2 inches of white, measuring in both cases fine males. 
In the female Alboniger, the length of the white on the back is 
about ],"8 inch. Whether actually new or not, this species is 
certainly new to our Indian. Avifauna. 

For eompai'ison I subjoin measurements of S. Picata, (taken 
from eight males and ten females measured in the flesh) of 
which the sexes do not differ in size so materially. Length, 6' 25 
to 6-81 inches; tail, 2-25 to 2"75 inches; wing, 3*4 to 3'75 
inches ; bill at front, 0*45 to 0-55 inch, (one exceptional specimen 
almost 0-6 inch;) tarsus, 0*9 to 1 inch. 

4 Novelties. — Pellorneum Palustre. 

It will be seen that the larg-est male Picata is not quite as 
large as the female Alhoniger. The diiferenee^ thoug-h not 
perhaps verj striking- when reduced to figures^ is very conHpi- 
cuous when a dozen specimens of each species are laid side by 
side and even more so in the living birds ; in fact it was a 
gentleman in no degree interested in ornithology, who first 
told me that I should find the black and white chats in the 
hills larger and brighter colored than those we were at the time 
shooting in the low country. 

^^ll^nti^Em fatostr^, S^. Nov. 

Whole wpper surface, uniform deep olive brown. Lower surface, white, 
faintly tinged, in places huffy, and spotted with darh brown. Bill at 
front, 0*5 inch, much shorter than that of Bnificeps, and much slenderer 
than that of Mandelli. 

I HAVE named this species Palustre^ at Dr. Jerdon's sugges- 
tion who gave me the type specimen, which he procured on the 
Khasia Hills. It somewhat approaches P. Tickelli, Blyth, but is 
larger aiid differs entirely in the coloration of the lower parts. 
The bill is much slenderer and smaller than in P. Pujjceps and, 
a fortiori, very much slenderer than in P. Mandelli, Blandford, 
the bill of which is intermediate between that of P. Bujiceps and 
Timalia Pileata. 

The following are dimensions taken froni the dry skin. 
Length, 6*5 inches; wing, 2-65 inches; tail, 2*9 inches; bill at 
front, 0-57 inch; tarsus, ri5 inches. 

Description. — Upper mandible, deep brown. Lower mandible, 
pale brown. Legs and feet, apparently fleshy brown. Whole 
upper parts, uniform deep olive brown, except the longer upper 
tail coverts and tail feathers which are slightly tinged with rufous. 
Lower tail coverts, pale ferruginous ; extreme point of forehead 
just above nostrils, tinged rufescent. Lores, chin, throat, sides 
of neck, breast, abdomen, and vent white, each feather with a 
pale brown central stripe, almost wanting on the lower abdomen. 
The ear coverts and some of the feathers of the breast, tinged 
with pale rufous buff. The whole wing lining and a narrow 
margin to the interior webs of the quills on the lower surface, 
very pale rufous buff. 

* Since this was in type, I have learnt that Mr. Gould has figured and de- 
scrihed this species under this same name. The type is, however, in my museum. 

Novelties. — Fuffmus Persieus. 5 

Dr. Jerdon observed this species common about marshy g-round^ 
and hence the name he sug'g'ested which I have adopted. I have 
had this specimen four yearsj but never described it^ expecting 
Dr. Jerdon to do so^, but as he has never done so^ and has now, 
alas ! left us for ever, I have thoug-ht it right to take an early 
opportunity of putting on record this one of his many dis- 

f ttiims icrsiais, S^p. Nov. 

Intermediate in size and other characteristics between P. Anglorum, P. 
Obscura, and P. Niigax ; a white line round the eye prolonged bach- 
wards from posterior angle, for from a quarter to half an inch. Length, 
13 inches. Whole of lateral lower tail coverts, deep brown. 

A SHEARWATER that I at first referred, though vsT'ith great 
hesitation, to Fvffinus Anglorum, is not uncommon about the 
moutlis of the Indus and the Kurrachee Coast, and was observed 
also on several occasions in proceeding up the Gulf of Oman. It 
is a bird belonging to that particular sub-division which includes 
P. Anglorum, Kay, P. Yelhuan, Acerbi, P. Obscura, Gmelin and 
P. Nugax, Solander, but it will not in many respects agree with 
any of these species. I only succeeded in procuring a single 
specimen, a female, apparently adult, fresh moulted, except the 
three first primaries in each wing, which were still more or less 
m parchment. Macgillivray gives the length of P. Anglorum 
at 15 inches; Yarrell, at 14 inches; Degland and Gerbe, at 13*8 
inches; and this bird was 13 inches in length. P. Obscura 
Yarrell, gives at 11 inches as the result of the measurement of 
six specimens. The wing, imperfectly developed in my specimen, 
measured 7 inches ; when fully developed, it might measure 8 
inches or 8*25 inches. The wing of P. Anglorum is given by 
several authorities at 9"5 inches and of P. Obscura, at 6*75 inches. 
It is too small for the one and too large for the other ; moreover, 
it has the whole of both webs, of both the lateral and the lono-er 
tail coverts, deep brown, in this respect agreeing with P. Obscwra 
and also P. Yelkuan ; but the wing in P. Yelkuan is given by 
Schlegel at from 9-2 to 97 inches, which our wing could 
never have been, and the tarsus at about 1*9 inches, whereas in 
our bird the tarsus is exactly 1-5 inches. The mid toe is also 
given at 1-72 inches, in our bird it is about 1-45 inches ; more- 
over, Yelkuan is described as being of a paler and greyer tint 
than Anglorum, whereas our bird is nearly black. Again, the 
white of the throat extends right up to the eye, and covers half 

6 Novelties. — Pnffimts Persicus. 

the lores, the other half of the lores, and the lower portion of the 
ear-coverts being- speckled with white, in this respect correspond-' 
ing- with P. Ntigax, but then Gould g-ives the length of P. Nngax 
at 11 inches, and the wing- at 6-5 inches. Schleg-el gives tlie 
wing- at ^'^ to 7'7 inches, but these dimensions are too small for 
our iDird, as are also those of the tarsus 1"25 inches, as given 
by Gould. Moreover, there is no white in the lower surface of 
the primaries, on the interior web, (the characteristic feature 
of Nugax) , and as already explained, all the lateral and longer 
tail coverts are deep brown, whereas in Nugax they are entirely 
white. The coloration of the feet also is peculiar, more closely 
resembling that of P. Anglorum than of any other species of which 
I can find a description. Under these circumstances, either all the 
descriptions and measurements to which I have access are very 
faulty, or this is a new species; and as I am informed that it 
is observed all the way up the Persian Gulf as well as in the Gulf 
of Oman, (I myself only observed it as far as Gwadur, on the 
Mekran, and Muscat, on the Arabian Coast,) I propose to 
characterize it as Pzcjffiuus Persicus. The following are the exact 
dimensions taken in the flesh : 

Female killed 31st February 1873. Length, 13 inches; ex- 
panse, 26 inches (would probably have been 28 to 29 inches had 
the first three primaries been full}' developed ;) wing, 7 inches 
(would probably have been 8 to 8"25 inches ;) tarsus, 1-5 inches ; 
bill straight from forehead to tip, 1'3 inches; from anterior 
margin of nostril, 1*06 inch. 

Description. — Bill dusky brown, bluish at base, and basal three- 
fourths of lower mandible ; irides, brown. Legs and feet white, 
tinged with pink and lavender, with claws, margin of web, 
exterior of foot, and outer toe, and part of ridge of mid toe, 

Plumage. — The head and nape deep sooty brown, the whole 
of the rest of the upper parts, blackish brown ; almost if not 
quite black on the primaries, rump, upper tail coverts, and tail, 
"Upper portion of the lores, mingled dusky brown, and whitish. 
Lower jxortion of the lores, and the whole of the chin and 
throat as far as the eyes on either side, breast, abdomen, vent, 
and shorter central lower tail coverts, pure white. A white 
line about 0-06 wide encircles the eye and extends backwards 
from the posterior angle as a narrow white streak for a distance 
of 0-35 to 0*4 inch : below this the ear-coverts are dusky brown,, 
slightly mingled with whitish, the white line below the eye is 
only separated from the white of the throat by a hair line of 
greyish brown. The sides of the neck and the breast where the 
brown of the upper meets the white of the lower parts, is some- 

Novelties. — Tomatorhimis Oiscuns. 7 

what paler bi'owii; slig-litl}^ intermingled with white. The sides, 
axillaries, flanks^ and the lesser xinder-wing coverts next the body, 
and the whole of the exterior and longer tail coverts are deep 
brown ; the rest of the lower wing coverts except just at the edge 
of the wing are white, here and there slightly mottled^ especially 
at the edge of the wing, with dusky brown ; the longer axillaries 
are mottled with white along their bases. 

Imuatarjiims @l}sami5^ Sp. Nov. 

Very like P. Horsfieldi, ( SyhesJ but larger ; Mil longer, deeper, and viore 
compressed, and general color (where not wliitej dull, snioJcy earth- 

This new^ species is closely allied to Horsfieldi, of which I have 
numerous specimens of both sexes, but differs not only in colora- 
tion but in the greater length, depth, and compression of bill : it is 
also somewhat lai'ger. This species has been procured at Mount 
Aboo and also in the Seoni District. The dimensions of a female 
measured in the flesh were as follows: Length, 10"12 inches; 
expanse, 11*5 inches; tail, from vent, 4 inches; wing, 4' 15 
inches. Wings when closed reached to within 2-75 inches of 
end of tail; tarsi, 1"3 inch; bill straight from forehead to point, 
1"35 inches. 

Description. — Bill dirty yellow, blackish on the ridge at base 
of upper mandible. Leg's and feet, dark, slightl}^ greenisli plum- 
beous ; irides, dark-red ; chin, throat, breast, and centre of abdo- 
men, and a long superciliary stripe from forehead to nape, pure 
white. The whole of the rest of the plumage a dull smoky earth- 
brown, rather a purer brown on quills and tail which nre very 
faintly rufescent, recalling the wings and tail of Malacocercns 
Canorus. The tail obsoletely barred ; the lores, dark brown ; the 
ear-coverts slightly darker brown than the rest of the body. 

But for the superior size both of bill and wing', the greater 
depth and the more compressed character of the bill, I should 
have thought that these were immature specimens of HorsJielcU ; 
but as both in size of bill and wing they exceed every one of 
eight full}^ mature specimens of Horsjieldi, of both sexes, from 
the Pulnej's, Coonoor, and Ootacaraund, I am compelled, at any 
rate provisionally, to accept them as a distinct species. 

€p|mltes iructi, tire ^trtitt^b Stap §M, S2->. Nov, 

Tarsus, slender as in Pennatus. Head and aigrettes, small. Wing, 6'45 inches; 
general color, uniform, pale earthy brown; each feather with a conspicu- 
ous, central, very narrow, darh-brotvn shaft stripe. 

This fine new species I owe to the kindness of the Revd. H. 
Bruce^ and as I have been compelled to disallow the supposed 
Alcippe Briicei which is nothing" but A. Poiocephala, I think I 
cannot do better than dedicate to this g-eutleman what I believe 
to be an unquestionably new species procured by himself. 

E. Brucei differs entirely in appearance from any of the other 
Indian species. The general color of the whole of the upper 
surface is a pale earthy brown, and each of the feathers of the 
forehead and top of the head, back and sides of the neck, back, 
rump, scapulars, and wing" coverts, breast, abdomen, flanks^ 
tibial and tarsal plumes, and lower tail coverts has a conspi- 
cuous central, very narrow dark brown shaft stripe. There are no 
white spots on any of the feathers ; the tarsi are slender as in the 
Pennatus group. The head and aigrettes are very small, while 
the wing is as long as that of the largest Griseus that I have 
examined. Moreover, it is distinguished from all other Indian 
Ephialtes by having, like Pennakts, the 3rd quill equal to the 4th. 
This species, of which only a single specimen has yet been pro- 
cured and that one near Rahuri, Ahmednuggur, is even to the 
most casual observer very distinct from any of the other six 
Indian species noted in my catalogue (see also Rough Notes, Part 
I, No. 2, page 386 et seq.) In some respects it approaches 
nearest to Pen?iatus, but the head is proportionally much smaller ; 
the tone of colouring and the character of the markings are 
totally unlike those of any stage of that species ; and the length 
of the bird in the flesh was 9 inches^ while the wing" measured 
6"4!5 inches. 

Nothing has yet been ascertained as to its habits, nidification, 
or distribution. 

Dimensions. — Male ; length, 9 inches j expanse, 22 inches ; 
wing, 6*4 inches; tail, 3" 2 5 inches; tarsus, 1*45 inches; foot 
greatest length, 1"87 inches ; greatest width, 1*75 inches; mid toe 
to root of claw, 0"8 inch; its claw straight, 0"39 inch ; hind toe, 
0-35 inch ; its claw straight, 0-28 inch; inner toe, 0"67 inch; 
its claw straight, 0*4 inch. Bill straight from forehead to point 
including cere, which is ill-defined, 0*7 inch ; from gape, 0"73 inch ; 
height at front, at margin of cere, 0'29 inch ; wings when closed 
are even with the end of tail. Lower tail coverts reach to 

Novelties. — Ejjhialtes Bnicei. 9 

within 0"9 inch of end of tail. The third and fourth primaries 
are the longest ; the first is 0-75 inch^ and the second is 0*08 
shorter. The exterior tail feathers are 0*3 inch shorter than the 
central ones. Weig-ht^ 4 oz. 

Description. — The legs and feet^ including the base of the toes^ 
densely feathered ; terminal portions of toes with small transverse 
scutse, slate colored ; claws blacky well curved, slender, and very 
sharp ; toes very slender, but pads largely developed, so as to 
make a broad sole ; exterior toe more or less versatile j irides 
bright yellow ; bill dusky. 

Phmiage. — Cheeks and feathers under the eye, greyish white, 
excessively finel};^ and indistinctly barred with brown. The lores 
and a stripe running up from them to the top of the eye, creamy 
white. The longer ones that meet over the base of the upper 
mandible, tinged brownish ; a few tiny dark brown feathers on 
the eyelids. Chin and throat, creamy white, with very narrow 
central shaft stripes towards the tips and excessively finely ver- 
miciliated with brown. Feathers of the ruff which is inconspi- 
cuous, very pale buff, narrowly edged with dark brown. The 
whole of the forehead, crown, back of head, back and sides of 
neck, back scapulars, wing coverts, rump, and upper tail coverts, 
very pale buff or creamy white, so minutely and closely powdered 
with pale brown, that looked at from a little distance, the fea- 
thers appear to be a uniform pale earthy brown. Every feather 
has a narrow central dark-brown stripe ; some of the outer scapu- 
lars have inconspicuous patches of buff on their outer webs, and the 
groundcolor of the feather on each side of the crown immediately 
above the eye is slightly paler ; but beyond this the whole of the 
upper plumage above described is singularly uniform in tint and 
appearance, and is absolutely devoid of those white spots and 
blackish brown or buff dashes and streaks so characteristic of the 
other Indian species. The primaries are pale dingy buff, with 
broad transverse brown bars, which toward the tips are with the 
ground color mottled and freckled over, the ground color with 
brown, and the bars with dingy fulvous. Nearer the base of the 
feather, the light bars are on the exterior webs pure pale buff, 
while the dark bars continue freckled as already descri])ed. On 
the inner webs, the dark bars are nearly uniform and unmottled, 
while the light bars are pure and unmottled towards the edge 
of the webs, and suffused with brown towards the shafts. The 
tertiaries and the tips of the secondai'ies approximate closely to the 
plumage of the back and coverts. Of the breast and abdomen, the 
ground color is similar to that of the upper parts, but the brown 
powdering- is coarser, so that more of the ground color is seen, 
and the dark brown central shaft stripes are somewhat broad- 

10 Novelties. — Brymoipns Insignis. 

ei- ; towards the vent, on the flanks and lower tail coverts, 
the ground color becomes almost pure white and the brown pow- 
dering- very sparse, wliile the shaft stripes are reduced as on 
the back and wing coverts to well marked dark lines. The 
short dense tibial and tarsal plumes are brownish white, each 
little feather with its dark central sliaft stripes. The axillaries 
and wing lining are cream-colored, or yellowish white, entirely 
unstreaked and unmottled. 

irpioiiKS |it.5.i()itis, Sp. Nov. 

Upper surface, moderately darh earthy broton. Wliole under-surfa,ce of 
tail, wJiite^ Length, 6'65 inches Wing, 2'5 inches. 

This species is very similar in many respects to D. Itnfescei^s : 
nobis, [Ibis, 1872, page 100,) and also to what I fancy I). 
Sylvaticus (which I have never seen) must be ; but the adults 
are distinguishable from all the other Brymoipl, with which 
I am acquainted, by the whole under-siu'face of the tail appear- 
ing white; the fa<3t is that the tip and the whole inner web for 
about iin inch, to an inch and-a-half from this tip is white, both 
above and below, and though the outer webs of the lateral 
feathers are pale brown, on the lower surface these webs are 
albescent. There is no tra<3e of any dark bar. 

Dimensions. — Only three birds (out of 13 specimens) and 
these, unfortunately, all males, were measured in the flesh. These 
vary as follows: Length, 6 to 6*4 inches; expanse, 7 inches; 
tail from vent, 3 to 2*75 inches; bill, 0*5 to 0'55 inch; wing, 
2.-45 to 2"55 inch; tarsus, 0-95 to 1 inch. 

Bescription. — Bill black, in some whitish on the gonys, 
(close to the arelu) The legs fleshy brown, browner on feet, 
and browner still on claws. Irides, brownish buff or yellow. A 
streak fr^om the nostril over the ey-e, but almost obsolete above 
the eye, yellowish white. Whole upper surface, brown, neither 
very dark nor light, more earthy on the head and back, purer 
on the quills and tail, and greyer on the ear-coverts, sides ot 
the neck, and tips of some of the lesser wing coverts : the cen- 
tral tail feathers are brown, of the same tint as the quills, but 
slightly paler, distinctly but obsoletely barred, and no white tips ; 
the lateral tail feathers have the outer webs brown, paling" rapidly 
as the feathers approach the exterior of the tail, and quite albes- 
cent on the two external feathers ; the tips are white and the 
terminal inch to an inch and-a-lialf of the inner webs is white also ; 

'Novelties — Ninox Ohscums. 11 

the quills are mavg-ined on the exterior web with rufons or 
rufous grey. The whole lower surfaee including the wing lining, 
is a very pale yellowish huff, much paler than in Lovglcaudatus, 
more uniform than in Iriorrinfas verv, and purer than in Rufes- 
cens ; the inner margins of the quills are the palest possible 
salmon color. The tibial plumes are pale fulvous. 

I long' confounded this species with I). Sylvatica. The dimen- 
sions and part of the description would agree well enough, but 
no one could possibly call the bird olive brown, nor is it possible 
to believe that when Jerdon speaks of a bird with a narrow sub- 
terminal dark band to the tail, the feather tipped with white, 
he refers to a bird in which there is no such dark band, and of 
which the major portion of the lateral tail feathers are pure white. 
I have this species only from Saugor, Mount Aboo, and Haipoor. 
The young of this species and of Riifescens nobis are so similar, 
that I was at one time inclined to believe that the two were 
only different phases of the same species; but the adults appear 
perfectly distinct and even the young are separable, by the some- 
what larger size of the bill in this species and the color of the 
lower mandible which in the young Riifescens is horny white, 
in the young of this species almost entirely black. 

W^wn B\$amx% Sp. Nov. 

Of a nearly uniform, darldsh, sometvhat rufous, slightly chocolate brown. 
Abdomen, loith afeio imperfect yellowish white transverse bars. Wing, 
about 8'5 inches. 

This species which appears, although quite distinct, to ap- 
proach in general tint more nearly to the Bornean bird than any 
other Ninox yet described, has been found in the Nicobars near 
Camorta. 1 have as yet only seen a single specimen. Its 
crepuscular habits appear to be similar to those of its congeners. 
Nothing is known of its nidification. 

Dimensions. — (From the dry skin.) Length, 13 inches; wing 
8-5 inches; tail, about 5 inches; tarsus, 0-9 inch ; bill from gape, 
1*65 inches (sex not recorded.) 

Description. — Lores and forehead, yellowish white. The tips 
of the bristles immediately in front of and below the eye, black, 
so as to produce the effect of an ill-defined narrow black semi- 
circle running round the front of the eye. The whole of the 
upper surface, a rich, somewhat rufous, slightly chocolate-tinted 
brown, darkest on the head and nape, and even then not very 

12 Novelties. — Mir of m Immacnlata, 

dark^ and a good deal paler, and losing its chocolate shade on 
the quills and tail. The tail exhibits on the central feathers four 
very narrow pale yellowish brown bars, and there are similar bars 
on the exterior webs of all the lateral tail feathers exce|)t the 
outermost ones. The throat is yellowish white, with a rufous 
brown patch. The whole of the rest of the lower pai-ts includ- 
ing the wing lining are nearly similar in tint to the back, but 
somewhat more rufous ) each of the feathers of the abdomen and 
flanks exhibits two or more pairs of small yellowish white sj)ots 
or imperfect bars, which, even where best defined, are narrow, im- 
perfect, widely separated, and by no means conspicuous, all but 
the one nearest the point being hidden by the over-lapping of 
the feather. The lower tail coverts are a paler and less rufous 
brown^ and are more broadly and conspicuously barred with 

Since writing the above, I have been favored by Mr. Ball, of 
the Geological Survey, with the sight of another specimen of the 
same species, procured, he informs me, in the Andamans. This 
bird is decidedly distinct from CoL Tytler^s AJjinis, of which 
species, or supposed species, Mr. Ball also sent me a specimen, 
obtained^ as I understand him, from the Nicobars. 

Xmiu Imiimakta, S;p. Nov. 

Size and shape of Mirafra Assamica, upper surface, dull earthy 'brown ^ 
striations, few and ill-defined. Breast, almost entirely spotless. 

I HAVE now had by me for many years a large Mirafra pro- 
cured on Deobund, a hill some 9,000 feet high, in the neighbour- 
hood of Mussoorie. Never having been able to obtain a second 
specimen, I have hitherto hesitated to describe it, but it seems 
so very distinct from Assamica, the only species which at all 
closely approaches it, that in the hopes of other specimens 
turning up, I now venture to give it a " local habitation and a 

I may premise that of our four Mirafras three, viz., Affinis, 
Er^tJiroptera, and Cantillans have the hind claw short, averaging 
perhaps 0*3 inch in length. Assamica, on the other hand, has 
a comparatively long claw, varying from 0'5 to 0'6 inch. Ther 
present species approaches Assamica in this respect, having the 
hind claws 0'6 inch in length. 

From Assamica, however, it may be at once separated by the 
difference in the tint of the upper surface, which in this 

Novelties — Mirafra Immaculata. 13 

latter is a pale earthy grey^ the feathers centred with dark hair- 
, brown, so as to produce the effect of strongly marked striatious 
on the whole of the head and mantle. In the present species 
these parts are a dull earthy brown, Avithout the slightest tinge 
of grey, and except just in the centre of the back where they 
are better marked, the feathers are only very faintly darkly 

All four of our Indian Mirafras hitherto described are charac- 
terized by well-marked dark spots on the breast. In the present 
species there is scarcely a trace of ani/ sj^otting on the breast. 

I have no idea of the distribution of this new species, but it 
is not apparently found in the Dhoon, from which locality as well 
as from the north of the Saharunpoor district, I have received 
the true Assamica. 

Dimensions (from the dry shin) — Length, 5 '75 inches,- wing, 
3*35; tail, 1*9; bill at front, 0*6 ; from gape, 0*72; tarsus, I'O ; 
hind toe and claw, 1*13; claw 0-6. 

Description. — Whole top of the head, back of the neck, 
back scapulars and rump, dull earthy brown, not either ashy or 
olive j feathers of the head faintly, of the interscapular region 
and scapulars more distinctly, and of the other parts scarcely 
perceptibly centred with hair-brown ; quills and coverts dark 
hair-brown ; primaries (except the two first) and their greater 
coverts, broadly margined on their outer webs with bright 
ferruginous; the rest of the quills and coverts broadly margined 
with ferruginous buff. The tail paler hair-brown than the 
quills, the central feathers broadly margined on both webs, and 
the lateral feathers on the external webs with rufous or rufous 
buff. The upper tail coverts, which are pale hair-brown margin- 
ed with pale earthy brown, extend to within 0"6 of the end of 
the tail. The lores and orbital region and cheeks are pale 
rufous ; from the gape diverge two narrow dusky brown lines, 
one running parallel to, and below the eye, and joining into the 
brownish tips of the ear-coverts, and the other, running down 
along the jaw, and lost in some very faint spots on the sides 
of the neck. The chin is whitish, the whole of the rest of the 
lower parts is a uniform pale rufous, (brighter and more decided 
however, than in Assamica) more or less infuscated on the flanks. 
On the breast there is just a trace of a very few dusky spots, 
not noticeable unless closely looked into. The axillaries, the 
whole wing lining, and the inner margins of the quills, inside 
a line drawn from the base of the first to the end of the last 
primary, are a very pure bright salmon rufous. 

ItacarMdis PaiiMlii, Sp. Nov. 

Appruaones P. Nipalensis ; hut smaller, everywhere paler ; hill inteV' 
mediate hetiveen Procarduelis and Propasser ; throat and hreast, uni- 

More than a year ago Mr. Mandelli g-ave me^ witli a number 
of Procarduelis Nipalemis, two males and one female of a ver}^ 
similar species, which he was inclined to believe distinct. These 
birds by some oversight have never been properly examined 
until now. Oii comparing them I find that they are un- 
doubtedly a new and unrecorded species ; at any rate they are 
to be found neither in Hodgson's Drawings, Bon : and Schl :, 
Monogriiphie des Loxiens, Jerdon, or any other work to which 
I have access. At first sight the males may be easily confounded 
with those of Nipalensis, but they are altogether paler than 
this species; there is no dark band across the chest and along 
the sides, and no dark band through the eye as in this species ; 
and the bill, though quite as long, is much less cardueline in its 
character and much broader. Indeed it is more like that of 
Propasser BJiodocJirous than of P. NljMlensls ; the wmg however 
has the three first primaries equal as in that of Nipalensis, and the 
general style of coloring is closer to Procarduelis than that of 
Propasser, and I therefore place it for the present under the 
former. The wings in P. Nipalensis vary in tlie male from 
3"4 to 3"6 inches; in the female from 3'2 to 3'45 inches, so that 
the present species is considerably smaller. It was procured 
during the cold season in the neighbourhood of Darjeeling, and 
appears to be common there, Mr. Mandelli having, if I remem= 
ber right, a, considerable series. 

To Mr. Mandelli is entirely due the credit of discriminating 
this species, as when first shewn to me I did not,, strange to say, 
recognize its distinctness ; and it was only in course of arrang- 
ing my museum that I came across the specimens, and remem- 
bered how persistently he had assured me that it was not P. 
Nipalensis . The bill is so very distinct, as also the coloring 
of some parts, that I cannot now explain how I came to over- 
look the bird. To Mr. Mandelli I may mention also belongs 
the merit of discriminating P. Satitratus, Blanford, of which 
he wrote to me, as distinct from any in Jerdon, long before 
he sent the specimens to Mr. Blanford, which the latter de- 
scribed. Indeed, my museum contains no less than six specimens 
of this species, sent me by Mr. Mandelli, some of which I have 
had by me nearly eighteen months ; but which I hesitated to 

Novelties. — Pfocarduelis Mandellii. 15 

describe as new, doubting- whether, despite the description given 
by Moore, Safurafus- mig-ht not be Fidclierrimus, Hodgson; and 
a drawing of Mr. Hodgson^s which he gives as the young of 
Fulcherrimus, made me doubt still farther on this point. Wliile 
on this subject I may mention that I quite agi-ee with Mr. 
Blanford that the female Projoasser figured by Moore, Pro. Z. 
S. 1855, p. 315, is not that of P. Tkwra, not for the reason 
assigned by him, viz., that it is too rufous below, but because 
the rufous is wronglj;- distributed, and because the I'urap and upper 
tail coverts in the female P. T/inra are conspicuously tinged 
with yellow, a point which could never have escaped Mr. Wolf. 
Further, because Mr. jMoore says, that the color of the under- 
parts of his female bird was comparatively unifoi-m, with but 
taint dark centres to the feathers, whereas in the true female 
Tkura, there is a strong contrast between the coloring of dif- 
ferent portions of the lower surface, and the dark centres are 
much more strongly marked than in any other species of the 
whole group. These very strongly marked centres to the 
feathers, and the comparatively very rusty rufous chin and 
throat are what serve at once to distinguish the female TImra. 
The ground color of the centre abdomen is always white, more 
or less faintly tinged with fulvous ; but the ferruginous color 
of the chin and throat, while sometimes confined to these parts, 
at other times extends over the whole of the breast, sides,, and 
flanks, so that really WolPs figure of Moore's female Projxxsser, 
though much too grey about the chin and throat, is not nearly 
rufous enough on the breast and sides for some specimens of 
Tliura. As a matter of fact, I entertain no doubt that Aloore's 
female Propasser belonged to the species now christened Satu- 
ratus. Mr. Keulemans' drawing given by Mr. Blanford in J. A. 
S. B., Yol. XLI., 1872, is of a young female, much too yellow 
about the throat and chin for the adult, which is precisely like 
the bird figured by Wolf, and what makes me the more certain 
of this identification is that the female of Sahorakts is conspi- 
cuous for the very faint darker centres to the feathers of the 
lower partSj one of the leading characters assigned by Mr. Moore 
to his bird. 

PhodopepelMS, I may add, may be distinguished at once from 
all our other Indian Propassers by the strongly marked tippings 
to both the g-reater and median coverts, and tippings to the 
exterior webs of the tertiaries, the covert tippings forming two 
very conspicuous wing bars in both sexes, rosy- white in male, 
pale buffy or yellowish white in the female. 

To return now to Procarditelis Mandellii. 

Dimensions (tahen from the dry skin.) — Male; length, 5*25 

16 Novelties. — Frocardtielis Mandellii. 

inches; wing-, 3-3 to 3'3 inches ; tail^ 2 to 2-25 inches; tarsus, 
0-75 inch nearly ; bill at front, 0*44 to 0'5 inch. 

Female; length, 5 inch; wing-, 2"1 inches; tail, 2*25 inches; 
tarsus, '7 inch ; bill at front, 0*49 inch. 

fN. B. — Onli/ two males and one supposed female measured, the 
latter may he a yoibng male.) 

Bescr'ption. — Whole head, neck all round, breast, back, 
rump, lesser and median wing coverts deep ruddy, varying 
much in tint ; and on the back and breast confined to the tips, 
which, owing to the feathers not overlapping sufficiently, leave 
on the back and coverts a certain amount of the dark brown 
and on the breast of the pale grey brown bases of the feathers 
visible ; the forehead and the whole top of the head is a bright- 
er and richer ruddy than the rest ; there is no distinct super- 
ciliary stripe as in Nipalensis, and unlike the latter species the 
occiput and forehead are unicolorous. The ear-coverts and 
cheeks are duller, the grey leases of the feathers shewing through 
more or less ; the throat and breast are more rosy ; there is no 
deep Imnd on the breast or dark stripe through the eyes as in 
Nipalensis ; the abdomen and flanks are a pale grey brown, the 
feathers more or less faintly margined and tipped with ruddy ; 
there are a few white feathers about the vent ; the tibial plumes 
and lower tail coverts, are a pale grey brown, the latter narrow- 
ly margined and tipped with pure white ; the quills, greater 
coverts, and tail feathers are conspicuously margined with a 
sort of ruddy ferruginous, or ruddy olive, the colour differing 
in my two specimens. 

Siopposed female. — The whole bird (except the wings and tail 
which are hair-brown) a dull olive brown, becoming albescent 
, on the abdomen and mingled with dull white about the vent ; 
the whole cap, back, rump, and upper tail coverts overlaid 
with a slightly rusty ruddy tint, strongest on the rump ; the 
wings and tail as in the male, except that the lesser coverts are 
margined similarly to the quills and greater coverts with a 
sort of ruddy rusty hue; the shafts of the ear- coverts are slight- 
ly paler than the webs, giving a faintly striated appearance to 
these parts ; with this exception the bird is entirely free from 
any striations, such as more or less characterise the back of the 
female Nipalensis, and it is altogether of a much paler tint than 
the latter. 

The males in this species, I ought to note, very closely 
resemble in general appearance Carpodacus Brythrimis in al- 
most full breeding' plumage ; but the bill is conspicuously 
slenderer and more compressed towards the tip, and the grey 
brown under tail coverts with the narrow wellTmarked white 

Novelties. — Endromias Teiinlroslrls. 17 

margins alone suffice to separate tlie birdj besides this^ the tints 
of our bird are duller and darker, both above and below, and the 
bird itself is smaller. Altogether, the bird is as nearly as possible 
intermediate between P. Nlpaleiisls and Carpodacus ?Jr//ikrlitus, 
and but that the bill appro.aches more nearly to the former, 
I should have placed this species under Caiyodacus. 

(h\lxmm touiri)5tns^ 8'p. Nov. 

Bill, long and slender ; wing, 5'7 indies; no white bar on later priinaries ; 
shafts of all the primaries hair-hrown, strongly niarJced ; umber broivn 
pectoral collar. 

I HAVE had lying" by me for years a ring plover which I have 
never yet been able to identify : it may not be new, but it is 
certainly new to India. 

Dr. Jerdon gave me this specimen years ago, as LeseltenauUl, 
or as it should more properly stand Geojfroyi. I at the time 
told him that it was not this species. We had^ however, no speci- 
mens of Geoffroyi with which to compare it, and nothing further 
was said about it at the time. Subsequently, I have compared it 
with large series, of Geoffroyi, Movgolkus, Hlatlcula, Cantiauits, 
and Citroniciis, with Mr. Hartings's elaborate and careful de- 
scriptions of Ell. Asiatic'us and Veredus, yet it certainly belongs 
to none of these species. The bill is elongated and slender ; in fact 
it is almost precisely that of Morhellns, but more elongated, and 
the lower mandible markedly slenderer. This fact alone would 
suffice to show that the bird cannot belong to any of the species 
of jEgialites above enumerated. Putting this aside, however, 
Geoffroyi, Cantianus, and Mongolicas have the whole of the shaft 
of the first primary, and all but the tips and the bases of the 
shafts of the other primaries white. Eiaiicnla hiis less of the 
shaft, but still a considerable portion of it, white. Cnro- 
nicus has the first shaft white, the others, hair-ljrown. Asiallaus 
has all the shafts usually white ; Veredus the first and a portion of 
second sluift^ white, the rest brown ; the present s]X^cies luis the 
whole of the shafts brown, only at the extreme tips of each primary, 
so far as in the closed wing they project beyond the following 
one, are the shafts albescent, and here even not for the whole length 
of such tip but only for about two-thirds of the length ; the 
remaining terminal one-third of the shafts of the tip being hair 
brown like the rest of the shaft. 

Again there is no white bar on the outer webs of the later 
primaries as there is in Geoffroyi, Mongolkiis, and Caidiaiins ; 

18 'No'VELTiES.—Uudromias Tenuirostris. 

but the last seven primaries are couspiciiously^ thoug-h very 
narrowly, margined at the tips with pure white, and all the se- 
condaries have the outer wehs towards the tips pure white. The 
outer tail feathers are very like those of Morinellus, a broad pure 
white tip on both webs, then a dark bar fading into the grey 
brown of the. rest of the feather, and only a very narrow margin 
of white running up the outer web, for a short distance. There 
is a very narrow white collar on the back of the neck, and from 
either side of the nape descends a dark umber brown pectoral 

All these peculiarities combined ought to render this species, 
if not new, easily identifiable; but to prevent any possibility of 
mistakes, I append exact dimensions and descriptions taken from 
the dry skin. 

I may note that Dr. Jerdon believed that he obtained this 
specimen in Burmah ; but was not sure whether he got it on the 
coast or inland. 

Dimensions. — Length, 7*25 inches; wing, 5*7 inches; tarsus, 
1"35 inches; bare portion of tibia, 0*5 inches; bill at front, 0"82 
inch; tail, 2'75 inches; first primary longest; second, 0'05, 
third, 0"3, fourth, 0*75, fifth, 1-2 inches shorter than the first. 

Description. — Lores, forehead, front of the head, and orb-tal 
region rufous white (the specimen is a good deal shot about the 
front of the head, and it is diflSeult to make out whether there 
was or was not a dark line through the lores) ; the crown, occiput, 
and nape, a dull earthy brown, paler and slightly tinged with 
rufous on the front, darker posteriorly ; the whole of the lower 
parts, except the pectoral collar, including sides, axillaries, wing 
lining, and lower tail coverts, pure white. A very narrow white 
collar at the base of the nape ; immediately behind this from 
either side of the back of the neck sj^rings an umber, or dark 
hair-brown half collar, which completely encircles the upper 
part of the breast ; this collar is not prolonged over the back 
of the neck. The whole of the back, coverts, scapulars, and 
tertiaries, and the central tail feathers are a nearly uniform- 
dull pale brown ; most of the feathers of the lesser coverts, 
the shorter scapulars, and the upper tail coverts, narrowly 
and inconspicuously margined with dull pale ferruginous. The 
primaries and secondaries are pale hair-brown; the winglet 
and primary greater coverts being somewhat conspicuously 
darker. The edge of the wing just below the carpal joint is 
pure white. The last seven primaries, earlier secondaries, the 
primary greater coverts, and the winglet narrowly margined 
at the tips with pure white; the greater secondary coverts rather 
broadly tipped with white ; the later secondaries with the en- 

Falco Bm'baruft in India. 19 

tire outer webs towards the tips, pure white. The two central 
tail feathers unicolorous with the hack, the next on either side 
similar, but albescent at the ti])^ and with an obscure dark 
subterminal band ; the other lateral feathers broadly tipped on 
both webs with white, which tii)})ing is succeeded by a broad 
very dark hair-brown transverse band, which gradually pales 
into the dull earthy brown of the whole basal portion of the 
feather. The external feather of all has a very narrow white 
marg-in to the outer web, and some more white on this latter 
quite at the base of the feather. The bill at present appears 
a sort of reddish brown ; legs and feet, pale yellow. It is impossi- 
ble to guess what the original color may have been. 

A. O. H. 

larknts in iiiMa. 

The occurrence of this species, heretofore believed to be con- 
fined to the Southern Mediterranean littoral, in India, is a matter 
of much interest ; and as it must now be included in the Indian 
Avifauna, the following abstract of its synonymy will be useful to 
Indian Ornithologists : 

MtQ ^nUxm, f inn. ^t ^nUxi idmx. 

Accipiter Falco tunetanus Briss Om I, p. 343, (1763) 
Falco Barbaviis Linn Syst Nat p. 125, (1766) 
Gmel „ „ p. 272, (1789) 

Lath Ind Orn p. 33, (1790) 

Syn I, p. 72, (1781) 

Gen Hist B I, p. 82 B, (1829) 
„ Alphanet Schl Tr. de Faiiconnerie 

„ Punicus Levaill Jun Exp. Sci d'Algerie. 

Gennaja Barbaras Bonap Cat Ois d'Eiir. et de I'Alg. 
Barbary Falcon Gentl. Recre p. 208, (1677) 

Falco Pelegrinoides Temm PL Col. 479. 

All the synonymes but the last, I quote from Mr. Alfred 
Newton, as given by Mr. Salvin (/(5^>, 1859, p. 188). As to 
the identity of this species with Temminck's Pelegrinoides, no 
possible doubt exists in my mind. His description, which I 
transcribe, agrees in the minutest particulars with both my birds. 
He says " the forehead presents a mixture of rufous and dull 
white. This part of the head is encircled by a black" (dark slaty 
in mine,) ." horse-shoe-shaped band, of which the lateral branches 

20 Falco Barharus in India. 

pass over the eyes, their extreme points joining in front of the 
eyes, the monsttichial stripes, which extend along tlie sides of 
tiie neek. The occiput and nape are covered by a rufous half- 
collar, marked with three black spots, of which the centre one 
forms a band on the nape. The back and the wings are a 
light bluish grey, with large spots and irregular bars of bluish 

" The tail which is a lighter grey than the back, is barred 
transversely with black bands, very narrow towards the bases 
of the feathers, but widening gradually towards their ends, the 
tips of which are white. 

" The chest is pure isabelline" (in mine, slightly rufous creamy.) 
" The flanks, vent, and abdomen are of the same color ; but the 
feathers bear very narrow longitudinal striae and little triangular 
black spots. The base of the beak is yellow, but the point blue. 
The cere and the feet are beautiful yellow, and the orbital skin 
orange. The male is about 14"o inches [he says a little more 
than 13 French inches which are equal to 14''24 English inches.) 
The female not larger than the male F. Feregrlnus." 

I defy any one to write in as few words a more absolutely 
accurate description of my birds than the preceding, except in 
the one single point, that the horse-shoe in my birds is dark 
siaty and not black. I can add nothing to the description. The 
nearly white chin, throat, and sides of neck, the spotless 
rufescent creamy breast, the tiny triangular spots of the abdo- 
men, the huge, broad, rufous collar with the three dark spots, 
and the small size serve to distinguish this species from every 
other yet observed in India. The upper surface is as pale as a 
very old Bahylomcns, but the lower surface, which in this 
latter species grows darker as the bird grows older, is far paler 
than in any adult Babylonicus I have yet seen, and I have 
examined a good many. I have now two specimens, and both 
are exactly alike, except as regards size. The male was pro- 
cured early in 1872, by Dr. Stoliczka, in Cutch ; the female was 
shot by F. R. Blewitt, Esq., in the Nursingpoor district (Central 
Provinces,) on the 16th December, 1869. None of us distin- 
guished these birds — all of us set them down as very pale Babi/- 
lonieiis, and it was only when I came to compare them with 
my specimens and others kindly lent for comparison of this latter 
species, that I fnlly realized that they were distinct : then I 
referred to the measurements and then Temminck^s figures and 
Salvin's in the Ibis (which latter is excellent, though in my birds 
the bars on the sides have almost all become mere triangular 
spots) occurred to me ; and once on the right track, I soon saw 
that there was no possibility of mistaking the identity of this 

On the breeding of Elaniis Melanopterus. 21 

beautiful, and for its size most powerful, little falcon. In both 
specimens the sexes were ascertained and recorded by, I need 
not say, careful observers. The female was measured in the 
flesh, and I append her dimensions as well as a few of those of 
the male taken from the dry skins. It will be seen that while 
the wings agTce well enough with Mr. Salvin^s measurements, 
the female bird as measured in the flesh was very considerably 
longer than he estimated his from the dry skin. 

Dimensions. — (Female killed on the 16th December, 1869, 
Nursingpoor.) Lengtli, ] h'b inches ; expanse, 36*4 inches ; wing, 
11'4 inches ; tail, 6'1< inches ; tarsus, 1'8 inch ; mid toe to root of 
claw, 1*8 inch ; its claw straight, 0*7 inch; hind toe, 0'8 inch -, 
its claw, 0'78 inch; inner toe, 1*1 inch; its claw, 0'68 inch ; 
bill straight from edge of cere to point, 0*7 inch ; from gape, 
1*1 inch; width of gape, I'l incli ; height at front at margin of 
cere, 0*42 inch; length of cere, 0'3 inch; closed wings extend 
1*9 inch beyond end of tail. Lower tail coverts fall short of end 
of tail by 1'25 inch; 1st quills, 0'35, 3rd quills, O'o, 4th quill, 
I'l inches shorter tlian 2nd, which is longest. Exterior tail 
feathers, 0"4 inches, shorter than central ones. Weight, 1 lb. 2 oz. 

(Male killed January, 1872, in Cutch.) Length, (actual of 
skin, 12*75 inches, say in life about) 14 inches; wing, 10"8 
inches; tail, 5 inches; tarsus, 1*6 inches, actually feathered in 
front for about 0'6 inch; mid toe to root of claw, 1*63 inch; 1st 
primary, 0" 3 inch; 2nd, 0'55, and 4th, 1'15 shorter than the 
2nd, which is longest. 

The great size of the feet of the male, as compared with the 
size of the whole bird, is very conspicuous. 

A. O. H. 

)\x t|e buebiitg d ilainis Sl^laitij^tertis. 

Nothing accurate has, as far as I know, yet been published 
about the breeding- of the black-winged kite. Common as this 
species is during the cold season in many parts of India, it has 
hitherto eluded most of our Indian oologists. 

The merit of taking the firat nest of this species belongs to 
my friend, Mr. T. R. Blewitt, to whom I owe more rare eggs 
than to any one else in India. Mr. Blewitt's extraordinary practical 
knowledge of the habits of birds and his persevering observations 
of them render it difficult for any species that breeds within 
twenty miles of his station to escape him, Graucnliis Macil, Volvo- 
civora Melaschistos , Brachjurus Corouatas, and many others first. 

22 On the breeding of Manns Melanopterus. 

I believe, yielded their eg"gs to him of all our Indian oologists^ 
and the number of these latter is now leg-ion. 

Recently, Mr. Adam has also taken the nest, and I think that 
all Indian ornithologists will read with interest the accounts 
given by these two gentlemen of their successes. 

Mr. Blewitt writes, " This kite (Elanus Melanopterus) evi- 
dently breeds from, I should say, the middle of November to 
January. I first secured its eggs in the Sumbulpoor district on 
the 20th December, while I obtained a pair of quite young half 
fledged birds on the 11th January. The nests, including a newly 
made one found empty, were placed on the forks of the upper 
branches of low forest trees about 18 to 20 feet from the ground. 
In form they were circular jmd composed of small sticks and 
twigs somewhat compactly put togetlier, with the ego^ cavity 
about an inch deep, neatly lined with fine grass. There is no 
doubt that this kite breeds in all those tracts in the Sumbulpoor 
district that are sparsely wooded and extensively cultivated 
with rice ; and probably as it is somewhat common there, this 
may also be the case, in the Raipoor district. I tjike three to be 
the normal number of the eggs. The young birds had become 
very tame, when, unfortunately, one day the crows carried off the 
male bird and so injured it, that it died a day or two after. The 
female on losing her mate pined away and died a week after. 
I had them about seven weeks. In these young kites, when I 
got them, the iris was a dark brown, but when I lost them, light 
hazel. From this fact, and other inspections of numerous speci- 
mens from the immature to the adult stage, I am certainly of 
opinion that the iris is first of all dark brown, which gradually 
with age changes to the light hazel, then yellow, and lastly, to 
the carbuncle red of the full adult. I have never noticed the 
alleged crepuscular habits of this bird." 

Mr. Adam says, " At the village of Kuchrodda, about six 
miles south of the town of Sambhur, there is a large jheel 
with a tope of khajur palms, (Fhceniw Sylvestris) on one side, and 
straggling trees of this species all round. 

" On the 19th July, 1872, near one of the solitary khajur trees, 
I observed an ELinus Melanopterus, and as this bii'd is rather 
rare about the Sambhur Lake, I went in its direction, intend- 
ing to kill it; but just as it rose from the ground, I saw it 
was carrying a twig in its bill, and this it carried to the top 
of the khajur where I found it had a nest nearly finished. Both 
birds were employed taking twigs to the nest. 

" On the 7th August, I sent a man to see if the nest con- 
tained eggs, but he found it had been abandoned, and a new 
nest commenced on one of a group of six Lusora trees {Cordia, 

On the breeding of Manns Melanopferris. 23 

mt/xa) which stood near to the khajur. He also informed me he 
had seen the birds in coitu. 

" I inspected the nest on the 10th Aug"ust; and found one of 
the birds sitting on it. The nest was so loosely constructed that 
with my binoculars I could see that it contained no eggs, 

" I again inspected the nest on the 14th August, and found 
that it contained two eggs. One of the birds sat close on the 
nest and would not be frightened off by a man beating on the 
trunk of the tree with a stick, and this same bird made a swoop 
at my servant as he was climbing the tree. 

" The nest was situated on the very top of the Lasora tree, and 
was from 25 to 30 feet from the ground. In shape it was circu- 
lar and with the exception of two or three pieces of sarpat grass 
[Sacchariim sara) there was no attempt at lining. It was about 
ten inches in diameter, and the o^^^ cavity had a depression of 
about two inches. The twigs of which the nest was composed 
were of an uniform size throughout, and I could distinguish 
twigs from the following plants which were growing close by, 
tJ?"^., Jarberri, {Zlzyphus nimmmlaria) j^xxnxi-a., [Edwardsia 7nollis) ; 
Khep, [Crotolaria burhia) ; Jhoghru, [Tephrosia purpurea.) All 
these twigs were very loosely and openly laced together. 

" The eggs are without gloss, both have a light creamy white 
ground of which, however, little is shewn. One had the broader 
end all blotched over with confluent patches of deep rusty red, 
while the smaller had numerous spots and freckles of a much 
lighter brownish red. The other egg is of a darker and purer 
blood-red, and the mass of confluent color is at the smaller end, 
while the larger is very thickly blotched, streaked, and clouded 
with darker and lighter shades of brownish red." 

The eggs which I owe to Mr. Blewitt are unlike those of any 
other species of kite vnth which I am acquainted. In shape and 
general appearance, they are more like minature Neophrons than 
any other egg with which I am acquainted. In shape they are short 
broad ovals. The texture of the shell is somewhat chalky. The 
ground color, so far as anything can be seen of it, is dull white, 
but the whole egg is mottled, smeared, and clouded with a dull 
brownish red which in some eggs is most intense at one end 
where no portions of the ground color are left visible, while in 
other eggs the same is the ease with the otiier end ; while in a 
third type both ends and in fact the whole surface is pretty uni- 
i'ormly mottled all over, leaving scarcely any portion of the 
ground color visible. When held up against the light the shell 
is a pale sea-green : it has little or no gloss. These eggs do not 
correspond at all with Mr. Breeds figures. They arc mucii smaller 
and much more highly colored. There is no mistakcj however. 

£4 On the hreeillvg of Manus Melanopterus. 

about the authenticity of these eg-gs, I feel sure^ for Mr, Adam's 
eggs are of precisely the same type^, although one of them shews 
a good de?l of the ground color (only slightly freckled and 
mottled with brownish red^) at the small end. 

All the eggs are nearly the same size : they vary from 1"42 to 
1*53 inches in lengthy and from 1*16 to 1*25 inches in breadth -, 
but the average is l"4-8 by 1"3 inches. 

The question arises do these birds ])reed twice a year or is the 
difference in season at which Messrs. Blewitt and Adam ob- 
tained the eggs^ due to diiferences of climate and locality. 

The Sambhur Lake is situated in the bare sandy portion of 
Bajpootaua, which a hundred miles further west merges in the 
great desert. The rain fall at Sambhur is, perhaps, on the aver- 
age about ten inches. Sumbulpoor is in the east on the banks 
of the Mahanuddy, a country of rice swamps, forest, and jungle 
where the rain-fall is fully five times as great as at Sambhur, 
and it seems at least most probable, therefore, that these differ- 
ences in season are due to climatic influences. 

Mr. R. Thompson [inde page 339, Rough Notes,) informed me 
that in Lower Gurhwal and the Dehra Dhoon, " they breed from 
April to June, choosing lov^r trees, usually one standing by itself 
in (for those localities) sparsely wooded spots to build on. The 
nest is circular, not unlike that of Corviis Cnliii.eiiatus, ctmiposed 
of small sticks and twigs and lined with fine grass roots and 
fibres. This species is sparingly found along* the foot of the 
Himalaj^as. It does not enter valleys unless, as in the case of the 
Patlee and Dehra Dhoons, they haj^pen to be pretty open." Writ- 
ing later from the Central Provinces he says, " In the Central 
Provinces, the breeding season is from December to January; the 
nest is placed upon small trees from 15 to 20 feet from the 
ground. It is circular like a crow's nest, of about, the same size 
and composed of the same materials. I have now found two un- 
finished nests of this bird. The first was in the Sanger district, 
on the banks of a small nullah, in a pretty open bit of country 
yet sufficiently wooded to keep the place moist and damp. This 
nest was found on the 17th November, LSGO. The second one 
was found in the Seoni plateau, on the 6th January, 1871, was 
placed on a small Bosivelliu, thurifera tree, on the edge of a deep 
ravine. The male bird was observed rising from the ground 
carrying a twig in his bill and going directhf into the tree. This 
fact led to tiie finding- of the nest which was nearly complete. 
In the valleys of the Meikle range, in the winter of 1869-70, I 
frequently met with this kite and broods of young ones, and 
even saw their nests, but have not been fortunate enough to find 
the eggs." 

Oh the hreeding of Elanus, Melanojderns. 25 

The eggs are figured by . Bree from specimens which Mr. 
Tristram obtained in Algeria, where the bird itself appears to be 
rare. In Europe, it would not seem to breed, though it is said 
to be a regular visitant to Greece and to occur as a stragg*ler 
throughout the sovith of Europe. According to the figures, the 
eggs measure 1*75 by 1-38 inches and 1-66 by 1"39 inches. The 
one has a bluish, the other adult creamy- white, g-i-ound. Both are 
somewhat sparingly streaked and blotched with a pale yellowish 
brown, and one exhibits besides a few deep brownish red blotches. 

Mr. Tristram remarks, that " these eggs are interesting as 
corroborating by their character the position of the species be- 
tween Astitr and Buteo. 

To. me these eggs of ours do not appear to have the slightest 
affinity for those of either AsUir or Buteo. They are much more 
like kestrel's and still more, as already observed, like miniature 
Neojjhrons. In Egypt the birds clearly lay eggs like ours, and 
not like those from Algeria. Mr. Shelly, who took a nest there, 
remarks, {Ibis, 1870, page 149.) " On the 28th of March, having 
seen a bird flying along a row of these trees, we walked up to 
the spot, and presently heard the cry of its mate which we 
thus discovered sitting on its nest placed at the top of a young 
Mimosa, about twenty feet from the ground. The nest contained 
four eggs, about the size of a kestrel's, and varying considerably 
in color, some being as dark as kestrel's eggs, while others shew 
much of the dark ground between the blotches.''' 

And again, speaking of another nest, loc. cit., he says, " On 
the 80th March, at Boosh, we found another nest of this bird, 
situated on the end of a bough at the top ot a high Mimosa. 
Owing to the difficulty in reaching it, we unfortunately broke 
the four eggs it contained. They were hard-set, but in colour 
exactly resembled the nestful we brought back from Egypt." 

I can scarcely believe that Mr. Tristram's eggs really belonged 
to this species. They are so veiy much larger, and so entirely 
differently coloured, to those obtaixied both in India and Egypt ; 
at the same time it is only right to note that Lieut. Burgess 
(Pro. Zool. Soc. 1854, page 3, the only Indian observer who 
has, so far as I have been able to ascertain, made any record 
of the nidification of this species) remarks : " But A. F. 
Davidson, Esq., of the Ke venue Survey, a great sportsman and 
accurate observer of birds, told me, that he obtained a young 
bird of this species and two eggs. The eggs were of a pure white 
colour, and about as large as the egg of the Indian blue pigeon. 
They were laid during the month of December." 

Le Vaillant again tells us, that it lays four or five white eggs. 
So it is within the ^limits of pqssibility that the eggs of this 

26 T-he WagialU of India, 

species do vaiy from white to deep l>lood-red, and from the size 
of a -Pig-eon to that of a Peregrine ; bid it will require a good 
deal of fnrth^i' evidence to -convince me of the fact. 

A, O. H. 

Ire Magtails icrf liibm, ]Sl"o. 1, 

There is certainly no group of birds that is more troublesome 
er perplexing than the wagtails, and though I cannot pretend 
to have solved all the difficulties in regard to our Indian mem- 
bers of the group, I hope to be able to furnish a few notes that 
Baay facilitate their ultimate solution. 

Im the present paper I propose to confine my remarks to the 
grey and black wagtails o-f which J£ Alba, Linn, and M. Yarrelli, 
Gould, may be taken as types. 

Setting aside Motaoilla Madraspatana, the large s<ize (length 
on the average, 9 inches ; wing, 4 inches or nearly so,) and well 
defined piumage of which renders it always easy of identifica- 
tion, there remain five species which have been admitted hy Mr. 
Blyth into 'Our Indian Avifauna. In two of these, in their breed- 
ing plumage at any rate, the whole back is Mack, namely 
M. Luzoniemvs, Scopoli, and M. Hodgsoni, G. R. Gray ; while in 
the other three, -the backs remain at all seasons grey ; namely 
M. Tersouata, Gould, M. DuJcJiunemis, Sykes, and M. Alba, 

Besides M, Lnzonhnsis and Hedgsoni, Mr. Gray admits a 
third eastern species Jl£ Japonica, Swinhoe, figured hy Schlegel 
in the Fauna Japonica, as M. Lugens. 

All these three black-backed races are somewhat larger than 
the grey-backed ones with which we shall have to deal hereafter, 
the wings in the males varying apparently from 3" 7 to 3*9 in- 
ches, while in the same sex in Alba and Duhhunensis, they average 
from 3'4 to 3* 6 inches, and in Ber sonata from 3 '5 to 3*7 inches, 
only in one specimen out of fifty extending to 3'75 inches. The 
bills also in the eastern black-backed races are as a rule con- 
spicuously longer. 

Mr. Sehlegel, if I understand him «orrectly, considers all these 
three eastern black-backed races to be one and the same species, 
and he further unites with them M. Lugubris, Pallas, (figured by 
■Gould, birds of Europe, pi. 143,) which has a partly grey back, 
as one stage of the winter plumage of this same species. 

In regard to Lugubris, I am not in a position to offer any 
useful opinion; but I have every reason to believe that 
Ltizoniensis, Hodgsoni, and Japonica are only different stages 

The Wagietils of India. S7 

of the summer plumage of tlie same species. Briefly, the dif- 
ferences of these three fo-rm* maj he thus dieserihed : in Lt(,zoni- 
ensis, the whole of the front of the head as far hack as the 
crown, lores, and the whole of the face, sides of the neck, chin 
and throat are pure white ; occiput, nape, ma>ntle, and a broad 
hand o^n the breast are black ; in Modgsoni, only the front of the 
head, lores,, orbital region, and ear-eovei'ts, chin, and upper 
portion of the throat are white ; the whole of the rest of the 
sides of the neck and throa^t have become unbroken black, joined 
into' the breast band, and from the gape, a narrow black line 
runs below tbe orbital region and ear-coverts, dividing these 
from the white of the chin and upper throat and joining into 
the black of the sides of the neck; the major portion of- the 
visible parts of the wing coverts of Luzoniensk are white, and 
the quills, too, are margined with white ; the seco-ndaries more 
broadly towards their tips; in liodgsoni, there is even more 
white upon the wing. 

There can, I think, be no doubt, that Wodgsonv is only a some- 
what more advanced stage than Luzoniensk, and I may notice 
that both forms are beautifully figured in Mr. Hodgson's drawings 
now before me, and that he recognized their indentity, assign- 
ing to both the name of Alboiodes. When we turn io Ltigens as 
figured by Sehlegel, Fauna Japoniea, the lores, the whole of the 
space below the eye, and the eye covei'ts have become black ; the 
frontal patch only extends backwards as far as the front of the 
eye over whieh it extends as a supercilium ; the white of the 
ehin is still farther contracted than in Hodgsoni, and there is, if 
possible, even more white- on the wing than in this latter species ; 
this is a still nearer approach to the full breeding plumage. 

The full breeding plumage has never, I believe, been yet de- 
scribed. I have had specimens, typical of each of the three forms 
above described, obtained in the Himalayas, at different times 
of the year', between April and September; but specimens killed 
at tbe end of May and early in June, shew what the full 
breeding plumage is; namely the wholte chin, thi'oat, and top 
of the head, with the mantle, sides of the neck, and back pure 
velvet blaek ; and the white, which in each preceding stage 
was gradually diminishing, now reduced to a somewhat narrow 
frontal band, continued as a superciliary stripe over the eye 
and backwards over the ear-coverts. If any one insists upon 
making a fourth species out of this full breeding stage, he 
m-A.y ii2i\\ it Superciliaris ; but I do not myself doubt that one 
and all are stages of the same species. I should mention 
that in the final stage the closed wing feoks almost entirely 

28 The Wagtails of India. 

The well-marked black monstacliial line which has been 
considered the distinguishing' character of Hodgsoui is clearly 
merely a stage of plumage. Exactly the same chai-acteristic line 
is met with in Persouata, about March^ when the black of the 
breast begins to ei-eep up the upper part of the throat to the 
chin; and this moiistachial stripe shews itself again in Septem- 
ber^ when the chin has l^ecome white and the throat has begun 
to exhibit snowy speckles ; in fact both in Luzoniensis, Scop., 
(which isj I suppose^ the name that must stand founded on pla'"je 

29 of Sonnerat's Voyage a la Nouvelle Guinee) and Pei'sonata, 
in both of which I have shewn that the chin and throat become 
ultimately quite blacky it is the feathers along this so-called 
moustachial line which first, (as compared with those of the 
immediately contiguous parts) assume, and latest divest them- 
selves of, the black tint. 

In the breeding plumage the female oi I/uzoniensis differs only 
in its smaller size, and the somewhat browner black of the buck, 
somewhat as may be observed in the breeding plumage of the 
two sexes of Madrasjoatana. 

Of the cold weather plumage of this species, I cannot speak 
with any great certainty, and on this point further careful obser- 
vations are I think necessary. I have as yet obtained but few 
specimens showing the transition from the grey of the winter 
to the black of the summer plumage and vice versa ; but at the 
same time there is no doubt of the fact, and it would be very 
interesting to trace the changes in plumage from October to 
March, as I have endeavoiired to trace those from April to Sep- 
tember. It may be that Liigtthns, as supposed by Schlegel, is a 
cold weather form of Luzoniensis, but the distribution of the black 
and white in the former species hardly looks to me compatible 
with this supposition. 

Of the grey -backed species I may premise that I myself have 
never been satisfied that Dulchmensis really deserves specific separ- 
ation from Alba, any more than I am satisfied that Pratincola 
Indica and Pratincola Uuhicola i-eqitire distinct specific appellations. 
The two forms so closely resemble each other, that all that I 
shall have to say about the one will, I believe, be equally appli- 
cable to the other. Certainly there is no constant difference 
in size in the two species. I have five male Alha before me from 
different places on the Continent, the wings of which vary from 
3'4 to 3'6 inches ; and I have forty specimens of Bukhunensis 
about half of which are male, and in this latter sex the wings in 
this race also vary from 3'4 to 3'6 inches; in length of bill, tarsi, 
and tail, a certain amount of difference is observable amongst 
individuals of both races but none between the two as a body. 

The Waytails of India. 29 

There remain first the coloration of the back^ second the 
amount of white on the wing. Undoubtedl}^, taken as a body^ the 
backs in Alba are a darker^ and those of Biiklmnensis , a paler 
grey ; and again taken as a body the coverts^ secondaries, and 
tertiaries in Diilchuuensis are much more conspicuously and 
broadly margined with white than in Alba.'^ But, per contra, 
I have first a typical Alba absolutely identical in every respect 
with the European specimens. This is from Bhawulpoor, and 
is the only unmistakable Alba which I have yet seen in India ; 
secondly, I have several Buhhunensis with the characteristic 
whiter wing, the backs of which are as dark as in any Alba 
vera ; and thirdly, others with the light backs characteristic of 
Dtikkunensis ; but with no more white on the wing than in 
Alba. Under these circumstances it must, I think, remain an 
open question whether we ought to consider Duklmnensis a dis- 
tinct species or merely a local race. I myself retain the name 
for convenience, but greatly doubt the value of the distinction, 
and having- explained wherein the typical Alba differs from the 
typical Dnklmnensi^, shall say nothing further of Alba, but 
confine myself to VitkJmnensis and Personata. 

All my -black-back wagtails have been exclusively procured 
in the Himalayas, from Cashmere to_ Sikhim. DukJmnensis and 
Personata on the other hand are widely distributed throughout 
•the plains of India. My specimens ai DiikJiunensis are from various 
localities in Sindh, Jodhpoor, Bhawulpoor, Dehra Ghazi Khan,- 
Lahore, Sirsa, Ferozepore, Rohttick, Goorgaon, Simla, Saharun-- 
poor, Etawah, Jhansie, Saugor, Chumparun, Sarun, and Dacca. 
Personata I have from Murdan, Cashmere, Lahore, Goorgaon, 
Simla, Kotegurh, Saharunpoor, Kumaon, and Etawah; and I 
have seen specimens of both I believe from almost every locality 
in the Punjab, the North-West Provinces, Oudh, and the Cen- 
tral Provinces, and of Dukhmensis from at least a dozen loca- 
lities in Bengal. 

In full breeding plumage, these two species are very readily 
distinguishable. Pukhunensis then has the whole front of the 
head, lores, orbital region, cheeks, ear-coverts, and a stripe down 
the side of the neck pure white. The posterior half of the crown, 
occiput, and nape, the chin, throat, and breast pure black. In 
Personata, on the other hand, tlie white is confined to a broad 
frontal band extending as far as the front of the eye, and stretch- 
ing as a narrow supercilium backwards over the eye and part 
of the ear-coverts. Again in Personata, the whole visible por- 
tions of the wing coverts of the closed wing are pure white, 
whereas in Pukhunensis they are brown, broadly edged, it is true, 
with white, but not sufficiently so to enable the edgings to 

so The Wagtails cf India. 

conceal entirely (as they do in Personata) , the brown portions of 
the feathers. 

In the breeding" plumag'e the males and females of Personafa 
are nndistinguishable^ except that in the males the wings vary 
from 3 "6 to '6 1 inches, while in the females they seem to vary 
from 3'4' to 3*55 inches. As regards Duhhunensis, the same 
may be the case; but it is curious that I have no female 
Dickhmensis of my own collecting-, or of which the sex has 
been authenticated by a really careful and reliable observer, in 
the same full breeding plumag'e as the males. In Alba the 
female has always much less black upan the occiput, and the 
chin and throat are a duller and browner black, and the same 
difference somewhat exagg-erated may exist in the race we de- 
signate Luk/mnensis. 

In winter, both Personata and Dtekhunensis entirely Jose in 
both sexes the black of the head, which is replaced in the male 
by a dark, in the female, by a lighter grey. 

The black of the chin, throat, and breast is reduced in BuJc- 
Imnensin to a moderately broad, more or less cresceutic pectoral 
band, with two ill-defined broken blackish stripes running up 
the sides of the neck as it were from the points of the crescent, 
which stripes, never I think entirely disappear, though in some 
specimens they become neai-ly obsolete ; the broad white frontal 
band remains unchanged in width or nearly so in the adult male, 
though its color is less pure ; but in the female, it is gveatly 
diminished in width so as in some specimens to become almost 
obsolete, while in all specimens it is more or less overlaid with 
sordid grey 

In Personata, on the other hand, the whole breast alwaifs re- 
mains, black, and though the chin and upper part of the throat 
are white, the lower part of the throat is still more or less 
speckled with black. In the perfect winter plumage of both species 
the amount of the black on the breast, sides of the neek, and 
throat at once serve to distinguish the two species, but speci- 
mens of Buhhmemis changing into winter plumage often (so 
far as the amount of black on the throat and breast is eoneem- 
ed) exactly resemble the perfect winter plumage of Personata, 
and the only ready and unfailing diagnosis of the two species 
is that in both sexes, and at all seasons, the ear- coverts and whole 
aural region are in Personata black, blackish or dark grey ; in 
Diokhunensis, pure white or greyish or sordid white. This mark- 
ed difference coupled with the conspicuously greater amount 
of white on the wings of Personata as compared with those of 
Pukh'itnensis ought to render the separation of any specinjiens 
of the two species comparatively easy. 

PlKEnicoptenis Minor. 31 

I shall only add that I shall be very much oblig-ed by the 
receipt of grey and black wag-tails from all parts of the 
country, provided only that the sex, date, and locality are care- 
fully noted for each specimen ; unless the two former parti- 
culars, at any rate^ are given, the specimen would be of little 
real use, 

A. O. H. 

IIjtKmcj)|tcrii5 llmar. Geoff. St. Ell 

p. Minor Geoff. St. Hil : Bull, 8oc : PMlom, 11, p. 97. P. Parvus, 
Vieiil : Anal, p. 69, pi. col. 419 ; Gal. des. Ois b. 273. P. Minor, 
Jerd. Cat. No. 374, P. Bubidus, Fielden, Ibis, 1868, p. 496. 

It is some years now since I first obtained from the Delhi Mu- 
seum, a specimen of a small and specially I'osy flamingo, the shape 
of whose bill (the upper mandible of which when closed sank 
almost entirely within the lower mandible,) indicated it as un- 
doubtedly specifically distinct from our larger Indian bird. Dr. 
Jerdon and myself both carefully examined this bird, compared 
it with the PI. col., and with descriptions in other works, and 
came to the conclusion that it was P/mnicopterus Minor. A 
year later Captain Fielden obtained three small brilliantly rosy 
flamingoes, at Secunderabad, and described them under the speci- 
fic name of Hudidiis, in the 3is for 1868. His birds were shot 
in July. My bird, which was obtained in January, was one of six 
brought in by native fowlers, who professed to have captured 
them on the Sambhur Lake. 

In the /«5?> for 1869, p. 440, Mr. G. R. Gray added the 
weight of his great authority to the distinctness of Captain 
Fielden^s new species Rtihidios. He published at the same time 
drawings of the head and bill of all the known species of flamin- 
goesj and while separating Rubidus and Minor as belonging to 
the same sub-genus, which he called Fhmniconaim, he thus 
indicated the difference between the two supposed species. 

** Fig. 3, (Rubidus,) diffei-s from Fig, 8, (Minor,) by the pos- 
terior margin of the lower mandible being very narrow and 
then slig'htly curved to the lower surface, thus giving an appea r 
anee of angulation. Fig. 8, (Minor,) 1ms on the other hand 
the posterior margin of the lower mandible obliquely straight 
and broad to the surface beneath ; the lateral edge of the lower 
mandible has a prominent longitudinal channel on the basal 
half, from which spring several less prominent ramificatiojis that 
proceed upwards to the lateral margin." 

32 Phmnicopterus Minor. 

These remarks and the accompanying- fig-nres considerahly 
puzzled me^ because my specimen was clearly Minor ; the plum- 
ag-e moreover was by no means so brilliant as was described by 
Captain Fielden, the breast especially being- simply a delicate 
pale rose color, entirely devoid of the dark red pink mottling- 
described by him. 

The only conclusion I could come to was that both Minor and 
Bnhidus occurred in India. I however shewed the bird to Mr. 
K. M. Adam who is in charg-e of the Sarabhur Lake, and owing' 
to his kindness, I am now in a posi ion to solve the mystery. 

The facts are simply these : jP. Minor is the male, P. Ruhidus, 
the female j my bird was in the cold weather, while Captain 
Fielden^s specimens were in the full breeding- pluraag-e. 

The following- note by Mr. Adam on the occurrence of this 
species at our Indian "Great Salt Lake," Sambhur, will, I feel 
sure, be read with great interest : 

"Althoug-h I have constantly been on the watch for the small 
red Indian flamingo, similar to one shewn me in Mr. Hume^s 
Collection, and have constantly scrutinized the immense flocks 
of flaming-oes which for the g-reater part of the year frequent the 
Sambhur Lake, my endeavours were entirelv unsuccessful until 
the 25th of January, 1872. On that date I obtained a very g-ood 
specimen and' on the 29th, I procured another, but this was 
too badly mauled to be preserved. On the 24th of Febru- 
ary, when examining- the salt-works, well out into the bed of 
tlie lake, I saw another specimen among-st a flock of 
P. Rosens, but it was far out of shot. However, before the 
close of the month, two more specimens were shot for me. 
In the month of March and beginnino" of April, no effort 
was spared to obtain more specimens ; but althoug-h flocks vary- 
ing- in number from 100 to 300 of the species were observed, 
they kept too far out into the bed of the lake for any one to g-et 
at them. I may here note that the brilliant rosy plumag-e of the 
bird, to say nothing of the smaller size, made it quite easily dis- 
tinguishable with a pair of Innoculars frona P. Rosens. To- 
wards the middle and end of April, all the flamingoes, large and 
small, left the lake; but about the beginning of May several 
pretty large flocks, consisting solely of the smaller species made 
their appearance. I carefully examined one or two of these 
flocks with my binoculars, but failed to distinguish a single 
specimen of P. Uosem amongst them. On the 20th of Ma}^, 
three specimens were canght by Customs peons, near the edge of 
the lake. Their legs and feet were much swollen and blistered 
and they could not fly. As the lake-bed at this time contained 
only a concentrated solution of brine, and the thermometer 

PAcenicoptems Minor. 33 

ranged in the shade from 100 to 108 degrees^ it is somewhat 
dijESculfc to imagine what tempted them to remain in the lake- 
bed dm-iug the fierce heat of the sun^ and what they found to 
eat there. The stomachs of six of those which I examined were 
filled with brownish sand mixed with a greenish watery sub- 
stance. I could discover no traces of animal or vegetable life 
mixed With the contents of the stomachs. From the 21st to 
the 33rd of May, we had several severe storms accompanied by 
rain, and for a day or two after this, I observed large flocks of 
these birds flying about the lake. They again disappeared, but 
on the 13th of June, I observed four of them flying overhead, and 
the last time I observed them was on the 2nd of July, when I 
saw only one fly overhead. It is somewhat remarkable that none 
of these birds frequented the freshwater ponds or tanks which 
exist in the neighbourhood of the lake. All these were care- 
fully watched, but no birds ever visited them. Altogether seven 
specimens of the bird were obtained, of which four were males. 
The dimensions of the six birds which were measured varied a 
good deal, as will be seen from the subjoined figures. 

" Dim.ensions. — Male; length, 33 to 34 inches; tail from vent, 
4"5 to 4" 75 inches; expanse, 52 to 56-25 inches; wing, 13'5 
to 13'75 inches; bill from gape to point straight, 3*5 to 3"6 
inches ; tarsus, 8*5 to 9*25 inches. 

'' Female ; length, 30*25 to 30*5 inches ; tail from vent, 4 to 4' 5 
inches; expanse, 50 to 52 inches; wing, 12*5 to 12-6 inches; bill 
from gape straight, 3"1 to 3'6 inches ; tarsus, 7 to 8'4 inches." 

The first thing that strikes one is when and where do these 
birds breed. The first bird which I obtained, was caught late in 
December, or early in January. Mr. Adam saw specimens at 
the end of January, in February, March, April, May, June, and 
July, and Captain Fielden procured his specimens in July. They 
occur, as I have ascertained, in Goojerat and in Sindh during the 
early part of the hot weather, but only as stragglers. They are 
well known, however, to the fishermen. During my visit to Sindh 
I saw countless multitudes of Flamingoes, but only of the larger 
species, but the boatmen themselves volunteered the information 
that a much smaller bright-red bird of the same kind was seen 
occasionally in the hot weather. In the Nujjufgurh Jheel, near 
Delhi, my friend, Mr. Robert Blewitt, informs me that he has 
occasionally seen a single specimen in the spring. Lastly, I 
know of a single specimen having been killed in April out of a 
huge flock of the common ones in a salt lake in the salt range 
which lies between the Jhelum and the Indns, in the North- 
West Punjab. It would seem, therefore, that the birds remain 
with us from January to July ; and my impression is, from the 

34 Phosnkoptenis Minor. 

extreme brilliancy of fclie plumag'e in Jnly, and from other signs 
noticed on dissection by Mr. Adam, that tliey mnst breed in 
Aug-nst. They do not, I think^ breed in this country, certainly, I 
think I may say^ neither in the Punjab, Rajpootana, or Sindh, and 
they have iiever yet been observed at all in either Oude, Bengal, 
the North-West, or Central Provinces, but it is still possible that 
they may breed in some of the salt lagoons, along the Western 
Coast, though my own conviction is that they nest in Africa. 

What induces large flocks of these birds to visit the Sambhur 
Lake, which contains, as far as I have ever been able to discover, 
neither vegetable nor animal life (excepting one species of animal- 
culi,) and more especially at a season when the brine is a tho- 
roughly saturated solution, coating a stick dipped into it for a 
minute even with fine crystals of salt, is certainly a mystery. 
All through the cold season, and well into the beginning of the 
hot weather, this lake is thronged with the large flamingoes, 
waders, ducks, and gulls, (which latter fly off every morning 
about 9 o'clock, to drink at a small adjoining piece of fresh 
water,) which apparently feed on these animalculi ; but when 
the brine reaches a certain stage of concentration, these give out 
their eg'gs and die, and then the lake is entirely deserted, except, 
as it would now appear^ by P. Minor. The strangest thing of 
all perhaps is that they should remain there to burn and bruise 
their legs in the way described by Mr. Adam. It is curious, by 
the way, how often one shoots flamingoes with ulcerated, blister- 
ed, and sore legs, I remember that one bright genius (though 
I forget who he was) gravely asserted in print that this was 
due to the birds sitting on their nests with their legs hanging 
down in the water, and the barnacles attaching themselves to 
the same ; but I confess I have never yet seen any satisfactory 
explanation of the fact. 

To return to P. . Minor. In winter plumage the head, neck, 
and the whole body above and below is a delicate pale rose color; 
on the back little more than white, tinged with rosy ; the scapu- 
lars are almost white, v/ith a pale rosy streak down the centre ; 
the quills are black except the tertials which are like the scapu- 
lars; but slightly pinker; the wing coverts are pale rosy white, 
all the lesser and median, broadly centred at the tip, with a 
bright rather pale cerise^ and the legs and feet are a bright rose 
pink. In the breeding season, the rosy tint is very much bright- 
er, the throat is 6 ri(//d rose coloi-, each of the feathers of the 
breast is broadly centred towards the tip with bright cerise. 
The feathers of the upper portion of the back are man}'- of them 
similarly centred, and over the broad rosy white scapulars, a num- 
ber of comparatively narrow^ elongated^ intensely cherry-colored 

A new ? Tolyplectron. 35 

plumes (which reach as far down as the end of the closed wing-) 
have been thrown out ; the whole visible portion of the secon- 
dary^ lesser^ and median coverts have become the most brilliant 
cherry color^ with only narrow white tips ; and the lower tail 
coverts, flanks, and vent feathers are bright rosy, ting-ed with 
cherry color, the legs and feet too have become a deep but bril- 
liant red ; as for the bill, the basal portion is a deep vinous red, 
the tip black, and the intermediate portion bright crimson lake. 
In the cold weather, the bill I should mention is similar, but 
duller colored, the irides have not been noted, but Captain Fielden 
I see describes them as golden yellow, surrounded by an outer 
ring of orange scarlet. 

I have owed at different times a good many hundred birds and 
eggs and much useful iuformation to my friend Mr. Adam ; but 
no more beautiful or valuable contribution than the six fine 
specimens of T. Minor, which he has added to my museum. 

When on the subject of flamingoes, I may msntion that 
some authors have considered our large Indian flamingoes a 
variety of the European P. Antiquonmt, Temm. chiefly on 
account of slight differences in the shape of the bill. Mr. Gray 
loc. cit., figures bills both of the European species and tlie 
supposed Indian variety ; and remarks, " Fig. 2 represents the bill 
of a very old Indian example, which is considered to be a variety 
of the former, (P. A7itiqtcoruvi ,) but there are several slight 
differences in it. For iustaoce, the angulation beneath the lower 
mandible appears stronger and its tip appears less swollen. A 
young specimen in the British jMuseum, from the Cape of Good 
Hope, has the bill of a very similar form, so much so, that I am 
induced to consider it the same as the Mediterranean species.'"' 
Perhaps, Mediterranean is here r lapsus pennoi, for Indian, but be 
this as it may, my present conviction is that the bill he figures 
as the Indian variety is characteristic of the female. My grounds 
for this belief are first that all my Indian males have bills 
exactly corresponding with his figure of Antiquorum, while the 
females have the bill supposed to be characteristic of the Indian 
variety ; and second, that the only European specimen I possess, a 
female, from Mr, Howard Saunders, Coto del Reg. 18-4-69, 
exhibits precisely the phape of bill figured by Mr. Gray, as that 
of a very old Indian example. 

A. O. H. 

% ncio ? lolH^U^rtr^it. 

I HAVE been shown some of the tail feathers of a Tolyplectron; 
obtained in the Looshaie country, which I cannot identify as 

36 Otocoris Elwesi. 

pertaining^ to either the Asamese and Bhotan species, Chinquis, 
Tern (apud Blyth, Gonldj Sclater) or the Malayan Bicalcara- 
Ucm, Linn. In the former species the freckling spots are greyish 
white on a greyish brown ground, in the latter they are hair- 
brown on a buff ground, and much larger than in the former. 
In the tail feathers before me they are about the same size as in 
Chinquis, but less closely set, and are pale buff on a hair-brown 
ground. The bird appears to have been smaller than either 
species. The e;i/es of the central tail feathers are elongated 
ovals (considerably narrower than in Chinquis) the major axis 
being parallel to the shaft. They are emerald green. In one 
of the lateral feathers, they are green, but with a purple reflection 
in certain lights. 

Chinquis apud Blyth, &c., I believe also occurs in the coun- 
try traversed by the Expedition, at any rate I have been shown 
a specimen said to have been procured in it, but these feathers 
will not at all agree with those of any of my specimens, from 
the Bhotan Dooars. 

If really new, I would call the bird " intermedins" which it 
appears to be both as regards locality and to a certain extent 
in character of plumage between the two common species now 
known as Bicalcaratum and Chi^iquis ; hnt vay own conviction 
is that the bird to which these feathers belonged was the real 
Chinquis of Temminck, with whose plate in the pi. col. (539) 
they correspond exactly, and that the bird now commonly 
known as Chinquis must stand either as Tliihetanus, of Briss. 
Linn, et Gmel., or, if the application of this name be too doubt- 
ful, as Albo-Ocellattm Cuv. 

A. O. H. 

(\% ^tocsi. Blanford. 

In Mr. Blanford's Zoology of Sikhim, page 63 of the Asiatic 
Society^s Journal for 1872, a supposed new species Otocoris 
Elwesi is described. I told Captain Elwes, soon after his return 
from Sikhim, that this supposed species was merely one of the 
forms assumed by Otocoris Longirostris, and I subsequently men- 
tioned the fact, in epist., to Mr. Blanford. I do not know 
whether Mr. Blanford is yet convinced of the fact ; but I cannot 
doubt that he would be so, were he able to compare his speci- 
men with a large series of Longirostris from different portions of 
the hills, and I think it may save trouble and confusion here- 
after to put distinctly on record my conviction that 0. Elwesi, 

Otocoris Elwesi. S7 

Blatiford, must be relegated to the limbo of synonyms. My 
series of these birds is extensive. I have first Captain Elwes'a 
specimen, one of the supposed 0. Mwesi from the Kang-ra Lama 
Sikhim, and this I have compared with specimens from the 
northern portion of Cashmere, the Sutledg-e Valley beyond 
Chini, Ladak, the head of the Pangong- Lake, Sanksu, the Khoosh 
Maidan, and the Valley of the Karakash. 

I find that not one single one of the distinctions pointed out 
between Elwesi and Longirostris are reliable. First, shorter bill. 
The length of the bill in this species varies very greatly, first 
according to sex, and secondly, I think according to age. My 
largest Longirostris has a bill measured from forehead to tip a 
little exceeding 0'6 inch; my smallest, a female from Ladak, has 
the bill thus measured only 0°36 inch. The Kangra Lama speci- 
men has the bill thus measured 0*4 inch, and I have two speci- 
mens, one from the head of the Pangong Lake, and the other 
from Sanksu, which not only exactly correspond in length of bill, 
but in all other essentials with the Kangra Lama specimens. 

Second. — As to the legs being black instead of brown. This 
difiference appears to be seasonal. A female killed in June in the 
Upper Sutledge Valley, and another killed in August 3rd, in the 
Karakash Valley, have the legs quite brown. A male killed in 
Cashmere, in the autumn, has them black, and so have all the 
October birds. So it is no wonder that the Kangra Lama bird, 
killed on the 4th October, should have them black, the fact 
being that between Jime and the end of September they appear 
to vary from fleshy brown to almost black. 

Third. — The paler tints of the u.pper plumage and the purer 
white of the lower parts. These are entirely matters of age, sex, 
and season, and the Kangra Lama bird is not even quite as pale 
above or as pure a white below, as some of the Ladak birds. 

FoiirtJi. — Specimens of 0. Longirostris in the Indian Museum 
are said to have no black frontal band at the base of the bill, 
while the black of the crown is not distinctly defined, but passes 
into the brown of the nape. This is equally true of some of my 
specimens ; but then some again of my specimens have the 
black frontal band broad and well marked, and the black of the 
crown well defined, in fact much better defined than in Captain 
Elwes^s specimen. I cannot exactly explain the changes, but it 
is quite clear from examining a series that the bird passes gradu- 
ally from a no black-frontal band to a broad black-frontal band 
stage, and the Kangra Lama specimen that I possess is only 
half way between these two extremes. 

Wolfs figure of this species in the Pro. Zol. Soc. 1855, p. 
215, is in the intermediate stage, with the black frontal band 

38 The ShylarTcs of India. 

just beginning- to appear^ and it is in the somewhat darker stag-e 
often observable; in other respects it is pretty correct, and 
corresponds exactly with some specimens I possess. It was pro- 
bably killed, I shovdd say, in July, as the yellow at the base of 
the bill so prominently shewn in the drawing, disappears in the 
autumn, and as it does so, the black frontal band developes, and 
the legs turn from brown to black. 

This species is so excessively variable in size and appearance, 
that without a good series to examine, it is difficult to under- 
stand it. The biggest birds are nearly 9 inches in length ; the 
smallest, less than 7 inches ; the wings vary from 4"25 to 
5'25 inches; the variation of the bills I have already noted, 
while the hind claw varies from 0"3 to very nearly 0"6 
inch; but big and little birds come from all localities and 
intermediate sizes occur, so that for my part I entertain no sort 
of doubt that, despite variation in size and plumage, all are re- 
ferable to one and the same species, which peoples, at any rate 
from Afghanistan to Bhutan, all the dreary Himalayan wastes 
lying between 13,000 and 17,000 feet in height, whenever and 
wherever a little moss and a trickling stream is to be found. 
I may here note that Mr. Blyth was mistaken {Ihis, 1867, 
p. 47,) in saying that he had received two pairs of this species 
from Dr. Jerdon, procured in the desert country north-toest of 
Delhi. This species never descends any where near the plains, 
and Dr. Jerdou's specimens, of which he gave me one, which I 
still have, were obtained high up in Cashmere. 

A. O. H. 

®|e Skgtelis d IttMa. 

Our Indian Skylarks appear to me to deserve more careful 
study than has yet been apparently bestowed upon them. Most 
of all, a really large collection of specimens made in all parts of 
ludia, with the sexes and dates on which they were prociired duly 
recorded, is a desideratum ; and I should feel very much obliged to 
any of my numerous correspondents who would, during the next 
year, endeavour to procure me good series in their immediate 
neighbourhood. Until two or three hundred specimens are 
brought together in one museum, and carefully collated, I think 
it will be impossible to come to any certain conclusions in regard - 
to this group. At present, so far as my own limited collection en- 
ables me to judge, I am disposed to believe that we have only 
two good species. 

. The Ski/larJcs of India. 39 

These two species I should at present identify as Alanda 
Arvev-ns, Linnaeus^ and Alauda Malabarica, Scop. 

Our specimens of Alauda Arvensis do not belong- precisely to 
the race to which we Englishmen usually allot the name of 
A7-vensis. On the contrary^ the wing is slightly smaller^ the hind 
claw and tarsus as well as the bill slightly shorter^ and the lores 
and the fore-part of the face are a somewhat purer white. At 
least such is the case with my specimens. This species^ so far as 
my observations go^ occurs only in the Himalayas and as a winter 
visitant to the plains of the North-Western Punjab. It would ap- 
pear to correspond closely^ if not exactfy, with that race of the 
European skylark which Pastor Brehm separated as Alauda Agres- 
■ Us. This too ,is the bird which Hodgson designated Dulcivox, and 
here I may note that it is a great mistake to identify his Dulcivox 
with either Trihorliynclia or Orientalis vel Leiopus. Hodgson^s 
original drawings clearly shew that Dulcivox was a larger bird, 
with a wing of from 4 to 4*5 inches, the Himalayan represen- 
tative, in fact, of Arvensis; and I have a bird killed at Murdan 
in December 1870, absolutely identical in every respect with his 
beautiful figure (now in my custody) ol Alauda Dulcivox. On the 
other hand, his two drawings of Trlborhijncha and one of Orient- 
alis vel Leiopus, show that both these species, or races, or perhaps 
different sexes of the same race belonged to the smaller skylark 
(all the different races of which I, for the present, include under 
Malabarica) the wings of which vary from 3"3 to 3"8 inches. 

Of course our larg^er Himalayan lark, Arvensis as I should 
call it, but Agrestis or Dulcivox, if any one considers it deserv- 
ing of specific, separation, varies somewhat in length of hind claw 
and bill, a great deal in length of wing according to sex and 
still more in plumage, according to both sex and season; 
but in all these matters, exactly parallel variations are to 
be met with in the series of the true English Arvensis that 
I ijossess, and whether we can agree to call our Indian bird 
Arvensis or Dulcivox, there is only, I think, one race of the lai-ger 
Indian skylark. A larger series of specimens however of this 
species is necessarj^ before I could pronounce with any great 
certainty on this point. 

When we come to Malabaricus, however, numerous races appear 
to exist.' There is first the true GulgtUaoiihe plains of the North- 
Western Provinces, Oudh, Bundelkund, and Rajpootana; second, 
the darker typical MalaJjaricus from the Neilgherries and also 
from Lower and Eastern Bengal ; third, a race intermediate be- 
tween these from the' hilly, southern, and eastern portions of the 
Central Provinces ; fourth, the true Triborliynclm from the 
Himalayas^ from Murree to Sikhim, ranging up to heights of 

4}0 The Skylarks of India. 

eiglit and ten thousand feet, and fifth, what I take to be the 
Leiopus type from Ladak, Thibet, and the higher Himalayan 
plateau generally. 

Typical specimens of each of these races may be so selected 
as to make it apparently indisputable, that each represents a 
distinct species ; but even the small series, some five or six of 
each, that I possess seems to shew that no hard and fast line 
can be drawn between any of them ; and it is quite certain 
that no satisfactory separation can ever be effected, until a 
really large series of each of these five races (and any others 
that further investigation may bring to light) is brought to- 
gether in one collection and most carefully collated. 

Of these five races the most distinct appears to be the sky- 
lark of the high Himalayan plateau (which however in the 
cold season may, and doubtless does, descend into the lower 
hills and valleys) which I identify with Hodgson^'s Orientalis 
vel Leiopus. This race has the whole lower breast and ab- 
domen perfectly pure snowy white, and this I have observed 
in none of the other races. The bill is slender like the 
true Gulgula ; but still more sharply pointed; the wings, too, 
are larger on an average than in any other of the four races, 
and in the males vary apparently from 3" 8 to 4*0 inches. 
I possess no ascertained female. This race cannot be mistaken 
(though it approximates to it in length of wing) for Dtdcivox, 
although the lower parts in that species, too, are at times pure 
white. It is altogether a smaller and less bulky bird, and has 
a comparatively much longer and markedly more slender bill. 

Next to this comes the true Gulgula, which, in the summer 
at any rate, extends to Cashmere and other comparatively low 
hill valleys, where, as well as in the plains, it breeds freely. 
I have specimens of this race from Eta w ah, Rohfcuck, the Sam- 
bhur Lake, Bhawulpoor, and Srinuggur, Cashmere. The bill 
in this race closely resembles that of Leiopus, and is considerably 
slenderer than those of any of the other three races. The upper 
surface is much paler than in any of the other four, and the 
abdomen is pale rufous white. The wings of the male in this 
race seem to vary from about 3"7 to 3" 8 inches. 

The typical Malabaricus has a considerably stouter bill than 
either of the preceding ; the wings are about the same size 
as those of Gulgida, but the whole upper surface is conspicuously 
darker, a mixture of deep brown and bright rufous buff, such 
as is not met with even in freshly moulted specimens of 
Gulgula, and the lower surface, too, is more markedly tinged 
with rufous. 

The nameless race from Saugorj Raipoor, &c.; appears to be 

Fringilawda 'Nemorieola et SorcUda. 41 

intermediate between the two last forms. The bill and general 
tone of coloring" approaches most closely to Malaharicus, but in- 
both respects the bird seems intermediate^ and the wings of 
the males appear to vary from 3 "4 to 3*6 inches. 

Lastly, what 1 take to be the true Tfihorhynclia has the shortest 
and stumpiest bill of all, and in summer plumage is darker and 
more rufous, and in winter plumage grayer, and duskier than 
any of the others, I have a single specimen of this bird from the 
salt range in winter, showing that some specimens, at any rate in 
the cold season, straggle outside the Himalayas ; the wings of the 
males seem to vary from 3 "8 to 4 inches. 

I have said nothing about the length of the hind claws, be- 
cause these appear to vary very much according to the individuals 
and not according to the race. In one individual of Gulgula the 
hind claw alone measures just over 0'75 of an inch ; in another, 
it is jnly 0"45 of an inch ; and similar, though not such striking 
variations are observable hi the few specimens that I possess 
of each of the other races. 

Whether any or all of these races may ultimately prove 
deserving of specific separation, I cannot pretend to say; but 
I would earnestly invite the attention of brother ornithologists 
to this most interesting though troublesome little group, in 
the hopes that by a combined effort we may in a year or two 
be in a position to arrive at a more definite conclusion in 
regard to it. 

A. O. H. 


In the 37th volume of the Journal of the Asiatic Society, 
Dr. F. Stoliczka characterized under the name of Sordida, 
a supposed new species of Hodgson's genus FringUauda. He 
remarked, that " F. Nemoricola was only a Avinter visitant 
to the lesser ranges of the North- Western Himalayas ; but that 
he had often observed it during the summer in the south- 
western parts of Thibet, and in the north of Cashmere" ; he 
further mentioned, that another species, (his Sordida) was pro- 
cured by him near the Baralatsu Pass, in North Lahoul, and near 
Padam, and tliat during the previous winter he had procured 
numerous specimens from the neighbourhood of Kotegurh. 

In regard to this new species he remarked : " The follow- 
ing description is taken from these Kotegurh specimens. 

43 Fringilmtda Nemoricola et Sordida. 

" Male in Winter. — Forehead dusky brown, all the feathers 
margined pale ; top of head and ear-coverts, uniform rufous 
brown ; nape and neck, ashy brown ; back, dark brown ; the 
feathers margined pale rufous ; rump, pure ashy ; upper tail 
coverts, blackish, tipped and margined white ; wings and tail, 
dusky, the secondaries being narrowly, the tertiaries more 
broadly edged pale brown, and tipped whitish ; wing coverts 
brownish-dusky in the centre, tipped whitish, and forming 
two conspicuous bands ; all the tail feathers are margined 
pale ; below, uniform dull ashy, albescent on the vent ; lower 
tail coverts dusky, broadly margined, and tipped with pure 
white. 1^\\Q female has the entire top of the head light brown, 
the feathers being dusky centrally ; the ear-coverts are pale ; 
otherwise it is colored like the male. 

" The specimens which I procured in summer, are more uni- 
form dusky brown above, having all the pale edgings of the 
feathers much less distinct, and the whitish bands on the 
wing coverts scarcely conspicuous. 

■' Length of wing, 31 inches ; tail, 2| inches ; bill, dusky brown 
above, pale on the vase and below ; legs, greyish brown ; irides, 
fleshy brown. 

'' The form of the bill is scarcely different from that of typical 
Montifringilla, but the hind claw is remarkably longer, and like 
all the other claws very slender, and more similar to those of 
Fringilauda than to those of the former genus. 

" I have not succeeded in identifying this species, nor have I 
-seen specimens of it in any of the European museums, though it 
is comparatively a common bird." 

Subsequently, I procured two specimens labelled Sordida by 
Dr. Stoliczka, and comparing these with numerous other speci- 
mens from different parts of the North-Western Himalayas, arrived 
at the conclusion, as I believe several other ornithologists did, that 
Sm'dida was not a good species. 

Having now compared a very large series of these birds, name- 
ly, sixty-eight from Simla, Kotegurh, Kotekhaie, Kooloo, Bussa- 
hii-, the Valley of the Sutledge from Chini to Eampoor, &c,, 
with sixteen procured in the immediate neighbourhood of Dar- 
jeeling, I have come to the conclusion that, though not a good 
species in the sense that Dr. Stoliczka understood it, Sordida is 
yet the first name applied to a species not hitherto discrimi- 
nated, but for all that distinct from Hodgson^s Nemoricola. The 
true Nemoricola does not, to the best of my belief, occur at all in 
the south-western parts of Thibet, or to the north of Cashmere ; 
the specimens to which Dr. Stoliczka assigned the name as there 
occurring being merely other stages of plumage of his Sordida, 

Fringilauda Nemoricola et Sordida. 43 

and certainly this is the case in regard to his supposed Nemoricola 
which he describes as being- a winter visitant to the lesser ranges. 
I have seen positively hundreds of specimens collected during the 
winter in the lesser ranges of the North- Western Himalayas^ and 
one and all of them belonged to the species,, which must now be 
known as Sordida. 

The true Nemoricola is the one obtained in the neighbourhood 
of Darjeeling. This I have ascertained by a comparison of the 
Darjeeling specimens with Hodgson^s original drawings now 
(owing to his great kindness^ which I cannot sufficiently acknow- 
ledge) in my custody. 

The Eastern and the Western birds are very similar in general 
appearance^ but the true Nemoricola is somewhat the larger, the 
wings varying from 3*7 to 4'1 inches in the male^ and 3"63 to 
3-92 inches in the female, against 3-7 to 3-9 inches in the male, 
and 3*6 to 3*8 inches in the female of Sordida. Then althoug'h 
the plumage in both species is excessively variable, according to 
age and season, the eastern form is as a rule darker and brighter, 
and the wing bars formed by the tippings of the median and 
greater coverts, are pure white or very nearly so, and as a rule 
very conspicuous, while these bars in Sordida are, almost without 
exception, a dull pale buif or fulvous white, and in many speci- 
mens very ill-marked. The feet of the two species do not differ 
perceptibly, though perhaps the claws in Sordida are a hair's 
breadth the longest. 

The bills in both species vary a good deal, but I cannot dis- 
cover any constant difference in this respect between the two. 

There is, however, one trifling but constant difference which, 
independent of the size and the wing- bars, enables us to separate 
Nemoricola ixom Sordida at a, glance. The axillaries in Sordida 
(and I write now with 68 specimens before me, killed at various 
seasons of the year, in all the different localities above enume- 
rated) are invariably either pure white or digUly greyish or 
brownish white. In the true Nemoricola, on the other hand, the 
axillaries are invariably more or less strongly tinged with yel- 
low. In some good specimens in which the axillaries have been 
preserved intact, a pure dull yellow ; in some, rather of a dull 
pale orange ; but in no single specimen is the color not distinctly 
traceable, although of course it varies both in intensity and 
. extent in different individuals. 

This constant though slight difference, taken in connection, 
with the differences in size, in tone of coloring, and in the wing • 
bars, is, I think, quite sufficient to justify specific separation,'and 
warrant our admission of Fringilaida Sordida, Stoliczka, into our 

A. O. H. 

Coutrifjutiijns U tic iruitljol^an of %nVm,—Si7idh, No. I. 

Theee is certainly no province in India proper, in regard to 
the Avifauna of which so httle has hitherto been certainly 
known, as that which embraces the delta of the Indus, and 
has from a far distant past borne the name of that mig^hty, but 
hopelessly mud-laden, river. 

For many successive years I had been toiling- unremittingly 
on the official tread-mill, on which so many of our best men, 
year by year, wear out alike mind and body, with alas ! such appa- 
rently insignificant results, when last year, warned by failing 
health and energies, I determined to have a holiday for once, 
and to occupy that respite from red-tape, office boxes, and that 
horrible, though chronic, state in which we all live of ]>eiug per- 
petually " directed by His Excellency the Governor General in 
Council to remark, state, invite, &c.,^'' to a through investigation 
into the state of Bird Society in Sindh. 

My much-loved master and friend, our late lamented Vice- 
roy, — whom I should otherwise have accompanied on the ill-fated 
trip that cost him his life and India more than she yet 
fully realizes, — with that unfailing kindliness which enhaloed 
all his dealings "with his fellow-men, made every thing easy 
for me, and I was enabled to spend my whole leave in Sindh, 
to run up the Mekran Coast to G wader, and cross over to 
Muscat, and thus add another important link to the ornitholo- 
gical chain that binds together Asia, Africa, and Europe. 

In future papers, I propose to give a brief accomit of our trip 
from Jheelum to Muscat, and a detailed list of all the birds ob- 
served, with such notes as are likely to prove useful to Indian 
ornithologists. In this present number I must content myself 
with a brief notice of the results of the expedition. 

I brought home altogether about 1,200 specimens, represent- 
ing about 250 species. Of these but few, (Ptionoprogne Palli- 
da, Saxicola Albonig-er, Blandfordius Striatulus, and Puppi- 
Nus Persigus,*) are, to the best of my belief, new to science, 
but no less than 18 other species : 

Alcedo Ispida. Linn. 

Saxicola Monacha. Riipp. fS. Gracilis, LicM.) 

Cettia Sericea. Natt. (Cetti, Marm.) 


Columba Livia. Brias. Bp. 

* And possibly two others, of which more hereaftei-. 

ContrihtiUons to the Ondtliology of India, Sj'c. 45 


„ Senegalltjs. Linn. fF. GiMatus. LicJit.) 

„ CoEONATUS. Lnm. 

Ltmosa E/UFA. Briss. (L. Lcq^ponica. Linn.) 
Tkinga Ckassirosteis. Sclilegel. (S. Magnus. Gould.)' 
PouzANA MiNUTA. Pallas. (P. Ptisilliis. Gmelin.) 
UuERQUEDULA Angustikostris. Meiietries. (Marmoraia. Tem.) 
PoDiCEPS NiGEicoLLis. Suiidevall. 

Stercoraeius Parasiticus. Linn. (Ricliardsoni. Audubon.) 
Laeus Occidentalis. Audubon. (L. Borealis. Brandt.) 
„ Lambeuschini. Bon. (L. Temdrostris. Tem.) 
„ Hemprichii. Bon. (L. Crassirostris. Licht.) 
and Thalasseus Cantiacus. Gmelin. (Acujlavlda. Cahot.) 
are entirely new to our Avifauna. Besides tliese^ many other 
species^ not included in the late Dr. Jerdon^s great work on the 
Birds of India, but subsequently recorded by myself or others 
as occurring- within our limits, such as Halijetus Albicilla, 
Lin; Saxicola Kingi, nobis j Lusciniola Melanopogon, Tem 
Phylloscopus Neglectus_, nobis j Sylvia Delicatula, Hartlaub 
Melizophilus Steiatus, Brookes ; Anthus Spinoletta, Lin 
Alaudula Adamsi, nobis ; Pyeehulauda Afeinis, Blyth ; Laeus 
Aegentatus, Briinnich j and Pelec anus Ceispus, Bruch, reward- 
ed our labours, to say nothing of species hitherto rare in India, 
Cypselus Aptts, Linn.; Laticilla Buniesi, Blytli ; Alcemon Besertontm, 
Stanley, Calidris Arenaria, Linn ; Phalarojms Fulicarius, Linn ; 
Anser ErytJirojms, Linn., nee Gmelin; 2(,n(i Phaeton JEtherius, Linn, 
If to the names thus enumerated I add that at one season Merops 
Mgyptius, Forshal jim., swarms throughoitt the country, that 
Lanius Isabellinus, H. and F., (with the white wing bar) and 
L. Arenariios, Blyth, (which are both stages of the same species, as 
I shall show hereafter) are the predominant shrikes of Sindh ; 
that Saxicola Beserti, Rilpp, (with which S. Atrogularis, Blyth, 
is identical) and S. Isabellina, Biipp, are the wheatears ; Ammomanes 
Lusitania, Gm., and Galerida Cristata, Linn, together with A. 
Besertonom, Stanley, the larks ; Cursorius Gallicios, Gm., the only 
courser, and Beviiegretta Gularis, Bosc, the sea-side heron, the 
strongly marked European and North-East African cum Arabian 
character of the Sindh Avifauna, cannot fail to strike every 

As a matter of fact, the more habitable portion of Sindh is a 
mere oasis in the desert, a long and comparatively narrow tract 
of country, yearly fertilized by the inundation of the Indus, set in 
a broad frame of shifting sand-heaps or bare stony moimtains. 

Eastward Sindh is bounded by some of the most desert por- 
tions of Bhawulpoor, Jeysulmere, and Balmere, (a dependency 

40 Contribittions to the Ornithology of India, Sfe. 

of Jodhpoor^) and tlie eastern portions of Sindh itself, for from 
ten to sixty miles witliin the frontier, are desert wastes. North- 
wards and westwards, rug-g-ed ranges of inhospitable stone 
heaps, varying- in height from E,()00 to 5,000 feet, where in- 
habitants, animal life, vegetation and water are alike, save in excep- 
tional localities, altogether wanting, hem in the province, and 
divide it from the territories of the many Belooch clans that 
compose the State of Khelat. Inside this boundary stretches 
every where, for a breadth of from ten to fifty miles, a belt of 
waste, only at very long intervals, brightened by villages, 
" rari nantes in gurgite vasto," and their surrounding straggling 
patches of cultivation, such as it is. About the middle of 
Sindh, below Sehwan, offshoots of the bounding ranges of 
rocky hills run out at right angles to the main ridg*es, right 
down to the bank of the Indus, and lower down almost the whole 
of the country west of the Indus is more or less pure desert, 
broken up by low ridges of absolutely naked rocks. Southward 
the sea bounds the province. 

To the birds, therefore, of the comparatively fertile plains and 
uplands of India, there are but two routes left into Sindh, the 
one by the valley of the Indus, where that river, with a narrow 
strip of comparatively well- tilled country on either bank, enters 
the province at its extreme north-eastern corner ; the other 
on the south, where the western point of Cutch (the eastern- 
most portions of which abut on Guzerat) all but touches the 
Shahbunder district of Sindh. On the other hand, the hills, 
with their broad fringe of desert, that bound the province north 
and west, are precisely similar in character and appearance to 
the Mekran Coast (as far, at any rate, as I explored it, viz., to 
Gwader,) to the country about Muscat, about Aden, and along 
such parts of the north-east coast of the Red Sea and the 
Peninsula of Sinai as I have visited. 

It is therefore in no way surprising that, on the one hand, 
many of the land birds most characteristic of the Indian Fauna, 
such as Yultur Calviis, Sco]).; Gyps Indicus, Scop.; Gyps Bengal- 
ensis, Lath.; Falco Feregrinator, Sund.; Hieraetus- Pemiatus, 
Gmel.; Sjjilornis Checla, Dazid.; Pernis cristate, Ctw., Bulaca Ocel- 
lata, Lesson. ; Nlnox Scntellatus, Faffi. ; Ftionoprogne concolor, 
Sylces ; Merojos Fhilipjoensis, Lin.; Alcedo Bengalensis, Gmel.; 
Fcdceornis Fw-pureiis,"^ Milll.; Xantholama Hamacephala, Miill.; 
(■=Indic%is, Latham) ; Hierococcyoc Farins, Vahl.; Oxylophiis Jaco- 
iinus, Bodd.{=Coccystes Melanoleucus, Gm.;) Sitta Castaneoventris, 

* Mr. Gray gives this from India genevidlj, ^Rosa, Eodd, while he gives 
Bengalensis, Gm., from Nepal. Are these really two species ? This requires re- 
investi gatiou. 

Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, Sfc. 47 

Franklin ; Bicrurus Caruleus, Mull. (= Cmmlescens, Lath ;) Pi/c- 
nonotais Pygmoens, Hodgson ; or Chrijsorrhoides, Lafr. {^= Gray says 
P'usillus, Blytli ;) lora Zeylanica, GmeL; Coj^syckas Saularis, Linn.; 
Cercomela Fiisca, Blyth ; Prinia Socialis , Sy kes ov 8tewarti, Blytli ; 
Brymorpus Inornatus, Sykes ; Idtma Caligata, Licht, [=^according 
to Gray, Phyllopneuste Rama, Sykes j) Motacilla Maderaspatana^ 
Gmel., Corydalla Rtifula, Yieill.; Corvus Culmenatiis, Sykes ; 
Sturnopaster Contra, Linn.; Melophts Melanicterus, Lath.; all 
the Mirafras, all the Alaudas of the Gidgula type ; the green 
pigeonSj pea, spur, and jungle fowl, and many others of our 
most familiar forms, should be either wholly wanting-, or met 
with only as mere strag-glers ; or that, on the other hand, Sylvia 
Belicatula, Rartlaub, no less than six species of sand grouse, the 
desert-lark, the desert bulfinch, and Saxicola Monacha should 
occur, and some of them abound. 

Sindh, however, has another aspect than that which we have 
been considering. Within what I may call the delta of the 
Indus — the river-fertilized portions of the province — huge inland 
broads and lakes (locally called " Bhunds") abound. Again, from 
the easternmost mouth of the Indus to the Kurrachee Harbour, 
nearly the whole coast is a net-work of channels, backwaters, 
and sand and mud banks, more or less laid bare, by each receding 
tide, and hence, as might have been expected, Sindh, both inland 
and on the sea coast, is a perfect paradise for aquatic birds. 
Nowhere in India have I yet seen such multitudes of water-fowl, 
ducks, pelicans, flamingoes, herons, shore-plovers, scolopacidse, 
gulls, terns, et id omne genus. You ride for a dozen miles 
through a bare waste without meeting a single man or beast, or 
seeing above forty or fifty birds in the whole distance ; a few 
desert larks, some Isabelline shrikes, a few sand grouse (Senegallus) 
Saxicola Picata and Isahellina ; and perhaps, as you pass a single 
lone field of mustard, (that seems to belong to no one, and either 
to have wandered from civilized life, and lost its way in the de- 
sert or to have grown promiscuously on its own account) a small 
flock of desert bulfinch ; and then, suddenly, as you rise some swell- 
ing sand dune, at your very feet lies a grand rush-studded, more 
or less tamarisk-fringed and be-islanded sheet of water — two three 
or even ten thousand acres in extent perhaps — with one or more 
hamlets overlooking it, teeming from end to end with myriads 
of aquatic birds, a sight to gladden the heart alike of ornitholo- 
gist and sportsman. 

The contrasts presented by this small province are most 
striking. Stick to the central inundation-subject tracts, where 
broads and cultivation divide with canals and irrigation chan- 
nels the length and breadth of the land, and, at any rate if your 

48 Contributions to the Omithologi/ of India, Sfc. 

trip be made in the cold season^ you will be ready, specially if 
either ornithologist or sportsman, to aver that Sindh is the 
pleasantest of all our Indian possessions ; a climate that is simply 
perfection^ cool, dry to a deg-ree, bracing ; waving fields, pic- 
turesque looking villages, beautiful lakes or lakelets in every 
march ; the sun always bright, the sky ever blue and cloudless ; 
lovely purple hills, closing every landscape in the far distance, and 
such wild-fowl and snipe (and in places black partridge) shoot- 
ing ! But, stray outside the limits of these tracts, above all, 
wander a little amongst these " lovely purple hills^^ to which 
" distance," and only a very considerable distance, can " lend 
enchantment," and you must either be a geologist or more than 
mortal, if you do not after a week or so conclude that Sindh 
is the most " God-forgo fcten-hole" on the face of the globe. 

When I visited these same hills, not a drop of rain had 
fallen on them for more than two years. There was no grass, no 
water, no birds except a Lammergeyer or two, Ammomanes Lusi- 
tania, and here and there a few large black and white wheatears ; 
no animals, no men even, no nothing in fact, but bare, blacken- 
ed, rugged piles of rock, red-hot at noon-tide, and pretty well 
freezing before dawn. 

As for the Mekran Coast, as far as Gwader, and the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of Muscat and the Coast on either side of it 
for five or six miles (which were the limits of my explorations,) I 
am bound to say that though not quite so desolate, and of course 
better populated, the former is much on a par with the Sindh and 
Khelat hills, the latter with Aden. In the cold season they are 
bearable, and Muscat especially, picturesque enough, but in the 
hot weather, they certainly do not commend themselves to me as 
desirable residences. 

Hereafter, in dealing with each species observed in Sindh, I 
shall always notice those that were also procured or obtained 
along the Mekran Coast or at Muscat, but it may be useful to 
mention at once the very few species of land birds that we ob- 
served in these localities. 

In both the Neophron was common near human habitations, 
and Cypselm Apus, and Affinis, Lanius Arenarms vel Isabellinus, 
Ammomanes Lusitania, Tetrocossyphus Cyaneus, and Fasser Indi- 
cns were obtained. Besides these, at Muscat I procured Tartur 
Camhayensis, and saw Alcedo Bengalensis (not Ispidci), Falco 
Peregrinus, and a raven with a particularly long and rounded tail. 
Along the Mekran Coast, we further procured TJpupa I]pojps, 
CicJdoides Atrogularis, Saxicola Besertl, Monacha, and Alhoniger, 
RuticiUa Rujiventris, Callandrella Bracliydactyla, Cyanecula 
Suecica, Otocomj)sa Zeucotis, Ammojjerdlx Bonhauii, Corvus Lau- 

First Draft of a Conspectus of tie Avifauna of India, Sfc. 49 

rencei (the common Punjaub raven, vide ^^ Lahore to Yarkand^') 
and saw Haliatus Albicilla and one or two pairs only of an enor- 
mous black eagle that could be nothing- but Aquila Chrysaetus, 
this latter being, by the way, the only single species, whether of 
land or water bird, procured or seen either along the Mekran 
Coast or at Muscat, which we did not also obtain or see in or 
alono" the coasts of Sindh. 

(To he contimied.) 

A. O. H. 






I HAVE been so repeatedly urged to publish a complete ca- 
talogue of the Birds of India, so far as these are known to me, 
as also of the specimens tliat are contained in my museum, that, 
despite the vast labour it will involve and the little leisure I 
have available, I have commeuced the work. 

In this catalogue I propose to include every species, so far as 
this is known to me, which has been observed in any part of 
India, including Cashmere, Nepaul, Sikhim, and other Hill 
States, Ladak and Yarkand, Arracan, Burmah, and the Tenas- 
serim Provinces, Assam and Cachar, Ceylon, the Andamans, and 
the Nicobars. 

In this present work, which only pretends to be a first draft, 
I cannot undertake to work out the synonymy of the various 
species, about 1,500 in number. Each will be entered under the 
name that, as at present informed, (and that is very imperfect- 
ly) has, I believe, priority. Where Dr. Jerdon has given the 
species under a different name, I shall enter that also and, in 
some cases, in which the synonymy has been already carefully 
worked out by others (e. g., by Sharp in the Alcedinidce, or in 
the Birds of Europe, Elliot in the Pittida PJiasianidoi, Tetra- 
onida, Gould in the Birds of Asia, the Marshalls in the Bariets, 
Lord Walden in the Sunhirds, &c.), I shall add some of the 
more important synonymes. 

I shall retain Dr. Jerdon's arrangement and numbers, intro- 
ducing the birds not included by him, as his, ter, &c., of one of 

50 First Draft of a Conspectus of the Avifauna of India, 8fc. 

his numbers to which the species is alhed. I shall also add^ 
for convenience of reference, one serial number for tlie whole cata- 
logue. I shall indicate, under each species, all specimens (adult 
or immature, male or female, distinguishing- these) procured 
and eggs obtained within our limits,"^ contained in mj museum, 
with locality, and, where this seems likely to be useful, the length 
of wing of each, and the other dimensions of a certain number 
of specimens that have been carefully measured in the flesh. 

I shall give descriptions and measurements, so far as I have 
been able to secure these, of all species not included in Jerdon^s 
Birds of India. 

I shall give the same of some species which ai-e so included, 
where this, for any reason, seems likely to be useful. 

I shall, in many cases, give notes, having, for their object the 
identification of, or the discrim'ntit'on of, nearly allied species. 
I shall give the whole of the information I possess, as to the 
nidification of each species within our limits, with descriptions 
jind dimensions of eggs and nests, seasons of breeding, &c. ; but 
I must note that the species of which I can furnish all these 
particulars will fall short of 400. 

I do not propose, in this " first draft,''^ except in very excep- 
tional cases, to discuss habits (except as regards nidification), 
affinities (except where absolutely necessary for the discrimi- 
nation of our oivn species), or habitat (except so far as may be 
necessary to justify the inclusion of a species in our Avifauna) . 
These subjects, together with a thorough elucidation of synony- 
my, must lie over until (if such a time should ever come) I have 
leisure really to devote myself to the work of fusing the great 
mass of materials I have accumulated. 

Undertaken as this work is, amidst the pressure of heavy and 
responsible public duties, disposed of, as it must be, in a great 
hurry and, worst of all, performed as it will be by one so little 
competent as myself, it will, it is needless to say, teem with 
errors of greater or less gravity. Still, I am assured that, not- 
withstanding this serious drawback, this catalogue will be of 
great use, not only to the numerous gentlemen who so kindly 
collect for me, but also to others interested in Indian Ornitho- 
logy, and that it will serve as a sort of basis upon which here- 
after some abler ornithologist, less occupied with other matters 
than myself, may produce some more worthy record of our 
Indian Avifauna. 

A. O. H. 

* I estimate these at about 12,000 of the former and 10,000 of the latter, 
. after excluding as I am now doing, several thousand specimens, in excess of 
what are required for the fullest illustration of the species. 

VOL. I. 

WOS. 2, 3, & 4. 



^ouxmI d §xnxt\oU^^ 





PEBBUARY, 1873. 

. "We took the earliest opportunity of warning our 
subscribers that " Stray Feathees " could not reason- 
ably be expected to be very regular in their appearance 
or very uniform in their size, and it is therefore, per- 
haps, unnecessary to apologize for this very stout treble 
number ; still it behoves us to explain that the whole 
of the rest of the Editor's N"otes on the Ornithology of 
Sindh are now presented, en masse, in the present num- 
ber instead of appearing as was originally intended in 
four successive parts, because there seems just now a 
prospect of attention being locally paid to the subject. 
In the course of another six or eight months, any or all 
of those now interested in the work, may have been 
(and some certainly ivill be) called by duty elsewhere, 
and it is therefore thought best to seize an opportunity 
that may not recur for years and afford to local 
observers, at once, such little aid as these papers may 

be able to furnish. 

A. 0. H. 


Vol. I. ] FEBRUARY, 1873. [ Nos. 2 & 3. 

List of Birds known to occur in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 
hy V. Ball^ B. A.J Geological Survey of India. 

The following is an attempt to present a complete list of all 
the species of birds which are at present known to occur in the 
Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The association of the two 
faunas in one list is to be defended rather upon political than 
zoological grounds; for, if we except a few species which occur in 
both groups of islands, the avifaunas may be regarded as dis- 
tinct. The Nicobarian avifauna has a Malayan facies_, while 
that of the Andamans is decidedly Indian. 

Of the 133 species included in the following list, 106 occur in 
the Andamans, and 51 in the Nicobars. Such of them as are 
to be found in Dr. Jerdon^s "Birds of India ""^ are not here de- 
scribed ; but of all Others the original descriptions are given in 
full, together with any observations, measurements, &c., which 
may have been subsequently recorded. 

Many of the species are, I am fully aware, susceptible of 
more critical treatment than they have received at my hands. 
But, whatever faults it may contain, I am inclined to be- 
lieve that the publication of this paper will be of some service, 
as bringing together a number of original descriptions which, 
being scattered through various publications, are not readily 

The principal contributors to our knowledge of the ornitho- 
logy of the Andamans and Nicobars are — 

E. ^istTR, Journal, A. S. B., Vols, xiv to xix; — Ibis, 1863 
and 1868; and Appendix to Mouat^s Adventures and Besearches. 
Colonel^TYUS^, Journal, k.. S. B., Vol. xxxiii, and Proc, 
A. S. B., 1865. 

Captain Beavan, Ibis. N. S., II, 1866, and N. S.,III, 1867. 
Viscount Walden, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1866. 
Herr v. Pelzeln, Reise der Novara, Vogel. 

52 The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 

1* — (8).t — Falco peregrinus, Gmel. 

Andamans.— Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 315. 
Seen by Colonel Tytler. 

F. peregrinator was obtained by Simdevall between Ceylon 
and Sumatra^ about 70 miles from the Nicobar Islands. 

2— (23 Us), — Micronisus soloensis, E.orsf.= ? Falco 
Gumiloides, Tern. 

Nicohars. — Pelz., Reise der Novara, Vogel, pi 12. 
" Above leaden-asby ; below dull ferruginous ; quills black ; 
coverts white at base; tail-feathers, excepting the outermost, 
barred with black, underneath white.'''' — Horsf., Lin. Soo. Trans.,. 
XIII p. 137. 

3— (34 bis). — Spizaetus Andamanensis, Ti/tler. 

Aoidamans.— Tytler, J. A. S. B., 1865, _p. 112; T. and B., Ibis, N. S., 
Ill, 1867, p. 215. 

'' Bill and claws slaty -horn color ; legs feathered to the toes, 
which latter are of a dirty yellow color. The tail has usually 
seven transverse bars of darker hue than the rest. The general 
color of the bird is creamy-white, somewhat inclining to rufous 
on the head, upper tail-coverts, and interior of thighs. The 
wings, tail, and lower nape are brown. The head in some speci- 
mens is slightly marked with longitudinal brown striae, and 
the under wing-coverts of all spotted with the same.''"' 

" This species will probably be classed next to Spizaetus'l lim- 
naetus of Lower Bengal and the Burmese countries, from which, 
however, it differs conspicuously in the color of the plumage.^'' 
$ Length 25"5 ; wing 13"5 ; tarsus 3'5 ; tail 10"25 inches. 
? „ 24-5; „ 13-5; „ 3-5; „ 10-25 „ 
? „ 2312 ; „ 14- ; ,, 3-75 ; „ 10-25 „ 

For full description of this species, see Mr. Hume^s Scrap 
Booh, p. 203. 

4 — (39 Us), — Spilornis Bacha, Baud.; F. Udo, 
Sorsf.?; S. spilogaster, Blyth ; S. Elgini, Tytler. 

Andamans.— Tytler, J. A. 8. B., XXXII, p. 87 ; Blytli, Ibis, N. S., 
II, 1866, i>. 243; T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., II, 1867, p. 314; Blyth, 
Ibis, N. 8., IV, 1868, p. 131 ; Jerdon, Ibis, 2>rd series, I, 1871, 
p. 335 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, lS72,p. 275. 

Foe, full description of this species, reference must also be 
made to Mr. Hume^s Scrap Book, I, p. 230. 

* These numbere are continuous throughout the paper and indicate the 
number of species recorded from the islands. 

f Numbers in parenthesis refef to Dr. Jerdon's ' Birds of India' and Mx. 
■Hume's Catalogue, 

X S. caligatus, Raffl — .Ed. 

The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. . 53 

5— (41).— Polioaetus ichthyaetus, Horsf. Lin. Trans., 
XIII, p. 136 ; Zool. Res. in Java, p. 34. 

Andamans. — Seen ly Colonel Tytler. Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 316. 

6— (43).— Haliaeetusleucogaster, Gmel.-, Blagrusdi- 
midiatus, Raffles. 

Andamans and Narcondam.— T. and B., Ibis,\ N. 8., Ill, 1867, 

p. 315 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, 1872, p. 276. 
Nicobars.— Blyth. J. A. S. B., XV, p. 369 ; Mouat's App., «. 356 ; 

Ball, J. A. 8. B., XXXIX, 1870, p. 30. 

7 — (56). — Milvus Govinda, Sykes. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 315. 


8— (65 62>).— SyrniumseloputO, Horsf.; Striw pago- 
durum, Tern. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, jo. 316. 
Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XV, p. 369. 

For description of this species^ see Scrap Booh, p. 358. 

9 — (74 fti^).— Ephialtes spilocephalus, Blyth? 

Andamans. — ? (E. Lempigi), T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, 
p. 136; Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 276. 

" So far as it is possible to make out one of these difficult birds 
without a good series for comparison^ the specimen of Andaman 
Scops before me appears to correspond most nearly with Blyth''s 
description of E. spilocepJialus ( = 8. Malay anus, Hay?)^ J. A. 
S. B., XV, p. 8, and with a specimen of that species from Masuri 
in the old collection, No. 147, I, of Blyth's Cat. 

" Mr. Hum.e only doubtfully refers spiloceplialus, Blyth, to 
gymnopodus, Gray, so that for the present I think it safer to give 
Blyth^s name. The bird certainly belong-s to the pennatus type, 
as distinguished by Mr. Hume, though Colonel Tytler records 
IE. Lempigi from the Andamans. 

" Authorities are so divided as to the nomenclature to be adopted 
in reference to this genus, that, without attempting to discuss 
the question as to what species spiloceplialus should be finally 
referred to, I shall confine myself to showing the points of re- 
semblance between the Andaman bird and spiloceplialus, Blyth, 
by the description of the former, which is as follows : — 

''Above. — Rufous inclining to bay, each feather of the head, 
back of neck, scapulars, wing-coverts, back and rump with two 
fawn-colored spots edged with black. Primaries — first two not 
grown, fourth and fifth equal, five white spots on the outer webs. . 

54 The Jndamans and Nicolars. — V. Ball. 

Tail rufous Lrown, darker on the inner webs of the rectrices, 
with four white hands. 

" Beneath. — Facial disk fawn colour. Loral bristles black, 
white towards the base. Breast and abdomen finely mottled with 
brown and fawn or dusky white, each feather with two brownish 
black spots, which are separated by a white bar. Tarsi covered 
for three-fourths of their length with short rufous colored fea- 
thers, barred with brown. Feet and claws not quite so slender 
as in the Masuri specimen. 

Measurement in inches : wing 5'6; tail 3 ; tarsus \." 

10— (81 his). — Ninox. (Strix) hirsuta, Temm.; N. 
affinis, Tytler. 

Andamans. — T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, A. O. Hume, Scrap 

BooTc, p. 421. 
^icohars. — Pelz., Seise der Novara, Vogel* 

This bird differs from the ordinary Indian scuiellatus chiefly 
in size ; but also, it is said, in being much more rufous on the 
under parts and darker generally above. 

Colonel Tytler's J^. affinis is, I believe, the same bird as Tem- 
minck's Strix hksuta (Nouv. Rec, PL Col., Vol. II, PI. 289), 
the original description of which is to the following efiect : — 

Front and lores white, but the feathers which take their rise 
in this space and cover a part of the beak are black. The top 
of the head and the nape have an ashy tint ; the back, wing- 
coverts, and quills are of a uniform unspotted brown ; but on 
lifting the scapular feathers, large white spots are seen upon the 
inner webs and on the secondaries, nearest the body. 

All these spots are hidden by the external feathers when the 
wing is in repose. The throat is reddish ; the breast and abdo- 
men whitish, covered with large reddish-brown spots. The in- 
ferior tail-coverts marked by a few spots of brown ; the claws 
mottled with red and brown ; their naked parts appear to have 
been yellow during life. The stiff and rayed feathers with 
which they are garnished are of a clear red. The beak is black, 
with a white edge. The tail feathers are marked with four 
bands of brown and four of ashy, very regular ; the end of all 
tipped white. The sexes differ by the larger size of the female. 

Total length of male 9'5 inches, and of female 11'35 inches. 

A specimen received by me from the Nicobars agrees with 
Temminck^s plate, and sufficiently well with the description. I 
have had no opportunity of comparing it with the original 
specimens of N. affinis ; but Mr. Hume, to whom I forwarded 

* I possess a specimen also sent from the Nicobars. 

The Andamans and ISicohars. — V, Ball. 55 

it for examination^* considers that it is probably identical with 
that species [vide " Stray Feathers/^ p. 12). 

In dimensions,, however^ my specimen exceeds Colonel Tytler^s. 

N. affinis : wing 6-9—7 ; tail 4"4. 
Nicobar specimen : wing 8 ; tail 5 . 

A full description of iV. affinis will be found in Mr. Hume^s 
Scrap Book, p. 421. 

11-— (81 ^er).— Ninox obscurus, Sume. 

Nicolars. — Hume, Stray Feathers, I, p. 11. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. S. £., XXXIX, 1870, Ft. II, p. 240. 

Me. Hume has described this species on p. 11 of this Journal. 
The specimen which I mentioned in my pamper on Andaman 
birdsj loc. cit., was received by me from Mr. Homfray, who told 
me he had shot it in the vicinity of Port Mouat. 

Its measurements are as follows : — 
Length 12 inches ; wing 8"5 ; tail 4"75 ; bill at front "75 ; tarsus 1. 

12. Hirundo Andamanensis, Tytler. 

Andamans. —T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 316. 
'' Length 4-36 inches; wing 3"5 inches ; tail 1'86 inches ; bill 
at front '18 inches (?) ; tarsus over '25 inches. The upper parts, 
including head^ shoulders, back and upper tail-coverts^ are of a 
shiny purple ; wings and tail brown ; under tail-coverts the same, 
with purple tips to the feathers ; throat;, breast, and belly white. 
Bill black ; legs apparently light-yellow in the live bird. The 
tarsus not feathered.^'' 

13 — (82).— Hirundo rustica, Zinn. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 317. 

14 — (96). — Acanthylis gigantea, Tem. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis., N. 8. Ill, 1867, i>. 317. 

15— (103).~Collocalia nidifica, Gray] 

Andamans. — T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 317. 
2iicobars. — Felz., Feise der Novara, Vogel, 1865, p. 39. 

16-- (103 5^s).— CoUocalia Linchi, Borsf. and Moore ; 
B-irundo fuciphaga, Thunb.; Collocalia affinis, Tytler. 

Andamans. — (C. affinis, Tytler), T. and B, Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, 
p. 15 ; Bli/tk, Ibis, N. S., IF, 1868, p. 131 ; Jerdon, Ibis, 1871, 
p. 356 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 276. 

* It was sucli a vile specimen, it was impossible to be certain. — En, 

56 The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 

" This species differs from tlie former in being nearly an inch 
shorter^ and in having a white abdomen and longer wings in 
proportion to its size. Length 5 inches/^ — Horsf., Linn, Trans,, 
XIII, p. 143. 

In Wallace^s monograph of the genus CoUocalia, P. Z. S.^ 1863^ 
p. 384^ G. Linclii and G. fucipliaga are treated as distinct 
species ; but the consensus of most ornithologists is in favor of 
their being identical. 

G. affinis, Tytler_, is considered by Blyth and Jerdon to be the 
same as G. Linchi, Its description is as follows : — 

" Upper parts jet blacky iwith green and blue reflections ; 
throat and breast brown ; belly yellowish-white ; under tail- 
coverts dark-brown^ with green reflections, each feather edged 
with white ; bill and legs black. The male a slightly larger 
bird than the female.'''' 

$ Length 3'75 in.; wing 3-52 in.; tail 1-36 in. 
$ „ 35 >r, „ 3-75 „; „ 1-36 in. 

The following is a description of the specimens from the 
Andamans recently examined by me : — 

Above, — Black, with dark-green reflections; an indistinct 
white band on the rump ; no spots on the tail. 

Underneath. — A white rictal spot ; chin to breast cinereous ; 
the edges of the feathers lighter, thence to vent greyi sh- white j 
feathers centred cinereous. Under tail-coverts centred greenish- 

Length to end of tail 3'3 ; wing 2'95 ; tail 1'4 inches. 

They correspond in length of body and coloration with speci- 
mens of C, fuciphaga from Batavia and the Nicobars (Blyth''s 
Cat. No. 429). The wings are shorter, but that is in consequence 
of the primaries not being fully grown. With Pelzeln''s figure 
of G. Linchi they also agree. 


Variety from tie Nicohars.— Blytl, J. A. S. JB., XV, 1846, pp. 23, 
369; Felz., Eeise der Novara, Vogel, 1865, jf>. 39, PL II, fig. 2. 

Blyth remarks that " several specimens from the Nicobar 
Islands difier a little from G, fuciphaga of Java in having 
more white underneath ; the crown and back darker and 
tinged with blue more than green, and the wing somewhat 
longer and straighter or less sickle-shaped. These characters 
obtain both in young and old, but separation of them seems 
hardly justifiable.'''' 

17— (112).— Caprimulgus Asiaticus, Lath, 

Andamans.— T. and JB., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 318. 

The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. BalV. 57 

18— (118).— Merops Philippensis, Linn. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 318. 
Nicobars.— Blijth, J. A. 8., XV, p. 369. 

19— (119). — Merops quinticolor, Viell. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 318. 

20— (126). — Eurystomus orientalis, Linn. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, p. 277. 


21— (127 5is).— Pelargopsis Burmanica, Sharpe, P. 
^. ^.,1870, i?. 65. 

Andamans. — (H. leucoceplialus, L), Blyth, Mouat's App., 1863 
p. 357; (-H". Capensis, L.), Vise. Walden, P. Z. 8., 1866, ^.315- 
{H. leucocephalus, I.), Tytler and Beav., Ibis, N. 8. Ill 1867' 
p. 315 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., 1872, p. 277. 

'' Head, which is distinctly capped^ eleiir albescent-grey ; sides 
of the neck and a collar encircling the same very deep ochre : 
upper part of the hack very rich cobalt ; wing-coverts greenish 
more distinctly washed with blue ; quills brown ; the inner web 
pale ochre at the base ; the exterior web^ especially of the second- 
arieS;, externally edged with bright blue ; tail bright-blue above^ 
dark-brown beneath ; entire under surface very deep ochre • bill 
dark- Vermillion ; feet dark-red. Total length 14-0 inches • of 
bill from front 3-4^ from gape 3-7; wing 6-0; tail 3-8; tarsus 
0*5 ; middle toe 1*0; hind toe 0-6/' — SAarpe. 

Specimens which I have recently examined agree with this 
description, but not with the accompanying figure. I have as 
yet seen no Nicobar specimens. Sharpe places the Novara speci- 
men from the Nicobars, identified by Pelzeln as 11. Jmana, Bodd., 
under the following species. 

22— (127 2fer).— Pelargopsis Fraseri, Sharpe. p. z. 
S., lSlO,p. 65. 

Nicobars. — Velzeln, Heise der Novara, Vogel, p. 49; 8harpe Monoa 
A.lced.,p. 103. 

" Head indistinctly capped, ashy-brown, strongly washed with 
pale ochre ; space between the bill and the eye, cheeks, and ear- 
coverts more decidedly ashy-grey ; sides and back of the neck 
ochre; upper part of the back and scapularies indigo-blue, 
with more or less of a greenish tinge ; whole of the back rich 
cobalt ; wiug-coverts blue, with a slight greenish lustre ; quills 

58 The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 

pale-brown; the inner web light oehre at the base; the outer web^ 
especially of the secondaries, indigo; tail indigo above, black 
beneath; under surface of the body ochre, tinged with whitish 
on the throat ; bill dark sealing-wax-red; feet dark-red. Total 
length 14 in. ; of bill from front 3"3 ; from gape 3"7 ; wing 6'2; 
tail 38 ; tarsus 0*45; middle toe 1 ; hind toe 0"45.^'' — Sharpe. 

23— (129).— Halcyon Smyrnensis, Zm.; H. fuscus, 

Andamans. — Blyth and Tytler, Mount's App., p. 357; Vise. Walden, 
P. Z. 8., 1866, p. 553 ;' T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 319 ; 
Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Xsn, p. 278. 

E/ESEMBLE specimens from Southern India and Ceylon in the 
brilliancy of their coloration. 

24 —(130). — Halcyon atricapillus, Gmel. 

Andamans. — T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 319. 

25— (131). — Halcyon Coromanda, i<^/^^. ; H. Coro- 

mandelianus, Scop. 

Andamans.— T. atid B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 319 ; Ball, J. A. 8. 
B., XLI, 1872, p. 277. 

26~(132). — Halcyon chloris, Bodd. Todiramphus 
coUaris, Scop. 

Andamans. — Blyth and Tytler, Mouat's App., p. 357; Vise. Walden, 
P. Z. 8., 1866, p. 537 ; ' T. and B., Ibis., N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 319 ; 
Skarpe, Monog. Alced., p. 238 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XXXIX, 
1870, PL II, p. 2i0; Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, 1872, Pt. II, p. 278. 

Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XV, p. 369. 

" NicOBARiAN Specimens of this bird are remarkably brilliant, 
with much less of the green tinge than usual upon the crown 
and back.'''' 

27— (132^).— Halcyon (Todiramphus) occipitalis, 


Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XV, pp. 23, 51, and 369 ; Pelz., 
der Novara, Vogel, 1865, p. 46 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XXXIX, p. 31. 

Mr. Sharpe is of opinion that this bird is nothing but a 
local race of H. chloris, but adds that he has not had an op- 
portunity of examining Nicobar specimens. On the other hand, 
Mr. Blyth in his original description distinguishes the two 
species, and, as noted above, points out how specimens of chloris 
{collaris) from the Nicobars differ from ordinary examples of 
that bird. 

" Nearly allied to T. collaris and T. sacer, but specially dis- 
tinguished by its strongly marked rufescent supereilia, which 

The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 59 

are continued quite round the occiput, forming" a narrow 
band; beneath this is a broader black band continued from 
the ear-coverts ; and then a still broader fulvescent-white collar, 
as in the allied species ; immediately bordering" the last, the 
back is more infuscated than in the other, and the crown is 
likewise very dark, with some rufous lateral feathers ; under, 
parts white, a little tinged with fulveseent, but less so than 
in T. sacer ; and the back, wings, and tail are much as 
in T. collaris ; bill black above and the tip of the lower 
mandible ; the rest of the latter white ; legs brownish. Length 
of wing- four inches and a quarter ; tail three inches ; bill to 
gape two and a quarter. Young rather smaller, with dusky 
margins to the pectoral feathers, and the beak shorter, with a 
white and hooked extreme tip. 

" It may be remarked that in T. collaris and T. sacer there 
is a much less developed white occipital band concealed beneath 
the surface of the feathers, but which shows conspicuously when 
the coronal plumes are a little raised. 

" The males are considerably brighter than the females, from 
which the above original description was taken ; wings and tail 
much bluer, of a decided Prussian blue ; the black nuchal collar 
(continued from the ear-coveits) is much narrower, and in some 
tinged with blue ; and the white supercilia (carried round the 
occiput) have little or even no tinge of rufous." 

The following are the measurements of a specimen obtained 
by me in the Nicohars : — 

Wing 4 inches; tail 3j bill at front 1'75 ; tarsus '53 inch. 


28— (134 Us). — Alcedo Asiatica, Swains. A. men- 
ingting, Horsf. 

Andamans. — {A. Bengalensis, Gml.), JBlyth and Ty tier, MouafsApp. 
p. 357 ; {A. meningting), Horsf., T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, p. 319 ; 
Sharpe, Monog. Alced., p. 28 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Ft. II 


" Head and cheeks dark-blue, banded with bright cobalt ; a 
longitudinal patch of feathers along the sides of the neck 
white, tinged with rufous; back beautiful bright cobalt; 
scapulars black, washed with blue ; quills black ; the inner web 
very light rufous at the base, the outer web washed with blue, 
more especially on the secondaries ; tail bluish-black ; throat 
whitish ; a spot in front of the eye rufous, edged with black ; 
under surface o£ the body with the under-wing and tail-coverts 
bright rufous, extending up the neck in very old birds; bill 
black; feet red." — Sliarpe, loc. cit. 

60 The Andamaiis and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 

29— (147). — Palseornis Alexandri, Linn. 

Andanians.—T. and JB., Ibis, N. S., Ill, f. 319 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., 
LXI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 278. 

I HAVE recently described (1. c), as being possibly only a 
variety of this species, a specimen from the Andamans, which 
is remarkable for the enormous size of its bill, the smallness 
of the moustachial stripe, the vivid emerald green (without 
a trace of the ordinary purplish grey bloom), of the head and 
cheeks, and the greater amount of blue than usual on the 
central tail-feathers. Should this variety prove to be sufficiently 
constant, I have suggested the name magnirostris for it. 

30 — (148). — Palseornis torquatus, Bodd. 

Andamans. — Introduced hy Colonel Ti/tler, vide Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, 
p. 320. 

31— (152). — Palseornis Javanicus, Oshech. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 279. 
Blyth writes — " P. Javanicus differs only from P. vihrisca, in 
the Javan bird having a red lower mandible, while the other 
has a black one ; but in some Javan specimens the lower 
mandible is blackish, and Mr. Gould has a specimen from Siam 
with a red under mandible; the Hainan birds have it black.^-' 
Finsch, in his monograph * die Papageieu,^ includes both under 
P. Lathami, Finsch. 

A male examined by me 1. c, has the under mandiLle 

32 — (152 Us). — Palseornis erythrogenys, Blyth; 
P. Nicobaricus, Gould; P. affinis, Tytler, the ^ . 

Andamans. — MoiMt's App., p. 355 ; Vise. Walden, P. Z. S., p. 537 ; 
Tytlei^ and Beavan,Ibis, N. S.,III, 1867, p. 319; Ibis, N. S., IV, 
1868, p. 132; Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, 1870, p. 240; Ball, 
ibidem, LXI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 279. 
Nicobar.— Blyth, J. A. S.B.,XV,18^Q, pp. 23, 51, andm8; Felzeln, 
Reise der Novara, Vogel, \ 865, p. 97 ; Gould. F. Z. 8., 1866, p. 555 ; 
B. of Asia, Ft. IX.; Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, 1870,^. 30. 
For further references, see Finsch^s ' Die Papageien.' 
" Allied to P, Malaccensis ,^ but readily distinguished by the 
blossom (or rather cherry) red hue of the cheeks not being 
continued round the nape, and hy its lai-ger size and differently 
shaped tail. Length of wing 7i inches, and of tail 10 inches, 
the middle pair of tail-feathers exceeding the next by 3| inches. 
General color bright-green, more yellowish below, and ting-ed 

* ? M'lJaccensis, Gm. = longicaudaius, Bodd. 

The, Andamans and Nicobars. — F. Ball. 61 

in the male with hoaiy greyish-blue on the nape and back ; ^ 
winglet and primaries blue, the latter margined and broadly- 
tipped with green; middle tail-feathers also blue, margined with 
green for the basal half, and the rest of the tail-feathers 
chiefly or wholly green above, and all of them dull-yellow 
below ; the cap is not of a distinct emerald green as in P. 
Malaccensis, but uniformly colored with the black (save where 
the latter is tinged with grey in the male) ; there is a well- 
defined uarrowish black streak from the nostril to the eye and the 
same black moustache as in P. Malaccensis, and the lores 
and ear- coverts (only) are blossom-red. Upper mandible 
coral-red^ with a white tip ; the lower one black. The female 
merely differs in having the crown, nape, and back quite 
uniform green_, without the browny blue tinge conspicuous 
in the male; and the upper mandible is more or less black_, 
like the lower one.^^ — Blyth. 

"■ P. affinis, Tytler_, is described as generally like P. erythro- 
genys, the red cheek-mark and coloration of which it possesses, 
but diifers constantly in having a black bill." Mr. Blyth points 
out that this is certainly the female of the above, and notes 
the similar cases afforded by P. nigrirostris, Hodg., and P. 
Javaniciis, &c. 

The collection which I recently examined contained a number 
of marked males, and some corresponding to the description of 
P. affinis which there can, I think, be no doubt, were the 
females. In the females the moustachial streak is dark-green. 

The following are the measurements in inches : — 

^ Length 14; wing 68; bill from gape "85; tarsus '55. 
$ „ 10-7; „ 6-8; „ „ "76; „ '55. 

33 — (151 Ms). — Palaeornis caniceps, Blyth. 

Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. S. JB., XV, 1846, fp. 2.3, 51, 368 ; XIX, 
233 ; Pelzeln, Reise der Novara, Vogel, 1865, f. 98 ; Gould, B. of 
Asia, XI. 

For further references, see Einsch-'s ' Die Papageien.^ 
'' General color vivid yellowish-green, with the winglet and 
base of the secondaries indigo-blue, and the middle portion 
of the secondaries inclining to emerald-green ; primaries 
black, the longest of them tinged with indigo towards their 
base; cap grey; a broad frontal band continued to the eyes 
(this mark corresponding to that of P. pondicerianus ,-\ but 
very much broader), and likewise a broad black moustache with 
some black feathers also on the throat ; above this moustache, 

* A finer male, subsequently examined, bad tbe nape and interseapularies 
,ligbt yellowisb, rather than tinged with hoary grey, and tbe undei--parts also 
more yellowish than in the other. 

t ? Of Kubl. = javanicus, Osb., or of Gmel. = faseiatus, Miill. ? Ed. 

63 The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 

between it and the frontal band, the ifeathers are of the 
same grey as those o-f the crown. The beak has the upper 
mandible coral-red, with a white tip, and the lower mandible 
black ; the form of the bill is both narrower and less deep 
than in P. Alexandri, and angulates above towards the base. 

'^ The size approaches that of P. Alexandri, which at once 
distinguishes it from all other known species of the group. 

" A female from the Malay Peninsula had the tail developed 
to the usual length in this genus, and green above with 
some blue on its middle feathers, and dull golden yellowish 
below ; the head less pure grey than in the male, and the bill 
wholly black.''^ 

Measurements in inches : — 

$ Wing 6- ; tail 6-5 ; bill at front 1-12 ; tarsus -5. 
/ „ 6-2; „ 5- ; „ „ ri2; „ -5. 

34, — (153). — Loriculus vernalis, Sparrm. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, iml ; Ball, J. A. S. B., 

35 — (157 Us). — Picus Andamanensis, Blyth. 

Andamans.— Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XXVIII, 1859, f. 412, Note; 
TyUer and Beav., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 321 ; Blytk, Ibis, 
]V. 8., IV, 1868, p. 31 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XII, Ft. II, p. 279. 

" Nearly affined to P. analis, Temm., of Java, which it re- 
sembles in size and proportions, as also P. pectoralis, BL, all 
three differing from the common P. Ilacei of Bengal by their 
smaller size and white spotted middle tail-feathers ; in P. Macei, 
as also in the affined Himalayan P. brunneifro7is, the four medial 
rectrices, and in P. atratus, the six medial rectrices, are spot- 
less blackj the lastnamed being the larg*est of this parti- 
cular group ; in P. Andamanensis the middle tail-feathers 
have three* distinct pairs of white spots, while in P. pec- 
toralis they have four pairs of white spots of larger size. 
But the Andamanese bird is specially characterized by the large 
round black spots upon its breast, each margined with Avhitish ; 
the ear-coverts also longitudinally streaked with black, and the 
flanks are more conspicuously rayed than in the others. In 
other respects, this bird resembles P. Macei. The lower tail- 
coverts are bright crimson, and the crimson tips of the coronal 
feathers of the male are less developed than in P. Macei, espe- 
cially towards the forehead. Length of beak to gape 1 inch -, of 

* Out of five specimens M'hich I have recently examined, three have got four 
pairs of spots.: — V. B. 

The Andamans and Nicoiars. — V. Ball, 63 

closed wing 3| inches ; and of middle tail-feathers 24 inches." — 

Mr. Blyth has seen this bird in a collection from Sumatra. 

36 — (169 his). — Muelleripicus Hodgii, Blyth. 

Andamans.— Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XXIX, 1860, j». 105 ; Tytler and 

Beav., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 320 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, 

1870, Ft. II, ^.241 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, p. 279. 

" Wholly black in both sexes, except the crown_, occiput^ and 

moustaches of the male, which are vivid crimson as usual, and the 

occiput only of the female. It is smaller than the If. Hodgsoni, 

Jerdouj of Malabar, or M. Javensis, Horsf., of the Malayan 

Peninsula and more western islands, the closed wing* measuring 

but 1\ inches^ the middle tail-feathers 6 inches^ and the beak 

to forehead If inches/^ 

A specimen measured by me had the following dimensions 
in inches : — Wing 6"8 ; tail 6-2 ; bill at front 1'6 ; tarsus 1'2. 

37— (203).— Cuculus micropterus, Gould. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, Bt. II, p. 280. 

38 — (214). — Eudynamys honorata,* L. — E. orien- 
talis, L., apud Jerdon. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis., N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 321. 
" The Koel was twice observed by Colonel Tytler, besides being 
frequently heard calling- in the woods." 

39— (214 ter).— Eudynamys Australis, Swains. 

For Syn., see Gould's H. B. A., Vol. I, p. 632. 

Nicobars. — Pelzeln, Beise der Novara, Vogel, p. 103. 
'^ The adult male has the entire plumage deep glossy greenish 
blue-black, the green tint predominating on the back and 
wings j under . red bill yellowish-olive ; feet purplish-black. 
The adult female has the head and neck glossy greenish-black ; 
back, wings, and tail bronzy brown, with numerous oblong spots 
of white on the back and wing-coverts ; the remainder of the 
wing crossed by irregular bars of white stained with rufous ; 
tail regularly barred with white^ stained with rufous and slightly 
tipped with white ; line from the angle of the mouth and all the 
under surface white, stained with buff, spotted with black on the 
sides of the throat, and crossed on the abdomen and under tail- 
coverts with narrow irregular lines of blackish-brown. The 
young has the head and upper surface mingled bronze and buff, 
disposed in large patches; wing-coverts reddish-buff, crossed 
by narrow bands of brown; remainder of wings and tail 

* ? rectius, horonata. 

64 The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 

bronzy -brown, crossed by bands of rufous; under surface rufous, 
crossed by narrow bars of blackish-brown; tail-feathers longer 
and more pointed than in the adult. 

This bird is inserted on the authority of Pelzeln. No specimen has been 
as yet received in Calcutta from the Nicohars. 

40— (217 5is).— Oentropus Andamanensis, Tytler. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 321. 
Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 280. 

Originally described by Captain Beavan as follows : — " Of a 
chesnut or rather cinnamon chesnut color, and a little smaller 
than the Indian C. rufipenniS) but wants entirely the black 
marking's of that bird.''"' 

The following is a description of specimens recently received 
by the Indian Museum : — Head, neck to middle of back, chin, 
throat, and breast rufous-grey. Abdomen, thigh-coverts, and 
under tail-coverts the same, with an ashy tinge. Back, rump, 
and upper tail-coverts ashy; wings and scapulars rufous-bay. 
Tail brown, paling from the centre to the margins of the feathers. 
Bill black ; length 17-18 inches ; wing 7 "5 inches ; bill at gape 2*7 
inches; tarsus 1'9 inches. 

Both in its call and habit it very much resembles C. rufipennis. 

41 — (224).— Arachnothera pusilla, Blyth. 

Andamans. — T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, p. 322. 

42 — (235 6^s).— Arachnecthrapectoralis, Mors/. 
Trans., Lin. Soc, XIII, p. 167. 

Andamans. — Tytler and Beav., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 18H7, p. 322. 

Nicobars.-—Blyth,J. A. 8. B., XV, 1846, p. %10; Pelz.. Reise der 
Novara, Vogel, 1865, p. 52 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XXXIX, 1870, 
Ft. II, p. 31. 

'■ Above greenish olivaceous ; forehead, neck, throat, and breast 
shining (metallic) cyaneous black ; abdomen yellow ; quills dark, 
with yellow margins; rectrices black, terminally . banded with 
white. Length 3-5 inches. The male is conspicuously distin- 
guished by the bluish-black color of the anterior parts separating 
the breast from the abdomen by a defined line. The lower part of 
the tail appears nearly white; the interior rectrices are termi- 
nated by a narrow band, which on the exterior ones successively 
becomes wider. The female differs from the male in entirely 
wanting the dark bluish-black color on the throat and breast.^''— 

For further remarks on this species, synonomy, &c., see Vise. 
Walden's Paper on the Sun Birds mlHs, N. S., IF, 1870,jo. 26. 

The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 65 

43— (235 ter). — Arachnecthra frenata, MillL; Necta- 
rinia Australis, Gould, (P. Z, S., 1850, p. 201.) 

Andamans.—Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p, 280. 

Lord Walden describes this species as follows: — ^^ Differs 
from A . pectoralis, Horsf..^ by wanting- the metallic blue frontal 
patch, by having- the yellow supercilium and yellow cheeks 
more strong-ly marked, and by being larger than even Lombok 
examples of that species. In all other characters the two 
species are identical. An example of a female has the under 
plumage quite as deep yellow as the male ; it likewise possesses 
a yellow supercilium.'"' / 

The collection of Andaman birds recently examined by me 
contained specimens of an Araclmectlira, which are distinguished 
from, peetora lis by wanting the metallic blue frontal patch. The 
wing corresponds exactly with that in Miiller^s figure. In all 
the $ specimens there are more or less distinct traces of a maroon 
pectoral band. In other respects it corresponds exactly with 
the above description of A . frenata. The bill is longer than in 
pectoralis, being '8 inches, or equal to that of ^. intermedia, Hume. 


44~-(261). — Lanius cristatus, L. ; L. phoenicurus, L. 

Andamans.—Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XXIX,lSm,p. 106; T. and B., 
Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 322. 

45 — (261 bis). — Lanius lucionensis, Scop. 

Andamans.-^Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 360 ; T. and B., Ibis, N. S., 
Ill 1867, p. 322 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, PL U, p. 280. 
Mr. Blyth {loc. oil.) says, "agrees with specimens from 
China and the Philippines.'''' 

A specimen in a collection recently made by Dr. Dobson, is 
identical in coloration with one in the Indian Museum from 
Mr. Swinhoe, Amoy. It differs from the ordinary specimens of 
cristatus in the silvery white of the forehead, chin, and throat, and 
in the almost entire absence above of any tinge of rufous, except 
on the upper tail-coverts. 

Leugtli 71 ; wing 35 ; tarsus 95 ; bill at front 5 inches. 

46— (266). — Tephrodornis grisola, £li/th. 

Andamans. — Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 360. 

47 — (270).— Graucalus Macei, Lin7i. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, «. 322 ; Ball J. A 8 

B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 281. 
G. Macei, the Northern, as distinguished from G. Layardi, the Southern 

Indian form, &c. See Blyth, Ibis for 1866,^. 368. 

66 The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 

48— (270 quat). — Graucalus Dobsoni, Ball. 

Andammis.—Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. IT, p. 281. 

Above. — Dark-slaty ;, darkest on the head ; wings and tail brown- 
ish-black ; tlie quills lighter on the inner webs, faintly edged 
with white on the outer ; two outer rectrices on each side narrow- 
ly tipped with dusky white ; a black stripe from the lores round 
the eyes to the ear-eovertSj thence faintly continued as a collar 
in one of the specimens. 

Underneath. — White, barred with black from chin to under 
tail-coverts inclusive ; under wing-coverts similarly barred. 

Length 10'2; wing 6'2; tail 5'4; tail at gape, 1'23 ; tarsus 95 inches. 

49 — (270 quint).— Ixdld^gQ (Erucivora) orientalis,* 

Gm. ; Ceblejgkyris striga, Horsf.; Turdus striga, 

Nicobars. — Pels., Reise der Novara, Vogel.p. 81. 
The following is Sir S. Raffles's description of Tnrdtcs striga : — 
'^ Seven inches in length, with a rather thick heavy body. 
Back^ wings, and crown of the head of a shining blue-black ; 
under-parts, forehead, and neck greyish-white ; wing-coverts 
edged and tipped with white; bill shorty nearly straight, and 
scarcely notched. The colors of the females are much duller, and 
the upper parts are brown.'''' 

In Horsfield^s description the length is given at G^ inches; 
the external rectrices are tipped with white. 

50 — (271). — Pericrocotus speciosus, Lath.; P. Anda- 
onanensis, Tytler, (the young hirdj. 

Andamans.—T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 322 ; Ball, J. A. 
S. B., XLI, 1872, p. 281. 
F. Andamanensis , Tytler^ is, I believe, only the young male 
of F. speciosus, with the transitional plumage. 

51 — (276). — Pericrocotus peregrinus, Linn. 

Andamans.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XXVIII, 1859, p. 274; Blyth, 
Mouat's App., p. 360 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, p. 282. 
The Andaman form corresponds with that from Southern 
India, as figured by Gould. 

52— (281 «^gr).— Buchanga (Dicrurus) Andamanen- 
sis, Tytler. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 322; Ball, J. A. 
S. B., XLI, 1872, p. 282. 
Described as " peculiar in having hair-like feathers springing 
from the nostril. Eoth Colonel Tytler^s specimens have white 
lunules on the under wing-coverts/'' 

* ? Potius, L. terat., Bodd.— Ed. 

The Audarfians and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 67 

The following is a description of the specimens which I have 
examined : — Above and below black, with a greenish metallic 
gloss; primaries brown, fourth and fifth longest and equal; 
outer tail-feathers with a slight curl upwards; under wing- 
coverts spotted with white lunules ; no rictal spot. A few hair- 
like feathers springing from the nostril ; bill sharply keeled. 
Length 11-6; wing 5-5; tail 6-75; bill to gape l"25j tarsus "87 inches. 

53~(284). — Dissemurus paradiseus, Linn. 

Nicohars. — Pelz., Heise der Novara, Vogel, 1865, p. 82. 
Herr von Pblzeln gives a copious list of synonymes of this 
species, including E. Malaharicus and E. Bangoonensis, which 
are by many ornithologists regarded as distinct. 

54— (279). — Buchanga balicassius, Linn. 

At sea near the Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. S. £., XV, 1847, p. 370. 

55— (285 his). — Dissemurus affinis, Tytler ; E.Ma- 
layensis, apud JBlyth. 

Andamans.—BlytKJ.A.S. B., XXVIII, 1859,^. 272; XXIX, 
1860, T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 323 ; Ball, J. A. S. 
B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 282. 
Described as follows by Captain Beavan : — " The Andaman 
Bhimraj has no frontal crest whatever, and the character of the 
feathers of the head approximates nearly that of BJiringa. Colonel 
Tytler has had the bird alive, and never observed it attempt to 
raise the head-feathers (small as they are). The dimensions of 
a skin in his recollection are as follows : length to end of ordi- 
nary tail 1£"5 inches, rest of tail 9*5 inches ; wing 6'36 inches ; bill 
at front 1 inch ; bill at gape 1*36 inches; tarsus barely 1 inch." 

Three specimens examined by me have only a very slight sign 
of elongation of the frontal feathers ; their measurements are in 
inches : — 

Lenorth to end of »^. Bill from m •^ Outer tail- m_^ _,_ 

ordinary tail. ° gape. leathers. 

8ex? .. 12 6-2 1-45 6-2 1- 

$ 12 6-4 1-5 6-5 15- 11 

Sex? ... 13-3 6-5 1-5 7" 17- I'l 

56— (287 ^>^■s).— Artamus leucopygialis, Gould. 

Andamans. — A. leucorhynehus, L., apud Blyth, App., p. 358 ; A. leuco- 

gaster, Valenc, apud T. and B., Ibis, JV. S., Ill, pp. 324, 555; 

A. leucopyialis, Gould, Walden, P. Z. 8., 1866,^. 17; Ball, J. A. 

S. B., XII, 1872, p. 283. 

Lord Walden, from comparison of the birds, has pronounced 

the Andaman to be identical with Mr. GouWs Australian species. 

Specimens, which I recently compared with Mr. Gould's figure, 

seemed to be somewhat larger, but to correspond in details 

:68 The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 

of plumage. Mr. Gould's description of the Australian birds 
is as follows : — 

'^ Head, throat, and back sooty-grey; primaries and tail brown- 
ish-blacky washed with grey ; all the under surface and rump 
pure white ; irides brown ; bill light bluish-grey at the base, 
black at the tip ; legs and foot nearly greenish-grey. Nearly 
allied to A. leucorhynchus, but is readily distinguished from it 
by the blue color of the bill.'' 

The following are measurements of specimens in the Indian 
Museum : — 

Wing 5'1 ; tail 2'5 ; bill at front "6 ; tarsus "6 inch. 
» 5"1 ; „ 2"5 ; „ „ "7 ; „ "6 „ 

57— (290). — Myiagra Azurea, Bodd. 

Andamans. — JBlyth, Mouat's App.,p. 360. 

mcolars.—Blith, J. A. S. B., XV, p. 370; Ball, J. A. S. B., 
XXXIX, Ft. II, 1870, p. 81. 

In the opinion of both Dr. Jerdon and Mr. Blyth, the follow- 
ing should also be referred to this species ; but from a recent 
comparison of a good series from the Andamans with Indian 
specimens, I am inclined to think that there is a distinct race 
in the Islands. My own Nicobar specimen which I shot on the 
Island of Trinkut is quite albescent towards the bent. 

58— (290 Us).—'K. Tytleri, Beav. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 324 ; Ball, J. A. 
S. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 253. 

The original description of this bird is as follows : — " The 
general appearance is that of x¥. azurea, but it is a slightly larger 
bird (and differs conspicuously in entirely wanting the black 
gorget on the throat of the male) . The under parts also, instead 
of being white, as in M. azurea, in our species are wholly blue, 
of a slightly duller hue, perhaps, on the lower abdomen and 
under tail-coverts. The upper parts are more brightly colored 
than in M. azurea. Dimensions of a skin are as follows : — 
Length 6 — 6"25 in. ; wing 2'75 in. ; tail 3 in. ; tarsus '52 in. 

'* The tail and tarsus thus appear proportionally longer than 
in the other species. The bill at front is "5 in., and at base 
•75 in.'' — Beavan (1. c.) 

As suggested by a foot note, the absence of the black gorget is 
accidental, as the males which I have examined are all provided 
with it. The other distinctive features, however, exist in the 
specimens which I have examined. 

The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 69 

59— (289).— Tchitrea sp. ? 

Nicohars.—Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XV, p. 370 ; Mouat's App., p. 370. 
" Doubtless T. affinis, A. Hay." 


60 — (351). — Petrocossyphus cyanus, Linn.; Fetro- 

cincla pandoo, Sykes. 

Jndamans. — Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 360. 
Nicobars. — Pelz., Reise der Novara, Vogel, p.l\, 

61— (356 6is).— Geocichla innotata, Blyth; G. 

alhogularu^ Blyth. 

Andamans.— Myth, J. A. S. B., XXVII, 1858, p. 270; Mouat's App., 

p. 360. 
Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XVI, p. 146; Ball, J. A. S. 
B., XXXIX, Ft. II, 1870, p. 31. 

" Resembles G. citrina, but has the ferruginous colour of the 
head and under parts, aud the ash colour of its upper parts, 
more intense ; no white upon the wings, and the lower tail- 
coverts only (not the vent) are white. From the Malayan Penin- 
sula'''' " What I take to be two females of the same 

species from the Nicobar Islands have the throat white, and some 
white at the sides of the vent ; the wings, rump, and tail only 
are deep ashy, the back and scapularies being olive-green, much 
as in the female of G. citrina. These are also smaller than the 
Malayan bird, the wing being but four inches, and the rest in 
proportion, whereas the Malayan (supposed male) has the wing 
four inches and a half. Should the Nicobar bird prove distinct, 
it might stand as G. alhogularis, nobis." 

Subsequently Mr. Blyth identifiedboth Andaman and Nico- 
bar specimens with innotata. 

Measurements of an Andaman specimen: length 7*3; wing 
4"5 j bill at front '7 ; tarsus I'l inch. 

62 — (369 bis). — Turdus rufulus,* Drapiez; T.modes- 
tus, JEyton. 

Andamans. — Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 360; Jerd. B. of I., vol. Ijp.bZl. 

" Back, wing-coverts, and crown of the head olivaceous brown ; 
wing-coverts of the primaries tipped with white ; primaries and 
tail brown; throat, round the eyes, and abdomen white; the latter 
sparsely spotted with cinereous; sides of the head and lower 
part of the breast ashy ; flanks and upper part of the breast 
ferruginous; upper mandible and feet brown, lower mandible 
yellow." — Eyton. 

Length 8*75; bill *58; tarsus 1-16 inches. 

* 1 pallidus, Gmel. — Ed. 

70 The Andaman^ and Nieobars. — V. Ball. 

63 — (372 &«5).-— Oreocincla inframarginata, Blyth. 

Andamans.—BlytJi,J. A. S. B., XXIX, 1860,2?. 106 ; T. and B.,Ihis, 
N. S., Ill, 325 ; Bli/th, Ibis, N. S., IV, 132. 

" Uniporm dark-olive above^ with conspicuous pale rufescent 
whitish supercilia, and light rufescent spots tipping- the wing- 
coverts ; beneath pale, inclining to rufo-fulvous on the breast 
and front of the neck, pure white at centre of belly; the 
lower tail-coverts dark-olive, largely tipped with white; each 
feather of the lower parts, except on middle of throat and of 
belly, somewhat narrowly tipped with the colour of the back ; 
outer caudal feathers successively more largely tipped with dull 
white, though even on the outermost these white tips are but 
sUght. The usual Oreocincla markings on the inner surface of the 
wing. Bill dusky, and legs pale cinereous ; closed wing 4f inches; 
tail 5 1 inches, its outermost feathers | inch shorter than the 
middle pair; bill to gape 1 f^ inches; tarse 1 y g inches. Short first 
primary f inch long, the second equalling the fourth and a 
little shorter than the third. The bird approximates the female 
of Merula Wardii, Jerdon. 

'^ The above is possibly a female of a species in which the 
male is differently colored.'' — Blyth. 


64— (447 Sis).— Hypsipetes Nicobariensis, -Hbr^/l et 
Moore ; JS. virescens, Blyth, nee H. virescens, Temm, 

mcobars.— Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XIV, p. 575 ; XV, pp. 51 ei 370 ; Sorsf. 
and Moore, Cat. E. I. M., I-,p. 257 ; Pelz., Beise der Novara, Vogel, 
J). 75, Bl. lllfig. 2 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XXXIX, Pt. II, 1870,^. 31. 

"Plumage of a uniform olive-green above, the crown infus- 
cated or of a brownish-nigrescent hue; throat and breast 
dingy-whitish, a little tinged with yellow; bill dusky, with 
yellow tomise, and elsewhere an appearance of its becoming ulti- 
mately wholly yellow; the tarsi plumbeous." Distinguished 
from H. Malaccensis , which it resembles by its infuscated crown 
and its unstreaked throat and breast. 

Measurements in inches- 
Length 8-5; wing 3-5 to 4; tail 3-5; bill to gape 1 to 1-135; 
tarsus '75. 

65 — (460).— Otocompsa jocosa, Linn. 

Andamans. — Blyth,Mouat's Ap'p.,p. 361 ; T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 
1867, P.B26; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLl 1872, Pt. II, p. 284. 

This is generally considered to be identical with the Bengal 

The Andamans mid Nicobars. — V. Ball. 71 

66— (457 62«).— Brachypodius melanocephalus, 

Gmel. ; Ixos mettcdlicus, Eyton. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Ft. II, ]872, p. 284. 

A YOUNG bird apparently belong-ing- to this species occurred in 
the collection described by me (loc. cit.) , 

As it is not an Indian bird, 1 g-ive the following- description of 
the species : — " Yellow head, and throat metallic black ; wdngs 
and a band near the apex of the tail black; bill and feet black. 

" Female like the male, but head and underneath ashy^ and 
tail-feathers internally brown/-" 

Length 8 inches; tarsus 5 inches; ball at feet '4 inch. 

67— (469).— Irena puella, Zalh. 

Andamans.— Blyth, J. A. S. B.,XXriII, 1859, jo. 274; T. andB., Ibis, 
N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 3-26 ; Ball, J. A. S. B-, XLI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 284. 

The above race, as distinguished by Vise. Walden, appears to 
be common, 

68— (472).— Oriolus melanocephalus, Linn. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ihis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, V. 327 ; Ball, J.A.S. 
B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 284. 

A SMALL race of the above species. Measurement of one in the 
Indian Muesum : wing 5 ; tail 3*5 ; bill at front 1 ; tarsus -9 — 
1 inch. 

69 — (471 quat). — 0. macrourus, Blyth. 

Ni-cobars. — Blyth, J. A. S. B., XV, p. 46; Felz., Reise der Novara, 
Vdgel,p. 74 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, Ft. II, 1870, p. 31. 

" Closelx allied to 0. C/iinensis, from which it is distinguished 
by its longer tail, rather smaller and less carinated beak 
(which, however, is always conspicuously larger than in 
0. Indicus,) and by tlie greater patch of yellow upon the fore- 
head of the male ; another distinction consists in the disposi- 
tion of the yellow upon the tail, which has scarcely any 
of this colour at the tips of its middle pair of feathers, 
while the outermost is in old males wholly yellow, with merely 
the shaft black towards the base, some specimens showing 
one or two insulated patches of yellow, chiefly at the extreme 
base of the outer web, and younger males having the tail 
coloured more as in the adults of the Chinese species, but still 
with scarcely a trace of yellow at the tips of the middle pair 
of feathers. The wings have their longest primaries slightly 
margined, externally, with whitish ; and in some specimens, 
there is a slight 3'ellow border to the secondaries and tertiaries ; 
while younger males have the whole exterior portion of 

7Z The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 

the secondaries and tertiaries washed with yellowish-olive. 
The coverts of the primaries are always tipped with 
yellow, producing a slight spot of this hue, which does not 
occur, at least, in the adult male of 0. Ckinensis. Younger 
males have, as usual, the back and wings tinged with dusky- 
greenish ; and in females (and perhaps still younger males) 
tha same dull colour prevails on the head and neck ; the broad 
occipital crescent is merely indicated; the feathers of the under 
parts have each a black central stripe, and the tail is wholly 
dusky -yellowish above, prevailing throughout the outer webs 
of all the feathers, while the inner webs are successively more 
deeply terminated with yellow, this color being alone seen 
underneath in adults of both sexes. Length about 11 inches 
or rather more j wing 6 ; tail 45 — 5; bill to gape 1"5 ; tarsus 
1 mch.."—Bl^th. 

Peculiar to the Nicobar Islands, a specimen shot by me on 
Nancowry had the following dimensions : — wing 5*75 ; tail 4'75 ; 
bill at front TS ; tarsi I'l. 

70— (4715i5).— Oriolus Andamanensis, Tytler. 

0. coronatus, Swains, apud Blyth, 

Andamans.— JBlyth, J. A. S. B., XXIV, 1856, p. 477 ; XXVIII, 
1859, p. 272; XXIX, 1860, p. 106 ; Mouat's App.; T. and B., 
Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 326 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, p. 284. 

Mb. Blyth's description of the Andaman Oriole is as follows : — 
" Has no yellow at all on the secondaries and tertiaries beyond a 
small yellow spot tipping the latter, and a slight yellowish- 
white margin to the former. Colour of male brilliant yellow, with 
the nape-mark, wings beyond the coverts of the secondaries 
and a portion of the tail, deep black. The female has a dusky- 
ish tinge on the mouth, and the exposed portion of the black 
part of the wings is tinged with green, as also the middle tail- 
feathers for the greater portion of their length. Middle tail- 
feathers in both sexes slightly tipped, and the rest successively 
more so, to the outermost, with bright yellow. Bill carneous and 
legs plumbeous, as usual in the genus. Wing 5 j ; tail 3| ? (mis- 
printed 9|) ; bill to gape If. In colouring, this species resembles 
0. macrourus of the neighbouring group of the Nicobars, but 
it is smaller, with narrower nape-mark and proportionally 
shorter tail, which last is commonly 5 inches in 0. maa-ourus" 

Specimens of this bird, recently examined by me, had the 
following measurements : — 

Length 88 ; wing 5'3 ; bill at front 1 ; tarsus "9 ; tail 335 inches. 

The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 73 

71--(475).— Copsychus saularis, Linn, 

Andamans. — Blyth, Mouat' s App., p. d60 ; T. and B. Ibis N S 
III, p. 327 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., Vol. XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 285. 
The Andaman bird appears to belong to the Indian and not 
to the nearly allied species (C. Mindantnsis) from Malacca, 
Sumatra^ &c. A fully grown male had the four outer rectriees 
on either side white. This character, according to Blyth^ serves to 
distinguish C. saularis from G. Mindanensis and Q. Ceylonensis. 

Colonel Tytler remarked that " the males are more brilliant 
in color than those generally seen in Bengal/^ 

72— (476 5i5).— Kittacincla albiventris, Blyth. 

Andamans.— Blyth, J. A. S. B.', XXVII, p. 269; 1859, p. 274 ■ i860 
p. 107 ; T. and B., Ibis, N. iS., Ill, p. 327 ; Ball, J. A. S. b' 
XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 285. 

" Differs from K. macroura in its colouring and form of tail, 
the four middle feathers of which extend little beyond the next 
pair, and the medial pair but y|- in. (instead of commonly 
2 in., as in the other). Abdominal region, vent, tibial plumes, 
and insides of the wing anteriorly pure white, like the upper 
tail-coverts iu both species; the hindmost portion of the 
flanks and the lower tail-coverts only being deep ferruginous ; 
four pairs of outer tail-feathers more deeply tipped with white 
than in K. macroura; in other respects resembling that species, 
being a true Shama as distinguished from a Dhyal [Copsyckus). 

" Length of wing 35 in,; of tail 4-25.^' 

Subsequently (J. A. S. B., 1860, p. 107) Mr. Blyth re- 
marked of this bird : — '' It has much the appearance of being a 
fertile hybrid between K. macroura and Copsychns saularis." 
^^:j(, " The female is of a duller color than the male, especially 
on the wings and breast, which latter is glossless black ; tail also 
shorter, and the legs in both sexes are carneous.'''' 

" The male is a good songster, not uncommon in the Islands.''' 

73— (518).— Arundinaxsedon, Fallas; A. oUvaceus, 

Andamans.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XXIX, 1860, p. 106 ; Mouat's 
App., p. 360 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 285. 

74— (590). — Motacilla Luzoniensis, Scop. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, _p. 328. 
Common in the cold season. 

75— (594) ?— Budytes citreola, Ballas. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 328. 
Mr. Blyth (Ibis, N. S., IV, 1868, p. 132,) considers that this 
should stand as aureocapilla, Vieill. 

74) The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 

76 — (605 Us). — Anthus cervinus, Fallas. 

Andamans. — Blyth, Mouat's App.,p. 367 ; T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., HI, 
1867, p. 328. 

Under the name Anthus rufosuperciliaris, Mr. Blyth, J. A. S. 
B., XXIX, p. 105^ described the Atidaraan pipit as follows: — Like 
A. pratensis, but with the supercilium and moustachial streak of 
a ruddy rusty color. Closed wing- 8i inches ; tail 2i inches ; 
and bill and hind claw as in ^. pratensis, of which it may be 
regarded as a local variety or sub-species. Subsequently (Mouat's 
App.) he wrote : — " Specimens agree with those of A. cervinus 
from Pegu and China/'' His remarks in the Ibis for 1867, p. 
82, render it possible that the Andaman bird should stand as 
A. rosaceus, but there are no specimens in Calcutta for comparison. 


77— (631). — Zosterops palpebrosus, Temm.; Z.Nico- 
bariensis, Blyth, the yjung. 

Andamans.— T. and JB., Ibis, N. S., Ill, p. 328. 

Mcobars.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XIV ; Blyth, J. A. S. B., XV, 
p. 370 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, Ft. 11, p. 31. 

Further comparison of Nicobar with Indian specimens is 



78 — (660).— Corvus culminatus, Sijkes. 

Andamans.— Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 358 ; Bli^th, Ibis, N. S., IV, 
p. 132. 
^^. Blyth writes : — " G. Andamanensis may be quite distinct 
from C. cidminatus ; hwtl have only received the latter from 
the Andamans, and as it is certainly common on both sides of 
the Bay of Bengal, extending southwards as far as Malacca 
(where it co-exists with C. enca), it is a species most likely to have 
found its way to the Andamans/'' 

79_(660 5i5).— Corvus Andamanensis, Tytler. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 328. 

Colonel Tytler considei^ed this bird qtiite distinct from C. 
mlminatus, being " nearer C. intermedius of the Himalayas, 
but it is slightly larger than that species." 

Captain Beavan wrote : — " I am inclined, after a careful examin- 
ation of several specimens, to agree with Colonel Tytler, having 
besides, during my visit to the Andamans in 1865, noticed 
that the voice of this species differs entirely from that of 

The. Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 75 

C culniinatus. Its habit, too, of congregating iu flocks is enough 
ahnost in itself to separate it as a distinct species/'' 

However improbable it may appear that there ai'e really two 
so nearly allied species living side by side in the Andamans, it is, 
in the face of such distinctly expressed opinions as the above, 
and in tlie absence of any more recent observation^^ impossible to 
do more in this enumeration than regard them as distinct. 

It is to be regretted that those (including myself) who have 
collected, subsequently to the above remarks haviug- been pub- 
lished, have omitted to procure specimens. 

80— (663).— Corvus splendens, Vieill 

Introduced by Colonel Tytler, but does not appear to have 
thriven or multiplied. — Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 18(i7, p. 329. 

81 — (674 6fs).— Dendrocitta Baylei, Tytler. 

Andamans. — Tytler, J. A. S. B., 1863,^. 88;^ Blyth, Ih's, 1863, 
p. 119 (misprinted Bazlei) ; T. Sf B.. Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 329 ; 
Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, 1870, PL II, p. 242 ; Ball, J. A. S. 
B., XLI, 1872, Bt. II, p. 119. 
Originally described as follows : — ■ 

" Wings and tail nearly black, with a broad white patch on 
wing"; head, neck, and throat dark-brown; })ack more rufous; 
belly and vent very rufous or chesnut ; tail with twelve feathers 
(therefore, not a Cn/psirhlna). Not uncommon on the main 
island.^'' Measurements iu inches : — . 

Leno'th. Wing. Tail. Bill to gape. Tarsus. 
$ 12-2 4-6 7-2 1 1 

Sex? 11-8 4-6 7 I'l 1 

82 — (684). — Acridotheres tristis, Zlnn. 

Introduced in the Andamans by Colonel Tytler. — Ibis, N. S., Ill, 
1867, p 329. 

83 — (686).— Acridotheres fuscus, JVagler. 

Andamans. — Also introduced by Colonel Tytler, 1. c. 

8i— (689 Si*).— Temenuchus AndamanensiS: Tytler= 

T. erythropy(/ia, apad Blyth. 

Avdamuns.—Ci. erythropygia) , BlytJi, J. A. S. B., Vol. XXVIII, 

1859, _p. 274; (T. erythropygia), Bh/th, J. A. S. B., XXIX, 1860, 

p. 106 ; (T. AndamanensiS )', T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 330 ; 

Blyth, Ibis. N. 8., IV. 1868, p. 133 ; Ball, J A. 8. B., XXXIX, 

1870, Ft. II, p. 242 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI 1872, Ft. II, p. 285. 

This bird is considered by Mr. Blylli to be ideutiea.l with 

the next species from the Nicobars, but Colonel Tytler 

and Captain Beavan and, indeed, Mr. Blyth himself) have 

pointed out that the Andaman birds are distinguished by 

characters the constancy of which is further established by 

the specimens most recently received by the Indian Museum. 

76 The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 

Captain Beavan's description is as follows : — " Head, neck, 
throat, aud abdomen pure white ; back and upper tail-coverts 
pure ashy-grey ; under tail-coverts white, with a very faint ting-e 
of rufous ; wings and middle tail-feathers dark glossy black 
with green reflections ; the outer tail-feathers tipped with 
creamy yellowish- white, most broadly so on the outermost pair, 
and decreasing towards the middle; irides pale-yellow; the legs 
also yellow. The female dilFers from the male in having 
scarcely any green reflections on the wings, and the young is 
yet more dully coloured than the female. The species is very 
abundant on Ross Island, frequenting* gardens and buildings in 
the neighbourhood of houses. It is very fond of ripe fruit, 
especially plantains." 

Mr. Blyth wrote as follows of this bird, T. erythropygia, BlyfJi : — 
" Two more specimens from Port Blair, but still wanting the deep 
ferruginous colouring on the rump and upper tail-coverts ; however, 
it is faintly indicated, and that intense colouring is probably 
peculiar to old males. There can be no doubt about the correct- 
ness of the identification." — /. A. S. B., 1860, p. 6. 

Again oi T. erythropyffi us, nobis; " I have seen no Andaman 
example yet with distmctly rufeseent upper tail-coverts." Colonel 
Tytler, according to Captain Beavan, says that " the old males 
never do get the rufeseent upper tail-coverts of the true T. 

In the specimens which I recently examined and compared 
with the Nicobar birds, there was a total absence of distinct 
rufescence on the rump, upper tail-coverts, under tail-coverts, and 
tail-feathers, such as is so well marked on all the Nicobar speci- 

Measurement in inches of a male in Dr. Dobson^s collection 
in the Indian Museum : — Wing 4-3 ; tail '6'1; bill at front l-l ; 
tarse 1. Ditto of a fresh specimen, Blyth : — Length 1\ ; 
wing 4| ; tail 3 ; bill to gape \\. 

85— (6S8 if^r).— Temenuchus (Sturnia) erythro- 
pygia, Blyth. 

Nicohars.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XV, 1864, pp. 34 and 369. 
The following is Mr. Blyth's original description of this 
bird : — " This beautiful species would seem to be nearly allied to 
the Javanese St. tricolor, (Horsf.), v. melanoptera, (Wagler). 
Head, neck, and lower parts pure silky white ; the wings wholly 
shining black ; the scapularies and interscapularies pale satiny- 
brown; the rump, vent, upper and lower tail-coverts deep 
ferruginous ; and the tail black, with more than half of its 
outermost feather ferruginous, and the rest successively less 
deeply tipped with ferruginous to the middle part ; bill yellow, 
with the base of the lower mandible livid blue; and legs 

The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 77 

(apparently) orpiment-yellow. Length approaching to nine 
inches; of wing four inches and a quarter to four and a half; 
and tail three and a quarter to three and a half inches ; bill to 
gape nearly an inch and a quarter inches ; and tarse an inch." 

86— (690 his).— -Odlomi^ panayensis, Scop.; C. cantor, 
Gml., vide Ibis, 3rd ISeries, Vol. 1, 1871,^5. 176. 

Andamans. — T. and £., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 330. 
Above and below lustrous metallic green; wings and tail 
black, with a green gloss. The females and young have the 
under parts whitish, with dusky streaks. 

87— (690 /er).-— Calornis affinis, A. Hay. 

Andamans.— T. and B.,Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 330; Ball, J. A. 8. 

B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, f 285. 
Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. 8 B., XV, 1846, pp. 36 and 369 ; Pelz., 
Beise der Novara, Vogel, 1865,^. 86. 
Mr. Blyth distinguishes this bird as follows : — 
" Differs from the Malayan C. cantor in its larger size, 
the wing being four inches to four and a quarter instead of three 
and a half to three and five-eighths ; and tail three inches to 
three and a quarter instead of two inches and a half; tarsus 
seven- eighths instead of three quarters of an inch; and bill 
about the same in both ; plumage of the two species absolutely 
similar at all ages, and glossed as brightly in fine specimens 
of either.'" 

" Not uncommon on the main island. I obtained the young 
in August.''— (R. C. T). 

88— (690). — Pastor roseus, Linn. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 331. 
" Several of these birds arrive in flocks in January.'' 

89— (693). — Eulabes intermedia, A.Say ; E. Anda- 
manensis, Tytler. 

Andamans. — {E. intermedia, A. Hay), Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 369 ; 
(_£". Andamanensis, Tytler), T. and JB., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, p -331 ; Vise. 
Walden, ibidem, note; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XXXIX, Ft. II, p. 242 ; 
ibidem, XLI, 1872, Ft. II. p. 286. 
Nicobars. — (Gracula Javanensis, Osbeck), Blyth, J.A.S.B., XV, 1846, 
pp.^\ and 369; {Gracula intermedia,A. Hay, Mouats App.,p. 359; 
(6r. Javana, Cuv.), Pelz., Beise der Novara, Vogel, p. 88 ; {JE. Anda- 
manensis, A. Hay), Ball, J. A. 8. B., XXXIX, Ft. II, p. 31. 
In my previous papers I have, on the authority of Lord 
Walden, treated the Andaman-Nicobar species of Eidabes as being 
distinct from the Indian intermedia. I have now, however, had 
an opportunity of bringing together sixteen specimens of 
Eulabes from the following localities : — Andamans 3, Nicobars 3, 
Malacca 6, Wellesley Province 1, Garrow Hills 2, Darjiling 1. 
Out of these, four, said to be from Malacca, may be at once put 

78 The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 

nside as bein;^ larger birds with mucb higher and stouter bills. 
AVhether these are identical with true Javanensis or not,, in the 
absence of Javanese specimens for comparison, cannot be decided. 
Lord Walden (Ibis, 3rd Series, Vol. I, p. 177,) considers that 
the larg-er Malacca bird is distinct from the Javanese. But 
to separate by any definite or constant characters the remaining 
five Andaman and Nicobar birds from the seven specimens of 
iriier media from different localities I found to be absolutely 
impossible. Dr. Stoliczka, who has discussed the question at 
length, having had for comparison a portion of the specimens 
mentioned above, considers that they are all " geographical 
races of the same species,^'' viz., Javanensis, Osbeck ; but for 
Javanensis I would say intermedia, as being the species to which, 
I believe, all these races will ultimately, with the general consent 
of ornithologists, be referred. 

Dimensions in inches. 

tarsus ? 
Andamans ... •{ ,, 6'5 ; „ 3o ; _ „ l"! ; „ 1*3 

„ 1-4 


Wing 6-6 ; 

tail 3 ; 

bill at front 1 

„ 6-5 ; 

„ 3o 


„ 6-3 ; 

„ 3-2o 


„ 6-75 ; 

„ 3-0.? 


„ 6'5 ; 

„ 3-3 

J »> 

iNlCObaiS ... I ^^ g.g . ^^ 3.3 . ^^ .g. ^^ ^.3 

E. religiosa seems to have crept by some mistake into 
Mr. Blyth^s list of Andaman birds, as he gave it on the authority 
of Colonel Tytler, who subsequently stated that it does not 
occur at all. 


90 — (701). — Munia leuconota, Tern. 

Andamans. — Bli/th, Mouat's App., p. 359 ; T. and B.. Ibis, N. S., Ill' 
1867, p. 331 ; 'Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, Vt. II, 1870, p. -242 '■> 
Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, j9. 286. 

91— (704). — Estrelda amandava, Linn. 

Andamans. — " Introduced by Col. Tvtler, but not since observed. 
Ihis, N. S., Ill, lS61,p. 331. 

92 — (777 his).— O^molvQr on chloroptera, -S/?/^^, 

Andamans. — Bli/tk, 3Iouafs App., p.SQl; T. and B., Ibis, N. S. Ill 

p. 331 ; Ball, J. A. S. B.. XLI, PL II, p. 286. 
Nicobars.—Blyth, J. A. S. B., XIV, 1845, p. 852 ; Bluth, J. A S 

B.,Xr,\Siio,p. 369. 

Nearly allied to T. Malabarica, Jerdon^ from which it '■'' differs 
in its superior size, having the wing seven inches instead of six 

The Andamans and Nicohars. — T. Ball. 79 

to six and a quarter^ aucl in the male having" a large portion of 
the fore-front of its wing- green instead of deep maronne ; its 
breast also is less tinged with falvous^ and the forehead more 

This bird is common in the Andamans. 

93 — (780). — Carpophaga sylvatica, Tlckell. 

Andamans. — Mouat's App., p. SGi ; Bli/th, J. A. S. B., XXVIIT, 

1859, p. 274 ; T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 332 ; Bli/t/i, Ibis, 

N. S., IV, 1868, p. 133; Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, Ft. II, p. 

243 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Pt. II, p. 287. 

This bird corresponds exactly with Indian specimens from 

Barma^ Caehar^ Central India. 

94— (781 ter). — Carpophaga insularis, Blyth. 

Nicubars. — ( C. sylvatica, Tickell, var.), J. A. S. B., XV, p. 371; 

( C cenea, var. Nicobarica), Novara Exp., Vogel, p. 105; Ball, 

J. A. S. B., XXXIX, Pt. II, p. 32. 

Mr. Blyth originally distinguished this bird as a variety of C. 

sylvatica. "Nicobarian specimens seem invariably to differ from 

those obtained thronghout the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal 

(from Arracan to the Straits), and also from Java, Sylhet, Ar- 

racan, &c., all of which are quite similar, in the green of the upper 

parts being wholly unmixed with bronze, and the ash-grey of the 

h^ad, neck, and under parts having no tinge whatever of vina- 

ceous; the primaries are devoid of the grey tinge; and the lower 

parts are much less deeply tinctured with vinaceous. Hence the 

ensemble, when several specimens of each are examined together, 

is conspicuously different.''^ — Blyth. 

The specimens which I obtained were bluish rather than 
greenish on the upper parts, and contrasted, both in this respect 
and in size, with specimens of Q. sylvatica, obtained at the same 
time in the Andamans. 

Nicobar bird: wing 10 inches ; bill to gape \\ inches. 
Andaman „ : „ 9^ „ ; „ „ 1| „ 

95— (781g?mi^). — Carpophaga bicolor, aS^co^j./ C albch 
Gmel., nee myristicivora, Scop. 

Andamans .^Blyth , Mouat's App., p. 362, Narcondam Island; 

T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, i?. 332. 
Nicobars. — Blyth. J. A. S. B., XV, p. 371 ; Pelz., Beise der Novara, 
Vogel, p. 107 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, Pt. II, 1870, p. 32. 
Above and below white ; the quills, a broad terminal band on 
the tail, and the margins of the external tail-feathers black. 
Measurements in inches — 

A — wing 9 ; tail 5 ; bill 8 ; ' tarsus 1. 
B— „ 9-25 ; „ 6; ,.1; „ 11- 
A — specimen in the Indian Museum ; B — in my own collec- 
tion, shot on Camorta. 

80 The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball, 

96 — (791 bis). — Macropygia rufipennis, Blyth. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, p. 332 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., 

XLI, Ft. II, p. 287. 
Nicohars.— Blyth, J. A. S. B., XV, p. 371 ; Pelzeln, Beise der 

Novara, Vogel, p. 109 ; Ball, J. A. S. B-, XXXIX, Ft. II, p. 32. 

Originally described by Mr. Blytb as follows : — " Most closely 
allied to M. phasianella of Australia^ but rather smaller in all 
its proportions^ and best distinguished by the uniform bright 
rufous hue of the entire under surface of the wings, which 
occupies the whole of each feather, except towards its tip. The 
primaries are also somewhat broadly margined with the same. 
There is really no other difference ; but another species, M. 
Amhoinensis of Java and the Moluccas, differs only from 
M. phasianella in its much inferior size/^ — Blyth. 

Of three specimens recently received by the Indian Museum 
from the Andamans, two, marked males, "have the rufous of the 
neck, upper part of the back, breast and abdomen barred with 
dark-brown slightly undulating lines, which are close and distinct 
to the breast ; thence to the vent they are wider apart, broken 
and fainter. In a fourth specimen, which is somewhat smaller, 
and may be either a young bird or the female, the bars are 
confined to the back of the neck. The rufous of the wing- 
coverts, edges of the wings, throat and abdomen is of a deeper 
tint approaching to bay.''^ 

Measurements in inches — 

$ Length 14*5 ; wing 7'5 ; bill at front '6 ; tarsus '9. 


97— (795 Us). — Turtur tigrinus, Tem., nee T. 
Chinensis, Scop. 

Nicohars.— BlytJi, J. A. S. B., XV, p. 372; Mouat's App.,p. 362. 
AccoEDiNG to Blyth, Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 150, this 
differs from Suratensis only in wanting the two conspicuous pale 
spots at the extremity of each feather of the mantle. — Vide on 
this subject /. A. S. B., XXXIX, Ft. II, 1870, p. 332. 

98— (797).— Turtur humilis, Temm. 

Andamans. — Blyth, Mouat's App.,p. 362; T. and B., Ibis, N. S., 
III,p. 332 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, ^j. 287. 

99 — (798).— Ghalcophaps Indicus, Linn. 

Andamans. — Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 362 ; T. and B., Ibis, N. S., 
Ill, p. 332; Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872,^. 287. 
Is said to be very abundant. 

The Andamans and Nicohars. — V> Ball. 81 

100— (798 5is).— Chalcophaps augusta, JBonap. 

Nicohars.— Blt)th, J. A. S. B., XV, p. 371 ; Mouat's App., p. 362 ; 
Ihis, N. S., ir, p. 133. 

Mr. BlytH saySj— " differs from the Indian race in the deeper 
ash-colour of the nape, and bluer vinaceous hue of the under 
partSj while the bands on the rump (so conspicuo^^s in the Indian 
birdj and also in its near ally, 6*^. ch'T/sochlora), are very in- 
distinct.^^ Again, — "the Nicobarian race differs from CJi. Indicus, 
and accords with the description of Ch. augtista in Pr. Bonap/^ 

Although I saw this bird when in the Nicobars, I did not 
succeed in obtaining a specimen. Those described by Blyth 
above are not now in a fit condition for comparison, having 
suffered much from the ravages of time and neglect. 

101— (798 if^r).— Calcenas Nicobarica, L. 

Hicnhars. — Blytli,J. A. S.B., XV,p. 371 ; Pelzeln, Reise der Novara, 

Vogel, p. 107 ; Ball, J. A. S. £., XXXIX, Ft. II, lS70,p. 32. 
Cocos. — Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 362. 

Mr. Blyth received specimens of this bird said to have been pro- 
cured in the Cocos islands, and concluded that it might be looked 
for with a fair prospect of success in the Andamans, which inter- 
vene between them and the Nicobars. No instance, however, 
has come to notice of its having been found in the Andamans, 
and I am strongly inclined to believe that its occurrence any- 
where north of the Nicobar Group must be extremely excep- 
tional. Mr. Wallace (Malayan Archipelago, 1st £d., Pt. II, 
pp. 66-66,) has shown that, though generally considered to be 
a bad flier, it is when migrating capable of long flight, even 
for an unbroken 100 miles; and the specimens found in the 
Cocos may have been stragglers. But it is undoubtedly a bird 
which belongs to the Malayan portion of the avifauna of the 
Nicobars, and which does not normally extend up to the 
Andamans. ' 

The following is a description of this most beautiful of 
pigeons : — 

Above. — -Dark-green, with a bluish coppery lustre. Below. — 
Golden-green with the feathers tipped blue. Head dark blue- 
black, elongated hackle-like feathers of the neck purplish -black 
above, passing into others concolorous with the back below. 
Quills black, margined with dark- blue. Tail in the adult white ; 
under tail coverts also white. Bill black. 

Measurements ( inches ) of one in the Indian Museum : — Wing 
10*5 : tail 3'5 : bill at front 1* : tarsus 1*6. 

82 The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 

In the young- the cervical plumes are not elongated,, the tail 
is concoloroas with the body, which is more coppery and less 
green than in the adult. 

A small quail was seen and shot by me in the Nicobars, but 
the specimen was lost in tlie long grass. 


102— (803 sex). — Megapodius Nicobariensis, Blyth. 

Nicobars.—Blyth, J. A. S. S., XV, pp. 52, 372; Pelz., Reise der 
Novara, Yoqel, p. 110, PL IV, .Jigs. 1-3; Ball, J. A. S. B., 
XXXIX, Pt. II, 1870, p. 25. 

" Genbeal hue of the upper parts deep-olive-brown, with a 
tinge of ochreous^ which becomes more decided on the wings ; 
lower parts dingy greyish-brown, with a slight tinge of ochreous 
on the breast, and which prevails throughout the under parts of 
a presumed female; crown slightly rufescent-brown, prolonged 
into a short crest, and the occipital feathers impended by the 
coronal are light greyish ; lores, cheeks, and throat ahiiost naked ; 
the primaries light ochreous on their outer webs, and dusky 
internally ; bill yellow, legs and claws dark horn-coloured. The 
cheek is colored nearly as in the adult, but is smothered with 
faint russet on the wings. — Blyth, loc. cit. 

Measurements in inches — 

Blyth. Ball. 

Length ... 15* 15'5 (measured in the flesh). 

Wing ... 9- 9-25 

Extent 27' q. p. 

Bill from gape 1'12 

Tarsus ... 2-5 2-5* 

Hind claw ... "8 '8 

Iris dull orange. 

The eggs are nearly truly elli])tieal and of enormous size as 
compared with the bird. Two which 1 procured had the follow- 
ing dimensions : — 

No. 1. No. 2. 

Length ... 3-3 3-125. 

Circumference ... 6"6 6'375. 

Colour brick-red. One figured by Pelzeln has somewhat of an 
olivaceous tinge. 

This bird appears to be common in the Nicobars. In 1869, 
jiist after the formation of the new settlement, I shot three 
specimens one morning close to the houses. The first of them 
flew 11]) into a tree and was shot when perched on a branch some 
20 feet from the ground. The two others were running together 
and fell to the same shot. It is a very noisy bird, its peculiar 
guttural crow reminded me of the croaking of bull frogs, and 

* Original!)' stated by luistake 3 inches. 

The Andamans and Nicobars,— V. Ball. 83 

may be represented by the syllables kioukj kiouk_, kok^ kok, kok, 
&e., ad inf. 

I regret to say that I did not ascertain anything in addition 
to what was previously known and published regarding the 
nidification of this curious bird. The eggs are deposited in 
mounds of soil and rubbish and artificially hatched by the heat 
produced by the decomposing vegetable matter,' The chick is 
fully fledged when hatched, and it is believed has mainly to 
take care of itself, being independent of the old birds. 

No case, so far as I am aware, is on record of this bird having 
been found north of the Nicobar Group of Islands. It seems 
to be another link binding the Nicobar with the Malayan rather 
than the Indian avifauna. 

For the information of the residents at the settlement on 
Camorta^ should this meet their eyes, I would add that this is 
the bird which is known under the several aliases of grouse, 
peacock, and pheasant, and that both birds and eggs are far 
too valuable to be consigned to the pot, as I found had been the 
case at the time of my visit. 

103 — (842). — Glareola orientalis, Leach. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872,^. 287. 

104— (845).— Charadrius longipes, Temm. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 287. 
Nicohars. — [C. pluvialis, L.) Pelz., Seise der Novara, Vogel, ^.115. 

105— (846).— .ffigialitis GeofFroyi, TFagler. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 288. 

106— (847).— ?.ffigialitis mongolicus, Fall./' ^. 
pyrrJiothorax, Tern. 

Andamans. — T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, p. 332. 
Colonel Tytlee only obtained a distant view of the bird thus 
identified, so that it may have been the preceding species which 
he saw. 

107— (845 jf^r).— Eudromiasveredus, Gould; P.Z. S., 
1848, p. 38. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8 B., XLL Ft. II, 1872,2?. 288. 
As this bird is quite new to the Indian avifauna, I shall give 
Mr. Harting's description of the species published in the Ibis, 
N. S., VI, 1870, p. 209. 


84 The Andamans and Nicohrs. — V. Ball. 

I have no doubt as to the correctness of the identification of 
the Andaman specimen, the more particularly as I had an oppor- 
tunity of comparing it with a specimen of Mi. asiaticus obtained 
in Abyssinia by Mr. Blanford. 

"Adult in summer. — Bill black, moderately long, slender. 
Crown and upper portion of the back and wings hair-brown. 
Forehead, eyelids, and chin, pure white. Eyebrows, and sides 
of the face and neck, buff; the latter colour extending round the 
nape and separating the hair-brown of the crown from that of 
the back. Across the breast a broad rufous band, the lowest 
feathers of which are terminated by a slight edging of dark 
umber-brown ; thence to the extremities of the under tail- 
coverts pure white ; the shafts o£ the others brown. Secondaries 
long, reaching almost to the end of the primaries. Axillaries 
smoke-grey. Tail long, the outer web of the outermost rectrix 
white; its inner web dusky. In the second rectrix both webs 
dusky, the inner one darker. The rest of the rectrices getting 
darker as they approach the middle ; the two middle the darkest 
and somewhat longer thau the others. Legs long and slender ; 
a considerable portion of the tibia bare. Toes three ; the middle 
and outer toe connected at their base by a slight membrane ; legs 
and toes yellowish-ochreous. 

"Young. — Crown, back, and upper portion of the wings greyish- 
brown, each feather margined with buff. Forehead, eyebrows, 
chin, sides of face and neck, buff ; this colour extending in the 
form of a collar round the neck. The pectoral band not well 
defined; but a cloudy patch of pale buflry-brown, extending 
across the breast, becomes gradually paler above and below, as it 
approaches the chin and vent. Primaries and axillaries as in 
the adult ; secondaries broadly edged with buff. Legs and toes 
dull yellowish-brown.''^ 

The adult in winter plumage is supposed to resemble the 
young, such being the case with Eu. asiaticus. Dimensions ; — ■ 
Total length 8*5 inches ; bill 1 ; wing 6-5 ; bare portion of 
tibia "8; tarsus 1-8; middle toe '9. 

Our Andaman specimen, shot in May, is a fully grown bird in 
this immature or winter plumage. It is more or less buffy 
below, approaching to pure white on the under tail-coverts. It 
has the shafts of the first two primaries white, while those of 
Eu. asiaticus, as pointed out by Mr. Harting, are dusky."^ Its 
dimensions are as follows : — 

Length 83; wing 6'4; bill "9; tarsus 1'8 ; uncovered portion 
of tibia -9. 

* Tn E. asiaticus, the shafts are all mesiiilly luhite, vide ante p. 17; where 
" mesially " is misprinted •' usually." 

The Andamans and Nicohars. — V. Ball, 85 

I have no information at present as to the abundance of this 
bird in the Andamans, 

108— (860).— Strepsilas interpres, Linn. 

Andamans.— T, and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. £^32. 
Nicohars.— Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XV, 1846, p. 373. 

109— (861). — Dromas ardeola, Faykull. 

Andamans.-— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 333. 
Nicobars. — Pelz., Meise der Novara, Vogel, p. 134. 

110 — (871). — Gallinago scolapacinus, Bonap. 

Andamans. — T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, p. 333. 

Ill— (877). — Numenius arquata, L.; N. Uneatus, Cuv. 

Nicohars. — Pelz., Seise der Novara, Vogel, p- 128. 

Some doubt exists as to whether JV. arqiiala and N. linealus 
are distinct. Herr v. Pelzeln seems to think they are^ and 
refers the Nicobar curlew to B . linealus, Cuv. 

112— (878). — Numenius phCBOp^us, Linn. 

Andamans. — Blyth., Mouat's App., p. 363 ; Ball, J. A 8. B., XLI, 

1872, Ft. II, p. 288. 

Nicohars. — Pelz., Beise der Novara, Vogel, p. 127 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., 
XXXIX, PL II, p. B3. 

113— (891). — Aictitis glareola, Gmei. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, Pt. II, 1872, p. 288. 
Obtained in May. 

114 — (893). — Actitis hypoleucos, Linn. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Pt. II, 1872, p. 288. 

Nicohars.— Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XV, ISm, p. B73 ; Pelz., Beise der 
Novara, Vogel, p. 131. 

115 — (894). — Totanus glottis, Linn. 

Nicohars. — Pelz., Beise der Novara, Vogel, p. 129. 

116— (897).— Totanus calidris, Lmu. 

Nicohars.— 'Pelz., Beise der Novara, Vogel, p. 129. 

86 The Andam.ans and Nlcolars. — V. Ball. 

117 — (912 bis). — Euryzona Canningi, Tytler. 

Andamans. — JByth, Ibis, Vol. V, 1863, p. 119 ; Blyfh, Mouat's App., 
p. 363 ; T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, p. 333 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., 
XLI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 288. 

" Entire upper parts and breast of a rich dark colour^ ap- 
proaching to maroon ; a slig-ht olivaceous tinge about the rump ; 
throat less deeply colored; the abdominal region, flanks, and 
plumes black, with from two to four transverse white bands on 
each feather ; under surface of the wing much the same. — BlyiJi. 
Measurements in inches — 









Bill to gape 


„ at front 








" Bill yellow, with slight tinge of green ; eyes reddish-orange ; 
feet slate-green. 

" It is most like M. Zeylanica of India, but very much larger, 
with tail proportionally more developed.'' ■* It is not uncommon 
in the grass which borders creeks. 

118--(913).— Rallus striatus, Linn. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, 1872, Ft. II, p. 288. 

The only specimen yet received from the Andamans " differs 
from R. striatus, as represented in the Indian Museum (Blyth^s 
Cat., No. 1671), in its longer and more powerful bill, and in 
the abrupt termination of the rufous of the head and back of 
the neck, which, in ordinary specimens, is continued for some 
distance along the sides of the bluish-grey of the breast. In 
other respects it corresponds with the common Indian bird. 
'' Wing 5-15 ; bill at front 1*7 j tarsus 1'55 inches.^^ 


119 — (924). — Ardea purpurea, Linn. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872,2). 289. 

The Awhmans and Nicohars. — V. Ball. 87 

120— (926).— Herodias egrettoides, Temm. 

Andamans.—Ball, J. A. 8. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 289. 

The only specimen as yet brought from the Andamans had 
the following- dimensions : — Wing 11-2 ; bill at front 2-9 ; tarsus 
4-4; middle claw 3-5. The bill is yellow, with a brown tip to 
the upper mandible. / 

121— (927).— H. garzetta, Linn. 

Andamans — T. and B., Ibis, JS. S., Ill, 1867, p. 333. 

122— (928 bis).—K. concolor,* Blyth; H. Andaman- 
ensis, Tytler, 

Andamans. — Blytli, Mouat's App., p 363 ; T. andB., Ibis, N. S., Ill 
1867, p. 333 iBall, J. A. S. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 289. 
■ Nicobars.—Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XV, 1846, _??. 332; Pelzeln, Reise der 
Novara, Vo'gel, p. 122 ; Ball, J. A. 8. B., XXXIX, PL II, p. 34. 

" From D. asJia, Sykes, it is readily distinguished by its 
shorter legs; the tarsi measuring but three inches instead of 
three and three quarters; wing 11 inches or 11*5 in adults; 
about an inch shorter in the young ; bill to forehead 3 '5 and 
to gape 4*25 ; middle toe and claws 2f , the claws short and 
much curved. Colour uniform dark-slaty throughout; some 
specimens having a white line on the chin and throat. Adults 
have narrow lengthened plumes on the back and breast^ similar 
to those of Ardea cinerea; the occipital plumes are also somewhat 
lengthened as in herons generally, but I have seen no defined 
occipital crest, and doubt its ever possessing one. Beak mingled 
dusky and dull yellowish, and the legs appear to have been 
olive-green.^-' — Blyth. 

" Colonel Tytler (Ibis,N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 333,) proposed for 
the Andaman bird a new name in consequence of ' the young 
being black ah ovo, whereas those of the species for which it has 
been mistaken are white ;' to which Mr. Blyth replied (Ibis, 
N. S., IV, 133,) ' H. Andamanensis is decidedly identical with 
H. concolor, of which I never saw a white example. It also in- 
habits the Nieobars and Arakan.^ 

" I have carefully compared all the specimens available from 
the three localities, and the only difference which I eau discern 
is, that the Andaman birds are, on the whole, a little smaller, but 
one of the Nicobar birds is about the same size as the largest 

* This is ^M^'M^ar is, Foster, while asha, Sykes, is gularis, '^ose. — Vide m^xa. 
C, 0. I., Siud, No. 928.-ED. 

"88 The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 

Me astir ements in incites. 


























I3. & 









m K 






• X 
















9-62— 9-75 

Bill at front... 

















Note. — H. jugularis is given by Pelzeln as a distinct species from the 

123— (931).— Butorides javanica, Sorsf. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867, p. 333 ; Ball, 

J. A. S. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1867, p. 290. 
Nicohars.—Felz., Beise der Novara, Vogel, p. 124. 

Two specimens are conspicuously smaller than any of a good 
series of Indian specimens with which I have compared them, bub 
correspond closely in coloration and other details of plumage. 
$ Wing 6*5 j bill at front 2'4; tarsus 1*65 inches. 

124 — (937).— Nycticorax griseus, Linn. 

Nicobars. —Blyth, J. A. S. B., XV, 1846, p. 373. 

125 — (963 Us). — Mareca punctata, Ciw. ? Quer- 
quedula Andamanensis. Tytler. — Ibis, N. S., Ill, 
1867, p. 333. 

Andamans.— Ball, J. A. S. B., XLI, Ft. II, 1872, p. 290. 
Since writing last on this bird {loc. cit.), I found an old un- 
labelled specimen in the Museum of the Asiatic Society, which, 

The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 89 

I have no doubt^ was the original sent by Colonel Tytler^ and 
reported to have been lost. Colonel Tytler writes : — 

" It was quite a new species, brown, with blue wings, and, 
from the best of my recollection, somewhat like Q. ipecuteri, 
(VieiUot) of South America.'-' 

The collection made recently by Dr. Dobson contained several 
specimens, both of males and females; the former iq' non-breeding 
plumage, which is very similar to that of the latter. Witti 
Mareca punctata, as described and figured by Gould, they agree 
very well, save that there is a small white patch surrounding the 
eye in all our specimens. Two of the specimens show an inci- 
pient stage towards the full breeding plumage (described below), 
scattered patches of bright ferruginous or chesnut appearing on 
the feathers of the breast and abdomen. 

As this bird has not been previously obtained in India, I give 
Mr. Gould's description in full (H. B. A., 365) :—■" The adult 
male in the spring of the year has the head and neck of a 
rich deep changeable bronzy-green ; the whole of the upper 
surface rich brown, narrowly margined with light reddish-brown ; 
all the under surface chesnut, with a round spot of black 
near the tip of each feather ; greater wing-coverts white, 
outer webs of the secondaries deep rich velvety -black, two or 
three of the central feathers margined with bronzy reflec- 
tions ; remainder of the wings brown ; tail dark-brown ; on 
either side of the vent a patch of white ; under tail-coverts 
black, freckled with tawny and white ; bill bluish-lead colour ; 
the nail and the edges of the upper mandible black, and the 
under mandible crossed near the tip by a band of reddish flesh- 
colour; irides hazel; feet lead colour, with the membranes of a 
somewhat darker hue. 

" The female, the male in winter, and the young male of the 
year, have the head and neck minutely striated with brown and 
buffy white ; all the under surface brown, with a blotch of black 
in the centre of each feather, and the upper surface wings and 
tail similarly marked, but less brilliant than in the male. 

" There appear to be two very distinct races of this bird, one of 
which is much larger than the other ; so great, in fact, is the 
difierence in this respect, in specimens from various parts of the 
country, that the idea presents itself of their being really distinct 
species. The smaller race inhabits Tasmania; the larger, the 
western and southern portion of Austraha." 

Measurements of Andaman birds : — 

$ Wing 7*5 ; tail 3-25; bill at front 1*5 ; tarse 1'3 inches. 
P ? „ 71; „ 3-1; „ „ 1-4; „ IS „ 

90 The Andamans and Nicobars. — V. Ball. 

126— (990).— Thalasseus Bengalensis, Zess. 

Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. S.B., Xr,p. 373. 

127— (991). — Onychoprion melanauchen,* T'.^mm. 

Andamans— T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, 1867,1?. 334; Ball,!. A. S. 
B., XXXIX, Ft. II, 1870, p. 248. 

Nicobars. — Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XV, p. 374 ; Pelz., Reise der Novara, 
Vogel, p. 154 ; Ball, J. A. S. B., XXXIX, Ft. II, 1870, p. 34. 

128— (992).— Onychoprion anosthaetus, Sco^p. 

Andamans. — Blyth, Moudt's App.,p. 363. 

129— (993). — Anous stoUdus, Linn. 

Andamans. — Blyth, Mouat's App., p. 363. 

130— (994). — Anous tenuirostris, Temm. 

Andamans.— T. and B., Ibis, N. 8., Ill, 1867, p. 334. 


131— (996).— Phaeton rubricauda, ^oc?<i.; P. cBthere- 
us. — JBl. 

Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XV, p. 374. 

132— (997).— Phaeton candidus, BHss. 

Andamans. — T. and B., Ibis, N. S., Ill, p. 334. 

133 — (1004).— Pelecanus Philippensis, Gmel. 

Nicobars.— Blyth, J. A. 8. B., XV, p. 374. 


* This species is certainly not congeneric with the next.— Ed. 

rapied imder the STiperiatendetice of Capt?J 'Waterliouse, Surrcyor General's Office, Calcut 

Cmitrllnttimts to tlje i:i:«itljcil0$| oi |nMa. Sindh, No. IL 

In the previous number I gave a very brief resume of the 
ornithological results of my trip to Sindh;, and an equally brief 
sketch of the more prominent physical features of the province. 

I omitted to notice that^, although I failed to secure specimens, 
I ascertained the occurrence^ as occasional and probably seasonal 
visitants to the hills dividing Sindh from Khelat^ of a jay, pre- 
sumably^, from the description I received, G. melanocephalus. 
Gene, and of a huge black wood-pecker, with a crimson head, 
which can scarcely be other than JDryocopus martius, Linn. 

To these, I have now to add Oriolus galbula, Linn., of which 
an undoubted specimen (wing all but 6 inches long, small bill, 
not a trace of black behind the eye) has been sent me from 
Sindh, since our last number appeared, by Mr, James, c. s. 

I have no doubt that the further investigation of the Avi- 
fauna of this province (which I have set on foot and which my 
present crude and imperfect notes are mainly intended to facili- 
tate) will result in the identification of numerous other western 
forms and confirm my view that, ornithologically at any rate, 
Sindh is more closely allied with Asia Minor, North- Western 
Arabia, and North-Eastern Africa, than with any other province 
of India, it having, as my friend Dr. Stoliczka^s recent valuable 
paper sufficiently shows, but little in common even with Cutch. 

I now propose in view to showing more clearly when, how, and 
under what circumstances the various species I shall have later 
to enumerate, were met with, to reproduce my rough diary of 
our jaunt which, though necessarily without the slightest j)re- 
tensions to literary merit, will, I hope, possess a certain interest 
alike for naturalists and sportsmen. 

The accompanying sketch map, for which I am indebted to the 
kindness of Colonel Thuillier, c.s.i., in which the tracts explored 
are colored pink, will show clearly what portions of the country 
covered in our tour were worked, as also, alas ! how much I was 
compelled to leave untouched. As a rule we had three guns out 
daily, at times six, divided into parties some miles apart ; and 
on two occasions. Dr. Day, the Inspector General of Fisheries, 
while inspecting fisheries and investigating the piscifauna of 
localities which I never managed to reach, collected vigorously 
for me, recording dates, sexes, and such likes particulars, as only 
a naturalist, himself in former days an ornithologist, could or 
would have done. 

92 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

It would be ungrateful in the extreme if I were to omit to 
acknowledge most prominently the great assistance and uniform 
kindness which I met with from Sir W. Merewether, k.c.s.i., 
C.B., &c. &c., the de facto Governor of the province, as well as 
from Capt. Loch, Mr. Watson, Mr. James, c. s., Capts. Giles, 
Stiffe, and Bishop, Mr. Cole and Mr. Walton. Without the 
invaluable aid of these gentlemen, in particular, both my com- 
panion. Dr. Day, and myself would have had but sorry accounts 
to render of our respective explorations. 

We started from Jhelum, a well known town in the Punjaub, 
situated on the banks of the river of the same name, on the 
afternoon of the 20th November. We had a couple of large 
fiat-bottomed boats, with cabins, kitchens, &c., built on them, 
and in these boats we were, aided by a little rowing, to float 
down to Kusmore, the northernmost point of Sindh. Attached 
to the larger boats, our floating houses, we had two or three 
small row and gun-boats for shooting. 

As we did not finally weigh anchor until 3 o^clock, we only got 
down about 20 miles by midnight, when we halted. We saw a 
few geese {A. indictis) and many cranes (G. cinerea), a few Brah- 
minies [Casarca rtUila), a couple of green shanks, and two or 
three of Temminck^s stint. Killed four cranes, a long shot, be- 
sides a Brahminy. I scarcely ever remember to have seen any 
large Indian river such an entire blank. Noticed four or five 
of the common cormorant near the Jhelum bridge. 

'^\st. — Early in the morning I landed, and prowled about in the 
hills which border the Jhelum here, about five miles north of 
Julalpoor, I saw several Oorial (Ovis vigneij, but none within 300 
yards. The ravines abounded with Ammomanes liisitania, and 
the Seesee, (A. bonhami), and these, with. Saxicola picata, Tham- 
nobia cambayensis, and Otocompsa leticotis, appeared to be their 
sole inhabitants. Between the hills and the river in the low 
comparatively rich alluvial flat, in which the ber tree, 
{Z.jujtiba) was common, and covered with small unripe fruit, 
Palaornis eupatria (alexandri) was met with in small flocks. 
Brachypternus aurmotius was also seen, and a single specimen 
of Ficus scindeanus. I procured several of these birds, 
a few miles lower down at Julalpoor, some two years 
ago. We did not get ofi^ till near 2 o^clock. The wind was 
against us and we only made some ten miles by evening, halting 
near Abdoolapoor. We saw vast immbers of cranes and a few 
geese and Brahminies, but everything was very shy, and I only 
shot a couple of cranes, four geese (Anser indicus) a Brahminy 
and a female mallard, the only one, in fact the only true duck 
of any kind we saw. We saw a few Seena mirantia and Sterna 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, SfC, 93 

javanica. One or two Ceryle rudis, several pairs of Haliceetus 
leucoryplms, and one pair of Halifeetus albicilla. Shortly after 
leaving- Jhelum, low liills^ not exceeding- 2^500 feet in height^ begin 
to appear on the rig-ht bank of the river. The first and most con- 
spicuous that comes in view is Jogitilla (used as a kind of sani- 
tarium by the residents of Jhelum) being the north-east extre- 
mity of the salt range and one of its highest points. 
Throughout the day we had the eastern flanks of the salt range 
bordering the right bank of the river. 

'i'ind. — Started early and got into Pindadhun Khan, about 4 
o^clock in the afternoon. En route saw a few terns and one 
pretty large party of lih.ynchojis albicoUis, the only ones yet seen. 
No geese, but numbers of mallard, of which I got sixteen. These 
were the only ducks seen, but we saw several parties of cranes, of 
which I got eight, to the great delight of our people. The boat- 
men have verily maws like crocodiles. Each man will eat a 
whole crane to his own cheek. Of a couple of fat mallards they 
think nothing. Luckily most of the birds knocked over yester- 
day and today had enough life left in them to permit of having 
their throats cut " in the name of God" before they died, 
without which ceremony the Mahomedans of our party (and all 
the boatmen, 20 in number, are Mussulmans) would not of course 
have eaten them. 

Geese, crane, and mallard, shy and wild as they are as a rule 
inland, are easily killed on all our larger rivers. During the 
hotter parts of the day, they are generally found in larger or 
smaller parties, dozing in the sun, on some sandbank, at the 
water^s edge, or in the case of the cranes, standing asleep in the 
water near some such bank. Directly such a party is sighted, you 
take a small boat, with a couple of sharp men, and row or punt 
noiselessly down to within two or three hundred yards, when if 
the water intervening is shallow enough to allow it, (and the 
boatmen seem to know this by instinct) one man gets quietly 
out of the boat behind, and while those in the boat lie down out 
of sight, he, stooping so as to be entirely concealed by the boat, 
pushes it down gently and noiselessly, aided by the stream, 
towards the flock. In this way \ou may approach, if all is well 
managed, to witliin twenty yards of even cranes. You make some 
•arrangement at the bows (I had a false gunwale screwed on 
with suitable holes pierced in it) so as to admit of peeping 
and shooting, without raising your head into view, and when 
you get to what you consider the right distance, knock 
over as many you can sitting with the first shot, and as 
many more as you have time for, before they get out of 
shot;, after they rise. Everything depends on judging rightly 

94 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, Sfc. 

the distance for the first shot, with reference to yovir bore and 
charge. A little too far, you wound a score, without perhaps 
bag-ging* one ; a little too near, and you kill one or two out- 
right, and though you perhaps get two or three more as they 
rise, that is all ; but if you use a good heavy duck gun, say No. 
8 bore, with two ounces of A A, and fire at about 50 yards, you 
will rarely get less than eight out of a good large flock of geese 
(and I have got as many as sixteen) with the first shot, besides 
a brace or so more, with green cartridge, as they rise. 

The whole of our eight cranes were out of one party of about 
forty. Four fell dead at the first shot, another pair I dropped 
right and left, and two others whose wings were broken by the 
first shot were soon hunted down, though the men had a tremen- 
dous run for it on the sandbank, and the birds in both cases 
finally took to the water and swam well, fighting us desperately 
when we came up with them in the water. 

The mallard keep in small parties of from three to six, and as 
a rule do not sit close enough to allow of more than two 
being killed at" the first shot, while they rise so rapidly that one 
rarely gets more than a single bird after the first shot. 

At Pindadhun Khan we landed, and slept in tents which had 
been kindly pitched for us by friends. 

2Srd. — 'We rode up very early to Kewrah, where I had to 
inspect the Mayo mines, some of the most splendid salt mines 
in the world, to which in the previous hot season, I had, with 
his permission, given the name of our late lamented Viceroy, 
who was the first Grovernor General who had ever visited them. 

A cynic once remarked, when taxed with some foible, that 
it was necessary to leave something for malice and folly to carp 
at, and surely dear Lord Mayor's foibles must have been few and 
far between when malice and folly found nothing better to re- 
proach him with than that he was a " galloping Viceroy." Of 
all the senseless howls ever raised against a great and good man 
this was perhaps the most absurd. Lord Mayo did his " gallop- 
ing," as it was called, on fixed principles and under a strong 
sense of duty. He desired of all things to fit himself for form- 
ing an independent oj)inion on all important subjects and spe- 
cially on that of the comparative abilities and capacities of all 
offieials. He wanted to see all places and things in regard to 
which important questions had arisen, or were likely to arise, with 
his own eyes, and he wanted specially to see and judge of all ofii- 
cials in their own districts and jurisdictions, and to hear, as he 
could only hear in private personal intercourse^, their opinions on all 
those subjects, which circumstances liad given them opportunities 
of thoroughly studying. The Government had no money to 

Contributions to tlie Ornithology of India y Sj'C. 95 

waste on stately progresses with vast camps, such as Governor- 
Generals had formerly indulged in. He wanted to visit places 
and inspect parts of the country which no rail or even metalled 
road had opened out ; and he had, moreover, no time to waste 
dawdling along ten or fifteen miles a day with an army of fol- 
lowers ; and so, with a small personal staff of half a dozen officers, 
he rode his forty to seventy miles a day, the only way in which he 
could do what he believed to be his duty (God having gifted him 
with the necessary physical powers) and do it at the same time 
quickly and at the least cost to the nation. If the public could 
have even partially realized the noble motive, (the noblest of all 
motives, that of qualifying himself to do thoroughly that work 
which his '' strong and kindly hand which has ceased, alas, to 
labour and to give " found to do) that spurred him on to disre- 
gard discomfort and fatigue, they would, perhaps, instead of 
cavilling, have honoured him no less for his " galloping" habits 
than for his many other noble attributes. 

I am not going to describe these famous mines — vast sparkling 
halls and corridors, many miles in length, hewn out of the living 
rosy crystal ; I leave to the geologists those mighty caves carved 
in seams of chemically-pure salt, glittering, translucent, rainbow 
hued, seventy feet in thickness, with their weird pools, opaline 
stalactites, and altogether unearthly glories ; quant a nous, reve- 
nons a nos oiseaux. 

Throughout the bare and wondrous coloured hills and hillocks 
which surround the mines, hills in which red and green marls 
glare out in fiercest tints, above beds of snowy gypsum, from a 
back-ground in which lilac, purple, and wondrous shades of grey 
and brown are intermingled with a grace that mocks the skill 
of human artists, — hills grim and stony amidst all their gor- 
geur — the modest-tinted Isabelline lark (A. lusitania) and the 
no less soberly-arrayed Seesee swarmed, while over-head the 
terror of these harmless little partridges, quick to spy , and 
sudden and cruel to strike, soared and swooped Bonelli^s eagle. 
I counted no less than five pairs, all of whom, as we were told, had 
their eyries in the neighlDourhood. Of the common Punjaub 
raven [Corvus Lanrencei nobis) we saw numbers, one pair already 
busy repairing an old nest in a dense acacia tree. Slept at the 

'iiUli. — Rode down back to Pindadhun Kb an, shooting a very 
fine A. fulvescens en route. Embarked about 12 o^clock. Saw 
a few geese and killed three ; a good number of green shank, a 
very few terns, a good many mallard, of which I killed fourteen, 
and a few other ducks, probably Gadwall, as one of them which 
I shot as they flew overhead at an immense height turned out 

96 Contrlhidlons to the Omithology of India, Sfc. 

to l)e of this species. A few cranes^ but none within shot. 
We iilso saw one or two Ceri/le ntdls, and in the evening-, as we 
were out rowing-, a party of about 20 Seena mirantla passed us. 
I also saw two or three pairs of Brahmiuies, and two or three 
^vasS\.^2iX\AQ^ oi.jEijialith cuTonicas and cantianus, hut SiS a, rule 
the river was terribly bare. 

251/1. — We reached Boogga, half way to Shahpoor, about 2 
o'clock this morning. Before starting" again, I walked out along 
the banks where the loose sand was sparsely clad with stunted 
tamarisk bushes. In the bare spaces between these latter, I 
met with several small parties of the little sand lark which 
I have previously christened Alaudida Adamsi. These larks were 
rather wary, and we only obtained a single Specimen : they run 
rapidly along the ground and squatting suddenly in some little 
hollow, become entirely invisible as they are exactly concolorous 
with the sand. They then creep or run ijnobserved along the 
g-round and fly up at a considerable distance out of shot. The 
whole party rise together and mount a considerable height in 
the air. These are scarcely the habits of the Alaudula raytal 
of the valley of the Ganges. 

.Restlessly creeping* sideways up the tamarisk bushes, showing 
themselves for one instant on the top of a stem, their breasts 
gleaming white in the morning sunlight, and their long 
tails cocked up over their backs like Cetti's warbler, I 
noticed and obtained several specimens of Biirnesia gracilis. 
In their general movements they closely resemble, as might 
be expected, the Prinias and Suyas, but they have a mode of 
doubling back their tails over their heads which I have not noticed 
in either of these genera. A few pairs of Saxicola deserti, 
atrogularis, Bl. and (Edicnemus indicus were the only other inhabi- 
tants of the tamarisk jungle; but on a poplar-shaped babool tree 
in one of the fields that skirt the waste, I shot a huge dark 
fulvescens. We got off about half-past 9 o'clock. During- the 
day I saw and shot the only Emeus recurvirostris I have yet 
met with. As a rule I think these birds chiefly affect those parts 
of our rivers in which the banks are more or less rocky or stony, 
or in which there are stony shoals. I saw a single cormorant, also 
a bird which seems to prefer the vicinity of stones. 

In the Chumbal, for instance, and those portions of the Jumna 
immediately below its junction with the Chumbal, which are 
more or less rocliy or have rocky shoals, hundreds of both these 
species would be met with in a third of the distance we have 
here travelled, as also of Hoplopterus malaharicus, of which as 
yet I have seen none. Cranes abundant as usual. Killed three. 
The Demoiselle crane is not known, it seems^ to the boatmen, and 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 97 

as a rule, I believe, this species prefers tanks and swamps to rivers. 
Hitherto, all the geese we have seen have been with one excep- 
tion A. indicits, but towards evening-, we came upon a huge flock 
(out of which I obtained eight,) containing a large admixture of 
A. cinereus. One of these latter weighed 8 lbs. I saw several 
large parties of mallard and bagged twelve. Also two small parties 
of the common teal of which I shot nine, but saw no other ducks 
excepting Brahminies. A few Sterna javanica and Seen'i aur- 
antia. We have not seen a single gull since we started, thou<i'h 
a single Larus ridihundiis was shot at the Jhelum bridge the day 
before we arrived. Exactly at this time of year at Fazilka, on 
the Sutlej, I once shot two, and saw several Larus icMhyatus. 

'•IWi. — En route to Jung. Before starting, saw a few Alaudula 
Adamsi (nobis) on the sands, and a number of Brymoipus lotigi- X' 
eaudatus in the scanty fields. Along the river innumerable cranes, 
of which we killed six, and might have obtained many more. 
A few mallard were seen and killed, and also a few teal ; a party 
oi Nwnenius lineatus feeding at the water's edge; and in one 
place we came upon a huge collection of green shanks and the 
lesser red shanks, almost all asleep on one leg at the water's edge; 
and with them were associated a number of stilts {K. intermedins, 
Bl.,) while a very few terns, 8. javanica, were dotted about in 
amongst them. There were probably between three and four hun- 
dred birds sitting almost as closely as they could pack. Later in 
the day we came upon other parties of mallard, of which we got 
thirteen, and a huge flock of geese, of which I got seven, one of 
which proved to be Anser cinereus. I notice, as I often have before, 
that the larger birds of this species have the lower surface much 
mottled with large black patches. The whistle of our Indian 
curlew does not strike one as nearly so loud, round, or full, as 
that of our well-known English birds. In England where the 
wild geese are so wary, it seems odd enough that these birds 
should have been selected as types of stupidity, but here they 
are the tamest of all waterfowl. Flocks which during the night 
feed in the fields, sit all day on sandbanks by the water's edge, 
and allow a boat to drift almost on to them before they move. 
When still about a hundred yards off, the flock is seen to be group- 
ed in a dense mass, fully half are asleep, a few are standing at 
the water's edge drinking slowly, raising the head at each gulp, 
and the rest are standing gazing listlessly about ; as the boat 
approaches, a general low cackling takes place, a good manv of 
the sleepers get up and begin to look about, and a few of those 
already on their legs begin to waddle away from the water's 
edge. As you approach nearer, all begin to walk slowly away, and 
as a rule, if you persist in coming within twenty yards, and 

98 Contributions to the OrnitTiology of India, ^c. 

coming on quicker than they can walk, they rise and fly, or if 
you stand up in the boat or make any sudden noise, they will 
equally take the wing-; but if you drift quietly down on them, 
they will let you come within twenty or thirty yards with- 
out quitting- the bank. The first gun fired, the din that rises 
from a flock of 300 or 400, (and that I fired into this evening, 
I carefully counted and estimated, glass in hand, as we ap- 
proached, to contain fully double the latter number,) is incredi- 
ble ; their cries mingled with the flappings of their wings, render 
it impossible to make one^s-self heard for a brief space until they 
get well on the wing. Then they will circle round and round 
over head whilst the dead are being picked up, and the winged, 
which always take the water, swim well, and dive fairly, are 
being hunted down, uttering the most clamorous cries, not unfre- 
quently returning within shot. 

In a j heel (or large pond) a man who knows what he is about, 
by moving backwards and forwards slowly, can walk a flock of 
Anser cinereus before him up to aiiy point he pleases, where 
some hidden comrade awaits their advent. The Indian goose, 
A. indicus, is not so tame. As a rule, I think the latter bird 
prefers rivers, the former swamps and lakes, though you will 
generally find some of both species, both in rivers and lakes. No 
one who has not shot a good deal in the rivers of Upper India 
can realize the myriads of geese that yearly visit us : those seen 
in swamps form but a small proportion of the total, and are 
chiefly A. cinereus. This latter goes far north to breed, but 
wounded and captured birds, that I have kept and tamed, have 
laid eggs freely, though these never hatched. A. indicus, on the 
other hand, breeds in the Tso Mourari, and other Thibetan lakes, 
and does not, so far as I know, cross the Koen Luen ; but they 
are far more difficult to tame ; and in fact I have never known 
of one being kept through the hot season in captivity, whereas 
the grey lag tames at once and lives for years in the poultry 
yard, apparently suffering little from the heat. 

'^Ith. — The little Alaudnla Adamsi on the banks as usual. 
Soon after starting, saw three birds on a sandbank in the river 
which looked like grey lag geese, but seemed too small. Worked 
the boat up carefully to within fifty yards ; as they were rising, 
knocked down two with the right barrel. No. 3 loose, and the 
third with a No. 2 green cartridge. Before I could load again, one 
of the first two flapped away, and rose heavily, flying away about 
half a mile, where it appeared to sink into a bare field, and Jay 
with its wings outspread and head down. I thought it was 
dead — sent a boatman to pick it up ; he got within a few yards of 
it when it rose and flew away out of sight. Marked the direc- 

Confrihitions to the Ornithology of India, Sj-c. 99 

tiori^ and after an hour's search found it in a side-arm of the 
river. Worked cautiously up to it^ but it rose out of shot and 
flew off, never rising above ten feet from the g-round. Marked 
tlie direction, crossed the river and found it walking- about slow- 
ly on some sand hills. Crept on my hands and knees to within 
about eig-hty yards, beyond which there was not an inch of cover. 
Could not g-et nearer ; fired a BB green cartridge ; cut the sand up 
all round him, but did no damage. He rose and flew a good 
mile, but I ran up to the top of a sand hill, and with the binocu- 
lars marked by three trees the precise spot at which he lighted. 
My people who were tired of plodding over loose sand, (it was 
getting very hot, being midday,) declared he went away 
altogether ; persisted and went to the spot, goose not to be 
seen. When we got to the precise spot, I said " well, I am positive 
he lit here," and turned to go back, when suddenly he jumped 
up not five yards from me from under a little overhanging sand 
crest. I let him get thirty yards and rolled him over. 

These three geese were Anser erythropns, Lin. nee. Gmelin, 
(the A. alhifrons, Gm., of Dr. Jerdon's work) the first 1 have ever 
shot or seen alive in India in my life, though I have received 
specimens from Oudh. From the latter locality I have also 
obtained A. minutus, Naum. I once shot a pair of A. hrachi/rhynchus, 
Baill., in the Jumna, in the Etawah district, but all these three 
species are very rare, so far as my experience goes, in India. 

Saw plenty of mallard (killed sixteen) and lots of cranes and 
barfronted geese, A. indictts, of each of which I killed several for 
the boatmen, and might have killed a dozen, also four teal 
(Q. crecea) of which I got two. 

Towards evening* I came across a large part}^ of Totamis 
fuscus. Killed eight with a single barrel. No. 4 shot. Yesterday, 
by a similar shot, I killed six green shanks and one T. calidris. 

Just as sun set, a fine male Circus cyaneus which can always 
be distinguished even on the wing by its blue throat and upper 
breast, passed close by me. 

Looking at the grey lag geese shot yesterday, I may note, 
that Jerdon (probably quoting some English author) gives the 
weight at from 9 to 12 lbs. Now I have certainly weighed more 
thiin a hundred birds, and I have never met with one single bird 
that weighed quite 9 lbs. Very fine males weigh 8 to 8^, and 
females, 6 lbs. If the European bird really ever weighs 12 lbs., 
it must be a considerably larger bird, for ours feeding on the 
gram and other grain and lentil fields, are as fat and plump as it 
is possible to be, huge layers of fat underlying* the skin and 
rendering the proper preservation of specimens a most laborious 

100 Contrihutions to the Ornithology of India, SfC. 

The bill and feet vary much in colonrj sometimes both are a 
pale dirty pink;, at others the bill will be a livid purplish red^ 
and the feet a pale cream colour^ barely ting-ed with pink. The 
plumage, too, varies a good deal. In some which I take to be 
the young, the lower breast, and the whole abdomen to vent, are 
pure white ; in many they are strongly tinged with sandy or 
orange, in others very thickly and consjDicuously mottled with 
brownish black. The head and neck vary from pale asliy or 
earthy brown, to dark clove brown ; in most there is a mingled 
white and orange patch on the forehead. In some there is a 
similar spot at the base of the upper mandible, on each side, just 
above the gape. Often in birds killed just before they leave 
us in March or April, most of the feathers of the head and 
cheeks are obscurely tipped with orange, and traces of this are 
seen on the whole neck. Does this indicate an undescribed 
breeding plumage, or do our birds differ from the European ? 
I note that most of our birds have a tiny patch of white on the 
centre of the chin and that the i rides are dark brown. 

Tetanus fuscus swims well, not merely v/hen wounded, but at 
times from choice. I once came upon a large flock, all busy 
swimming in a deep railway excavation full of water, in the 
Etawah district, and shot about a dozen with two barrels, think- 
ing they must be some bird new to me ; one that I wounded to- 
night swam down the river, nearly a mile, before we could come 
u]3 with it. 

28^/i. — Soon after starting, came upon a small party of mal- 
lard and shot four, then a pair of Anas pmJcilorhpicha, the grey 
duck, and bagged both right and left ; then another pair of this 
latter species (of which I had previously seen only one other 
pair since starting) came flying a tremendous pace up the river ; 
they passed at about eighty yards distance, but a green cartridge 
dropped both^ a most astounding fluke ! I notice that 
in the grey duck, the gurumpai of native sportsmen, the 
feet of the female are always a dull tile red, while those of 
the male are the most intense coral red I have ever seen. 
The yellow and red patches on the bill are also duller 
coloured in the female, and she has much less white on the 
tertiaries : she is also somewhat smaller. 

Heretofore, since leaving Jhelum, the banks have always been 
low, rarely rising- even ten feet out of tiie water ; but this morning 
on our right, for some miles in length, the banks rose precipitously 
some forty or fifty feet high, earthen and sandy cliffs, amongst 
the debris of which I noticed several Saxicoline birds. Landed 
and succeeded in shooting one, (they were remarkably wary) 
which proved to be my new . Saxicola Kingi (described in Ibis, 

Contfihttions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 101 

January 1871, p. 29). I am strong-ly inclined to believe that this 
is the species represented in Burnes's drawings, and which 
Blyth identified with Cercomela melamcra, from, which of course, 
now we have the bird, it proves wholly different. 

Since leaving- Jhelum, we have daily seen one or two of the 
Punjaub raven flying- over the river, but they never seem to 
come down to the water's edge or sit upon the banks. 

Later in the day I came upon four female smews, of which I 
shot one. These birds are rare in most places in the North- 
West Provinces, but every cold season larg-e flocks are to be met 
with at the Nujjufg-urh Jheel. Killed three cranes and seven 
g-eese. Might have killed many more, but all the boatmen and 
rest of the party had g-ot as many as they could eat. Also saw 
two grey curlews which I shot. Came upon a huge party of 
mallard in which there was one male Fidigula rujlna, which I 
picked out and shot as they rose. 

One curious thing occurred. The left banks, for a couple 
of miles, are fringed with a dense sheeshum plantation. When 
passing opposite this, the boatmen picked up a tiny dead bird, 
water-logged, a mere rag. I could not make it out, so had it 
most carefully dried. It became a very fair specimen aiid 
turns out to be P. nitida, Latham, freshly moulted, very brightly 
coloured, and easily to be mistaken for trochilus, with which I 
at first wrongly identified it. 

%%tJi. — We hoped last night to reach the confluence of the 
Jhelum and the Chenab, but had to pull up about 10 p. m., 
some miles north of it, as although it was full moon, the water 
was so low, and the river so full of trees and stumps, that we 
kept sticking and striking every ten minutes. 

Soon after starting this morning, I saw a solitary duck, which 
I dropped as she rose, an extraordinarily long shot, of course 
with green cartridge (No. 1.) It proved to be a female Fuligula 
rufina. Then shot a pair of curlews, and soon after, from close 
under the bank where they had escaped unnoticed, out sprung a 
brace of grey duck, which I brought to book right and left. 
One, however, was only winged, and swimming and diving, he 
led us a great chase, till, fairly tired out, I gave him another 
shot. Both were males. This species both flies, swims, and dives 
more briskly than the mallard. Later I came upon a party of 
Brahminies. Killed three sitting, and dropped a fourth, a long fly- 
ing shot. I say killed three, but one was only, kilt entirely, and 
he led us a chase in the water, diving backwards and forwards, till 
I was almost induced to fire at him again ; however, at last he 
rose within about fifteen feet, and I was lucky enough to knock 
him on the head with the last paddle (I had thrown two others 

102 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc, 

at him, which had disappeared down stream, but which we 
ultimately picked up,) which I skimmed at him. 

Later a hug-e flock of g-eese, all swimming" in the river, show- 
ing- that they had been disturbed. They rose at, I g-uess, about 
90 yards ; but my long- No. 8 bore g-un, with green BB car- 
tridg-e, fetched three of them, and one misguided bird flyiug 
straight at us, instead of beating a retreat with the rest, rolled 
over with a loose charge of No. 8. Afterwards I got within 
40 yards of three grey duck, they rose, two flying abreast passed 
within 20 yards, flyiug low and slow, and I missed them, while 
the third which went right away fell dead, at over 60 yards to a 
green No. 3. 

A party of five mallard, amongst a huge flock of T. fuscus 
and calidru ; I knocked over two mallards just as they rose and 
a third in the air. Of the two first, one rose again and flew half 
a mile, dropping dead in the river. The other t\vo both scrambled 
into the water, and the usual chase succeeded, one especially 
diving backwards and forwards under the boat in a manner more 
surprising' than satisfactorji-, with a boat not too easy to pull, 
and a stream running some six miles an hour. Ultimately both 
were secured without firing. I saw two or three Esaciis recur- 
virostris, and perhaps half a dozen black-bellied terns in the 
whole day. In the Jumna we should have seen at least fifty of 
these, S. aurantia, S. minnta, and Rhynchops alhicollis in the thirty 
odd miles of river we have come. We halted at Asoowallah, 35 
cos, (? about 53 miles) from Mooltan. 

30;^/^. — ^We halted last night about ten miles above the junC'^ 
tion of the Ravee, and started again about 4 A. M. About 8 
o^clock, I saw a small hawk perched on a tiny bush close to the 
bank. I landed and shot it when it proved to be an adult male 
merlin, the first 1 have yet shot or seen this trip. In the far 
North-West, this species is common in the cold weather, and I 
have had them sent me from near Umritsur and from the Sirsa 
district, but have never met with them further East. The day 
gave nothing to record. I saw great numbers of grey duck 
(bagged sixteen,) of Brahminies (bagged four,) of mallard 
(bagged four,) one teal, which I shot, two pair of Spatula clypeata, 
the first I have seen on these rivers, and innumerable geese and 
cranes of which I bagged a dozen ; green and red shanks, and 
grey curlews, numerous ; several Esacus recurvirostris. On the 
babool trees, on the banks on which I daily wandered for some 
miles, Sylvia curriica or affinis, vide infra, was very abundant, 
while Pratincola caprata and indica twittered and flittered 
about every dwarf shrub. Two or three pairs of H. leucoryphus 
were seen in a 30 miles pull. On the Jumna, wounded or 

Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, Sfc. 103 

dead g-eese and fowl floating- in the river were never safe for an 
instant from the swoops of these birds, and we had always to 
keep a rifle loaded to guard our spoils by a warning- bullet ; 
nay, despite bullets, they would sweep off a goose before one^s 
face with the utmost audacity. Here they are few in numbers, 
and the struggle for existence is apparently not so keen. Certain- 
it is that during the last ten days I have had at least fifty fowl 
floating in the river under circumstances that would in either 
the Jumna, Chumbal, or Ganges have ensured the loss of at 
least half, without a single swoop having been made at them. 
Kingfishers are very scarce. I saw one Halcyon smyrnensis at 
Pindadhun Khan on the banks of the Jhelum, and of Ceryle 
rudis, I may have seen a dozen pairs altogether, and one family 
of five, since starting. 

I found a large party of Gyps fidvescens, nobis, devouring a- 
dead bullock on the banks of the river. It is useless any one 
saying that these are only the young of fulvus. Here was a 
party of fifty, all the same rich rufous tint. This month they 
will lay, and the young birds that one shoots in April and 
March, in fact before the first moult, are pale whitey brown. 
It is not until after the first moult, that they get the rich fulves- 
eent hue that characterizes the species, and the older the bird 
(I judge by bones, bill, and claws) the richer the tint. That 
the species is distinct from fulvus of Europe, appears to me 

\st Decemler. — "Walked along the banks ; shot a F. jugger 
which as it passed rapidly I took for a Salter. Also a Pernis 
eristata ; Saxicola, both isahellina, Kiipp., and deserti common, 
CoraciQs indica, Buchanga alhinctus, numbers of Alaudula Adam- 
si. I also obtained one specimen of the little Phjllopseuste that I 
described in the Ibis, under the name of neglecta, and which 
I originally received with other birds collected in Bhawulpoor 
by my friend Captain C. Marshall. It was flitting about in the 
babool trees with a lot of the lesser white throat, to which in 
manners it seemed closely to approximate. No geese seen today 
and only a few cranes ; but grey curlew very numerous, and 
several parties of mallards, and grey duck, of each of which I 
secured about a dozen. 

Since leaving Pindadhun Khan, I had repeatedly watched 
numbers of sand-martins flitting about the banks or skimming 
over the water catching gnats. To-day I again, as I had done 
on several previous days, shot a pair, hoping that they might be 
the European species (which I have never yet seen in India) 
said by Adams to be common on these rivers. They proved, 
however, to be (?. sinensis. Tarsi, entirely bare; wings, 3-7, 

104 Contributions to the Ondtkology of India, 8fe; 

very pale on the rumps. This and suhsoccata (which appfear^- 
to me to be a very doubtful species) are the only true sand- 
martins 1 have yet procured in India. 

The almost entire absence of the small plovers on these rivers^ 
surprises me. Of the larg-e Esacus recurvirostris , I saw two 
parties today^ one of about seven^ the other of at least ten birds, 
but they have hitherto been rare^ and of Hoplopierns malahari- 
CHS, so very abundant on the Jumna and Ganges in the North- 
West Provinces, I have not yet seen a sing-le specimen. 

'ind. — Reached Shere Shah, the port (if 1 may \ise the phrase) 
of Mooltan, early in the morning-. Onty one train goes in daily, 
so drove into Mooltan 14 miles. En route noticed two Saxicola 
Kingi, always distinguishable by the rufous tail, in the fallow 

?)rd and ^fJi. — Hemained at Mooltan. Yisited the fort and the 
shrines of Rookun Alum and Bhawul Huq. The latter wa& 
rebuilt by us after the siege of Mooltan which followed on the 
murder of Vans Agnew and Anderson, by Moolraj. It had been, 
selected by Moolraj as a magazine ; a chance shell of ours blew 
it up, and this so discouraged the enemy, who thought it a proof 
of our excellence in gunnery, that the siege was virtually over 
from that time. As Moolraj and party, the offenders, were Sikhs, 
while the shrine was a Mahomedan one, we rebuilt it. Neither 
possesses any architectural merits, but the Rookun Alum is plenti- 
fully adorned with highly glazed encaustic tiles and slabs, 
which have, ever since the thirteenth centmy, been much in use 
by the Mahoraedans west of the Jumna. 

hth. — Returned to Shere Shah early by rail, and embarked, 
killing a beautiful pair of Chiqnera ti/pus, Bp. About ten miles 
down passed the steamer that started on the 3rd. Presently this 
caught us up again. Then later it stuck again and we passed 
it. The consequence of this was that nothing was to be shot. 
The steamer groaned and grunted like a legion of devil-possess- 
ed swine, while the waves generated by the paddles kept the 
banks falling for a quarter of an hour after the vessel had passed, 
each little bit of bank coming down with a crack like a musket, 
so with Yerj hard work all I got was one Brahminy, three 
mallard, three grey duck, and a brace of shovellers. I made one 
curious shot. Five green shanks were sitting on a point ; one of my 
barrels had missed fire — as they rose I fired at them and knocked 
all five down, and that although the first and last must have 
been two j^ards apart and flying across me at about 45 yards. I 
saw thiee Ardea cinerea, and I may mention that I had previously 
seen single individuals, on several occasions, since leaving Jhelum. 
Also saw several grey curlew and shot one. 

Coiitrihutions to the Ornitliology of India, ^"c. 105 

^tk. — Early in the morning' the steamer passed us ag-ain. 
There was no doing- anything- in her neig'hhourhood, so I pulled 
up at a thicket on the bank^ and in this shot a Sylvia civcrea, ^ Jj. 
Burnesia gracilis, Phyllopseiiste neglecta, and a female Ruiicilla,' .'^i- 
which struck me as too olivaceous for rujiveniris, but which 
turned out to be merely a freshly-moulted specimen. Just out- 
side I g-ot a shrike^ L. arenari'us, and two or three Alaudida 
Adamsi. Starting* an hour later, when the steamer was out of 
sig-ht and hearing, I saw several grey curlews, and a party of 
cormorants. I saw numbers of mallard, several grey duck, and 
a few brace of teal, but the}^ were all so wild that 1 bagged only 
eighteen altogether. Green shanks very numerous. I saw atlejist 
a dozen flocks of from twenty to fifty ench, besides innumerable 
singlebirds and pairs. Six gigantic herons baffled all my endea- 
vours to g'et within shot. They were fully twice as large as the 
•common heron, some of which were near them ; 1 twice got within 
350 yards and examined them closely with binoculars. Once they 
were near a pair of cranes, and though less bulky and diflJerently 
built birds, they seemed very nearlj^, if not quite, as tall. They 

• had a great deal of rufous about the neck. Could they have been 
Ardea golia/i ? They were manifest herons at any rate, and 

• fully twice the size of Ardea cinerea. Since leaving' Mooltau, we 
have seen very few cranes and until this evening no geese. 

. This is due partly to the weekly steamers, but chiefly to the 
poverty of the cultivation on both banks. Geese, especially, 
rarely frequent rivers in India, unless there are good fields for '- 
them to feed on in the neighbourhood. About 10 p. M., we reached 
Kujil Meanee, the customs post, about seven miles above the 
confluence of the Chenab and the Sutlej. 

Itk. — Walked on the banks and worked inland for several 
miles, the young wheat springing up through huge clods, _ >':; ^ 
which in other places were festooned with the feathery leaves ' ■' 
.of the gram, which has not yet begun to put out its peach- 
coloured and purple blooms. In amongst this Agrodroma canipes- . - 
tris and Galerita crisfata were plentiful. On the little babool 
bushes that spring up every here and there, Pratincola indica, ; ;^- 
(or Tubicola, take your choice !)"^ flitted and fluttered, restless ;"; 
as usual, while sometimes on the higher clods, and some- \ 
times on some bush, Saxicola deserti and isabelliria were sun- 
ning themselves. On the larg-er babool trees Sylvia orjjhea, 
Phyllopseusfe tristis, CoUyrio, (Lanius apud Auct) erytJironotus, 
and Coracias indica were noticed ; a single pair of mainas, 
A. tristis, were all I saw. They seem rare about here. Along 
the sand dunes, Alaudida Adamsi, as usual, swurmed, here 
and there in pairs^ hui generally, in little flocks ; upon the 

106 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

tarnai'isk bushes^, Btirnesia gracilis and Brymoipiis longicaudatus, 
crept up and down the stems. A kestrel passed and was secured, 
and a pair of small falcons dashed by, of which I shot the male, 
which proved to be Chiqnera typus (Bon.) Sport on the river 
worse and worse ; very few geese, ducks, or cranes, and every 
thing- so wild that no amount of care enabled one to work up 
to them — the day being cold and cloudy of course made the 
fowl more restless, and I only succeeded in bagging three grey- 
duck. I saw ten black storks (M. nigra) in company with one 
adjutant {L., argala, Lath, duhiiis, Gm.^ Twice I got within 150 
yards, and watched them closely with binoculars, but could not 
get a sliot. This is a rare species in most parts of India. I have 
it from the Dhoon, the Peshawur valley, and Raipoor, and I 
once shot it myself in the Meerut district. 

'^riie day we left Mooltan I saw a huge flock of white 
birds in the distance which I could not make out. Today 
J saw another sucli flock which proved to be spoon-bills. 
Each flock must have consisted of many thousand birds. 
The river here, after the junction with the Sutlej, is very 
large, with numerous arms and many square miles of mud- 
flats. I worked all day amongst these and saw positively 
nothing, — no sandpipers, no little plovers,, no gulls, no skim- 
mers, only a few black-bellied terns. 

'6th. — For about fifteen miles after the junction with the Sutlej, 
the river was more absolutely bare than I have yet seen it. 
I hunted the banks and creeks for miles and saw absolutely 
nothing but one Haliceetns leucoryphns, (macei, Cuv, apud Gray 
and Jerdon) a pair of //. albicilla, a pair of green shank, 
a couple of black -bellied terns, three Kentish plovers, and a 
few herons. Such an absolute desert I never came across, 
and what the reason of such absence of bird-life was, I am 
at a loss to discover. Further on, I first came across three 
Pelicanus crispus, and near them a small party of black stork, 
but all were too wary to allow of my securing a specimen. 
Lower down again I saw three Haliastur iudiis, the first we have 
met with since leaving Jhelum, and then we came upon an enor- 
mous flock of spoon-bill, containing', I suppose, ten thousand in- 
dividuals ; half a mile off a huge herd of black stork n(jt less than 
five hundred, and again about a mile lower down, a mass of geese. 
1 noticed a couple of pairs of Punjaub raven washing and feeding 
by the river side. We have seen surprisingly few of these since 
leaving Find. Common herons appear to be very numerous. 
Rowing up to another enormous flock of spoon-bills as I supposed, 
I found tliere was an almost equal number of Ardea alba 
and ThresJciornis nielanocephalus intermingled with the spoon-bills, 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 107 (i^ 

and with these a few Anastomtis oscitans. JWr 

^Ih. — On the banks, near the junction with the Indus, I pro- 
cured for the first time Laticilla Burnesi, a rare bird I should i^ 
say, as I have never before seen a specimen, nor have any of the 
numerous g-entlemen who have collected for me ever succeeded 
in procuring- it, although from its size, broad tail, and ferrug-i- 
nous under-tail coverts, it is a bird not to be overlooked. I 
suppose it is confined to the deltas of our larg-er rivers ; in the 
upper portions of their courses, it is certainly not seen. Here 
the Cbenab is more than a mile wide and the Indus a few miles 
w^est of us is even larger. The fields abounded with the crested 
lark, and Pyrrludaitda grisea ; Bnrnesia gracilis, very numer- 
ous, and also Drymoipus loiigicaurlatus. I got a Saxicola deserti 
nearly in full summer plumage, which might almost have sat for 
Gould^s S. mnntana. Several sparrows sliot here, are P. indlcus, 
but perhaps slightly brighter coloured than those from the North- 
West. No signs of P. pyrrlionotus yet. I. shot a fine old male F. 
jiigger, Sylvia curruea ? and a Lanius which is clearly isabellinus 
with a well marked white wing-spot. Saw huge flocks of spoon- 
bills, white ibis, and herons, and a great flock of ruddy shell-drakes. 
Another huge herd of black stork, a fine osprey, and a flock of 
Tringa cinclus, out of which I killed eight. Then we came across 
two more ospreys, and as I was stalking one of these, a magnifi- 
cent female peregrine dashed by, and I dropped her dead. Later on 
we came up with huge flocks of mallard (I could discover no other 
duck amongst them) and greylag geese, but all so wild, that there 
was no getting within fair shot of them, and I only bagged five 
in all. As for the black stork, I fired at them twice with a rifle, 
but they would not allow one to come within even 300 yards 
of them. Grey curlew swarmed, and I knocked over four (out of a 
vast flock) with No. 8 nJiot, at fully 60 yards. I killed two out of 
the only three cranes I saw sitting, but several small parties passed 
us flying (of course out of shot), and we heard them trumpet- 
ing nearly the whole day. The extraordinary wildness of all 
the birds hereabouts leads me to conclude that there must be 
native or European sportsmen who worry them pretty regular- 
ly. I never in Upper India saw ducks and geese so very wild 
and wary. 

\OtJi. — (Sunday.) Very early in the morning reached Mithen- 
kot. On the banks our people found numbers of A. tristis 
and the crested lark. The common crow was very abundant 
and struck me as peculiarly white-necked. The raven does not 
show here, but no doubt further inland; where hamlets and 
houses are not such rarities as hereabouts, it "occurs. 

llth. — In some grass^ on the banks, I shot a. Zatic ilia Burnesi. 

108 Cont/)-ihitions to the Ornitliology of India, Sfc. 

It flitted and twisted about in the grass just like a Prinia, or 
B. gracilis. It clearly belongs I think to the Drymoicinm, and is 
not one of the Timalinm, in which Jerdon has placed it. Chatarrhaa 
caudata was common in this very grasS;, running- rat-like with 
tail straight behind it along the ground^ and nothing could be 
more different than the action of the two birds. Sylvias of the 
currioca type were very abundant in the babool and tamarisk 
bushes, of two distinct sizes. I killed a female of each. Their 
dimensions were — 

Of the smaller^, length 5*32, of the larger, 5*6 
Expanse 7-3, ' 8-3 

Tail a- a-3 

Foot length 0-95, 1-3 

Breadth 07, 0-9 

Wing 2-3, 2-6 

Weight 0-3 oz., 0-5 oz. 

I examined carefully both birds, and they seemed to be unques- 
tionably both young females, but the ovaries even under a 
m^icroscope were mere colourless membranes. 

Burnesia gracilis was, as usual, very common. I saw a pair of 
Leucocirca aureola. I shot one which strikes me as differing 
slightly in some respects from our North-West specimens. I shot 
also a Collyrio of the caniceps type, very conspicuously different 
from the true erythronotiis ; out of a flock of pipits passing 
I dropped one that proved to be AntJius spinoletta, Linn. (A. 
aipiaticus , Bechs-y* a species that I have already introduced into 
our Indian Avifauna. 

A party of the professional fishermen of these parts (Mhors by 
caste or tribe, I can^t say which) passed me with a tame otter. I 
fancied it was trained to fishing, and stopped them and had 
them questioned. They told me the most extraordinary story 
which I put on record quantum valeat. It appears (so they 
affirm, but I utterly disbelieve it,) that otters are the favourite 
tit-bit of the river porpoises (delphinus gangetictis) which 
literally swarm here. A pole is stuck in the water where 
this is from 3 feet 6 inches to 4 feet deep, and to this pole 
the otter, when quite tame, is tethered by a cord some 20 feet 
long. Light, very obtuse-angled, conical, stick frames, about 7 feet 
in diameter at the base and some 4 feet high, are used in many 
parts of India lined with a strong net, for catching fish in 
shallows, by dashing down the frame-work over them as they pass 
upwards against stream. Three or four men armed with machines 
of this nature, but stouter than I have elsewhere seen, stand near 
the otter, and when a porpoise makes a dash at the little beast, 
one of the men plunges the cone down on the assailant. Like 

Coutrih lotions to the Ornitliology oj India, 8^x. 109 

the Roman retiarius^ tliey 'cany both net and spear, and if the 
stroke succeeds, the porpoise is riddled with harpoons before he 
can break loose. The Mhors not only eat the porpoise, but 
thejr obtain from it a great deal of a veiy pure oil which 
fetches a good price, being esteemed throughout Northern 
India (and I believe not without some .reason) a sovereign reme- 
dy for rheumatism, sciatica, and similar affections. 

Pelicans, apparently crispus and philippensis, were numerous, 
but I seemed quite unable to hit them with my rifle. I had 
several easy shots at between 250 and 300 yards, and always 
succeeded in missing, — rather humiliating, considering that with 
this same rifle in former days I used to be absolutely certain of a 
12-inchL buirs eye. Black stork and huge flocks of grey lag and 
Indian geese and mallard were seen as usual, but except the 
latter, of which I bagged four^ long flying sliots, there was no 
approaching them. 

In the afternoon I went to see the salt-works that are quite sivi 
generis, at least I have visited almost every salt source in India, 
and never yet saw any thing so clumsy. The big boats could 
not go up tlie creek on which these works (of which there are 
twelve sets, in the villages of Bungola, Bi/dsttr, and Bhaiee-ha- 
DeJira) are situated, so I got into my punt and went off" to the 
works, leaving instructions for the big boats to follow the main 
stream until they reached the southern mouth of the creek. 
"We rowed about eight miles and landed, and then walked a mile 
or two to one of the works. Conceive a huge level field, as white 
as snow, from saline incrustations, the refuse of the manufactory, 
on which were arranged between three and four thousand 
clumsy, thick, unglazed earthenware saucers, from 2 to 3 feet 
in diameter, about 6 inches deep, ranged in double rows with 
great regularity, round a small tank of brine about 20 by 30 
and some 6 or 8 feet deep. Out of this tank the brine is painfully 
ladled in buckets, and evaporated in the saucers, each saucer 
turning out about 24 crops in the year, and producing during 
this period from 80 to 100 lbs. of salt. The brine tank is 
filled by a duct leading from a xo\xg\\Jilter, which is an enclo- 
sure of mud walls, roofed at about 3 feet from the ground, the 
roof made of beams, covered thickly with tamarisk boughs. On 
the top of this, earthy scrapings of the saline efflorescence that 
abounds in the immediate neighbourhood, are heaped to the 
depth of some 3 or 4 feet, lixiviated with water (somewhat 
brackish) raised by a Persian wheel, and the brine thus gener- 
ated, drips slowly through the roof, and runs into the tanks, 
where it is allowed to settle and concentrate for a few days be- 
fore it is used. The washed earth is removed from the filter, and 

1 10 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

a fresh charg-e introduced as soon as may be necessary. Now 
the filter system is in use throug-hout India, but elsewhere the 
brine is run into huge lime-lined pans, or pans lined with stiff 
and throug-hly beaten clay. Here thoug-h lime is plentiful (indeed 
they have to put a thin coating of lime on the inside of the 
saucers to prevent percolation) they persist in sticking- to their 
existing- system. I expostulated with them, pointing- out the 
great extra expense of the saucers and the vast additional labour 
entailed by carrying the brine in buckets, but all that could be 
got out of them in reply was, that it had always been the custom 
and no one cared to change it. They make probably about 
1,000 tons of fair white salt yearly, but at a cost of at least £ 1 
per ton, whereas, in other localities presenting similar facilities, 
it can be and is made for one-fourth that sum. It was nearly dark 
by the time, about 7i p. m., I reached the boat, and we then rowed 
hard, with stream, until 1 a. m., when we reached the southern 
mouth. By some mistake the big boats (the night was dark) 
had halted at a wrong creek many miles above, and it was 
5i A. M., before they turned up, and as tlie night was cold and 
the dew excessive, and we had bi-eakfasted early and had 
made no preparation in the way of extra clothing or food, for 
bivouacking under the canopy of heaven, I ought, I suppose, to 
have been very uncomfortable, but somehow with the help of a 
few good cheroots made it out better than might have been 

I'itk. — During the day, there being no wind, we made consi- 
derable progress. We saw many black stork, geese, herons, and 
])elicans, and I succeeded in shooting one of the latter which 
turned out to be a splendid specimen of Pelicamis crispus, a 
species which I was the first to notice as occurring- in India. The 
individual killed, measured 6 feet 2^ inches in length, 10 feet 2 
inches in expanse, and must have weighed nearly 40 lbs. It was 
a male. I suppose that towards evening I must have seen close 
upon 500 of this species. They were busy playing, fighting, 
and fishing, and they kept uttering a harsh low cry, or croak I 
should perhaps call it, which exactly resembled the grunt of a 

Alas for the fallibility of human testimony ! I gave a full 
account of porpoise-catching, by help of otters, on what I 
considered excellent testimony. Indeed, Capt. S., the local 
district offic'er, had himself confirmed the general accuracy 
of the statement, though he was not up in the details. 
It now turns out that the real truth of the story is 
this. The Mhors at night, when everything is still, lis- 
ten for the tumbling of the porpoises : when it comes near. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. Ill 

they let the otter into the water. The otter hunts about 
like a dog", driving all the small fish in the neighbourhood to- 
wards the bank where the men are waiting, and which has been 
so selected as to have a depth of at least three feet close to the 
shore : the porpoise seeing the shoal of fish makes a dash at it, 
and is then secured by a net of the nature already described, 
but the use of the spears is imaginary. A couple of men or 
even a single man, easily lands the porpoise when he is once in 
the net. I think I have now got the correct account, as I had 
it direct from a most intelligent Mhor, who being a pilot be- 
longing to one of the river steamers, talks intelligible Oordoo 
(with whom I could therefore converse direct) and who had 
got a full-grown trained otter with him, and was actually cook- 
ing a porpoise which he had caught yesterday and the head 
of which he produced. He utterly ridiculed the idea of a 
porpoise meddling with an otter, and said that for all their 
sharp teeth and pugnacious appearance, the porpoises were 
completely harmless and never even when captured attempted to 
bite.. The otter is called by these people "Ludra," reminding 
one strangely of " Lntra." The species here met with is 
much smaller than that common in the Jumna and Chumbal 

It was very pretty to see this thing (I mean the tame otter) 
playing with a pariah dog belonging to its owner, and to notice 
the extreme gentleness of the dog in dealing with it. The 
otter remains tied out in the sand all night, and if any strange 
dog or jackal threatens to approach it, tlie dog, so the master 
told us, rushes down on the instant and is ready to fight all 

The pelicans consume an enormous quantity of fish; the 
one I shot disgorged 9 or 10 fish, weighing from | lb. to 
1 lb. each, and the Mhors look upon them with as much 
aversion as a Norfolk squire does a party of scientific town 
poachers. My informant was very anxious that I should fire a 
rifle at the large flock to which I hate already referred, but I 
had already one on hand, besides many other birds, which will 
sufl[iciently tax my taxidermist's power to-morrow, and I there- 
fore let the proposed rifle practice stand over. 

A grey lag goose I bagged to-day. Was one of the largest I 
ever saw, fully 33 inches long and 67 inches in expanse; but it 
weighed less than 8 4 lbs. 

itth. — On the banks I shot a fine Picus scindeanus, a female, 
the third I have seen during this trip. It was busy with the 
stems of some large tamarisk shrubs, here some 15 feet high, and 
here also I shot a Caprimulgus mahrattensis ; Chattarrhaa caudata, 
Burnesia gracilis, Brynfioipus longicaudatus, and Otocompsa leu- 

113 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

cot'is, which was^ as usual, very abundant in the tamarisk. The 
Litter bird has a very liquid musical song-;, some of the notes 
of which remind one strongly of the nig-hting-ale. 

On the river, 1 succeeded in bag-ging- a black s'^ork. A party 
of four allowed me to come within 100 yards, and 1 brought one 
down with my duck gun, a very powerful weapon, a single 8 
bore muzzle-loader, octagon breech, 44 inch barrel, which with 
6 drams of powder, and a wire cartridge containing 100 BB, 
pellets, is strangely effective. Further on I came upon five pelicans 
as I thought crispus and philippensis. The latter, however, a 
single bird looked so large, that I picked it out and sent a ball 
through it at 250 yards. We rowed up to it, and then the four 
other pelicans came flying over again to see what was up. One 
which, from the apparently rosy tinge it had when sitting, I 
thought might be Onocrolahts, flew over within 80 yards; I gave 
it the duck gun and heard the shot hit it hard ; it rose, then 
swooped for some 200 yards, and when within about 100 feet of the 
water, fell suddenly, head-over-heels, splashing into the river like 
an aereolite. These birds both proved to be crispus, the former a 
young one, the latter an old female, without, when in the handj 
the faintest rosy hue. I now believe that all the pelicans hitherto 
seen have been crispus. 

During the day I saw several hundreds, but as No. 1 was 
not quite finished, and Nos. 2 and 3 were still to skin, I let them 
be. I saw a good number of cranes and killed twelve. Some 
grey lag, but failed to get within shot. No ducks. As for the 
common and white herons, I saw vast numbers. Green shank, 
a few. One large flock of Tringa minuta, of which I dropped six 
as they passed. Several times I have seen young Circus cen- 
ginosus aljout the banks, and to-day I came upon one perched 
on a piece of brushwood stranded in a shoal, half a mile away 
from any land or sandbank. A magnificent pair of H. albicilla 
tempted me to waste a B B cartridge, but though the shot rattled 
like hail against the wide pinions of the female and cut out 
several feathers, she soared away apparently unhurt. 

Until this day I have not seen a single gull. To-night, just at 
dusk, a vast flock of several hundreds passed overhead. They 
were far off, and appareh|;ly of different sizes and species. I 
particularly noticed one very black-headed L. ichthycRtiis ; 
I missed or at least failed to drop him, but I got one with 
each of the following three barrels (the duck gun unfortunate- 
ly was not at hand) and these all proved to be Lams argentatus, 
two adults, and one with the dark band still traceable towards 
the ends of the rectrices. 

liith. — lleached Kusmore, our first point in Sindh^ this day at 

Contrihitions to the OrnHliolocjy of India, Sfc. 113 

noon. Saw several Lankis isabeUinus, one an adult male, with 
an uumistakeable white speculum. This species is much paler 
and greyer than cristatua. On the banks, huge grass tufts, 10 
feet in lieight, the flower stems rising 8 or 10 feet higher, were 
intermingled with tamarisk and the peeloo, Salvador a perska. 
Amongst the grass innumerable little flocks of EdriUa amandava 
flitted restlessly about. Praiincola indica and Otocompsa leuco- 
iis were as usual abundant every where. The common francolin 
and the grey partridge were rather numerous, and I came across 
two parties of what I took to be Chatarrhaa Earlii ; I failed i-f;[ 
however to secure specimens."^ Biimesia gracilis was specially ' ' 
abundant. Tiirtur risorius , pretty abundant, and these were the 
only birds I saw in a three hours" stroll, except numbers of Cofi/le 
sinensis on the banks which, here sand}^ and some 20 feet in 
height, are everywhere pierced with then- nest-holes. The river 
was crowded with huge flocks of white herons of sizes, and spoon- 
bills, which always congregate in dense double or treble lines, 
like a regiment in close order ; while the common heron, of which 
I saw some hundreds, were all dotted about like skirmishers. 
A strong wind was blowing, so that every bird stood with his 
head well forward, pointing in exactly the same direction, i. e., 
in the teeth of the breeze, producing a very curious effect and 
making them all look still more as if they were under drill. 

Ibth. — Marched about nine miles to Durkan, due west, on the 
Jacobabad road. The country level, sandy, intersected by irriga- 
tion channels, covered thickly with high tamarisk bushes, here and 
there interspersed with huge tufts of grass, and in one or two 
places varied with a few small flelds. As for birds, a single buz- 
zard, {Buteo ferox^ a few Corvus impudicus, Hodgs., (no ravens) . 
Coracias indica, Dendroeitta rufa, Pratincola indica, and Otocompsa 
leucotis, the two latter in great numbers, Bttrnesia gracilis and 
Chatarhaa caudata w^ere about all I saw, except one Laticilla Bur- 
oiesi. These latter birds are very difficult to shoot. They keep very 
close in amongst the thickest grass, make only the shortest 
flights, drop instantly into the biggest tufts, and thread their 
way low down through the stems ; it is next to impossible to 
flush them twice. 

l&th. — Marched 18 miles to Toj. Country much the same as 
yesterday, but barer. The low Bhooktee hills, bare stone heaps, 
showing throughout the march on the right. We saw num- 
bers of L. isabeUinus, Otocompsa leucotis, and Pratincola indica. 
Several Buteo ferox, Collyrio latkora, smd vittatics , olim, Hard- 

* As I never again met with this species in Sindh, I must probably have mis- 
taken caudata for earlii, although this is almost incredible. 

114 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, 8fc. 

wicki, CJiatarrhaa caudata, francolins and grey partridg-e, some 
houbara^ Dendrocitta rufa, several small flocks of sparrows, in 
which a ^QVf Fasser salicarius were inter ming-led, a few Saxicola 
picata (but no other wheatears) kites and neophrons, common 
crows, and a few ravens. A few Burnesia gracilis, and a party 
of Acridotheres ginginianus. 

nth. — To Tug-wanee, 16 miles. The country still much the 
same. For part of the distance the road led over vast plains, like 
the oosur tracts of the N. W. Provinces, very sparsely studded 
with the wild caper, Capparis spinosa, a kind of acacia, and tama- 
risk. For part of the distance, there were dense thickets of high 
tamarisk trees, through miles of which we wandered carefully 
»■" searching for birds. Veiy few species were to be seen. Buteoferox 
I J I*' was the only bird of prey. Otocompsa leticotis and Lanius isahel- 
h:}'\.,'-' Units were very common. Paloeornis torqiuda a few flocks, 
^y'' Pratlncolaindica'imficaprata, Phyllopseuste negleeta, Collyrio la- 
thora and HardwicJci, Chatarrhcea caudata, Acridotheres tristis, Rtiti- 
cilla riifiventris in the Phanictir aides stage, Fericrocotus eryihro- 
pygins and Thamnohia, probably camhaiensis, but showing a 
decided , approach to ftdicata, Turtur risorius and camiayensis, 
Saxicola capistrata vel picata. 

\%th. — To Hussen-ke-Ghurree. The country just the same 
as before, but the bare plains, the '' phut^'' as it is here cal- 
led, predominating. The birds similar to those of the preced- 
ing day, with flocks of starlings such as I have noticed on 
previous days, though I have forgotten to note them. I also 
noticed several Saxicola Kingi. Then amongst the trees here, 
I got two Ficiis scindeanus, both females. In the fields were 
numerous large crested larks, of which I shot several, Q. cristata / 
we also shot some pigeons, C. intermedins. There were enor- 
mous flocks of crows and parakeets which came to settle on 
the siris [Acacia sirissd) trees here. 

V^th. — Rode into Jacobabad. The country slightly more cul- 
tivated than what we have hitherto traversed, but still retaining 
its character of boundless waste plains— here almost bare, here 
thickly wooded with tamarisk bushes and trees. The new 
feature in the march was that the road crossed two belts of bare 
shifting sand-hills, and in the neighbourhood of these, I saw and 
shot for the first time Alaemon desertoricm. This bird, at a little 
distance, looks very white. It runs rapidly on the sand back- 
wards and forwards, then stands quite erect, looking at one, then 
again runs away, turns and runs back — is apparently not shy. 
When at length it takes flight, the two white bars on the wing 
(so happily described by the name " bifascia.ta") are very conspi- 
cuous. The feet and legs are china-white, exactly similar to 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 115 

those of the cream coloured, aud Coromandel coursers. The 
feet too are short and unlarklike. No one can doubt that it is 
a niodilied Galerita, just as the coursers are modified plovers, 
and to my mind the reason of the legs of all having- assumed 
this peculiar opaque china white aspect, is that this forms 
the best protection against the intense heat of the tropical sun- 
baked sands which they affect ; near these I shot an Ammomanes 
lusitania (the first I have noticed since leaving the salt range) and 
saw several others. Saxicola deserti, (or atrogtdaris) and picata 
and all the birds previously noticed. At Jacobabud, I found the 
ravens very numerous, and saw several l.ying about dead, and 
Col. Phayre and many other officers remarked upon the curious 
fact that when the ravens fir.-t come in here (the_y are only cold 
weather visitants) numbers die, and again just as they are leav- 
ing, many die, and all seem to fancy that this is due to the heat, 
Jacobabad being about the hottest place in India except in the 
middle of the cold weather. As to the fact of their dving, I 
can testify ; as to the cause of this strange mortality which invari- 
ably occurs every autumn and spring, 1 am entirely in the dark, 
but as many as a dozen may often be seen just v^^hen they first 
come in, lying within a circle of a hundred yards. Jacobabad itself 
is full of magnificent avenues of trees ; its roads are laid out 
parallel, and at right angles to each other and very close, and 
each road, throughout the whole large cantonment, is bordered on 
each side by a row of lofty and umbrageous trees, and it is this 
grand collection of trees in the midst of a sort of desert and the 
abundant offal of a large cantonment that tempts, apparently, so 
many ravens to what is quite as unhealthy a locality to them as 
it is to human beings. 

In these trees we got Yunx torqitilla, and a Brachyptenms 
which ought to be dilutus, but which in the absence of 
specimens with which to compare it, I should have called 
" aurantms." 

Every one here declares that six species of sand grouse visit 
the neighbourhood. Specimens of three, viz Pterocles arena- 
rius, exustus, and coronatas (a species now first ascertained to 
belong to our Avifauna) were brought me. Dr. Day brought 
me Plocens manyar, killed in some reeds, near Shikarpoor, also 
Folwrnis teesa and Halcyon smyrnensis (the latter being very 
numerous, he informs me, we have seen very few as yet) killed 
between Shikarpoor and Jacobabad 

20^!^. — Jacobabad. I saw nothing to record. 

215/. — Went out a few miles towards Dhoon. Swept round 
by Mummul and near Rojan, and again round to the north of the 
cantonment and then home. 1 never saw any tract of country 

116 Contfihitmis to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

more destitute of bird-life. A few ravens^ doves, wheatears^ 
picata and deserti, Galerita cristata, and common sparrows^ were 
almost the only birds we saw after we had got well clear of the 
trees of cantonment. A single kestrel, one or two common 
blue pigeons, a single common quail, and a very, few shrikes both 
lathora and isahellinus, the only other species,.! can remember. 
We saw indeed two or three flights of sand grouse, P. alchata, 
high in the air, but they were too far distant to permit a suc- 
cessful shot. 

2,^nd. — We got a fine specimen of Brachji^ternus dllutns 
which I certainly think is very doul)tfully distinct. The number 
of ravens in cantonments is really very surprising. Towai'ds 
evening, some of the largest trees are quite black with them. 
The extraordinary way in which numbers of them yearly die 
both when they first come in and when they are leaving, has 
already been noticed, but I may add here, that some people 
attribute this to the quantities of putrid fish they devour at 
these times. Sir William Merewether tells me that the flight 
and cry of P. coronatus are both quite difl'erent from those of 
all the other species. They have a curious fluttering flight, and 
appear often to hover in the air, especially before settling, and 
their cry is a twittering one. 

%^rd. — Rode out to Dil Morad, about ten miles on the Kus- 
more road, to get more specimens of the desert lark. We got 
four altogether, after very hard work, and these were all we saw 
after traversing some twentyfive miles of desert country, with a 
line some half mile long. We found them in every case solitary 
birds. About four or five miles apart, very tame, running exactly 
like coursers, unwilling to take wing-. Ver}^ conspicuous objects, 
looking almost white in the sun light, and easily seen from a 
camel, at two or three hundred yards distant. There is plenty 
of similar sand desert across the Indus in the Roree sub-divi- 
sion, but Dr. Day, who has kindly been working* that locality 
for me, never met with one ; so too in Jeysulmeer and other 
portions of Western Rajpootana theve are very suitable localities, 
but I have never seen one there, nor obtained any specimens 
thence. It seems to be only trans- Indus^ on the skirts of large 
tracts of moving sandhills that are more or less connected 
with, or run down from the hills of Beloochistan and Khelat^ 
that they are met with. Here they are found, not actually as far 
as I can judge on the absolutely bare wind-rippled, loose sand 
swells, but on the little level plains, scantily studded with low 
bushes [Anabasis midtifiora,) that lie within and around these 

* Since this was written, Dr. Stoliczka has obtained this species in Cutch. 

Contfibiitions to the OrmtJiology of India, ^c. 117 

hillocks, which for the most part run in waves, the crests occa- 
sionally rising 80 and even 40 feet above the general level of 
the country. The food of the desert lark consists, apparently ;, of 
seeds. I found no insects in their stomachs, only minute seeds, 
veg-etable matter, and a grain or two of hajera. 

Among'st these same bushes and in the same localities which 
the desert lark affects, are numbers of Sylvia delicakda con- 
spicuous, as they flitter from bush to bush by their rufous tails. 
They are very provoking little birds, rarely seen on a bush but 
settling close by its roots, into which they run like little mice, i 'J i 
no more to be seen till, kicked out of the bush, they take a tiny ' /-*'' 
flight which ends at the root of some neighbouring bush before 
one has time to fire without (even with half a charge of dust 
shot) blowing their delicate little bodies to pieces. They have 
a tiny feeble song, something* like that of the lesser white throat, 
whose flight theirs resemble, and which replaces them in these 
same bushes, directly you get half a mile away from the sand. 
When freshl}^ killed, the irides are bright yellow. 

The Lana and the Booee are here, as in the Punjaub, the 
favourite resort of the Houbara ; but these, like the various 
species of sand grouse, appear to feed chiefly at this season, at any 
rate, on the leaves of the mustard. 

The pintail sand grouse, P. alchata, it appears, often comes in 
vast flocks, whose numbers defy computation. They are seen first 
in the far distance like a thin cloud, and when they pass over 
one, which they will if you lie down amongst bushes, they 
positively darken the air, and 8, 10, 12 fall to a single shot. 

At Dil Morad, I killed a couple of king-fishers which must 
really he Alcedo ispida. Length, 7 "5; wing, 3; weight, 1| oz. 
Anyhow these birds are much too large for A. hengalensis. 

We saw several CicMoides atrogiilaris, and shot three pairs of 
Ticus scindeanus. These birds are almost invariably in pairs 
and always here in tamarisk trees. Bracliyi^termis dilutus, on 
the other hand, seems always solitary (at this time of year) and 
generally in siris, [A. sirissa) babool [A. Arahica) or other large 

26//e. — Eode out with Sir W. Merewether to the Noorwar 
canal and the fuel plantations (here called Bela) in its neigh- 
bourhood. In the canal the large Alcedo was so very abundant^ 
that I saw probably fifty within the space of two miles. I shot 
eig'ht. I find the females are only 7 inches to 7'3 in length, the 
males from 7"2 to 7*6. The wings average 2*9, one has them 
3-0. They are all conspicuously larger than any A. bengal- 
ensis I can ever remember shooting, but without a compa- 
rison of specimens, it is impossible to feel certain what the 

118 Co7itHhiUons to the Ornitliology of India, ^"c. 

bird is. Halcyon smyrnensis and Ceryle rurlis were also both com- 
mon in this canal, and in one place two of the former, three of 
the latter, and two pairs of the Alcedo were all sittin^];' Avithin 
a leno-th of less than 100 yards of the canal, which is a mere 
ditch^ some 20 to 25 feet wide, thickly fring-ed with giant grass 
tufts, the flowering stems of which in some cases exceeded 20 
feet in height, and acacia trees. Amongst the grass I shot 
several Cyanecida suecica, Linn., fcosrulenda, Pall., apud Gray,) 
and some Brymoiptis longicaudatus, a night heron, and a Fyct- 
orhis sinensis, the latter being very common amongst the 
reeds. The common starling seemed very abundant, and indeed, 
ever since I left Jhelum, I have from day to day seen a few 

At this time of year C. rudis is still everywhere in families 
of from three to five, the latter being the more common 

Vultures are not at this time common about here, they are 
mostly away breeding, but I saw three or four huge birds of 
this geniis this morning, apparently /Hye^ce;^^, (nobis). Both 
black and grey partridge seemed common. 

Jacobabad itself is really a wonderful place in its way. Some 
twenty years ago, there was only a wide nearly desert plain in 
which stood one siris tree. Now you have a cantonment, a square 
of some two miles, with innumerable roads crossing each other 
at right angles, and dividing the whole place into larger or 
smaller squares, each road with a thick avenue of high trees, and 
each of the squares thickly studded with trees, for the most part 
siris and babool, averaging some 40 to 50 feet in height, so that 
whether looked at from the plain, or from the summit of the 
late General Jacobus lofty house which is in its centre, the can- 
tonment appears to be a dense forest of large trees. 

'■11th. — Left Jacobabad early and rode thirteen miles to Humao. 
The road very good, what is here called metalled, viz., covered 
some inches deep with long dry grass, which prevents carts 
sinking in the sand and also keeps the dust down. The country 
level, partly half desert, partly thin tamarisk, and camel-thorn 
jungle — very little cultivation. Close to the Humao bungalow, 
I shot a Sylvia delicatuta, and saw several black partridges. In 
the afternoon rode on to Shikarpoor, another thu'teen miles. For 
the first six miles, the road leads through a low tamarisk jxmgle, 
which swarms with black partridges ; the latter kept running 
across the road every hundred yards. In a small tank by the 
roadside I saw, but failed to procure, a moorhen, and I shot a 
Micronisus badins. Not far from Shikarpoor I knocked over a 
splendid eagle, a rich deep hair brown, with the soft satiny 

Confrihuiions to the Ornitliulogy of India, ^"c. 1]9 

plumao-e, cliaracteristic of a Nrevia, and upper tail coverts and 
rump richly spotted with buffy white, a larger and far more 
massive AVey/« tlian I have ever previoush' shot, not only a some- 
what larg-er and longer bird^ but a much more powerful one^, 
though it is only ScS'S in length. The common pond heron and 
Hlrundo riisUca were pretty numerous. 

'IMh. — Rode in the morning to Mungranee and in the eve- 
ning to Sukker. Beyond Mungranee the country becomes more 
cultivated, and at Mungranee, for the first time in Sindh, I saw 
Malacocercus terricolor, Hodgs., [Canoms, Linn., apud Blyth.) In 
the large tiger grass tufts, Cludarrhcea caudata and Estrilda 
umandava were common to a degree. Doves, risorius and cam- 
hayensis, the common parakeet, (P. torquata,) Pratincola cap- 
nita, Coracias indica, and mynas [trisfis and glngin'mnnus) 
as well as black partridges were abundant. In litttle pooliSj 
Actitis ochrophus and Lohivanellii,s goensls, and the common 
pond heron, were almost the only birds seen. We shot a 
kestrel and a female Mlcrojiisus hadius, and an Raliastur indiis, 
the first I have seen since leaving Kusmore, passed over us. A 
few Galerila cristata and amongst the grass and tamarisk, num- 
bers of Drynwipus longicandata and Burnesia gracilis and com- 
mon spari'ows^ while in the trees Dendrocitta rvfa were particu- 
larly plentiful. We saw an Elanus welanopterus. 

t^fJi. — Sukker is a very remarkable looking place, built on 
a very low range of white bare rocky hillocks which extends for 
about a mile in length along the bank of the Indus. On the 
opposite bank are similar hillocks, on which Rooree is built, and 
in mid-channel are several islands, on one of which is built the 
fort of Bukker. The river has obviously burst its way through 
the range. Both Sukker and Rooree remind one more of Suez 
or Alexandria than of any Indian town I have yet seen. Rooree 
is about a mile higher up than Sukker, and the river bank oppo- 
site Sukker is denselj^ fringed with date palms. Two steam ferry- 
boats ply between the two towns which are large and wealthy. 

In the immediate neighbourhood we got Brachypternus 
diliitus, Athene brama (the first I have seen in Sindh) Bicns 
scindeanus, Pyctorhis sinensis and a buzzard, B. ferox, of the 
dark type, which I named ftili gin osus; a name, by 'the way, which 
even had the species been, as Brookes and others still think it, 
a good one, could not have stood, having been previously as- 
signed by Sclater to some Mexican bird. Here I received the 
birds collected for me by Dr. Day, chiefly in this immediate 
neighbourhood and the Rooree sub-division. Some 84 species, 
of which the most noticeable are a rock pigeon, apparently 
Colmnba livia, Querquedula angustirostris, Botanrus siellaris, 

120 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

Porzana marnetta, Hydrochelidon indica, Falcinellus ignem, 
Phjllopseiiste neglecta, and Laticilla Burnesi. 

I also here met my collector who came down the Indus from 
Kusmore. He has brought numerous other birds already met 
with; but the only ones deserving" notice are other fine specimens 
of Larits argentatns, and a splendid adult H. albicilla. 

There is a hig-h stone tower here^ of which the natives tell 
an absurd story. A certain wealthy trader had long pestered 
with his addresses a lady of his own caste. This was of course 
in old days, such as those to which the Sakoontala introduces 
tis, when men and women chose their own life partners, and 
were not, as now, married off by their parents while still mere 
children. Wearied by his importunities, the damsel at last 
promised to marry him if he would endow her with all his 
property and do two things that she would enjoin upon him. 
This most unbusiness-like bunniah lover was overjoyed (so the 
story goes, but I don^t believe it, if you do.) Repairing at once 
to the necessary authorities, he made over to her formally all his 
property, and presented himself to her the very next day ta 
learn what were her further behests. Now the lady never for 
a moment intended to marry him, and had fondly imagined, 
for she didn't know her man, that he would rather resign 
his pretensions to her hand, than the money he had so long 
and patiently toiled to amass. At first she was rather nonplussed, 
but after a minute's thought, requested him to build a stone 
tower on the highest point in Sukker, a hundred cubits high. This 
she thought would at any rate defer the evil day for some years 
and give her time to devise some plan for escape. She did not 
however yet know her man. Within a week relays of workmen, 
the best the country could boast, were toiling night and day at 
the appointed task, and within a month the ardent swain again 
appeared to announce the completion of the tower and to ask for 
her final order. Quite confounded at this unexpected and 
sudden return to the charge, the lady could only falter out, 
" The tower is finished, is it ? Then the only thing remaining' for 
you to do is to throw yourself off the top of it V It is lament- 
able to have to record that straightway he went and did as he 
was bid, being consequently " bi'oke all to little pieces," so that 
nothing- more remains to be said about hi7n, while tradition has 
indignantly ignored the lady's after life. We considered this 
pathetic case most patiently, in solemn conclave, at the base of 
the tower, and then unanimously returned a verdict of " served 
him right" — first because he was manifestly and transparent- 
ly a hopeless idiot unfit to live, and secondly because he palpably 
tried to cheat the lady, the tower not being a hundred cubits high 

■ Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 121 

and not (to our idea) being built on the highest point of 

K>^th. — Rode out to Rowajee^ about three miles from Sukker, % 
where there is a larg-e lagoon or, as they here call it, a slund. li 

This piece of water is occupied by a number of fishermen, i 

"■ Mokanehs" who live in their boats and subsist entirely on the / 
fish and wild birds they catch. They eat pelicans, herons, and / 
cormorants, ^o\k\ carho ^ca^ javanicus) and every boat has on it ■ 
one, two, or more of each of these alive and fattening, all blinded, 
but thriving. They catch the pelicans and other birds in a 
curious fashion. They skin a pelican carefully, and stuff the neck 
and head in excellent style, and put the skin of the bod}^ in posi- 
tion by a light bamboo framework, only removing the legs and \ 
most of that portion of the skin, that in swimming is concealed 
by the water. Then with this on the head, they move about 
in the water, keeping their head-piece in precisely the position 
that the living bird would swim in, and thus, unsuspected, find 
their way amongst wild fowl, &c., which they capture, seizing even 
pelicans, they pretend, in this way by the legs. All the pelicans 
they had alive, some twentyfive in number, were crispus, but they 
told us that there were two other kinds, both more or less pink- 
ish. On this lagoon I saw several terns, javanica, aurantia, 
and anglica, Mont, [nilotica v. Hasselq. apud Gray) the 
latter the first of its kind I have seen since leaving 
Jhelum. In trees near this lagoon were numbers of Brachy- 
ptermos dilutus, of which we shot five, and several small fly- 
catchers, of which I procured two, which proved to be females of 
Erythrosferna 2iarva. Pericrocotus eryfJiropygius we also saw. I 
forgot to note before, that we saw at Jacobabad a bittern and a 
flamingo, (P. antlqtiornm.^ that had been killed there, and that 
they are at certain seasons not uncommon in ponds, &c., in 
the neighbourhood. On the lagoon we noticed a snake-bird 
(P. melanogaster) , and we also saw a young moor buzzard 
(C. m'uginosus) of which, by the way, we have seen two or three 

?)\d. — The people brought in several specimens of Ayiliya 
nyrocea which, with the common teal and the shoveller, seem 
very abundant in Roree, also Fhyllopseuste tristis, CMquera 
typus, Fydorhis sinensis, and some other birds already noticed. 

1*^ January — Returned to Shikarpoor. Just at starting, the 
people brouglit in from the Rooree district a number of common 
teal, gadwal, shovellers, and pintails, and one fine Querquedula 
angustirostris, which they say is very common, especially in the 
early part of the season. En route, we killed a number of birds, 
■ Falco jugger, several water-hens (cJiloropus) , Cya7iectda suecica, 

132 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, ^c. 

bluck partridg-e, stone cliats, Picus scindewmis, Btidytes citreola, 
and citreoloides, and Agrodroma, cartvpestris. At the Mung-ranee 
Bung-alow, I saw Yunx torquilla in the high grass. In its imme- 
diate neighbourhood, numbers of both Vloceus manyar aud P. 
beagcdensis, and Laficilla Bwnesi ; the latter to-day, I am bound 
to say, gave me more the idea of babblers. I also shot one 
Tephrodornis pondiceriana. A bird that I did not recognize, 
struck down a heron in splendid style, some three hundred yards 
off us, in high jungle, but though I tried hard I could not find 
either the hawk or its prey, as the cover was too dense for camels 
to make any way through it, and on foot it was impossible to 
see a yard before one. 

%nd. — Dr. Day killed a fine peregrine close to the station and 
a couple of P. scindeanus, and one of my shikarees whom I had 
left behind at Mungranee to get some more Laticilla Buruesi, 
returned with eight of them. 

2)rd. — To Gaheja, 14 miles on the road to. Larkhana. We saw 
nothing but Br achy pier nus dilutiis, near the station, Laiiius 
isubelliuus and a Pipit (A. spinoletta,) several vultures of 
which we did not shoot any, and heaps of C. caudata. Here 
and there, there was cultivation, but for the most part the 
country we traversed was sandy and barren-looking, thickly 
studded with large caper bushes. 

Mh. — To Kuttadera, about 14 miles. The country compara- 
tively well cultivated in patches, but a great deal of it waste land, 
covered with caper bushes. The only noticeable bird I saw was 
a huge eagle, nearly black, with the head lighter, but with no 
white shoulder spots and larger than any imperial eagle I have 
ever seen ; I examined it carefully with a glass at about 70 yards 
distance, but could get no nearer, and with my small gun could 
do nothing. Numbers of C. caudata, saxicola's, of sorts and B. 
gracilis, but nothing else. 

hth. — To Larkhana, 19 miles, halting for breakfast at Ma- 
homed Bukar-ki-Gharee, Saw another of these eagles, possibly 
chrysaetos, a young one in the purplish golden plumage, with 
the white bar on the tail. It kept flying or rather circling 
slowly round and round over our heads at the height of about 
GO or 70 yards for full ten minutes, but there was no getting a 
shot. I saw Saxicola Kingi, S. delicatula, T. pondiceriaua, 
P. perigrinus, and numbers of the cattle heron in a marshy 
spot. The small egret in another place; Lobioanellus goeu- 
sis and T. ochrophus everywhere common in these parts 
near any water. We saw a huge flock of Plocetis manyar and 
bengalensis, and dropped nine at a shot. All proved to be males. 
It is curious that when we shot seven or eight out of a flock at 

Conirihutlons to the Ornithology of India, ^e. 133 

Mungranee, all proved males. Where are the females? 

6^/i. — At Larklianaj a pretty little station^ just three or four 
houses on the banks of a broad canal, with numbers of large peepul 
and other trees. B. dilutus, very abundant. H. leucoryphis and 
H. indus, several -psiirs^Trinyoides hypolencos, T. ochrophtis, 
and C. rudis. A. ispida and H. smyrnensis, common in the 
canal, and from a hole in a huge pepul tree we dislodged and 
shot a pair of Strix indica. Merops viridis, pretty common. In 
the evening, walking by the canal bank, we saw a number of 
night herons and shot a pair of Athene Irama, and Bictorides 
javaniciis, The latter seem very crepuscular in their habits. 
It was just sun-set when we saw the first creep out of the stack 
of brushvvood, where it had apparently spent the day. On our 
approaching it, it ran back to its hiding place from which it 
did not emerge for some minutes. We saw at least half a 
dozen others appear from and disappear into similar hiding 
places. From 7 o^ clock this morning, one or other of us and our 
shikarees have been along the canal without seeing one. 

1th. — 14 miles to Kumber, where we. breakfasted. The road 
led through cultivated lands, wheat and rice, and swamps now 
nearly dry, and paved with dead rushes. . In the young wheat 
fields we saw flocks of Chettaisia gregaria, and in the swamps C. 
leuctira. Mallard and teal, and ispida, smyrnensis, and rudis, 
extraordinarily numerous. Ilerodias alba and garzetta, Ardea 
cinerea, Totanus ftiscus and glottis or (canescens,) and Limosa 
cegocephala, abundant. Tmiur risorins and cambayensis and a few 
humilis — Poliornis teesa, and buzzards of every shade of colour 
from the deepest chocolate, with a purplish bloom, only relieved 
by the white patch on the u:nder-surface of the wing and broad 
grayish white bars on the tail, to an almost white bird variegated 
with reddish fawn on the wings, mantle flanks, and abdomen. 
Eagles of many kinds were seen. A very fine Pseudaetus Bonellii 
was killed as well as others, nmvia and imperialism On the 
branches of numerous ragged-looking- mango trees, dotted and 
clustered here and there amidst the rice fields, I noticed several 
small parties of pigeons, which on a closer approach proved to 
be my old Punjaub friend-, Balwrnbana Bversmanni. They were 
unusually sh}', and I only secured some half dozen specimens.. 

Starlings were very numerous, and we saw here, as at Jacob- 
abad, a few rosy pastors. The stock doves appear to be only 
found in Sindh, in the rice districts, and are never seen in Rooree.. 
In the afternoon, we came on eight miles to Dost Allee through 
perfectly level, more or less saline, inmidation land, quite bare 
or more or less thickly covered with comparatively stunted 
tamarisk bushes ; in one place where these were rather thick. 

124 Contrihttions to the Ornithology of India, ^"c. 

we found a flock of at least forty (Edicnemus. In a pond we killed 
a small crake^ undoubtedly niinuta, Pall.^ of Europe^ now for the 
first time^ I believe, recorded from India_, and several common 
water hens. 

^th. — Yisited a large dund or jlieel, surrounded by tamarisk 
busheSj at Dost Allee.>«t "We observed numbers of large Baptors, 
Aquila imperialis, and naevia, Milvtos major, several chocolate 
brown Buteo's, an osprey, marsh harriers, Speitdaetus Bonellii, and 
Haliastur indns ; waders, flamingoes, herons, Ardea cinerea, and 
purpurea, H. alba, and garzetta, Ardeola Grayii,Nyctiardeanyctico- 
rax, Limosa agocephala in great numbers, of which I shot 16 at 
one shot, T. ochrophis and fuscus, Falcinellus ignetis, in huge 
flocks, and Numenius lineatus. Of ducks there were mallard, 
common teal, shovellers, gadwall, Aythya nyroca, Caligula rnfina, 
pintail, the ruddy shelldrake. Then of gulls and terns, Larus 
argentatus, ridibundiis, Sylochelidon caspiiis, Gelochelidon niloticus, 
Seena aurantia. Every where perched on dry grass stems, far 
into the centre of the lake, were Pratincola leucura, continually 
darting down to the water, and seizing insects on the dry lotus 
leaves and on the water itself. Scudding along over the surface 
with tiny hurried flights, tripping along on the dry lotus leaves 
and stems, swimming from stem to stem, was Vorzana minuta, 
Pall., in considerable numbers. Kydrophanamis chirnrgns in 
winter plumage. In amongst the roots of tamarisk bushes, 
standing in swamps amongst clumps of tiger grass, I shot with 
great difficulty a bird answering well to Jerdon's description, of 
Platyura schoenicola ; the bill is not however at all deep, and the 
length is 6"4 ; with these exceptions, the description and measure- 
ments, fairly correspond. The bird is, however, clearly Cetti^s 
warbler. Acrocephalus hnmescens, all three king-fishers, innumer- 
able coots, and water-hens, all apparently chloropus. Of mynahs, 
Acridotherus tristis seems very rare ; ginginianus very abundant. 

We also shot two Querqtiedula angustirostris and plenty of 
common and jack snipe. 

'dth. — To the same dund again. The only birds new that we 
saw were the little bittern, Ardetta minnta, the bittern, Podicejjs 
minor, Lobivanellus goensis, Laticilla JBwrnesi, and Centrojnis ruji- 
pennis. , I secured more of Getti^s warbler, and such a difficult bird 
to shoot I never met with. It never flies : it never comes out to the 
light of day, but only creeps about the roots of tamarisk and 
tiger grass where these stand thick and dense, in swamp and 
water. We killed 14 of the marbled ducks, numbers of teal, 
mallard, gadwall, Aythya ferina, FuUgula cristafa, and riifina, 
A. nyroca, Larus argentatus, Pratincola leucura, and one Sylocheli- 
don. casjnus. Also a magnificent flamingo (P. antiquornm,) 

Contiihutions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc, 125 

With about the most brilliant wings I have ever seen. 

10th. — Marched to Guibee Dehra ; by the circuitous route we 
took, about 20 miles. After a few miles we got out of the inunda- 
tion landj on to the "phnt," the higher plain, very bare and 
barren, where the tiger grass disappears and the tamarisk is in- 
frequent and stunted, and the caper and jhund. Acacia leucophlcea, 
are almost the only plants to be seen. In the caper, S. delicatnla 
is abundant, as also BMicilla fufiventris. I shot one of a pair of 
starlings which must, I think, be distinct, much purpler and XO/a^ 
smaller than the common one of which I saw none. 

Wth. — In the dund at Guibee Dehra, which densely covered ^ 
with sedge, looks like one vast grass field, with a few very nar- yl^ 
row lanes of open watei*, we found Sylvia melanopogon very 
j)lentifu], a few Acrocephalns agricolits, and hrunescens, Porphyria 
neglectns,* Schl., coots and water-hens, and ducks of all descrip- 
tions, and amongst others Q. angmtirostri-s very numerous. The 
latter seemed to lay in the thick of the grass, and while other 
ducks rose at two and three hundred yards on a gun being fired, 
these generally kept quiet until the boat g-ot within 60 or 70 
yards. They seemed the least wild of all the species. There 
were several bitterns, and in the bushes round and in the dund, 
Fhyllopseuste trisiis and Sylvia eurnica, (?) ajfflnis, seemed common. 
The country for miles all round the dund and tlie village, which 
a,re some two miles apart, is almost a desert, perfectly level and 
thinly studded with caper-bushes, in which grey partridge and 
hares were numerous. 

Two of the blue-browed rock grouse, Pterocles senegallii^, were 
brought in from a place some 30 miles north of this, near the 
foot of the hills. This species seems to confine itself to the kuller 
or saline lands near these latter, and to visit but rarely the flooded 
or inundation lands. 

12^!/^ — Dr. Day started off for Buryalo, the highest hill in the 
range dividing Sindh and Khelat ; from near the base of the hills 
he sent me back specimens of Alaemon desertorum and Saxicola 
Kingi. Sylvia delicatula flutters about, white throat-like, in the 
jhund (acacia) trees, between our tent and the Government rest 
house. At the dund I shot pintail, mallard, marble duck, 
numbers of S. melanopogon and blue throats ; yellow-headed wag- 
tails (both citreola and citreoloides) very numerous. 

IWi. — Marched half way to Hummul, the country for the most 
part hard waste, and studded with caper bushes. Here and there 

* This is tlie name assigned by Mr. Gray to our Indian bird ; Latham's name 
polioceplialus,yi!\ac\i Jerdon adopts, being assigned to the Philippine and Mada- 
gascar bird. 

126 ' Contrihitions to tlie Orniihology of India, 8fc. 

we crossed the ends of tong-ues of drifting sand hillocks^ running*' 
down from the foot of the hills, and on these we saw several 
desert larks. Nearer to and at the foot of the hills^ Ammomanes 
lusitania was very common. 

In the immediate neighbourhood^ and everywhere east^ of 
our tents, is a quantity of sirson, a mustard-like plant grown for 
the oil which its seeds yield. The people do not take the trouble 
to plough the land to sow this ; when the inundation sub- 
sides, and the soil drying cracks, they simply throw the seed 
into these cracks. In and about these sirson fields, if I may 
so call, the irregular patches of cultivation of all sizes and shapes, 
were numbers of CicMoides atrognlaris. 

In the afternoon I travelled over some 15 miles of country 
lying between us and the hills, north and south, including tbat 
tract in which I shot the three desert larks in the morning and 
only saw one more. These birds seem always solitary and very 
thinly scattered. Their chief food seems to be the seeds of the 
lana, and their invariable haunt bare drift-sand swells and hil- 
locks, about the bases of, and in between which are a few Ian a 
bushes. I saw two or three houbara, and I may mention, that 
generally all along within 15 miles or so of the foot of the hills 
from Jacobabad, as I am informed right down, to the sea, the 
houbara is pretty plentiful, though not nearly so numerous as it 
is in parts of the Punjab, near Fazilka, of the Sirsa district for 

IMh. — Marched to Hummul. In the sands near the foot of 
the hills, killed two more of the desert larks ; as usual, solitary 
birds, a couple of miles or more apart, and both males. It is 
curious that out of the 13 birds I have as yet seen and killed, 
10 have been malesj Later in the day I went on to the dund, 
where the marbled ducks were in thousands, mallard, gadwall, 
white-eyed ducks, the common, and little cormorants, herons, 
white, common, and purple, Larus argentatiis, shovellers, coots, and 
water-hens, innumerable marsh buzzards, all young ones, eagles, 
Bonelli^s, and others, a couple or so of brahminy kites. The 
little grebe (common on all the dunds I have yet visited) , purple 
coots with the loud flap, flap, flap of their heavy wings and com- 
mon coots with the tit, tat, tat, tat of their clumsy feet along 20 
yards of the water as they rise. Water hens swimming off with 
perpetual perky-cockings of their little white-picked-out tails. 
A heavy looking gull comes past, and at a shot whirls down, 
round and round, hitting the water with a splash that may be 
heard half a mile off, and straightway all the gulls in the 
neighbourhood, regardless of guns and boats, appear close over 
headj wheeling round and round; apparently to ascertain the cause 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India,, Sf-c. ]27 

of this most unusual aud unbecoming' proceeding- on the part of 
their fallen comrade. We doii^'t want any more specimens^ so we 
allow them to look on unharmed whilst the bird is secured ; until 
his snowy whiteness and delicate satin-greyness, all unstained, 
-and the requisite cotton introduced into his mouth and nostrils, 
he is [aid out in state, on a broad clean towel, beside an enormous 
Bonelli's eag-le, and a dozen lovely ducks, of all shades and shapes. 
Then they sail solemnly away. 

\hth. — On the dund ag-ain. Saw a very fine osprey, large 
■flocks of CheUusia. leucura, and very many Acrocephalus bninesceus, 
■climbing about, not on reeds, for there were none, but on the tama- 
risk bushes standing in the middle of the water. Bonelli's eagle 
very common, and so tame, that one positively sat still and let me 
•inspect him from a boat not ten yards from his perch. The 
'quack or note of Aythja nyroca is peculiar, and is a harsh kirr- 
kere, kirr, as they rise out of the rush quite close to one. The 
gadwall seems the commonest duck in this dund, or at least as 
common as the marbled and white-eyed ducks. Saw a Ficus 
■scindeanus on the tamarisks on the bank. 

16//^. — On to Shah Godria, eight miles, through the (at this 
season at any rate) desolate waste lying at the foot of the hills ; 
the whole country is, however, intersected with long lines of 
raised banks which serve when any rain falls on the hills (which 
it has not hereabouts for some two years) to retain the water, 
■and then large crops of jowar, IIolci(<s sorghum, are raised, and the 
villages (many miles apart) now all but deserted are re-populated. 
En route killed a fine male saker, sitting on a little earthen 
mound. This species is at a little distance only to be distin- 
guished from the lugger, by the much greater amount of white in 
the tail. Peer Godria lies within the outer range of coarse con- 
glomerate rocky hillocks that skirt the bases of the main range. 
In the wide sandy valley that intervenes between these latter 
-and the hillocks and in and around these, Saccicola Kingi and A. 
lusitania are common. At Peer Godria we found that no grass 
was to be procured, let alone milk, or food for the servants. So 
in the afternoon we moved on to Mado, over an utterly desolate 
looking plain, on a dry stalk in the midst of which we saw, but 
failed to secure, a small owl, perhaps ^rawm. Mado is situated 
in a vast entirely bare plain, not a vestige of any plant, bush, or 
-shrub to be seen now, yet, in certain seasons and years, this is 
nearly all covered with the giant millet. 

nth. — North-east of this, saw a few sand grouse. The only one 
,secured was a male exustus. Sitting here at the tent, the mirage 
is so strong, we seem to be on a low flat sandy island . surrounded 
by a lake of placid water, in which distant bushes and trees 

138 Contnh%itio)fis to the Ornithology of India, S^c. 

(such as they are) appear reflected^, and men, cattle, and camels 
moviiig- in the distance appear to he wading. In the afternoon 
went on the larg-e dund, which heg-ins about two miles east of 
this. For fulh^ half the distance between the camp and the broad 
(as we should call it in Norfolk) the level waste is transformed 
\iy irrigation into a sea of young wheat, stretching, apparently, 
for miles noith and south. On the dund I shot Larus ridibundus 
and L. bruneicephahis , at least so I identified them. I saw also 
Seena atirantia, 8. caspius, G. niloticus, and L. argentatus, my- 
riads of coots, and heaps of ducks, including numerous angusti- 

I'^th. — On the dund again ; saw flamingoes, spoonbills, white 
herons, of sizes, in myriads, S. caspitis, and Hydrochelidon indica, 
purple coots, fuid pelicans. Of these I dropped seven with a right 
and left, but only brought five to book, the other two having 
swam away out of sight. 

19^!/^. — On the morning worked the plain between us and the 
hills and brought in seven sand grouse, P. senegallus, three males 
and four females. These birds closely resemble P. coi-onattis, of 
which I got one specimen from Loch at Jacobabad, but the eye- 
brows are less blue, the crown wants the vinous fawn tinge, 
there are none of the three black streaks, and the upper plumage 
also differs somewhat. Later I again visited the dund, where I 
secured the remaining two of the seven pelicans, I knocked down 
yesterday. Of the five stuffed yesterday and this morning, four 
were rosy adults; crest moderate; total length, from 56 to 6 finches, 
what Jerdon would call Javanicus ; all females. The other consider- 
ably larger, quite a young bird, brown and white, was a male. 
The two got to-day were one very rosy, length 60, with a long 
crest, (what Jerdon would call mitratus^ sex female ; the other 
much less rosy, no crest, 72 inches long, with a huge bill (what 
he would call onocrotaius ,) sex male. Now the bills of all are 
precisely similarly coloured, and no one looking at them fresh could 
doubt that all these bii'ds belong to one and the same species. 

I shot a Gelochelidon niloticus and several gulls, L. argentatus. 
In a reed bush where I lay waiting for some time, Acroceplialus 
brunescens was very abundant, running up and down the reeds, 
and picking insects rapidly off the stems. The note is harsh. 
With these were numbers of P. tristis, which equally busy in 
picking insects off the leaves, every now and then flew up into 
the small clouds of midges that floated above the reeds and hung 
hovering in them, snapping right and left, with the utmost rapi- 
dity. Many more of the yellow-throated sand grouse, P. senegallus, 
brought in. 

Dr. Day who went to near Duryalo, from Guibee Dera, return- 

Coniriduiions to the Ornithology of India, S,-c. 129 

ed and rejjorted that, before getting quite up to the hills, they 
saw several desert larks, four of them appeared to be in pairs, 
and one lighted on a bush ! Inside the first low range, they found 
Saxicola Kingi, Ammoperdix Bonhami, A. lusitania, and several 
Sylvia delicatuta. Also noticed both immediately inside the first 
range and in the interior of the hills, large fiocks of a whiter 
backed blue pigeon similar to the pigeon which he brought me from 
the sand hills of Rooree and which is, I consider, livia. Otocompsa 
leucotis C. caudata, the lesser white throat, and H. rufiventris and 
black and white wheatears were also noticed. This was din-iiig 
the first march to Seeta, 34 miles. The next day's march was to 
Peer Bungla, a rise of a few hundred feet. Common redstart, 
an Alctdo, Bonham's partridge and chickore were the only birds 
noticed, besides those already mentioned. The next march was 
to Meera, height about 3,500 feet. Here Dr. Day observed all 
the birds already mentioned, excepting Sylvia delicatuta and the 
pigeons ; and he shot in an acacia tree there one of a little Sylvia 
Melizophilus* striatus, as I propose to call it if new, and a P. 
neglectus. Later he got another of these little Sylvias in a bush, 
and a third in a low tree about the same elevation near water. 
He saw ravens, a pair of lammergeyers, a kestrel, and a few of 
my pale crag swallow which is, however, uncommon so high up 
as this and more common lower down. On the way back at the 
Muzaranee Nuddee, they saw numbers of this crag martin,, 
Lanius isabellinm, and most of the others already mentioned. 
Between Aree and Peer Godria, they obtained a night heron. 

The natives said that a huge black wood-pecker, with a red 
head comes at certain seasons to the trees near the top of Duryalo. 
This must apparently be Bryocojms martitts. 

At the highest point at Duryalo, is a tomb known as Ktite 
Tea hibhher, the dog's grave. The legend attaching to it is cui'ious ; 
it is one that in different forms plays a part in the traditions af 
every section of the Aryan race. An inhabitant of the hills^ 
near Duryalo, coming down to the plains to borrow grain from 
a merchant there, left as his pledge, a favourite and peculiarly 
intelligent dog. When he first offered the dog as a pledge, the 
trader laughed at the idea. " There is no scarcity of curs in this 
country yet,'' he said, " what good will the brute be to me ?" but 
at length the hill-man so expatiated on the extraordinary merits 
of the dog, that he accepted it as a pledge and gave the grain. 
" Stay here," said his master " and see that no harm befalls my 
friend or his goods, until my pledge is redeemed." The dog wao- 
ged his tail, sat down at the door of the house,. and his master went 

* Subsequently obtained by Capty Cock in the salt range, and published by Mr. 
Brooks under this very name. 

130 ContrlbiUiom to the Ornlthologi/ of Iiidia, 8fc. 

his way. A few days only had elapsed when thieves attacked 
the Buaya's house at night and robbed him of all his valuables. 
The -dog- foug-ht gallantly and bit several of the robbers^ but he 
was ultimately Ivuocked over^ and they made g-ood their escape. 
As for the Bunya he pretended to be asleep until quite sure that 
tlie thieves were well out of hearing^ and then shouting vigo- 
rously he rushed out sword in hand_, and all but slaughtered the 
villag'o watchman who had also just made his appearance. Now 
it happened that in those days (we never fortunately hear any 
thing of this kind now) the thieves and the Police were very 
often the same people, and so it had happened in the present case. 
The dog had recognized them. Early in the morning he went 
on their tracks, smelt out every place where the property was- 
concealed, dragged his master some miles across country to the 
Rajah, dragged the Rajah, who went on account of the novelty 
of the thing some miles further to where the Police werfr 
stationed, pointed out where the property was concealed in and 
about their houses, then rushed off home and returned with a 
number of pieces of cloth which he had bitten out of their clothes, 
which of course exactly fitted and matched, and to cut the mat- 
ter short so comported himself as to secure two desirable results, 
the restoration of all the property and the decapitation of all the 

If only this latter good old custom had survived to these 
degenerate days ! it is no use, however, wishing for a breed of 
similar dogs as Superintendents of Police ; high or chief Courts 
now-a-days require better evidence than an^ poor dog can get 
together ! 

Well, the merchant was overjoyed, and on his return said 
to the dog " truly you have redeemed your master^s pledge. 
I give him the grain, you may go and tell him so.""^ The dog 
bowed politely three times, wagged his tail twice, and disap- 
peared. It was evening when after a fifty mile run, the j)oor 
weary, faithful dog, met his master half way up Duryalo. The 
dog was ovei^joyed, but his master who having recovered a debt 
due to him was on his way to repay the merchant, was furious. 
" So wretch,^'' he gasped out " I trusted my honour to you, and 
you have disgraced me ; my pledge is broken — die V and with 
one blow of his heavy axe he cleft his skull asunder. , 

All the long, hot, dusty journey to the merchant's house, 
was to the Hill-man longer, hotter, dustier, than it ever yet 
had been to mortal man; he had killed his best friend ; it 
had no doubt disgraced him, but why had he killed it? 
he had no wife, no child; who cared for him ? what did he 
care for ? save this one friend, now doubtless, eaten by the 

Contributions to the Ornliliology of India, SfC. 131 

jackals,, and when he reached his journey's end and learnt 
the ,truth, no words could express his remorse ; he hurried back, 
found the body of his too faithful companion, untouched by bird 
and beast, and urg-ed by some such feelmg as that which made 
the '' early Persian choose some earth o'er g-azing peak, as his 
most fitting altar,'' carried the body up to the topmost height, 
and there built over it a tomb, to point a sad moral to the tale, 
and warn, but warn men vainly, against hasty and irrevocable 

20f/i. — There are numbers of marsh harriers, about here, and 
indeed about almost all the broads we have visited, but the 
curious thing is that though I have seen hundreds of youn^ 
birds, I do not think I have seen a single adult. The same is 
the case in England and some parts of Europe, and is another 
illustration of that well-known, but not fully explained fact, 
that the young of many species, regularly and yearly, extend 
their migrations to districts and even provinces, which as adults 
they never, except quite as an exceptional case, re-visit. On a 
tiny grassy islet, only a few 3^ards square, I saw a magnificent 
adult, H. alhicilla, and two young ones, fighting with two Im- 
perial eagles over what proved to be the dead body of a cormo- 
rant ! I got within about 60 yards of them and fired my long* 
8 bore, with 2j ounces of double B at them, and positively 
knocked the whole five of them over ; but they picked them- 
selves up and flew away, only one of them seemingly the worse, 
before (the weeds were terribly thick) I could push up near 
enough to hurt them with my double gun which was loaded 
unfortunately with small shot. There were enormous numbers 
of Aythjaferina, at several dense patches of which I got good 
shots, bagging" a great many. Lots of all kinds of duck, terns, 
g'ulls, and waders. 

^\st. — Marched 32 miles to Gool Mahomed, On the road saw 
several flocks of Pterocles senegallas. They have a peculiar cry 
just like that of a child's toy. We also saw and shot some 
exustios, but these were much less numerous than the former. We 
shot two desert larks, but there was nothing" else very noticeable 
to record. 

• 22«^. — We all went out shooting, and Watson killed a pair or 
Pterocles LicJitemteinii , a bird new to India, and the first I ever 
saw in the flesh. I killed a desert lark, and in the little patches of 
sirson (a kind of mustard) lying far out in the waste, I killed 10 
of Bucanetes gifliagineus, the desert bullfinch, another bird new to 
our Indian Avifauna. From Sindh to the Canaries ! what a 
range for such a species. 

These birds look at a little distance for all the world like spar- 

132 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, 8fC. 

rows, and have doubtless often been overlooked. They were 
feeding entirely on the ground, and never once perched on any 
bush, though occasionally they perched half way up on the mus- 
tard plants, and often sunned themselves on the raised earthen 
banks, by which the country is divided into large squares, and 
the rain water, when rain does fall, prevented from running off. 
Sylvia delicatula is very common evei'ywhere here. 

2Srd. — Marched to the Gaj, or at least to where this river 
which rises in Khelat and comes through the hills, debouches 
from the outermost range of these. For four or five miles, we 
came through a thick peeloo jungle enclosing several hamlets 
and a good deal of cultivation, due to the water of the Gaj, 
beyond that we have for two or three miles a bare plain of rolled 
boulders, sloping gently up to the foot of the first or outlying 
ridge of the hills. This plain is absolutely bare and except 
Ammomanes htsitania and Galerida cristata, showed no single 
bird. In the peeloo jungle, a large blue pigeon, very pale and 
with an almost pure white back, seemed common, and I also saw 
several P. scindeamts. The outer ridge of the hills consists as at 
Peer Godria, of a conglomerate of water- worn stones and boulders, 
a large proportion of which are numulitic limestone, such as is 
found in situ further in, in the hills. This outer ridge must 
therefore, geologically speaking, be of comparatively recent 
upheaval. About this ridge Ptionoprogne pallida, as I propose to 
call the new pale crag swallow, is remarkably abundant. I failed 
to see any other species. 

In the more cultivated parts, nearer our last encampment, 
Saxicola deserti and picata were common, and here in the hills 
I find what looks wondrous like Saxicola monacha and another 
lara^e black and white wheatear. It is curious that I have not 
seen a single S. leucura or opistlioleiiea any where in Sindh. 

24;^/^. — Marched some six or eight miles up the valley of the 
Gaj through the hills, passing three other ridges besides the 
first. They consist of very friable red and earthy-coloured sand- 
stone and yellow clay. About these hills Saxicola Kingi was very 
abundant, ditto A. hisitania, and there were a few Ji. nifiventris, 
and these were the only birds seen in the bare desert parts, but 
in one place where the valley encloses a broad strip of culturable 
land, part of which is now in wheflt and parts have latel}' had 
jowar, there were numbers of large blue pigeons, (some intermedia 
some livia, and some betwixt and between) Coracias indica, &c. In 
the tamarisk and jhund bushes, were numbers of AracJmechthra 
asiailca. In the Gaj itself I shot a brace of Q. angustirostris, the 
only ducks seen, and a very fine black stork, one of a party of five. 
I saw also a common green shank, and a common sandpiper. 

Contrihdions to tlie Ornithology of India, Sfc. 133 

2btk. — Marched 16 miles to Pande-jee-waliya, near the mouth 
of the Narree Nai. Saw nothing en route except numerous larg-e 
flocks of pig-eons going down from the hills to the plain land to 
feed^ and the usual A. htsitania and G. cristata. Stonechats and 
wheatears, %cq., but we picked up sixteen B. githaginews , killing 
them in the same kind of fields as those in which I obtained the 
first specimens. 

WtJi. — Marched 17 miles up the Nurree Nai^, through numerous 
low ranges^ none rising I suppose above six or seven hundred feet 
above the plains^ to the foot of the main range^ here perhaps about 
4,000 feet high. Everywhere along the bed of the streamlet, 
(which here and there expands into tiny, clear, deep green 
tarns densely fringed with bull rushes) and about the numerous 
small wheat fields, which occupy every little culturable flat in the 
stream''s tortuous valley, Ftionojjrogne j^f^ttida abounded. Here 
and there on the bare rocks, Vetrocossy pirns cyamis was met with, 
while about the pools a single ZT. smyrnensls, C. rxulis, a com- 
mon heron, three Alceclo ispida, and several Vlotiis melanogaster 
were seen. I shot a solitary female Aytliyaferina, and saw four 
teal. Two eyrie& and two pairs of Bonelli^s eagle were seen (I 
shot one of the latter.) S. Kingi and A. lusitania very abundant, a 
few large black and white saxicolas and one monacha. Here, as 
elsewhere, the outside ranges are conglomerates of water- worn 
boulders, of numulitic limestone and sandstone, with here and there 
scoria and lava, the next ranges are sandstones more or less friable, 
but inclosing, wide bands of very hard and compact sandstone, 
and yellow and reddish marls, while the main range appears to be 
numulitic limestone, underlaid by triassic rocks. 

27^/i. — Back to Pande-jee-wahya, the pale crag swallow, as 
numerous as yesterday. No new birds except a fine dark buz- 
zard, B. ferox. Just at the mouth of the Nai, a lammergeyer, 
and a female C. Swainsoni, and just outside the mouth, I shot a 
fine imperialis in the uniform dark stage. Near the mouth where 
there is a little water and some fields, I got two pairs of B. 
githagineus. The large black and white wheatears hereabouts 
strike one as- singularly pure in colour, they should be compared 
with picata. 

28^/^. — Ten miles to the south-west corner of the Munchur lake 
at Shah Hussein, which overlooks part of the lake. Walking 
along the shores, saw several Recurvirostra avocetfa, fiamingoes, 
L. agoceplmla, Tadornas vulpanser, Anastomus oscitans, Mareca 
penelope, and on the water, mallard, Aytliyaferina, and nyroca-, 
Faligida cristata, L. ictliymtus, and all the other water birds 
noticed elsewhere, S. caspius being particularly numerous. I find 
that the black and white wheatear of the hills is a much larger 

134 Contrihtiions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

bird than any of the plains, picata, with a decidedly stronger bill, 
and I propose to name it S. alhoniger. Fterocles senegallus is a 
much commoner bird here than I have elsewhere seen it, A chnpr 
rassee^ by no means a good shot;, brought in twenty. Three Acci- 
piter nisiis caught in the neighbourhood were brought me^ and 
Mr. James tells me he has killed both Ascalaphia hengalensiswA 
Hypotri orchis asalon in this immediate neighbourhood. 

29(^/^.^-All day on the Munchur lake. First we went to see 
a thing quite new to me^ viz., fish driving. In mid water^ where 
it is perhaps from seven to eight feet deep, a circular net enclosure, 
some thirty to fifty feet in diameter, is staked out, leaving one 
moderately broad entrance, into which the fish are guided by 
two walls of net some ten to fifty feet long, which widen out 
rapidly. A dozen or twenty boats then ^o out into the lake, 
and at a distance of from four to eight hundred yards from the 
enclosure, and opposite its funnel shaped opening, form a pretty 
close semi-circle. Then at a given signal commences the most 
diabolical din ever heard ; men, women, and children sitting on 
the flat bottoms of the boats, beat on these ceaselessly with 
iron and brass pots, and as they do so, the boats push slowly on, 
towards the enclosure, closing up as they approach it. Never for 
one moment is the din intermitted, every individual, big and 
little, works at its creation as if their lives depended on it, and 
strange to say, owing to the vibration imparted to the water, 
hundreds, thousands, and often tens of thousands of fish are driven 
before the boats into the enclosure, one or two boats pushing 
right in, and a net being dropped behind them so as to close the 
circle entirely. Then commences the fun. All round outside the 
net, the boats cluster thickly, two men with long thin reed spears 
in hand on the prow of each punt, these being run right up to 
the net. Two or three men from the boat inside jump over 
board and dive after the fish, the great feat being to bring up 
two large fish, one in each hand (fore-finger and thumb firmly 
planted in eyes or gills,) at each plunge. The men inside stiri'ing 
up the seething mass (the whole water seems alive with fish) 
many jump and fall into the fold of net arranged just above the 
water, many more show themselves near the surface (the water 
has become far too muddy for deej^ spearing) towards the mar- 
gins of the enclosures, and are speared with incredible rapidity 
and precision. In a good drive for some minutes, upwards of 100 
fishes of from 5 to 30 lbs. in weight each are caught and speared, 
or jump out per minu.te. A ton of fish is often taken in a haul, 
we saw fully that quantity captured in one drive, though in 
several others, not nearly so much came to hand. Finally, the en- 
closure is roughly netted, and it may be safely predicted that of 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, S,-c. lo5 

fish weig-hing 3 lbs. and upwards^ not one in fifty that gets into 
the enclosure ever escapes. The biggest fish are huge siluroids, six 
or seven feet in length, long thin scaleless shark-like looking 
wretches, and deep massive carps, roohoo, and its congeners, with 
broad glittering, gold and silver scales, and of each of these num- 
bers fully 20 ibs. in weight, were taken before our eyes. The 
boatmen indeed declared that they often captured them a maund 
in weight (83 lbs.,) but I have observed that all fishermen lie as 
to the weight of the fish they have caught. 

Then I went to see another modification of this same mode 
of driving ; a rush bed, the favourite haunt at mid-day of many 
of the larger carp, is surrounded, a boat guards every little fish- 
path, if I may so call the runs, by which they enter and exit from 
the bed. At the bows of each boat stand one or more spear- 
men, or women, (for the ladies are nearly as great adepts at this 
sport as their lords and masters.) Then a boat pushes in to the 
bed and commences the pots-and-pans concert, working backwards 
and forwards like a pointer in a turnip field. Sooner or later, 
every fish must make a bolt of it — human nature may endure this 
fiendish discord, but fish nature cawnot. The water is un- 
disturbed, clear, and bright, and rapidly as the broad-backed 
carp makes his exit, he is fortunate if a spear does not cut 
short his career. I watched a woman strike five fish, in succession, 
at depths of from 2 to 4 feet, as they darted by, in certainly less 
than a minute, of course letting go each spear as she felt it 
strike, and clutching another from the bundle she held in her left 
hand. The men with me said she was one of the best shots 
on the lake. At the same time I saw (and it was only natural) 
scores of fish missed, and some by this very lady. 

Another way they have of spearing is to let the boat glide 
noiselessly in the shallower lotus-paved portions of the lake. 
Under the broad leaves their practised eyes detect the fish 
basking, and then they, not only spear them at times before the 
fish wakes to the consciousness of the boat^s approach, but 
continually, when a more wide-awake fellow darts off before they 
are within striking range, fling the spear after him, and thus 
strike him swimming at the distance of some yards. 

The spears from 8 to 11 feet long, are very straight and light, 
single reeds, with fine slender, slightly-barbed iron heads. 

Pushing through the reeds they spear the coots and water- 
hens with wonderful rapidity, and wounded water-fowl, diving 
and passing anywhere near the boat, plainly visible as they are in 
the clear water, are certain to be transfixed. 

It is not onl}^ with spears that the boatmen of the Munehur 
Lake are adroit marksmen, they shoot coots, even flying, at from 

136 Contrihutlons to ike Ornithology/ of India, dfc. 

20 to 30 yards distant;, with blunt arrows^ with a rapidity that 
must be seen to be credited. 

I did not notice any new birds^, but shot several of the large 
black-headed gull^ this being- almost the only lake in Sindh 
where I have yet seen it, Watson and James say the same. 

It is curious how particular ducks affect particular dunds. 
In one dund^, the great mass are Aytliya nyroca ; this will be 
one much covered with the more or less dry leaves of the lotus. 
In another^ Q. angiistirostris ^xQ^ovaxxx^io.^', here there will be a 
vast quantity of green rush^ making the whole lake look like a 
meadow; in open clear water dunds of moderate size^, Aythja 
ferina will be in a majority, while^, where there is a vast expanse 
of open water_, Branta ntfina and Fuligula cristata will out-num- 
ber all the other kinds many fold. Shovellers and shelldrakes 
(and precious wary these latter always are) sneak along the 
ed^es, while mallard like to sit round the roots of the 
tamarisk bushes_, thousands o'f which stand far out into 
some pieces of water. What the pintail seems to prefer are 
pieces of comparatively open water, dotted about with small 
patches of a long leaved water plant a Sagittaria, I think, which 
rises about 4 inches above the surface, in amongst which they sit, 
completely hidden when asleep, even at a few yards distance,, 
and with their brown and inconspicuous heads, and a little only 
of their white necks sb owing when they are looking about them. 
The Munchur is an epitome of every description of broad, and 
accordingly in different parts of its huge expanse, different 
species predominate, only the coot everywhere swarms in my- 
riads, and make, in rising on the sudden discharge of a gun, a 
noise like the roaring of mighty waters. 

In particular parts the purple coots are very abundant. I 
watched a flock of these for a long time and found that they 
did not keep in the water, but spent most of their time sitting 
on and clambering about the reeds (which they grasp firmly 
with their huge feet,) about half way up, turning here and there, 
imitating, if it might be hinted to them, the movements of their 
companion A. hrunescens, about as neatly as a donkey would 
those of an Italian greyhound. 

I find from James, that Coturnix coromandelica is not uncom- 
mon in Sindh. Eu>podotis Ecl'")ardsi has been once killed near 
Kurrachee, and is found not uncommonly in Thurr and Pakur. 
Syplieotides aibriUi,s is found near Kurrachee at certain seasons. 
Both W^atson and Day speak to seeing Charadrkts longipes ^in 
North Sindh. RJiynchcea bengalensis also occurs pretty commonly. 
James says, that Cico?da alba is not uncommon : he has several 
times seen large flocks in and about rice fields. Watson says. 

Contrihidions to the Ornithology of India, S)-c. 137 

Zeptoptihs argala is common enoug-lij, where there is water^ in 
among-st the sand-hills of Rooree. Geronticus papillosus not 
uncommon. The widgeon is very common in the Mnnchtir^ 
hut neither Day^ nor myself^ nor Watson have ever seen it in 
any of the innumerable dunds of the Shikarpour Collectorate, 
Both the grey lag and Indian goose are pretty plentiful about 
the lake^ mostly seen feeding in the wheat fields which every- 
where run down close to the water. 

Ki^tli. — Came across the lake to Boobuck^ seeing nothing new 
except an enormous flock of Limosa (egocephala, out of which 
nearly two dozen fell to a single shot. On the Boobuck side, 
hemp (for bhung) wheat, fennel, carrots, &c., were growing* 
in the inundation ground, in luxuriance. The one village of 
Boobuck, (containing about six or seven hundred inhabitants) 
pays a lakh of Rupees land revenue. Near Boobuck, we shot an 
Aguila fulvescens ofi" its nest, containing two eggs. Ospreys and 
the white tailed sea eagle are common. I saw L.goensis, CheUu-sia 
gregaria, G.flavipes, Savigny/^^x^czwa, Licht.,) and Yanellus crista- 
ttis. Numbers of A.oscitans and Falcinellus igneus. On an old wall 
at Boobuck, we saw a P. cyaniis ; curiously enough, P. pallida 
was common all about the shores of the lake. Starlings in vast 
numbers, several Cichloides atrogidaris ; H. chirurgws, very com- 
mon ; stilts, all the terns, and gulls. 

Riding in 10 miles to Sehwan, we saw Sylvia delicatula in the 
tamarisk bushes, and at Sehwan itself, we again came across 
Palceornis torquattis, which we have not seen for long*. The bun- 
g'alow at Sehwan is built on the high earthen platform of an old 
fort said to date from the time of Alexander, and certainly 
numerous Grecian and Bactrian coins are found about it from 
time to time. .About this place, for the first time in Sindh, I 
saw a large flock of C. ajjinis, Gr., our common Indian swift 

'6\st. — Came from Sehwan to the Indus, about five miles. En 
route saw a fine osprey, numbers of H, rustica, and several 8. 
delicatula; and at 11| a.m., started by boat for Kotree. In the 
Indus saw two S. caspius sitting in a huge flock of 8. mirantia. 
A few common herons and bar-fronted geese were the only other 
birds except three pelicans, (1?. crispus) that we saw during" the 
rest of the day, in which we made 34 miles. 

\st. — Feirnary. Started ofi" early. For many miles the ' river 
was absolutely blank, then we came upon a flock of black 
stork and spoon-bill, and saw a couple of pelicans too far oflp to 
be quite certain of the species, but by the intense orange of the 
pouch, I believe them to have been crispus. 

2nd. — Arrived at Kotree about 2-30 p. m. Saw nothing en 
route but two brahminies, a few herons, and a few Felicanus cris- 

138 Contnhutions to the Ornithology of India, Sj^c. 

pns. The river from Sell wan seemed to be deserted. 

2>rd. — Went across the river to Hyderabad. Saw nothing 
noticeable. The Meers' tombs are not worth looking at^ though 
the encaustic tiles are pretty good. The fort is trumpery. The 
whole city seems to be built of mud. I did not notice a single 
bird worth shooting or recording. In the evening came by rail 
to Kurrachee. 

4<th. — The only thing that particularly strikes one here is 
that every man who wants to raise water^ works his own tread- 
mill. A small Persian-wheel drum with steps, up which the 
man walks^ turning the wheel, and with it the chain of buckets. 
I couldn't help recalling the penitent convict's lay, and his 
remark — 

" And when the good folks turn me out, 

}3ecause I'm better grown 
Blow me, if I don't mean to have 
A treadmill of my own !" 

To all such humble and contrite sinners, Kurrachee may be es- 
pecially recommended. 

Kurrachee itself is bare and dismal. Drove in the afternoon to 
the Pier. There saw numbers of gulls, terns,. &c., and on the 
flats of mud, Demiegretta gularis and other birds, Sqiiatarola 
helvetica, and I think some others. 

^th. — Went down early to where the fish are first brought in 
by the fishermen and sold. Numbers of gulls about, apparently, 
chiefly of one species. I shot seven, and think that all young and 
old are the same, I should guess borealis, Brandt, of Bon. Con- 
spectus, the only book I have at hand. We saw S. picata, 
which is pretty common here. In the afternoon, about the har- 
bour, shot Cirrepidesmtis Geoffroiji and ^. ccCntianus, Tringa cin- 
clus, Strepsilas interpres, and Demiegretta gularis. 

Qth. — Went down again to the fish auction. Saw as before, 
hundreds of the large gull which I take to be borealis and shot 
14. This was almost the only gull I saw there, except two argen- 
■tatus, distinguishable at once by their paler hue. After breakfast 
went across the harbour to Munora, and during the day shot 
about the harbour. Of a small slender long-gonys billed, very 
rosy breasted gull, without any blackish patch near the ears, which 
I take to be Gelastes Lamhnischini, Bon., I observed innumerable 
birds and shot some 16. I also got amongst them several 
ridibundtis in the winter garb. Just at the end of the mole 
and at the mouth of the harbour, Thalasseus cantiacus 
and bengalensis were very abundant, and I shot three of 
the former and five of the latter at one shot, out of a party 
huddled together on a heap of stones which terminates the 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 139 

mole. The large gull was less common outside. The Cas- 
pian tern was common. Then I shot Larus HempricJdi, I am 
sure of the bird^ as I perfectly remember the figure Finsch 
gave in his Abyssinian paper in the Zoo. They seem tolerably 
plentiful at the mouth of the harbour, not so common inside. 
About the rocks of Munora head_, is a swift, which I believe to 
be Tristram's barhatus, the size and shape of apus, but a wood- 
brown almost the colour of melba, and the feathers all excessive- 
ly narrowly margined whitish. I obtained only two. But there 
were plenty, and they breed, it is said, both in the buildings and 
on the rocks, but I could see no trace of any nest. On the 
mud banks I obtained four Demiegretta gularis, asJia, apud 
Sykes, several Turnstones, and half a boat load of shore plovers, 
Cirrepidesnius Geoffroyi and mongolicns. 

1th. — In the harbour all day ; birds very wild. Got some scores 
more of shore plovers, Thalasseus cmitiaciis, and bengalensis, and 
Caspian terns. I saw several turnstones, and numbers of oyster- 
catchers, but failed to obtain any. D. gularis I obtained. I also 
shot both red shanks and several dunhn, and got for the first 
time in my life Tringa plafyrhyncha and several Limosa mfa in 
winter plumage, besides a large Tringa which I took to be the knot, 
but which seems too large for this and has puzzled me greatly. I 
succeeded in getting specimens, but cannot identify them.* All 
the terns and Thalasseus dart down head-foremost, king-fisher- 
like into the water, and have straight pointed bills suited for 
this work, and by preference sit on the land, while the gulls 
pick up things with a kite-like swoop, have hooked bills, and 
I think sit on water more than on land. 

%th. — In the harbour all day. Got several more Tringa 
plafyrhyncha, Demiegretta gzdaris, Limosa rufa, the large tringa 
that I cannot identify, the dunlin, the Kentish tern. I also killed 
an oyster- catcher, Squatarola helvetica, Terehia cinerea, a bird I 
never killed before, though vSimson sent it to me from Dacca, and 
Calidris arenaria. This latter has only three toes, and it associates 
a great deal with the small plovers, but it certainly feeds and 
runs more like the tringas than the plovers. The Kentish and 
Bengal crested Terns, affect the mouth of the harbour 
chiefly. The oyster-catchers, at high tide when all the flats 
aire covered, associate in huge flocks, but at low watei', are scatter- 
ed about feeding on the mud, in twos and threes ; they are very 
wary, and keep up perpetually a shrill warning cry. I saw a peli- 
can (not near enough to make sure of the species) and several 
flamingoes. There is a gigantic flock of the common cormo- 

* These were Tringa Crassirostris, Schlegel. 

140 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, 8fc, 

rant^ sometimes (in fact, in fair weather, generally,) out at sea in 
the day, and usually about the harbour from 6 p. m. to 8 a. m. I 
have seen no more Lanos Kemp-icldi, though I have hunted for 
them far and wide. 

^th. — Again in the harbour. Found Terehia cinerea very 
common. Got several Tringa platyrliyndm and Oyster-catchers 
and more of Limosa rufa, and the large Tringa which I don't 
know ; T. cantiacus, and hengalensis in hundreds. Only got 
one Calidris arenaria, I shot one specimen of Thalasseus crista- 
tus, the only one I have yet seen here. Grey curlews numerous, 
reef white and common Herons, ditto. Gelochelidon niioti' 
cus not uncommon, 8. Casjmts common. In the evening went 
on board the Amberwitch to go 60 miles up the coast to Soo- 
meeanee Bay. 

\^tli. — At the Bay, saw millions of flamingoes and cormo- 
rants ; several Calidris arenaria, and two Terehia cinerea were 
shot, also a single Lanis Hemprichii, (we saw several others but 
failed to obtain them) and one huge specimen of horealis: 
S. caspius, T. cantiacus, and hengalensis, Pelicanus crispus, several 
Jj. ichthyatus, but none obtained, and we saw myriads of the 
gulls which I take to be Lamhruschini and horealis. The novelty 
was a medium sized grebe, P. nigricollis, of Europe, I think, 
of which we killed five, and of which many are to be met with 
close to Kurrachee at the Ghiseree creek, and again at the 
mouths of the Indus, 

11^^. — Sunday. \2,th. — About the harbour all day. Found 
a few Tringa suharquata, amongst the dunlins. Killed several 
turnstones, sanderlings, and Terehia cinerea, bar-tailed godwits, 
grey plover, and one L. HempricJiii. These latter never appear 
to come here in more than parties of three and four, though further 
up the Gulf, they seem to be more numerous. Ospreys are com- 
mon about the coast, and I note here that in Soomeeanee Bay, I 
saw an enormous eagle, the largest I ever saw, bigger apparently 
than any golden eagle. 

\^th. — Outside the harbour nearly all day — dealt with bad 
luck — saw all kinds of things, and got nothing. First there 
was a party of snippets, swimming in the open sea, which 
though I have never seen the birds alive, I conclude must be 
Phaleropes. What the deuce else can they be ? regular stints, 
but swimming away, miles out at sea, and a stiffish sea on too, 
as folly as if they were Scotters. I wasted two hours over the 
little wretches. I was in Capt. Giles's gig, the best boat and crew 
in the harbour, but there was just as much sea on as we were up 
to ; it was bad pulling, and as soon as we got within TOO yards, 
up sprung the flock, scudded away over the surface of the 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 141 

water and down again in a couple of hundred yards^ and we of 
course after them, but with no better results. At last I took 
to blazing" at them as they rose, with S. G. green cartridge, from 
the duck gun, but I had no luck, though the pellets rattled in 
amongst them every time. Whilst we were after these, I saw 
a party of Fodiceps nigricoUis, but there is no chasing grebes out 
at sea unless the day is still, so we let them be. Then when we 
were quite tired of the phaleropes, we caught sight of two un- 
mistakeable shearwaters, so we up helm, and gave chase. 
These however served us the same trick as the Phaleropes, 
floated buoyantly on the water till we got about 100 yards 
off, and then rose to drop again, a few hundred yards fur- 
ther on — and so on, and so on, till my crew all but mutinied, and 
I had to turn homewards, and then came the crowning misery of 
the day, for just as we got on the bar, a gull, that I couldn't in 
the least make out, but a skua of some sort I take it, flew 
right over us, not above 20 yards high, and whether it was the 
absurd way in which the boat was pitching and tossing, com- 
pelling one to keep kneeling, or what I cannot say, but 1 let oif 
three barrels at him, without loosening a feather. Came home, 
my friends said, in a vile humour. 

IMh, — Went on board the Amhenvitch for a cruise ta 
Gwader. Started about 10 a. m. Again saw the phaleropes, and 
of couree lots of gulls and terns, but nothing new. 

\bth. — Made Korebutt, about 105 miles up the Mekran Coast. 
High sandy perpendicular clifls, from 600 to 800 feet high, over- 
hang the beach. Birds are very scarce — a few large gulls, borealis 
and argentatiis, one L. ichthyatns, a pair of oyster-catchers, and a 
pair of Kentish plovers were all the sea birds I got a^nd almost 
all I saw. There were several common herons ; Seesee, A. 
lusitania, and R. rufiventris common in the ravines. There too 
we again came across 8. monaclm and the wheatear of the 
picata type, but lai-ger and purer coloured, which I have called 
alboniger. At sea we saw a couple of those wretched shearwaters, 
and two or three parties of the swimming stints whieh can only 
be phaleropes. 

IQth. — Made Pusnee, about IQ a. m. Saw some of the great 
black-headed gull and killed both JPodiceps cristattts and mgrieoUik 
and a skua., parasiticus, I think ; also several of Hemprich's gull. 
On shore, I only saw Saxicola deserti, the *same- birds as at 
Korebutt, dunlins, and T. platyrhyncha. 

nth. — Made Gwader about 8 a. m. The skua I shot yester- 
day is, I think, a 2-year old, not a fully adult bird-, and it 
is therefore difficult to be certain what it is. 

I saw several others, but I failed to secure any, although I did 

142 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, SfC. 

my utmost. Here I saw a few grebes, and several P. crispns, 
and had one skin of the former, and two of the latter given me. 
Saw also several skins of Cichloides atrogularis and one of the 
sanderling. We killed a couple of Hemprich's g-nlls, four of 
T. cristatiis, and saw numbers of the small rosy-breasted gulls, 
without the dark ear-spot. This is numerically the most common 
sea bird all along the coast here. Cormorants in numbers, 
Larus horealis common, T. cantiacus, and a few great black-headed 

I'fML — In the bay killed eight of HempricVs gull, and three 
in different stages of the great black-headed g'ull. These are 
very large, running to 28j in length to 68 in expanse, and to 
nearly four lbs. in weight. On shore we got Cichloides atrogu- 
laris, S. picafa, ^gialitis curonicus, Besck f.'' philippinus Lath.) 
and Galerita cristata. We saw and chased a Podiceps crisfatus. 
One of our party also got another L. ichthyaetus in full breeding 
plumage, and numerous other gulls of species already noticed. 

\^th. — 'Killed eight grebes, five cristatus (two in winter plum- 
age, two changing to the breeding plumage, and the last with 
the head bright rufous); and three nigricoUis. We also secured 
four pelicans (cmj52«^) magnificent birds, in breeding plumage, 
a reef, and a common heron, and some more black-headed gulls. 

Any one who likes may laugh, but to me a grebe chase at 
sea is first-rate sport. At Gwader there are two fine bays, one 
in front and one behind the town, which is built on a broad spit 
of sand connecting the main land, with an huge rocky headland, 
that at the distance of a few miles, appears from the sea to be 
an island. In both bays numbers of grebes, both the common 
crested and the black-necked, are seen dotted about. You get 
a light native canoe, just holding two rowers besides yourself, 
a rather crank concern, but which if you are only steady, rises 
over the swells like a duck. Picking out your particular grebe, 
you give chase, kneeling low in the front of the boat. To-day 
there was no wind, and the surface was unrippled, but there was 
a long delicious swell, rocking one slowly and tenderly, altogether 
charming, but slightly interfering with the sport for which a 
dead calm is best. When you get within 100 yards of your 
bird, he begins, if you go straight at him, to swim away al- 
most as fast as you can pull, and if you gain on him, he dives ; 
but if you direct 'your course so as to pass by him at about 60 
yards, he will often, if he has not previously been fired at, allow 
you a snap-shot at that distance j I say a snap-shot because he 
is watching you all the time, and you must fire the instant you 
raise your gun, or you have no chance. The second grebe I 
killed to-day, I rolled over dead, the first shot, when passing by 

Contrihutions to the Omitliology of India, ^c. 143 

liim at about 55 yards ; the first though similarly approached, 
dived at about 80 yards ; we pulled as hard as possil)le after 
him, and he showed ag-ain about 70 yards off; my gun, a very 
heavy, long barrelled dovible, 10 bore, with No. 2 green car- 
tridge, was at my shoulder, full cock; for a wonder the bird 
appeared exactly where I expected, the very second the crown 
of his head showed on the surface, I pulled the trigger, and yet 
I was too late ; the shot only struck the troubled water where 
he had disappeai-ed. 

Then we pulled an incredible time, full five minutes I am 
sure, before he again appeared, and then he turned up some 100 
yards ofi*, on the port bow. I instantly fired, not with any pros- 
pect of touching him, but to make him dive and so fatigue him, 
"We were within 70 yards of him when he next rose, and he was 
not suffered to keep his head one second above water; next time 
I still looking out in front, he popped his head up close behind 
the boat, and before I could turn to fire (one has to be judgmati- 
cal in kittle crafts like these) he was off. We '' reversed the 
engines," and went back on our track as hard as we could go, 
but when he rose, he was a good hundred yards a head ; he got 
the contents of a barrel sent after him promptly, and the men 
making a tremendous spurt on which he had not calculated, 
he rose next time at about 50 yards, and quick as he was, 
could not quite escape the shot. Next time he was a little fur- 
ther, but he did not dive so quickly, and I distinctly saw the 
shot catch him ; we pulled up sharply, but he had turned under 
water, and when he next showed up, he was more than 100 
yards astern. I fired as usual, hut he didn't dive. This was a 
good sign and showed he was at least a little out of breath ; 
when we were about 70 yards off, he again dived, and came up 
about 30 yards off us broad on the quarter, but showed himself 
only for one second, being out of sight again before the shot 
could reach him ; hard as the men pulled (we had had to turn 
the boat) he was sixty yards at least a head of us when he rose, 
but this time he was unable to get under again quick enough, 
and one shot caught him in the neck, and there he floated dead 
at last. I was greatly delighted, but yet it gave one a kind of 
pang to see his lovely white satin breast upturned, rising and 
sinking slowly in the bright sunlight on the soft green swells ; 
I almost wished I had not been quite so successful or rather 
what I exactly wished was, that I could have got my specimen, 
and he remained alive and jolly all the same. Two of the birds 
procitred to-day, fell to the first shot, most of the rest entailed long 
chases ; one took fourteen shots to bring him to bag, two we lost 
after much labour, when certainly partly tired out, owing to their 

144 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 

getting in amongst others and our then following the wrong 
birds^ which of course were quite fresh. One bird^ certainly 
wounded^ disappeared ; it dived and never again rose to the sur- 
ftice before or behind^ or one side or the other^ and I can only con- 
ceive that some shark of which there are great numbers here 
(indeed sharks fins exported to China are the most important 
staple of the G wader trade) must have picked it up. 

No kind of sport probably requires such undivided attention, 
such quickness of eye, and such rapidity of firing, and though 
I bagged only eight birds in several hours of hard fagging, I 
must have fired at least eighty shots, and as any one of at 
least half of these might have been successful, the excitement 
was maintained throughout, the more so that the moment one 
bird was secured, another was at hand, turn on whichever side 
3^ou would, and when to this is added, the bright sun, the clear 
water, the delicious sea-air, the constant rapid pursuit, and all 
the surroundings of " sea and cliff and silver strands," I submit 
that I have said enough to justify my penchant for grebe hunts.. 

20^i. — Started for Muscat. Before leaving, had another turn 
at the grebes, getting three in two hours, besides two magnificent 
great black-headed gulls, in full breeding plumage. At Grwader 
itself, I mean on land, I saw no common crows or mynahs, only 
neophrons, white tailed sea-eagles, an enormous dark eagle, pro- 
babl}^ chrysaetus, a few ravens, similar to our Punjaub ones, and 
in the pretence for a garden which surrounds the Resident's 
bungalow, a blue throat, (exactly similar to our Indian ones 
and which I should identify with suecica, Linn., tho' Gray sepa- 
rates them as cmrnlecula, Pal.,) and a black-breasted thrush. 

%\st. — En route to Muscat ; in the open sea, saw numbers of 
flocks, some of four or five, some of several hundreds of P. full- 
carius. They swim as well as ducks : are shy, fly well and rapid- 
ly, but they cannot dive ; a winged bird that made frantic 
efforts to escape capture never attempted to dive. I notice that 
Jerdon's desciiption of the soft parts does not at all agree with 
my bird. We also saw several shearwaters. The one I killed 
is about the size of Fuffinus anglorum, but the wings are con- 
siderably shorter than the tail, there are no crescentic marks on 
the side of the neck, and the feet are interiorly a delicate laven- 
der, pinky white ; margin of webs, exterior of outer toe, and 
ridge of mid toe and claws, black, in which respect it is nearest 
to yelkowan, while except as to size and colour of feet, it is 
nearest to P. ohscurus. Comparison is required."^ 

%%nd, '^^th. — At Muscat. Nothing to be seen but the dark 

* Described as Puffinus persicus, " Stray Feathers," No. 1, p. 5. 

Contrihutions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 145 

gull, Z. Zr^;«;j/7'c>?7'^, the great black-headed gull, which is rare, 
L. horealis, L. ridihimd^is , and the rosy-breasted gull, the two 
latter both very numerous, the cormorant G. carbo, pretty common, 
and nearly in full breeding plumage. No terns. One would fancy 
that these were all away, breeding somewhere; but it seems cer- 
tain from what I hear that these breed at Astola, &e., in May. 
On the shore a very few T. hi/poleucos, neophrons (failed to get 
a specimen) an Alcedo heiigalensis, Tnrtur camhayensis, ospreys, 
common sparow — no crows, no kites, no mynahs — only a very 
few ravens, the latter with a long and much rounded tail. I 
note here that Otocompsa leucotis is procured in the neighbour- 
hood of Gwader, and higher up in the Persian Gulf. Here I 
saw a pair of Bean geese, domesticated ones, from Zanzibar. They 
appear absolutely identical with the wild ones. These, the tame 
ones, breed here, the young preserving the characteristics of the 
species. There is also a young P. onocrotatus brought from 
somewhere up the gulf. 

Muscat is, if not too closely examined, a singularly picturesque 
looking place. It stands at the head of a sort of fiord, as it 
would be called in Norway, a very narrow deep bay, walled in on 
either side by lofty perpendicular cliffs of weather-beaten rock, 
everywhere crowned by small forts and Norman -looking tur- 
rets, of comparatively fresh and bright looking stone, built, I 
believe, by the Portuguese. The eastern wall (if I may use the 
word) of the harbour, is a vast natural mole, a very narrow pro- 
montory of lofty rocks, descending on either side sheer into the sea, 
up to the highest level of which, they bristle with corals, shells, 
limpets, echini, sea anemonies, and zoophytes of marvellous shapes 
and colours. Through the middle of the mole, the waves, or more 
probably earthquakes, have burst a narrow chasm out into the 
next adjoining bay, some few fathoms in width, through which 
boats can pass, thus converting the terminal half of the pro- 
montory into an island. The town itself is closely encircled on 
the landward side by bare, desolate hills, like those around the 
cantonments of Aden, of no great height in the immediate 
neighbourhood, but rising further inland, it is said to at least ten 
thousand feet. Except by water there is, I believe, only one prac- 
ticable road, out of Muscat ; but numerous rugged pathways 
lead by devious routes out of the basin, and admit, though with 
more or less difficulty, the passage of foot travellers and some of 
them of beasts of burthen. On either side of Muscat lie other 
similar, but less narrow, rock-bound bays, at the head of each of 
which jiestles some more or less important village, and thus it has 
resulted from the extreme difficulty of land travelling, that al- 
most the entire intercourse between these villages and Muscat, and 

146 Contrih'utions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

inter se, is carried on by native omnibus boats which duriug the 
day in fine weather may be seen incessantly entering and leav- 
ing- the harbom% and which carry passengers and their goods 
backwards and forwards at an excessively low rate. 

Of course there is scarcely any vegetation about Muscat^ a few 
gardens and date trees^ in the outskirts of the town, being all 
there is to show under that head ; but further inland, we were 
told that, at the distance of only a few miles, both cultivation 
and trees were to be found. Certainly along the coast for five 
or six miles, on either side, and just inside the coast so far as I 
could see, in crossing some of the hills which divide the Muscat 
basin, from those of other neighbouring sea-side places, it would 
be impossible to conceive a more utterly sterile place. This it is, 
I suppose, that explains the scarcity of birds, for inland, we were 
assured, that there were many. So far as my explorations went, 
besides those already noticed, A. hisitaniawsiS the only bird seen. 

Muscat has three great branches of trade, that in rock salt, 
from Ormuz and Kism, islands, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, 
dates and fish. As from Gwader, so here, the export of dried fish 
and of sharks^ fins to China is considerable. Of the fishing a 
great deal might be said, but I will not trench on Dr. Day^s 
province, suffice it that nowhere have I seen such astounding 
shoals of sardines, and horse mackarels, such multitudes of bonitas, 
or such marvellously-coloured fish, green, pink, crimson, bright 
yellow with the brightest smalt blue ribbands, fish in fact of 
all colours, sizes, and shapes, and last, though not least, some at 
any rate that are matchless eating. 

%hr,h. — At sea. Last night we left Muscat. I have omitted, I 
see, to note that the sea scenerjT- along the coast near Muscat is 
in places, very fine ; grand stacks of rock, perhaps a hundred feet 
in height, stand out here and there amongst the waves, feathered, 
when a breeze rises, with foam to their top-most peak, the 
ospreys special perch ; or long ragged lines of lofty and perpendi- 
cular cliffs, here and there burrowed by the waters, rise frowning 
out of the deep, gi-een, silver-laced water. On a bright day like 
yesterday, with a light breeze curling the crests of the waves 
which it spurs on to dash half playfully, half pettishly against 
the grim chevanx-de-frise of rocks with which the whole coast 
line here bristles, nothing could well be more enjoyable than 
a long row, such as took, following at the distance of a few hun- 
dred yards, the sinuosities of the shore, except perhaps — the excel- 
lent alfresco lunch we made after it, in a tiny nook, where Nep- 
tune had already considerately spread for us a snowy cloth of 
the finest pounded coral. 

For some hours we have been seeing phaleropes, and have 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 14-7 

stopped half a dozen times, and given chase in a row boat which 
we purposely kept towing- along side, but all in vain, the little 
wretches are so wild, we can make nothing of them. Of shear 
waters we saw at least a dozen, and also two tropic birds, but 
couldn^t get anyhow within shot. A few gulls, argentatus and 
borealis, occasionally hovered about us or followed our course. 

^%tk. — Arrived at Gwader where we saw nothing new. Grebes 
dotted all over the baj^, little parties of the Dalmatian pelican, 
(now nearly all in full breeding* plumage, their pouches the 
colour of African marygolds) sailing about majestically, and 
many hundred gulls, floating here and there, some singly some 
in large parties, gmongst which liemprich^s sombre bird, and the 
great black-headed one, most readily caught the eye. We left 
about 8 p. M., and during the rest of the day we have seen no 
single bird calling for notice except, in the far distance, what I 
was assured were, and may very likely have been, boobies. 

^ItJi. — Running down the coast towards Kurrachee. Off the 
Omara headland, and about six miles off shore, we saw numbers 
of tropic birds. A gun being fired at a shearwater that crossed 
our bows, some eighty yards ahead, the " Bo' suns' " (boatswains, 
the naval equivalent for Phaeton) which hitherto had never come 
within two hundred yards, or taken the smallest notice of us, 
gathered round the vessel, and though keeping about sixty yards 
distant, kept flying round and round and over us, in the most 
inquisitive manner. One was soon dropped, and a boat lowered 
to pick it up j they took no notice of the fall of their comrade, but 
sheered off somewhat when they saw him lifted out of the water ; 
another gun being fired, they again came closer than before and 
two more were shot, and then they drew off, going on with their 
fishing from two hundred yards to a quarter of a mile off us. A 
couple of blank shots being fired, two or three again came up to 
us, obviously merely to see what the row meant, and of these we 
got another. After this they disappeared, we were steaming, 
and I believe simply left them too far behind to hear our salutes 
in their honour. About three miles further, we passed another 
smaller party, some two or three hundred yards off, and on our 
firiug, they at once hurried up to the ship and allowed us to get 
two more. In all I have secured six, all of them, as I beheve, 
immature cBtherius. Their flight is very like that of terns, 
though stronger and more steady ; they work backwards and for- 
wards fishing with their long sharp bills pointed straight down- 
wards, just like so many Caspian terns, and they drop down into 
the water just like these, or like C. rudis, the glossy black and 
satin white plumage of which is much like theirs. None of them 
had tails more than 9-5 inches in length, whereas in adults that I 


148 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc, 

have seen the tails were, if I remember rig-litly, treble this length' 
Moreover, the hallux and its web and the basal joints (with their 
webs) of the toes instead of being red, are white, faintly tinged 
with fleshy blue, and creamy yellow in different places. 

ZSt/i. — Kurrachee. Just as we entered the harbour, we again 
saw my old enemies the phaleropes, and a skua, an adult, with 
long pointed tail, and as far as I could judge cevtamiy parasiticus. 

There must be an end to every thing,'^ and my pleasant holi- 
day was drawing to its close. I had only a couple of days more 
in Kurrachee ; there were specimens innumerable to be packed, 
kind friends to whom we had owed so much, to say farewell to, 
and we steamed out of the harbour again en route to Bombay, 
without firing another shot or securing a single other bird. 

Even on the way to Bombay, however, those betes noires of 
my expedition (of each of which I only secured a single specimen,) 
the phaleropes, the skuas, and shearwaters, commissioned, I feel 
sure, individual- members of their communities to see me safely 
out of their domains. Anyhow, we saw a little party of the first, 
and one or two of each of the latter on our way to Bombay. 

I now proceed to enumerate all the species, which I have as 
yet ascertained, to occur in Sindh. Of all species not included in 
'' Dr. Jerdon^s birds of India," I give full measurements and des- 
criptions. My list includes somewhat less than three hundred 
species, but I hope within a year to see this largely supplemented 
by the researches of local observers. 

3 Us. Gyps fulvescens.— Sm7?z6. Scr. Bh. p. 19 

? G. Fulvus, Gm. 

This was the only species of vulture that I actually shot and 
identified ; but other species doubtless occur. Vultures however 
are very rare in Sindh compared to what they are jn Upper 

Ornithologists at home, now generally admit the validity of 
G. liimalayensis, nobis, the Hoc, as I have called it. Mr. Gurney 
did so long ago ; and by last mail I had a letter from Mr. 
Bowdler Sharpe, Mr. Gray's successor at the British Museum, 
expressing his surprise that so excellent a species should so long 
have escaped notice, more especially smce the British Museum 
contains a fine series of it, but neither Mr. Gurney nor Mr. 
Sharpe as yet believe in fulvescens. 

The following are Mr. Gurney's remarks (in Ejjist.) on this 
species : 

* Exclamation of unhappy but patient reader, " tliank heaven \" 

Contributions to the OrnitJiology of India, ^e. 149 

Gi/ps fidvescens. — " Your description of this and the specimen 
which you sent for my inspection by Captain Marshall agree 
with the Western Gypsfidvus, in the state that it appears during 
the first few (probably three or four) years of its life^ but many 
observations on specimens kept in confinement appear to prove 
that the Western Gyps fidvus always becomes increasingly pale 
with age, the longitudinal striae coincidentlyj but gradually, dis- 
appearing from the feathers of the under surface, and the lan- 
ceolate feathers of the ruff also gradually disappearing and 
leaving the rujBF composed of unmixed white down, so that when 
old, the Western Gyjjs fidvus would seem to bear as much 
general resemblance in coloration to your Gy2:)S Tiimalayensis as - 
it does when young to your Gyps fulvescens. The Western Gyps 
fidvus appears, however, to agree with your Gyps fulvescens in 
having the third primary the longest, such, at least, is the case 
with the only four specimens in the Norwich Museum, which 
have the primai'ies perfect. Of one of these the locality is un- 
known ; the other three are from Athens, Tangiers, and Abys- 
sinia respectively. On the whole, my impression is, that your 
Gyps himcdayensis is a good and distinct species, and that your 
Gyps fulvescens is equal to Gyps fidvus, but I much wish that 
specimens of your Gyps fulvescens could be kept for some years 
in captivity to see if they become pale with age, as is the case 
with Gypsfulmis. It seems certain that in Gyps fiilvus the 
average size of male birds is considerably greater than that of fe- 
males. At least I have always found it so, when I have had 
occasionally the opportunity of ascertaining the sex of specimens." 
I confess that I am not yet convinced of the identity of our 
bird und fidvus of Europe. A marked distinction seems to me 
to consist in the fact, that the young o^ fulvescens, obtained 
when only just able to fly, is paler and less rufous a great deal 
than the adult. And that the oldest birds appear to be the most 
rufous, whereas the exact converse is the case in fidvus. 

Again, at and in the neighbourhood of Ajmere, where I was 
detained nearly six weeks towards the close of the E-ajpootana 
famine, I daily saw thousands of vultures. A dozen times a 
day I stood within from 50 to 100 yards, minutely and carefully 
scrutinizing large groups of them through powerful binoculars 
as they scrambled about gorging themselves, squabbling and 
" chortling^' over the carcase of some poor bullock or camel, and 
never once did I see one of the pale birds, or in fact one of what 
we must hold to be the adults of this species were our rufous 
birds really the young stage of the truf;. fidvus. Not one old bird 
out of many thousands ! This, though not at all impossible, is 
certainly a matter of difficulty ; and it seems to me that either 

150 Contributions to- the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

our birds are distinct, or that tlie " fnlvus" of Europe lias usual- 
ly been described from specimens long- kept in confinement, 
which have in consequence assumed altogether abnormal and 
unnaturally pale tints. 

Is it not however just possible, that Yio'^h fulims and fulvescens 
occur in Europe, and that they have been confounded? 

If ornithologists here would only pay a little attention to 
vultures, we might amongst us soon settle the question ? Can 
any one succeed in shooting, 2, fulvescens ,■ va. the typical fulvus 
plumage? I myself have tried for years, even to get a sight of 
one, but hitherto without success. I am naturally inclined to 
believe that Mr. Gurney must be right, but I want the matter 
finally set at rest. 

What by the way is the vulture that Schlegel separates as 
vultur fulvus orientalis ? Surely this is oux fulvescens or the wes- 
tern European link connecting this latter with the true fulvus. 

When on the subject of vultures it is well to note, that I 
have some reasons for believing that the sub-Himalayan thin 
billed vulture, which seems always to breed on trees, (Hodgson's 
^(^i'm^eg^* as his drawings clearly prove), at all times apparently 
a darker bird, is distinct from our plains species which always 
breeds on cliffs, the adults of which are very pale. If this be so, 
then it remains to make certain whether Scopolis name of indicus 
really applies to our bird which is apparently doubtful. If not 
the bird described by me (Scr. Bk., p. 23), will need a name and 
may perhaps stand as pallescens, nobis, as for indicus, Tem., 
p. c. 26, although this plate is said to have been taken from a 
specimen oi fulvus, I cannot avoid suspecting that it represents 

6.— Neophron ginginianus. Baud. 

I take shame to myself, that I neglected to procin-e a good 
series of Neophrons in Sindh, at Gwader, and at Muscat. In all 
these localities, it swarms wherever human habitations are found, 
and in the most uninhabited parts, even of the Kelat Hills, a pair 
may occasionally be met with. 

Mr. Ely th, it will be remembered, separates the Indian race 
from percnopterus , L., under Daudin and Latham's name, on the 
ground that the Egyptian bird " is larger and more robust, the 
tarsi and toes, conspicuously so. The corneous portion of the bill 
is black and the ceral portion is of a reddish yellow, different from 
the purer yellow of the cheeks, the talons also are black, and the 
cuneate tail passes the tips of the closed wings by an inch or more. 

" In the Indian birds the corneous portion of the bill is a pure 
yellowish flesh colour, as are also the talons ; the ceral portion 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 151 

of the bill is of the same yellow as the cheeks^ the points of the 
closed wings just reach to the tail tip^ and a conspicuous fold of 
skin is continued from beneath the ear to the throat underneath, 
which is little more than indicated in the North- African species. 
Moreover^ the throat is quite bare in the Indian species, thinly 
clad with short white feathers in •percno'ptenis. " 

In Sindh and at Muscat, I saw both black and yellow bills, 
and I could not observe any marked difference in size between 
them, but as I did not measiu'e and preserve specimens, this g-oes 
for little. But I have of late years procured and measured, 
numerous specimens, in many different parts of India and every 
where, both of black and yellow-billed birds, and with and 
without more or less of slender white feathers on the throat; and I 
have been unable to detect any constant difference in size be- 
tween individuals presenting these different characteristics. Mr. 
Brookes remarked in the Ibis of 1870, that there appeared to be 
a certain geographical distribution of the two races, that he 
found both in Delhi, but could not procure a black-billed one 
at Almorah or Etawah. From the latter locality I have a black 
billed bird, and my present impression is that the differences 
alluded to are not dependant on race, but on age or season. 

It may be after all that PharaoVs chicken is distinct from our 
dirt-bird, but whether this be the case or not, I think very few 
of the distinctions indicated by Mr. Blytli will hold good 

I have made arrangements for having the weight and length 
(total and of wing) ascertained, and the various points re- 
ferred to noted, in the case of twenty adult Egyptian birds. 1 
wish each of my Indian readers Avould do the same for me in 
regard to two or three adult Indian birds shot in their respective 
neighbourhoods. The points to be noted, are 1, sex ; 2, date of 
killing; 3, total length; 4, length of wing; 5, distance by 
which closed wings exceed tail ; 6, colour of corneous portion of 
bill ; 7, colour of cere and whether darker than, or unicolorous 
with, skin of face ; 8, throat ; whether bare or feathered, if 
the latter, to what extent ; 9, fold of skin from beneath ear to 
chin ; whether conspicuous or merely indicated ? 

7.— Gypaetus barbatus, L. 

1 observed this species on two occasions in the hills dividing 
Sindh from Khelat. Dr. Day observed it near Duryalo, and it is 
well known to most sportsmen who have shot ibex in those ranges. 

"^ 8.— Falco peregrinus, L. 

Notwithstanding the myriads of ducks which haunt the 
inland waters of Sindh, peregrimis (the dxick hawk jmt excellence) 
seems very scarce. We only procured a single specimen, and 

15£ Contrihutioiis to the Ornithology of India, 8fe. 

this was on the banks of the canal near Shikarpore, and saw 
at most three or four more all the time we were in Sindh. True- 
to the sea-coast-loviug" habits of the species, I found a pair hang-- 
ing about the Manora headland of the Kurrachee Harbour, and 
another pair oif the entrance of the Bay of Muscat, but these 
were far too wary to allow of any successful shot. I obtained 
a very fine female, however, before entering* Sindh, on the banks 
of the Clienab near its junction with the Indus. 

Mr. Gray separates our Indian birds under Latham^s name of 
calidus, but having- now had the opportunity of comparing" 
no less than seven Em-opean with more than twenty Indian 
specimens, I must record my humble concurrence in Mr. Gur- 
ney^s view that they are identical. 

10.— Falco saker, ScUegeh 

Strangle as it may appear I only saw one single specimen of 
this falcon in Sindh. Further north, in the Punjab, in the 
Perozepore and Sirsa districts for instance, they are excessively 
abundant. My single specimen, a nearly adult male, with the 
wing 14 inches, was shot at Shahgodria, at the foot of the hills 
dividing Sindh from Kelat in the Mehur Sub-division of Upper 
Sindh. I was always on the look-out for this bird, and not 
infrequently shot F.- juggur, by mistake, for it, but this was the 
only specimen seen either by myself or any of our party. 

An idea, I observe, seems to exist that my beautiful new falcon 
from Yarkand, F. Hendersoni, is nothing but F. milvijjes, Hodg- 
son. Amongst Mr. Hodgson^s drawings now in my custody, 
(the originals as I understand of most of the more elaborately 
finished copies in the British Museum) is a most beautiful figure 
of milvipes, which is clearly and unmistakeably our saker. Even 
were the native name not recorded as " Charghela^^ (and it is 
to be borne in mind that native falconers and fowlers like 
Hodgson's are familiar with every stage of the plumage of falcons 
commonly flown,) I have half a dozen specimens every one of 
which corresponds accurately with this very laboured and perfect 
full size drawing; most assuredly F. milvipes, Hodgs, is only 
one stage of our Indian saker and equally surely this latter is 
wholly distinct from Hendersoni nobis. 

I wish to say more about F. saker, or at any rate our Indian 
species that now bears that designation. I do not think that 
its various changes of plumage have yet been fully noted. 

After carefully studying a very large series of specimens which 
have been picked out from nearly double the number, a series 
in which no two birds are precisely alike,, the general conclusions 
I come to are these : 

Confribntions to the Ornithology of India, 8fe. 153 

First, as to the lower parts ; the young-est birds have the 
chin and the centre of the throaty clii^g"y white^ and a cheek 
stripe pretty prominent, dividing the former from the ear 
coverts and cheeks, which are also dingy white, each feather 
pretty broadly dark shafted. The vent and under tail coverts 
are dingy fulvous white, only some few of the latter exhibit- 
ing a dark shaft towards the tips ; the whole of the rest of 
the lower parts are a pretty dark hair brown, mottled on the 
breast and the centre of the abdomen with white or fulvous white, 
the mottling being due to many of the feathers having a more or 
less broad margin of this color, of which margins there are only 
traces on the feathers of the sides and flanks. As the bird grows 
older, the cheek stripes gradually grow less distinct and tend to 
disappear, as do the streaks on the ear coverts and cheeks ; all 
markings disappear from the lower tail coverts ; as to the rest of 
the lower parts, the white margins grow larger, the brown por- 
tions of the feathers contract, grow paler, and more rufous, till 
at last in a very old bird the whole chin, throat, cheeks, and 
breast become pure white, with only a few tiny pale brown spots 
forming a sort of irregular gorget and a few similarly colored 
hair lines towards the tips of the ear coverts. A faint trace of 
the cheek stripe generally remains. On the sides, flanks, and 
middle of abdomen, a good many moderately sized, somewhat 
rufous brown, ovate streaks or spots remain. The interior tibial, 
plumes, the feathers of the vent and lower tail coverts are quite 

Now to take the upper parts, which I will divide into head, 
mantle, wings, and tail. 

In the youngest bird the forehead is a dirty rufous white ; the 
rest of the head is a moderately dark hair-brown, much the same 
colour as the general tint of both the upper and lower surface ; 
some of the feathers darker shafted, and all the posterior ones 
narrowly margined with rufous or fulvous white. As the bird 
gets older, the pale margins increase in width, and as a rule soon 
lose their rufescent tinge. The brown central stripes then de- 
crease in width until, in the oldest birds, the whole of the head 
and nape is pure white, with only narrow brown shaft stripes. 

In the young bird the whole of the mantle is a moderately 
dark brown, about the same color as that of a jowng jtigger ; all 
the feathers narrowly margined with pale dull rufous, and there 
are sometimes one or two spots of this colour on the scapulars ; 
the primaries are dark brown with no markings on the exterior 
webs, but numerous, very broad, ovate, slightly rufescent trans- 
verse bars on the inner web, not quite extending to the shaft. 
Later, the bird bleaches somewhat, the brown grows duller, and 

154 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 

the rufous margins wear away, leaving only a pale trace ; then 
the bird moults^ and the new feathers are a dark brown with a 
bluish slatey bloom on them, and the rufous margins of the 
feathers are much broader, purer, and more conspicuous than in 
the youngest stage ; the primaries in many cases now show a 
few fulvous or rufous white spots on the outer webs towards their 
bases, and the white bars of the inner webs begin to become 
confluent towards the margin of the feathers. Then, as the birds 
get still older, the brown fades to a great extent out of the cen- 
tral portions of the feathers, the rufous margins grow broader 
and paler, and the whole mantle assumes a sort of " desert^^ tint. 
The central portions of the feathers still remain a sort of rufous 
grey, but this is concealed to a great extent in many places by 
the overlapping of the feathers ; on the inner webs of the pri- 
maries, the white bars become altogether confluent on the mar- 
ginal half, and the quills, which in the early stages, when the 
general tint of the under parts is brown, are only faintly mar- 
gined paler, become gradually, conspicuously tipped, and mar- 
gined towards the tips, with somewhat rufescent white. 

I should note that, at all stages before the bird becomes per- 
fectly adult, some individuals exhibit a greater or less amount 
of imperfect barring, or spotting with pale rufous on the whole 
of the lower part of the mantle. This does not appear to depend 
on age or sex ; it is never seen in the quite young birds, nor in 
the perfect adult ; it is only in the intermediate stages, and two 
birds precisely resembling each other in every other respect may 
be met with, in one of which the spottings or transverse barrings 
will be conspicuous, while in the other, there will scarcely be a 
trace of such markings. The only thing I notice is, that where 
there are no spottings on the outer webiS of the primaries, then 
there is none on the mantle, and where there is a good deal of 
the one, there is generally a good deal of the other. 

It is, however, the tail of this bird which constitutes the or- 
nithologist's greatest trial ; the tail really appears to be governed 
by no sort of rules, and to get through its changes quite inde- 
pendent of the other changes of plumage already described. In 
the quite young bird the two central feathers are absolutely un- 
spotted, hair-brown, only faintly paler margined towards the 
tips ', the next two feathers on either side have one or two small 
pale rufous spots on the outer webs towards the tip, and about 
six similar but larger spots on the inner webs ; the next two are 
similar but have three spots on the outer web, while the exterior 
of all has only a trace of one spot on the margin of the outer 
web, the inner web being as in the others. All the laterals are 
tipped for about a quarter of an inch with dull white. In the 

Contrlhidions to the Ornithology/ of India, Sj-c. 15'5 

oldest bird I possess the whole of the tail feathers are tipped for 
nearly three quarters of an inch with white ; of the centre 
feathers the shafts are brown above the white tipping", and the 
webs are pale rufous g'rej, with three faint circular white spots 
on the outer, and one similar one on the inner webs. The four 
next on either side have much the same g-rouud colour, but have 
six large broad oval white spots on the outer web, whose major 
axis forms an angle of 45'^ with the shaft ; while they have 
eight very broad oval white spots (whose major axis is perpendi- 
cular to the shaft) occupying" nearly the whole inner web and 
becoming confluent at is margin. The exterior feather is similar, 
but the spots on the outer web are much smaller, and are on the 
margins of the feather. The intermediate varieties that occur 
are almost endless, but no such tail as that figured by Mr. Gould 
have I ever met with in any Indian bird, and I have now 
examined closely more than fifty. First, there is the tail with 
the two centre feathers (as in the bird first described) perfectly 
spotless, but of a paler and sandier brown, but the lateral feathers 
similar to those of the old birds as regards markings, except in 
having these somewhat smaller. Then there are the plain brown 
central feathers with one or two faint spots towards the tips as 
in Schlegel's figure. (Traite de Fauconerie) ■. Then these same 
plain brown feathers with five or six well marked perfectly circu- 
lar white spots on the outer margin. Then the same with 
smaller spots appearing on the inner webs ; then again with the 
six spots on the inner web perfectly round, and those on the 
outer web becoming ovate ; and then lastly the tail, the centre 
feathers of which, bear six pairs of oval spots extending from the 
shaft to near the edge of the feather. 

It is to be noticed that all the while the spots are being deve- 
loped on the central feathers ; those on the lateral feathers are 
becoming larger, more ovate, and more barlike ; those of the 
inner web extending quite to the margin, and gradually becom- 
ing confluent there. After the spottings of the central feathers 
have reached their fullest development, they appear gradually, as 
the bird grows older, to disappear, and though my oldest bird 
still shows three small round spots on the outer and one on the 
inner web of the central feathers, two of these are obviously 
disappearing, and probably would before long have disappeared 

As regards Mr. Gould^s figure, Birds of Asia, Part XX., I 
wish to point out that independant of the barred tail, brown be 
it observed barred with grey, a color that I have never seen on 
the tail of an Indian saker ; no Indian bird with so brown a 
mantle and with such narrow rufous edgings could possibly it 

156 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, Sfc. 

seems to me have so white a head, or so g-enerally white an 
under- surface. The young-est bird above described corresponds 
well, so far as the mantle goes, with this figure, but the prevail- 
ing color of the head is brown, and thovigh the chin and throat 
is fulvous white the rest of the lower parts are of as deep a brown 
as the upper surface, only mottled pretty profusely with white. 
I really cannot make the figure out. The tail barred, the head 
that of an old adult, the mantle that of a quite young* bird, the 
lower surface that of a middle aged bird, and the legs and feet 
brig-ht yellow, a color never seen to the best of my belief at any 
age in our Indian saker. 

The question remains is our Indian Bird, Falco chenig et mil- 
vipes, Hodgson, really identical with the bird known in Europe as 
Falco saker, or is it a very closely allied species, differing chiefly 
in the different stages of plumage which it passes through before 
attaining maturity ? Schlegers figure already referred to might 
do for a middle aged bird of ours, though I have never seen any 
specimen so brown above, and with so much white below, but 
Gould^s figure (which looks to me more like an immature Lanner) 
finds no counterpart in the ample series that I possess of our 
Indian species. The question still requires investigation. 

It will be seen that I no longer consider the Sakers with more 
or less barred upper plumage as distinct. In this Mr. Gurney 
agrees with me ; he remarks in epist " My own impression is 
that the sakers which exhibit the transverse markings are not 
specifically distinct from those which do not exhibit them. It is 
a curious circumstance that when a saker has nearly reached the 
period for moulting, the circular spots on the tail will always be 
found worn much thinner than the surrounding portions of the 
feather, and in fact evidently do not wear so well." 

As regards this latter point my specimens entirely confirm Mr. 
Gurney's view ; in one, the round white spots are worn completely 
into holes, (which of course extend to the margins as the ends must 
drop when the intermediate portion goes,) in several, they are 
worn quite transparent, by the disappearance of the barbs of the 
feathers, within, and only within, the limits of the white spots. 

There is another fact to be noted about these Charghs ; some 
of them have the i rides yellow, some brownish yellow, some 
brown. I have verified this myself and I have two specimens 
procured by Capt, C. H. S. Marshall in which he noted at the 
time that the irides were yellow. 

XI.— ^Falco jugger, Gr. 

Not uncommon in Sindh, but not nearly so plentiful as in the 
better wooded and cultivated portions of India. 

Cotitnhdions to the Ornkholog;^ of India, 8fC. 15? 

^ 15.— Hypotriorchis sesalon, L. 

A mere cold weather strag-g-ler into Sindh^ and rare there. 
I only saw it once and then failed to secure it, but Capt. Maiden, 
informed me that he had shot it near Kotree, and Mr. James, c.s., 
had also procured a specimen. Before entering- Sindh, I ob- 
tained an adult male on the banks of the river Jheelum below 
Jung-. Length, 11; expanse, 24; tail, 5*2; wing, 8; tar- 
sus, l"5j foot, greatest length, 2:3 ; greatest width, 2'1; bill, 
from gape straight to point, 0*7 ; from edge of cere straight 
to point, 0*47 ; wings when closed reach to within 1"45 of end 
of tail. Weight, 0-7Ibs. 

Legs and feet^ yellow; claws, black; cere, very pale yellow; 
bill, dark slatey grey, paler at gape, greenish at base of lower 
mandible; irides, brown. 

16.— Chiquera typus, Bp. 

Not uncommon in Northern Sindh where it breeds, but rare 
apparently in the Kurrachee CoUectorate. We repeatedly noticed 
and occasionally shot it between Jhelum and Kussmore. 

17.— Tinnunculus alaudarius, Gm. 

Numerically scarce, but occasionally noticed (a cold weather 
visitant only) throughout Sindh. 

23.— Micronisus badius, Gm, 

Not uncommon in the better cultivated portions of the Pro- 
vince, as for instance about Larkhana and Mehur where it breeds, 
but never, I believe, seen in the more desert and rocky tracts. 

24.— Accipiter nisusj L. 

Taking Sindh as a whole, this species is very rare, but in 
certain favored localities, such as the Munchur Lake, (where 
three were captured and brought me) a good many are seen during- 
the cold season, these being I was told, almost without exception 
birds of the year. 

y^ P 26.— Aquila chrysaetus, L. 

On two occasions, I noticed but failed to secure, huge eagles, 
one a manifest Hing-tail, which were certainly not imperialis 
and which I with some confidence refer to chrysaetus, as I 
should also similar birds observed on the Mekran Coast. 

27.— Aquila imperialis, Bechst, 

This species was like the next far more common than 
fulvescens. I met with it chiefly in the neighbourhood of large 
'heels, I could not ascertain that it bred in Sindh. 



158 Contributions to tlie Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

28.— Aquila nsevia, Gm. 

This species was by far the commonest eagle in Sinclh, and 
scores were to be met with in the neig-hbourhood of every large 
piece of water. Every clump of tamarisk trees standing well 
out into the water, as is so commonly the case in the broads of 
Sindh, was almost certain to be crowned by one of these black- 
looking eagles ; else where I have generally found them subsist- 
ing almost exclusively on frogs, here to my astonishment, I 
twice shot them in the act of devouring fish, and on several 
occasions saw them strike at, and once or twice actually carry 
away, snipe and other small water birds that we had wounded. 
Whereas in other parts of the countiy outside the. sub-Himalayan 
belt, navia is a cold weather visitant, and most of the birds 
seen are young ones, in the strongly spotted stage of plumage ; 
in Sindh the species is a permanent resident, and as I ascer- 
tained from the fishermen, regularly breeds there in April and 
May, and scarcely a single bird was obtained in any but the 
dark adult plumage, with more or less white tarsi. One fine 
female measured : — 

Length, 28*4; expanse, 66 ; wing, 31; wings, when closed, 
reach to within 1 of end of tail : tail, from vent, 11 ; weight, 
5'25 lbs. Another measured, length, 29 : wing, 21'4. 

29.— Aquila fulvescens, G^ray/^>7 r- -t/^a i^^Mvn 

This species was pretty common throughout the less desert 
portions of Sindh and in the neighbourhood of all the larger 
" dJiunds" but much less common in lower Sindh ; a fine 
female shot at the Munchur Lake, measured 2 8' 5 in length; 
expanse, 66 ; and weight, 4"75 lbs. We got the eggs on two 

33.— Pseudaetus bonellii^ Tem. 

One, two, or more pairs of this fine hawk eagle are to be met 
with about every large lake in Sindh making terrible havoc 
amongst the smaller water birds, and carrying off wounded fowl, 
before one^s eyes with the greatest impudence. They breed in 
the Province and inter alia in the interior of the Khelat Hills in 
places where perennial streams issue from these. I killed a fine 
female in the interior of the Nurree Nai at the end of January 
from her nest, which then contained two young ones just 
able to fly. I saw another nest higher up the same stream, 
placed like the first on a shelf of a rocky cliff overlooking the 
water; this was inaccessible, but it contained, I could see, young 
birds. Another nest I found in the Gaj which contained, I think, 
eggs (very late for this species) , but it also was quite inaccessible. 


Contributions to the Ornitlwlogy of India, 8fc. 159 

40,— Paiidion haliaetus, L. 

The Osprey was seen though not in any considerable numbers, 
both in the Indus, and about most of the larger pieces of water 
in Sindhj but on the coast it is much more common, and in the 
Kurrachee Harbour, I think I have seen nearly a dozen in the day. 
We saw it also on the Mekran Coast and at Muscat 

42.— Haliseetus mae©i, Guv. iiu^.csn^ _ _ 

I accept only provisionally Mr. Gray's verdictTfTTt bin- Indian 
bird is distinct from leucoryphns, Pall, of Southern and Eastern 
Europe, &c. Having had before him specimens from both 
localities, he ought to be correct, but a priori, I should doubt the 
distinctness of these two alleged species. 

This noble fishing eag-le was very common all down the great 
rivers from Jhelum to Sukkur, and again I noticed a few birds 
between Sehwan and Hyderabad ; one, two, or even more pairs 
also frequented each of the larger lakes. We found several of 
their nests in large trees in the neighbourhood of the Munchur 
Lake, but all contained young birds. 

42 &*s.— Haliseetus albicilla, L. 

The European white-tailed sea eagle was tolerably common in 
all the great rivers, the Jhelum, Chenab, Sutlej, and Indus. 
Several pairs were met with at the Munchur Lake, and single 
individuals on other smaller inland waters. We killed a very fine 
adult male on the Indus, near Sukkur ; but as a rule found the 
bird so much more wary than any other species, that I was un- 
able to procure other specimens. I did shoot another, a very 
large female, but it got away at the time, fell into the water and 
was only accidentally picked up three days later when it was 
quite past cure. I first pointed out the occurrence of this species 
in India some years ago, having procured specimens (immature 
birds) in Etawah, and later I received a very fine adult from 
Murdan, in the far North-West. This species is not included in 
Dr. Jerdon's work, but will be found fully described at pages 
257 etseq^. of my Rough Notes, Pt. L, No. 2. *- 

45.— Buteo ferox, Gm. 

This species, in all its stages, abounds in Upper Sindh. It 
greatly afiects the neighbourhood of jheels where the dark birds 
especially, the old adults, as I believe, were more common than 
I have anywhere else seen them. 

48.— Poliornis teesa, FranJd. 

Pretty common throughout Sindh^ as it is indeed in all parts 
of India which I have yet visited. 

160' Contfibutions to the Ornithology of India, S^e. 

51. — Circus pallidus, Syhes. Sioansoni, Smith. 

This was the only harrier, except Circus ar^iffinosiis, that I 
myseli:' noticed in Sindh, and even this was far from common. I 
irnxy repeat here (it seems so steadily overlooked in India) that 
the only ready and, as I think, unfailing* diagnosis of females 
and immature birds of this species is, that, when the wings are 
jierfect, the fourth, quill is always shorter than the third, often 
1)}'^ ftilly half an inch, while in cyanetis L., the fourth quill is 
fully as long as, and generally somewhat longer than, the third. 

54.— Circus seruginosus, L. 

The marsh harrier was excessively common, both along" the 
great rivers of the Punjab and Sindh, and about all the inland 
waters of the latter province. 

In Southern Sindh and generally in the arid tracts that com- 
pose so large a portion of the area of the province, we never 
saw it. 

As I have already noticed in the diary, adults of this species 
were very rare -, indeed I cannot be certain that we ever even saw 
any, and we certainly shot none. 

55.— Haliastur indus, BoM. 

The brahminy kite was tolerably abundant about the Indus 
and on most of the larger lakes of Upper Sindh. I saw it but 
seldom in Lower Sindhj^aijd never in the more arid portions of 
the province. 

56.— Milvus govinda, Syles. 

Was of course common throughout the province. Along" the 
Mekran Coast and at Muscat where I expected to get the yellow- 
billed kite {milvus agypiihs, Gm.) I never saw one single kite ; 
they must have been away somewhere breeding, because, as I 
ascertained, kites are often seen at these places. . 

56 />*§.— Milvus major, Hume. Qr^fjh.Jai, J^ji 

I saw a few specimens of the larger Indian kite hanging" about 
the dhunds of Upper Sindh ; but I only succeeded in obtaining- a 
single specimen. That this species is distinct from both our 
other Indian races, M. govinda and affinis is certain ; it differs 
not only in its greater size, and generally more brightly colored 
plumage, but also in other particulars. In major, the chin and 
the greater portion of the throat (I speak of adults) are nearly 
white, while in govinda and affinis, they are whitey brown. In 
the young this difference is not so apparent, but with a series of 
the adults of all three species before one, it is very conspicuous. 
Again the pale tippiugs of the central feathers of the tail and of 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, See. 161 

the adjacent laterals are much more conspicuous in major than 
in either of the other species. Another difference, which though 
not absolutely constant, is yet highly characteristic of the adiilt 
31. major, is the much greater extent to which, in this species, 
the back of the tibio-tarsal articulation, and of the upper half 
inch or so of the tarsus, is feathered. In govinda and ajffinis, these 
parts are usually quite bare ; they may be loosely overlnmg with 
feathers ; but these can be brushed aside at once, whereas in adult 
M. major, they are densely clothed with silky feathers which, 
though they do not grow over the whole surface, yet sit so close- 
ly round it as to be with considerable difficulty pushed aside. 
This distinction does not hold good in the young. Perhaps, 
however, the most marked difference (independant of the great 
difference in size which may be estimated from the dimensions of 
the wings"^) consists in the large pui'e white patch on the inner 
webs of the primaries of major ; in govinda and aj[finis,i\\Q prima- 
ries have the inner webs more or less brownish white at the ex- 
treme base, and the rest of the web above the deep notch 
has lai-ge, mottled, irregularly oval transverse spots or imperfect 
bars of a more or less dingy white, while in major (strictly in 
accordance with its buzzard-like flight and habits) almost the 
whole of the inner webs above the notches is pure white. With 
the fresh birds before him, no one looking at the under surface 
of the extended wings, can ever mistake major for either of the 
other two species. This large white patch is conspicuously appa- 
rent when the bird is flying overhead. In this as in the other 
species, there is no very great difference in size between the 
sexes. As to the difference in the hahits of M. major, there are 
no two opinions on the subject. Mr. Bi-ookes says, " I have seen 
several Milvns major lately, two yesterday ; there is no mistake 
about the bird, the flight is quite different, very slow, heavy, 
flapping, not more than two strokes to the common one's three. 
These birds sometimes quarter a marsh all over," 

Writing from the Haipoor Division, Central Provinces, Mr. 

* Adttits. 

Species. Number of Wings. Number of Wings, 

males measured. females measured. 

M. govinda ... 7 175 to 18- 10 18 to 19-5 

„ major ... 12 19 to 20-5 12 19-45 to 21 

„ affinis ..._ 7 16 to 17-5 5 17tol7-75 

N. B. — Affinis, so far as I can make out, differs only from qovinda in its duller 
tints and smaller size. Schlegel unites melanotis and govinda. I hnve specimens 
of the latter very nearly as brigbtly coloured as Ms figure of the former in the 
Fauna Jap. Mr. Gurney's remark that there is no appreciable difference between 
the young and old of M. affinis, does not hold good in the Indian affinis, though 
our adults are absolutely inseparable from Australian specimens. 

162 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

F. R. Blewitt says^ " All along-, within and near to the forests, 
fVom Singbora to the end of the Lohara beat, 1 met with Milvua 
major. The length of the largest male and female which I procur- 
ed, (and there seemed to be no material differences in the size of the 
sexes, though individual birds of each sex differed vastly according 
apparently to age,) was 37*7 inches, but, judging from the size 
of some of the specimens I failed to secure, 1 should guess that 
tiiey run to 29 inches. 

" Throughout the country above-mentioned, I daily saw num- 
bers of this species particularly at the Rajun fair, where the birds 
collected in scores. On the plains it is very rare. As you very 
correctly state it is at all times a wary bird, it was only when 
curiosity induced them to fly over my camp, or when I enticed 
them with flesh or dead birds to approach nearer, that I could 
get to shoot them. Of the thirty and odd birds, only one was 
shot sitting. From M. govinda it is easily distinguishable by its 
larger size, form, colouring of the large wing feathers, and its 
more heavy flight. The two species on occasions associate, 
though battles are frequent between them." 

Mr. Gurney had suggested and Mr. Blandford seems to think 
that major might be identical with Milviis melanotis of Sclilegel 
figured both in the Fauna Japonica, and in Radde's work on the 
Siberian Avifauna. In the Fauna Japonica the wing of this 
species is given at from 18'9 to 19-7 inch. In his catalogue 
of the Leyden Museum, Schlegel identifies melanotis with govinda, 
and states, that the dimensions are those of regalis, of which he 
gives the wing at from 20*25 to 21'35 inch. The dimensions of 
the Fauna Japonica are, I apprehend, those most to be relied 
on, as they are actually recorded from specimens, whereas the 
catalogue statement " same size as M. regalis, " is somewhat 
vague and loose. Be this as it may, the pure white wing 
patch of M. ma;'of distinguishes it equally from M. melanotis ax^i 
the two other species that occur in India. Of M. melanotis, 
Schlegel expressly says, " The primaries are mottled with white 
near their bases;" moreover Mr. Gurney says in epist, " I asked the 
Curator of the Norwich Museum to examine our specimens of 
M. melanotis from Japan, and of M. govinda from China, some 
of which (especially the more Northern) seem to be a larger race 
than the Indian, and also our specimens of ordinary M. govinda." 
In reply he informs me, " that he cannot discover any such white 
patch as you mention as characteristic of M. major. In all the 
specimens the inside of the primaries above the notch is more or 
less mottled with white which does not appear to be more pro- 
minent in one species or race than in the others," it is there- 
fore pretty certain that M. major and M. melanotis are distinct. 

Contributions to the Ornithology/ of India, Sfc. 163 

59.— Elanus melanopterus, Daud. 

This species is plentiful enoug'h in the Western Punjab, but 
it is comparatively rare in Sindli. I only procured one specimen, 
and only saw two or three others, and all these exclusively in 
Upper Sindh. 

60.— Strix indica, Bhjth. 

This owl is by no means common in Sindh. The only place 
at which I saw it was Larkhana, and there I shot a pair. The 
female measured, length, 14*25 ; expanse, 39 '5 ; tail from 
vent, 5'2; wing, 10"8; weight, lib. 3 oz. ; wing, when closed, 
reached to within 1 of end of tail. Tarsus, 2*75. Male 
kngth, 13*25 ; expanse, 37*5 ; wing, 10*7; tail from vent, 5*2; 
wings, when closed, reached to within 1*25 of end of tail; tarsus, 
2*6; weight, 1 lb. In both the bills were pearly white, the feet 
horny grey ; claws blackish, and irides brown. The two speci- 
mens illustrated admirably the different stages of plumage of this 
species. Above, the female was so closely speckled and jDencilled 
with blackish brown and grey, as to leave scarcely any buff color 
visible from the forehead to the tips of the upper tail coverts, 
and the black and white spots were very large and numerous. 
In the male the buff predominated on the nape, back of the 
neck, and upper back, and was abundantly visible over the whole 
surface, and the black and white spots were small and incon- 
spicuous. The whole lower surface of the female from the ruff 
down to the points of the lower tail coverts and the tibial 
plumes, was tinged pale buffy, and profusely spotted with com- 
paratively large triangular brown spots ; the whole lower surface 
of the male on the other hand was pure white, with a few mi- 
nute brown speckles in the breast and down the sides. The 
male I take to be an old bird, the female quite a young one. 

? 65.— Bulaca ocellata. Less. 

I did not myself see any specimen of this bird, but Capt. 
Maiden told me that he had shot a syrniiim, which he believed 
to belong to this species at Jacobabad. It was, however, he 
had noted, only 15*25 inches in length, so this identification is 
doubtful. Mr. Gray separates our Indian species under Latham's 
name of sinensis, from Lesson's ocellata, which he gives from 
Southern Asia, As the British Museum contains no specimen 
of what Mr. Gray considers Lesson's bird, I hesitate to adopt 
this view. So far as I can make out, the two are identical, 

69,— Bubo bengalensis, FranJd. 

I obtained a fine specimen of this owl at Jhelum. Saw it again 


164 Contrihutions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

near Mooltan, and again near Mittencote ; but did not mj^self 
observe it in Sindh. It lias bowever been procured near tbe 
Munchur Lake, and tbere is no doubt of its rig-bt to find a place 
in tbis Hst. 

70.-^Bubo coromanda. Lath. 

I saw tbis species once or twice in Sindb, and Dr. Day sbot 
a specimen for me on tbe banks of tbe Indus, a sbort distance 
above Kootree. 

76.--Athene brama, Tem. 

This owl is very common in tbe better cultivated portions of 
Sindb; but I met witb it occasionally also in tbe quasi 
desert tracts tbat fringe the bases of tbe rocky bills dividing 
Sindb from Khelat. It was particularly common about Sukkur. 

// -^ 7" 

82.— Hirundo rnstica, L. p-u.4i^M^ 

Was more or less abundant in suitable localities throughout 
Sindh from Kussmore to Kurracbee. 

84.— Hirundo filifera, Steplmi. 

I did not notice this species, but Capt. Maldeu informed me 
tbat it was common about JacobabacI in May, and I have 
received a specimen obtained near Hyderabad, during the 

89. — Cotile sinensis, Gray. 

This little bank-martin is abundant in all the great Punjab 
rivers and in the Indus. The sexes differ very little in size. 
Numerous specimens measm'ed in the flesh, varied in length from 
4'2 to 4'55 j in expanse, from 10 to 10-4 ; wing, from 3'6 to 
3" 75 ; tail from vent, from 1-6 to 1"76 ; in weight, from 0-25 to 
0'4 oz; the wings, when closed, reached from 0'3 to 0*4 beyond 
tbe end of tail. Seme again tbat I have seen were smaller, and 
in other parts of India I have foimd them larger. Taking a large 
series, tbe wings vary from 3*8 to 3"8. I do not myself at present 
much believe in Cotile suhsocata. Small specimens of C. sinensis 
scarcely exceed the dimensions given by Adam, and many speci- 
mens of C. sinensis have the dark irregular brownish black 
band across the breast, and the rump absolutely unicolorous 
with the back. These two points and the difference in size a2> 
pear to be what are relied on as constituting tbe diagnosis of 
the species, and as far as I can judge, they are of no great 

As for Coiile rijmria, I have never seen an Indian killed 
specimen of this bird. Adam says, tbat it is common, on the 

Contributions to llbe.Orniiliology of India, Sj'C. 165 

Indus, and the rivers of tlie Punjab. I have shot on the Sutlej, 
the BeaSj the Chenah, and tlie Indus, almost from their source 
to the sea ; but I have never succeeded, though of late years 
I have been specially on the look-out for this species, in 
seeing or securing" a specimen. This bird is very much larger 
than our Indian species, and has the dusky baud on the chest 
very much more conspicuous. 

91 &i3.— Ptionoprogne pallida, Hume. Stray 

Feathei\^, JVb. J, jp. 1. 

I have already, loc. cU., fully described this new species and 
have nothing now to add to what I then stated. 

99.— Oypselus apus,..i. /^^c./fe^^... €-r^^<^^ 

(7. harhatus Temm. MSS.—Sclater. Pro., Zoo. Soc, 1865, p. 
599. Tristram, Pro., Zoo. Soc, 1867, jj. 887. Gurney, Ibis, 
1868, p. 152. Finsch. Trmis. Zoo. Soc. read June IQth, 1869. 
Vol. VII., p. 213. 

Dr. Sclater in his valuable monograph of the C^/pselida, first 
pointed out that " there are two South" African specimens of a swift 
in the Leyden Museum, labelled " Oj/pselm harhatus" which differ 
from the European examples principally in their lighter color 
above, particularly on the secondaries and scapulars -, in the 
white feathers of the gular patch presenting a narrow black cen- 
tral line, and in the feathers of the lower back, belly, and under 
wing-coverts being narrowly margined with white. Two examples 
from Natal, collected by Mr. Ayres, are similar. It is possible 
that this form may be entitled to rank as a species to which 
Temminck's MS. name may be applied. But it would be 
desirable to obtain more skins for comparison, particularly ex- 
amples from other parts of South Africa.''^ In 1867 loc. cit., Mr. 
Tristram argued that this Souths African representative of 
Ct/pselas apm,^\io\\[(i\)e recognized as distinct under Temminck^s 
manuscript name, on the ground that all known specimens from 
South Africa agreed in the peculiarities pointed out by Sclater. 
Mr. Gurney loc. cit., appears to have accepted this conclusion. 
Gray however united harhatus with apus in his " Hand list," 
and Dr. R. Finsch in his careful paper on the birds of N. E. 
Abj^ssinia, and the Bogos country, demonstrated to my mind 
conclusively that harhatus is nothing but the young of apus. 
Professor Blasius'' opinion which he quotes is peculiarly to the 
j)oint. He says "your specimens are nothing more than the young 
of C. apus, and I cannot distinguish them from others collected 
in our country. I possess also such young ones from Nubia as 
well as old sp)ecime?is from the Cape and Nubiaj Avhich agree in 

166 Contnhdions to the Ornithology of India, ^r. 

darkness of coloration throughout with specimens from Ger- 

All the specimens that I actually secured (for the bird 
scarcely ever ventured within shot) were young birds of the harbct- 
tus type ; but I specially noticed the occurrence along- with these 
of one or two decidedly darker birds, which doubtless were 
adults. I watched these birds very closely with a binocular at 
both Kurrachee and Muscat^ and set down the dark birds as ajms, 
and the lighter ones as a new species, but after reading up the 
passages above referred to, and comparing my specimens with 
one specimen of aj^^is from Cashmere, and a series of this species 
from Europe, I entertain no doubt that both dark and light 
birds belong to one and the same species, the former being adults^ 
the latter being birds of from five to nine months old. 

I observed this swift about the rocky headland of Munora 
which guards the mouth of the Kurrachee Harbour and there shot 
two specimens, male and female, which measured respectively, 
Male, length, 6"8 ; expanse, 16; wing, &•% ; tail from vent, 
2*9 ', closed wing reached to 1'4 beyond end of tail ; weight, 
1'2 oz. Female, length, 6 "75; expanse, 15*75; wing, 6"3 ; tail 
from vent, 3'8 ; closed wing reached to 1"S beyond end of tail ; 
weight, 1'12 oz. 

I observed these again off almost every one of the rocky 
headlands along the Mekran Coast as far as Gwader, and again 
I olJserved numbers about the cliffs of Muscat, and there shot 
three more specimens. 

100.— Cypselus affinis, J. E. Gray. III. Ind. 

Zool. pi. 35, Fig. 2. G. ahyssmicus, Hempr. JEhrh. ; 
and G. galilmensis. Antin. 

The white rumped swift was met with once or twice in parties 
between Jhelum and Kussmore, but from Kussmore throughout 
Upper Sindh to Sehwan, I never saw it. At Sehwan, Kotree, and 
Hyderabad, it was abundant, and from Kurrachee again I met 
with it, wherever we landed, to Gwader. 

At Muscat it was specially abundant. 

My friend Dr. O. Finsch remarks, " Dr. Sclater has already 
pointed out the identity of the Indian and African specimens 
of this species (Proc. Zool. Soc, 1865, p. 603.) After having 
examined numerous specimens from India, Palestine, Sennabar, 
(s. n. caffer in Mus. Hein.,) the Blue Nile, Anamaboe (Gold Coast) 
St. Thome, Ilha do Principe, and the Cape, I am quite of the 
same opinion as Dr. Sclater, and can give some further additions 
to the knowledge of this species. 

" The variableness in the intensity of coloring; the greater or 

Contrihutions to the Ornithology of India, 8)'c. 167 

less e;xtension of the white o-ular patch of feathers^ and the exis- 
tence of a more or less visible paler supercilliary stripes are 
noticeable as in C. apus ; young- ones also show the whitish 
marginations on the feathers of the under parts." 

In these latter remarks I entirely agree^ and I would add that 
even in the same localities the birds vary vei*y much in size, the 
wing varying from 4'8 to about 5*5 in Indian specimens. 
Dr. Finsch indeed gives the wing* of specimens from the Bine Nile 
and St. Thome at 5 '6 ; but I have seen no Indian bird quite 
so large as this. 

jr^ 113.— Oaprimulgus mahrattensis, Sykes. 

Goat-suckers are very scarce in Sindh. I myself never suc- 
ceeded in securing" a specimen, except a single male of this species 
at the very northern boundary of Sindh, on the banks of the 
Indus. This specimen measured, length, 8*9 ; expanse, 20 ; tail 
from vent, 4*25 ; wing", 6*8 ; wings when closed, reached to 
within 0-55 of end of tail; weight, 2*25 ozs. The legs and feet 
were pale fleshy brown ; the claws black ; bill and irides, dark 

I am told that at Larkhana, Mehur, and near the Munchur 
Lake, goat-suckers have been often noticed, I hope local ob- 
servers will preserve specimens and send them to me for identi- 

117.— Merops viridis, L. 

Pretty common all the year round in Upper Sindh ; in Lower 
Sindh it appears comparatively rare. The Sindh specimens 
almost entirely lack the rufous tinge on the head ; in fact in color- 
ation as in geographical position, they are at the opposite end 
of the scale to the Burmese birds in which the rufous tinge on 
the cap is so conspicuous. 

^120.— Merops segyptius, Forsh. 

I myself failed to procure a specimen, as this species is not 
a cold weather visitant to Sindh, but it is common everywhere 
in L^pper Sindh at any rate during the hot weather and rains, 
and I have received specimens procured there subsequent to my 

123.— Coracias indica, L. 



The Indian roller, though scarcely ever met with in the desert S^ 
portions of Sindh, is as common in the better wooded and culti- 
vated portions of the province as elsewhere throughout India. 

168 ContrUmtiom to the Ornltliology of India, 8fc. 

As mig-ht be expected they are typical indlca IdivcIs witliout the 
sljo-litest leaning- towards affiiiis such as is so g-enerally notice- 
able ill specimeiig from the Terai below Darjeeling' and Eastern 
Beng"al g-eiierally. 

125.— Coracias garrula, L. 

Like 3leroj)s agjiptlus, this appears to be only a hot and rainy 
season visitant. I procured no specimens, but Mr. James, c. rS., 
has recently forwarded to me a fine adult killed during- the sum- 
mer. I may here mention that in g"oing throug'h a small collec- 
tion of birds made during the last rains at Mooltan by Mr. T. 
Cox, c. E., I found no less than six specimens of this species, 
which tbere, as indlea elsewhere, greatly affects the telegraph 
wires. From Peshawur and near Attock I have also had speci- 
mens procured during the summer. I have shot numerous speei- 
metis near Simla, and Captain Gr, F. L. Marshall kindly sent 
me one obtained at Nynee Tal, which as Hodgson did not meet 
with it in Nepal is probably its Eastern limit in India. 

129.— Halcyon smyrnensis, L. 

This king-fisher is pretty abundant in Sindh and is met with 
every where alike on the great rivers, canals, streams, ponds, 
and lakes. 

134.— Alcedo bengalensis, Gm, 

I only obtained a single specimen of this smaller Indian race, 
in Sindh, and that was from the east of the Indus in the Eoree 
district. If it occurs at all west of the Indus, where it is 
replaced by the next species, it will only be, I apprehend, as a 
mere straggler. It is curious that the only Alcedo seen at Mus- 
cat, was the present and not the next species. 

134 ^er.— Alcedo ispida, L. 

If I were disposed to manufticture new species, I should cer- 
tainly christen the small Sindh king-fisher Alcedo Sindiana ; as 
it is, I consider it a most interesting link between Ispida and 
Bengalensis, differing only from the English bird with which 
I have compared it by the comparative shortness of the bill, 
and in this respect corresponding more nearly with the king- 
fisher of Greece and the Holy Land. In size this bird is so 
conspicuously larger than the common beugaleiisis, that the differ- 
ence cannot fail to strike the most casual observer, and this 
coupled with the much shorter bill compels me to identify it 
witli ispida rather than hengalerisis. I shot and preserved a con- 

Conhihutions to the Ornithology of India, 8)C. 169 

suleraLle number of these birds ; most of tliem I measured in the 
tieslij but it will suffice to subjoin the dimensions of a dozen. 

Length. Expanse. Wing. Bill at Front. "Weight. 

Males (1) 7-6 inch. Ill inch. 2-91 inch. 1-45 inch 1-25 oz. 

(2) 7-0 „ 10-3 „ 2-87 „ 1-57 „ 1-05 „ 

(3) 7-2 „ 10-5 „ 2-85 „ 142 „ 1-18 

(4) 7-4 „ 11-0 „ 3 „ 1-55 „ 1-1 „ 
„ (5) 7-5 „ 10-7 „ 2^9 „ 1-63 „ 1-25 „ 

(6) 7-2 „ 10-5 „ 2^9 „ 1-43 „ 1-25 „ 

„ (7) 7-2 „ 10-5 „ 2^9 „ 1-5 „ 1-1 „ 

„ (8) 7-2 „ 10 „ 2^9 „ 1-5 „ 1-15 

„ (9) 7^0 „ 10-5 „ 2-85 „ 1-5 „ — 

Pemales(lO) 7-2 „ 10-5 „ 2"83 „ 1-4 „ — 

„ (11) 7^0 „ 10-9 „ 2-92 „ 1-5 „ - 

„ (12) 7-3 „ 11-0 „ 2^9 „ 1-53 „ - 

Mr. Sharp's elaborate table of the comparative dimensions' 
of A. hengalemh and A, isjylda may be epitomized as follows : — 

Length. Bill. Wing. 

JspifZa.— England ... 6-8 to 7'5 1-6 to 17 2-95 to 3 

Green and Palestine... 67 „ 7 1-5 2'95 „ 31 

Sengalensis. — (JeyloU ...'^ 

India, Java Malacca, Japan ..J g ^^ g.g pgs to 175 2-6 to 2-85 
Labuan, Gilloolo, Hainan, Amoy, I 
Formosa ... ...J 

JBengalensis. — Oelitral Asia and 

Phillippines ... 6 to 6-5 PG to 17 2-9 

Bengalensis. — Cairo ... 6'6 2 2'8 

It will, I think, be seen that as regards leng-th, our Sindli 
birds average fully as large as English ispida. The wings which 
in two birds out of three, measured 2*9 and upwards, average 
much larger than hengalemis, while the bills which in two out 
of three birds vary between 1"4 and 1*5, average much shorter 
than either species. 

The peculiar western character of the Avifauna of Sindli 
venders th« occurrence of this close approximation to isjuda, all 
the more interesting. Some ornithologists will doubtless be 
disposed to consider the brevity of bill coupled with the greater 
length and bulk of body as entitling the Sindh race to specific 
separation, and those who do so, may call it A. Sindlana ; for 
my part I look upon it merely as an outlying race of ispida. 

I found this species everywhere in Smdh from Kussmore, the 
•extreme north-east point to the Hubb river at its south- 
western extremity. It is impossible to exaggerate the num- 
bers in which this species is found along some of the small rush- 
fringed canals of Upper Sindh. In the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Jacobabad, along perhaps, three or four miles of such a 
canal, I shot in a hour seven or eight, and saw at least twenty 
of these birds. In the large rivers,, and large inland pieces of 

170 Contributions to the Ornitliology of Indica.^ 

waters, they are but rarely met with ; but in all the narrow 
water-courses, where the dense reeds on either bank bend 
curving- over the stream, nearly meeting- in the centre, these 
little king-fishers may be seen at every hundred yards or so, 
swaying to and fro on an overhanging- stem, or g-liding up and 
down the stream with a noisless rapidity that baffles des- 

I may note that compared with either hengalensis or ispida the 
plumage of the Siudh birds, as a body, seems considerably 
brighter, but this may possibly be due to the care with which 
my specimens were preserved and to their always having been 
kept carefully papered up from the moment they were skinned 
to the present time. 

136.— Ceryle rucHs, L. 

This species was most abundant everywhere in the great 
rivers, and in all the larger pieces of water throughout Sindh. 
The females in this species appear to be somewhat larger than 
the males, and are at once distinguished by the single imperfect 
chest band, while the males have two, more or less perfect, 
pectoral bands. 

147. — Palseornis eupatria, L. ; AlexandH., L. 

I mvself never met with this species in Sindh, but it is said 
to occur in some years as a straggler in the neighbourhood of 
Hyderabad. I obtained two specimens on the Jhelum near 
Pindadun Khan, and I saw it again on the banks of the 
Chenab, not far from Mooltan. I once saw a huge flock of this 
species flying round and round the minars of the Jumma 
Musjid at Lahore. 

148— Palseornis torquatus, Bodd, 

Common all over Sindh wherever there are trees ; but that of 
course is in no means half the country. 

158.— Picus scindeanus, Gould. 

This species is more or less abundant throughout Sindh. 
While Bracliypternus dilutus affects the sirris, shesum, and 
other large trees of the avenues planted along all roads in the 
neighbourhood of most of the stations in Sindh, the present 
species is almost entirely a denizen of the tamarisk jungles. 
There is no great difference in the size of the sexes, though the 
males are slightly larger. The following are dimensions taken 
in the flesh from a series of both sexes : 

Males.— hen^i\v, 8*5 to 8*6; wing, 4*5 to 4-6; tail from 
ventj 3-1 to 3-^; expanse, 14-5 to 15; feet; length, 1-7 

Cofitributions to the Ornithology of India, SfC. 171 

to 1*9; width, 1*4 j closed wings reach to within from I'-i td 
1"6 of end of tail ; weight, 2 to 2*25 oz. 

Females. — Length, 8 to 8'5 ; wing, 4*4 to 4"7 ; tail, 3 to 3*2 ; 
expanse, 13*6 to 15; feet, length, 1*8 to 1*9; width, 1*2 to 
1-5 ; closed wings reach from 1-2 to 1*4 of end of tail ; -weight, 
1-5 to 2-1 oz. 

This species is not confined to Sindh but extends upwards 
between the Indus and the Jhelum to the foot of the Hima- 
layas. It is common in the salt range, and single specimens 
have been sent from Murdan, Peshawur, and Hazara. The 
width and color of the frontal band varies a good deal in 
different individuals ; in width from an eighth to a quarter of an 
inch, in color from almost perfectly pure white to rufous brown. 
In the male the whole top of the head from the frontal band 
backwards to the nape is crimson ; the feathers however are short 
and the dusky bases, even in the live bird, shew through a good 

? 168 Si's.— Dryocopus martius, L. 

According to the concurrent testimony of many persons in 
Sindh, an enormous black wood-pecker, with a red head, is 
found occasionally in certain trees, on the Khelat hills, a little 
way below the top of Duryalo. This can surely be nothing 
but the species above indicated. 

i_. 182.— Brachypternus dilutus, Blytli^ J. A. S., 

T\ XIV., 550. 


The golden backed wood-pecker is most abundant in all the 
many roadside avenues that since Sindh became a British 
Province have been carefully nurtured in the neighbourhood of 
every large town and station. In Roree, near Sukkur, Lar- 
kana, Hyderabad, and Kotree, and a score of other places, I 
have seen eight or ten in a morning, and I carefully preserved 
a large series. 

Although for the sake of convenience I have retained Mr. 
Blyth's specific appellation, my conviction is, not only that the 
Sindh wood-pecker is in no way entitled to specific separation, 
but further that it is barely distinguishable as a local race. 

My series of £. aurantius ranges over a considerable tract of 
country. The specimens are from Raipoor, Dacca, Cachar, Jhan- 
sie, Etawah, Saharunpoor, the Dhoon, and Gurhwal, and all that 
can be said for the Sindh birds is that as compared with B. 
aurantius from the various localities above enumerated, they 
have, as a body, less of the orange tinge on the back, and have 

172 CoMridtttwiis to the Ofwvtliologf (f InMa,'^e>, 

the spots on the coverts slig-htly more developed- This is merely 
taking them as a body, specimens of aurardius from the North- 
Western Provinces may be selected absolutely identical with the 
Sindh birds. , 

As for the other differences pointed out by Mr. Blyth they 
absolutely fail when tested by a comparison of any 3ousiderable 
number of birds. First he says dllutus is rather smaller, but in 
reality if any thing" it is rather larger. The following are the 
dimensions of wings of males and females of Sindh birds from 
a great variety of localities: — Males, 5'5; 5*7; 5'7; 5*7j 
5-5 ; 5-6 ; 5-7. Females, 5'75 ; 5-5 ; 5-5 ; 5'65 ; 5-8 ; 5-65. 

The following are the wings of atiranUus taken at random 
from different localities in India — males, 5*3 ; 5*9; 5'35 ; 5"25 ; 
5"6 ; 5'5 j female, 5'5. The Sindh bird therefore is certainly not 

Secondly, he says, that the eye streak is less defined, but I can- 
not confirm this assertion ; individuals may be found in which the 
eye streak in dllutm is much better defined than in others of 
mirantius and vice versa ; thirdly, he says, the quilfe are broadly 
barred with white which is seen conspicuously in the closed wing, 
while in anrantms and chrysonotus, the white bars are narrow and, 
inconspicuous. No such distinction can be drawn in practice be- 
tween birds from Sindh and other parts of India. With a dozen 
specimens of each before one, it is quite clear that the breadth of 
the bars on the wing, so far as it varies, varies according to the 
individual ; and specimens from Sindh may be at once selected" 
in which the wing bars are actually narrower than in other 
specimens of aurantius. When not overhung by the second- 
aries, as is so commonly the case in dry skins, the white bars on 
the primaries are equally cons])icuous in the closed wings of 
both aurantius and the Sindh birds. Lastly, Mr. Blyth says, 
that there is a greater amount of white on the markings of the^ 
lower surface. I however can discover no such difference. In 
individuals both of aurantius and the Sindh birds, considerable 
differences as to the amount of black on the lower surfaces, 
especially on the throat is observable ; but it is a mere individual 
peculiarity, possibly dependant on age, and birds in which the 
black predominates may be as easily selected from the Sindh speci- 
mens as fi'om those obtained from other portions of the empire. 

After having carefully compared a large series of the Sindh 
birds with a similar series from other localities, I entertain no 
doubt that the former differ from the latter solely in the slightly 
paler tint of the golden back in which an orange shade is 
scarcely ever traceable, and in the slightly more conspicuous 
character of the spots on the wing coverts, even these differences 

'Contributions to t/ie Omitliologi/ of India, ^i. \7^ 

however not being" absolutely isonstant. 

I may note that specimens from Dehra Ghazee Khan where 
the birds appear at the beg-inning- of the hot weather^ temporary 
visitants from Khelat and Afg-hanistan^ are apparently slightly 
|3aler and still more conspicnously spotted on the wing coverts 
ph^ai the Sindh specimens. Following Mr. Blyth's example, these 
ought to be separated as dilwtior ! I set my face however against 
this hair-splitting. 

188.— Yunx torquilla, £. 

I observed this occasionally in the neighbourhood of stations, 
and elsewhere where acacia (babul) trees were pretty plentiful. 
In the more desert portions of the country, it is, I believe, un- 

212.— Coccystes Jacobinus, Bodd. 

Not observed in Sindh during the cold weather, but Mr. 
James, c. s.^ has recently sent me a specimen obtained in Sep- 
tember, in a garden on the banks of the river Lyaree at Kur- 
rachee. Mr. James remarks, that he has never, met with it else- 
where in Sindh. It seems I may note that Bodd's name above 
given, has precedence of Gmelin^s, better known and most ap- 
Ipropriate designation mtlamleucus. 

214.— Eudynamis horonata, L. (=:nrientaUs 

apud Jerdon) . , 

; The koel, was very seldom seen in Sindh during our stay, 
'but Capt. Maiden informed me that he had killed it more than 
;once at Jaeobabad. 

It seems to be generally admitted that K orientalis, L., is a 
'Ceram or Amboyna koel, or from Ternate, Timor and Amboyna, 
as Gray gives it. Anyhow it is not our Indian bird, which, ac- 
cording to Mr. Gray, stands as horonata, L. Lord Walden gives 
it as homrata, L. (Ibis, 1869, p. 338,) but this is probably a 
jclerical oversight. 

217.— Oentropus rufipennis, llUger, 

The crow pheasant, as the larger Coucal is commonly called 
,in India, was very abundant all along the banks of all the larger 
rivers wherever tamarisk jungle occurred ; again wherever 
this bush, or tree, as it sometimes grows to be in Sindh, fringes 
the margin of any swamp or lake, there some pairs of this species 
"are pretty -sure to be seen trotting about on the ground with tails 
carefully lifted up, or threading their way through the branches 
'.with the peculiar serpentine motion they adopt in moving 
.through thickets. In. Lower Sindh, they .are less common. 



174 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^e. 

234.— Arachnechthra asiatica, L. 

The common honey-sucker seems very abundant all over 
Sindh. All the specimens obtained up to the middle of February 
were still in winter plumage. I fully expected from the g-eneral 
character of the fauna to meet with A. osea ; but thoug-h I shot 
honey-suckers purposely in every locality, they all turned ou^Tto 
be nothing- but the cammon Indian bird. 

254.— Upupa epops, L, 

All the hoopoes I saw belonged to the European race; 
larger in size and everywhere paler in tint than our Indian 
birds, and with a conspicuous sub-terminal white band on the 
posterior feathers of the crest. The bird was very common 
from Kussmore to Kurrachee, and again I saw a single specimen 
at Gwader. 

256.— Oollyrio lahtora, Syhes, 

This shriko though not numerically anything like so abund- 
ant as C. erytJironotns or a fortiori Lanms arenarius, was still 
met with everywhere throughout Sindh. I have not worked 
up the subject myself, but Mr. Gray restricts Lanins, L., to 
cristatus, phcenicurus, magnirostris, arenarius, senator, rutila,ns, 
&c., and assigns most of the other shrikes to Moehr's genus 
Collyrlo (175a). 

257.— GoUyrio erythronotus, Vigors. 

Very common throughout Sindh; most abundant in the 
better cultivated portions of the country, but found, though more 
sparingly, even in the semi-desert tracts. All the Sindh birds 
are true erytJironotns, with the rufous running up the scapulars ; 
but as usual they vary very much in tint; in one specimen the 
grey of the head and upper back is pure and comparatively 
dark, and runs unchanged on to the black frontal band ; in another 
it is much paler, and the whole front of the head is a nearly pure 
white dividing the grey of the occiput and nape from the black 
frontal band. 

260.— Oollyrio vittatUS, Vum. BardioicUi, Gr. 

Not uncommon in the better cultivated portions of Sindh, 
but never observed in the more barren localities. 

262.— Lanius arenarius, Blyth. Lanius isaheU 

linus, H. Sf E, ; Strickland, Pro. Zoo, Soc, 1850, p, 
217, No. 46. 

There is not in ray mind the smallest doubt that Zanins^ 
arenarius and Lanius isabellinus are one and the same species. 

Contrihitions to the Ornithology of India, 8j-c, 175 

Blyth's name was published in 1846, J. A. S. XV., p. 304. 
Ehrenber^^s name is said to have appeared in Symb. Phys. i 
fol. e note, but I have not this latter work, and I am therefore 
unable to decide which name is entitled to priority. 

Mr. Strickland loc. cit., remarks of isabellinus : " This species 
is pale fulvo-cinereous above, cream-colored below ; rnmp and 
tail rufous, a broad blackish band from the nostrils to the ear 
coverts, margined above by a whitish streak. It much resembles 
L. areMarius, Blyth ; but is of a more cinereous tinge above, 
and is distinguished from that and all the allied Asiatic species, 
by possessing a conspicuous white band at the base of the fourth 
to the ninth primaries. The specimen from Kordofan has an 
obscure dark transverse band near the tips of the rectrices."'^ Mr. 
Blyth says, '' A marked variety of L. melanotis, (= L. cristafus, 
Linn.,) for it can scarcely be admitted as a separate species, 
was found abundantly by Captain Boys in the country lying 
between Sindh and Ferozepore. It is distinguished by its pale 
coloring, a predominant dull, sandy grey, scarcely tinged with 
rufous, except on the rump and tail ; the lores being whitish in 
a male and female, presented to the Society by Captain Boys ; 
but with a slight black spot joining the orbit above. If regard- 
ed as new, L. arenarius, nobis.'^ 

Now the shrike to which both these descriptions equally apply 
is common as a winter visitant throughout the greater portion 
of the plains of Punjab, the whole of Rajpootana, and Sindh. 
The name arenai-ius is peculiarly appropriate, because wherever 
within these regions sandy and semi-barren wastes extend, there 
this shrike is particularly numerous. 

Eastwards, beyond the limits above indicated, this species 
is only a straggler ; but I have one specimen from Etawah 
and I have seen it in the Agra district, and I may here 
notice that within the limits above assigned to this species. 
L. cristatus never, to the best of my knowledge, occurs. 
Throughout the extreme west of India, the western Punjab, and 
Sindh, this species is abundant to a degree, and during our 
whole trip from Jhelum to Kurrachee, I do not remember 
having failed to see it on any one single day. I saw it again 
along the Mekran Coast to Grwader, and procured it in Muscat. 
Westward we know that it is found in Afghanistan, and Kordo- 
fan, and Erhenberg describedit, I believe, from Northern Arabia. 
The color of this species varies a good deal. Lord Walden's 
figure in the Ibis of isabellinus, 1867, p. 234, is too dark for any 
specimen that I have seen, and mvjchjtgo^dark for Strickland^s 
or Blyth^s description ; but stilf freshly moulted birds make an 
approach to Lord Walden's description j birds as we usually 

176 ContrihtUdm -to the 'OrnWiotog'y vf 'India', Sfc. 

obtain 'tliem in the winter answer exactly to Stricklnnd^s, while, 
those somewhat bleached correspond perfectly with Blyth^s. 

The wing spot from the fourth to the ninth primaries^, which 
I believe is what has mainly led to the separation of the two 
species is easily explained ; only the perfect adult male exhibits 
it. Young' birds of both sexes never shew the slightest trace of 
it, and amongst the adult females, only perhaps one or two iu 
twenty have a small yellowish white line, where the white patch 
would be in the adult male. In the young birds of this as in other 
species the breast feathers are more or less variegated with very 
narrow crescentic brown bands. So long as any of these are 
traceable, you may look in vain for the. white wing spot ; but 
even after these have all disappeared, it is not until the line in 
front and behind the eye becomes black, instead of blackish 
brown, that you may expect to find the white wing bar cons- 
picuous. Out of nine males, shewing no other sign of nonage 
which I brought from Sindh, six only have the eye streak really 
black j and all these exhibit the wing bar most distinctly ; of 
the other three, with browner eye streaks, two shew only a trace, 
and the third, no indication whatsoever of the wing bar. The 
females never have the streak behind the eye as dark as in the 
males, while of the continuation of that line in front of the eye 
they exhibit only a trace. The young birds iu neither sex, so 
long as the crescentic markings are pretty numerous on the 
lower parts, shew much trace of the antiocular black spot, so 
large and conspicuous in the perfect adult male. It may here 
be noticed, that at Jeast two-thirds of the birds met with in 
India in the cold season are young, the lower plumage more or 
less varied, with crescentic lines ; of the remaining one-third at 
least one-half are females, the remaining one-sixth only are 
adult, or nearly adult males; of these agaiu about one-third 
have not yet acquired the: throughly black eye stripe, or the 
well marked white wing band ; in fact, it is only about one 
in ■ every nine or ten birds that do clearly exhibit this charac- 
teristic. The bird is very tame and will often allow you to 
walk up within twenty yards of it, and scrutinise it carefully 
with a pair of binoculars, and as in the live bird the white spot 
is quite perceptible even when the wing is at rest (in dry skins 
the secondaries almost always overlay it) I was able to procure 
a much larger proportion with the white spot, than I could have 
done had I merely shot them at random. 

Lord Walden remarks of arenar'ms that in the specimen 
before him, " The centre pair of rectrices, at about one-third of 
their length from the end display a well marked, irregular, light- 
eolored transverse baud, a good .distinctive character if found to 

fJontHhufion^ to the OrnWiology of India; Sfc. 177 

be constant in all examples." This character is however not only 
not constant, but absolutely exceptional, as is also the " obscure 
dark transverse band near the tips of rectrices^'' alluded to by 
Strickland. I myself have never met with a sing-le specimen ex- 
hibiting- exactly these peculiarities ; the central tail feathers at all 
stag-es are slightly darker and less pure than the laterals, and are 
throughout their entire length obscurely and narrowly banded, dar^ 
ker and lighter, obsolete barrings scarcely noticeable intheadultsj 
but more conspicuous in the young birds, in which, moreover, the 
central rectrices have a more decidedly brownish tinge. At all 
ages the rectrices are inconspicuously and narrowly margined 
and tipped paler. 

There is but little to be said about the habits of this species ; it 
is no fiiend to the more richly cultivated and irrigated portions of 
even Sindh ; in Larkaua for instance it is far less common, but iu 
the barer portions of the country where here and there a few stunt- 
ed tamarisk or acacia bushes sparsely dot, what in the cold weather 
seems a barren waste,, i/. arenarms is to be met with, perched on the 
top-most twig of almost every other bush, from which it makes, 
from time to time, short excursions on rapidly beating wings, 
and after a moment^s pause upon the sand, to devour some grass- 
hoppers, or fly, returns, unless disturbed, to its former perch. 
I have measured a great number of these birds in the flesh, and 
perhaps the following dimensions may be useful. 

The sexes do not difier materially in size, but the wing of the 
female averages perhaps smaller. 

Length,7-13 to 8j expanse, 11 to 11*75; wing, 3-35 to 3-7; tail 
from vent, 3-13 to 3-75 ; tarsus, 0*88 to 1 ; bill straight from fore- 
head to point, 0-5 to 0-62; from gape, 0-7 to 0-82; weight, 1*1 to 
1-25 oz; the fourth, or third and fourth primaries longest; the 
first from 1-65 to 1'85 ; and the second from 0*3 to 0-42 shorter 
than the longest. The closed wings fall short of end of tail by 
from 1-94 to 2-25 ; the legs and feet are black or very dark horny 
brown ; the irides brown ; the bill is black, blue-black, or dark 
horny brown, whitish, pale fleshy, or paler brown at base. 

t 265,— Tephrodornis pondiceriana, Gml. 

W' Not uncommon in the better cultivated regions where babul 
trees (Acacia Arahica) which it especially aflPects, are tolerably 
abundant, but seldom seen, in fact I never met with it at all^ 

. in the more barren localities. 

j^276.— Pericrocotusperigrinus, L. 

,y* The Sindh birds are peculiarly pale colored ; the males have 
the upper surface a pale grey, the same color exactly as the head 
and nape of Coll^rio erythronotus ; the rump is just tinged 

178 Coiitribtttions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 

yellow ; tbe upper tail coverts bright orang-e scarlet ; the wing 
spot is a pale yellow just tiug-ed with orange; the lateral tail 
feathers are white^ tinged with orange yellow on the inner web ; 
the chin and throat slaty grey^ a patch of orange on the breast 
and a yellowish tinge on the sides. The females are a still paler 
grey, the upper tail coverts pale orange, the whole lower surface 
pure white ; the wing patch and the lateral tail feathers white, 
with the faintest possible yellowish tinge. 

Mr. Gould figures this species in Birds of Asia IX., pi., 5 and 
in this he represents the red of the male very much like that of 
brevirosti'is, I mean brevirostris toestward of the Ganges, for the 
Darjeeling birds are much more deeply, and brilliantly colored. 
Mr. Gould himself remarks '^ most of my specimens from the 
northern parts of India are lighter in color than those from 
Madras and Ceylon, the coloring of their upper surface being 
a light grey, while a corresponding paleness occurs in the scarlet 
of the under surface; in size and relative admeasurements, 
however, I find little or no difference ; I am inclined therefore 
to consider them as mere varieties. 

A specimen in the collection of Dr. John Murray, Civil 
Surgeon at Agra, differs in having all the colors of a much 
lighter hue ; the mark on the wing yellow, stained with scarlet ; 
and the under-surface yellow, washed with scarlet on the breast.'* 

I myself have never seen a specimen of this species anything 
like so brightly colored as Mr. Gould figures it, but I have 
unfortunately only one Southern Indian, and that although 
doubtless darker than Upper Indian birds, still in no way ap- 
proaches Mr. Gould's figure. As far as I can make out, in the first 
place, the bird varies in intensity of color very markedly accord- 
ing to locality, the deepest colored being from the Peninsular 
of India, then Lower and Eastern Bengal and Eastern portion 
of Central Provinces somewhat paler ; rest of Central Provinces, 
North- West Provinces, and Punjab, paler still, and the Sindh 
birds much the palest of all. Besides this variation according 
to locality, these birds, to the best of my belief unlike the other 
Indian Pericrocoti, assume a markedly brighter plumage in the 
breeding season. 

278.— Buchanga albirictus, Eodgs. 

The Sindh specimens are typical, fine birds nearly 13 inches 
long, and expanse close upon 19 inches. 

292.— Leucocirca aureola, Vieilht. 

Rare in Sindh as a whole, but common along the banks of 
the InduS; and in the neighbourhood of many of the canals. 


■€ontribtitions to the Ornithology of India, 8fC_^ 179 

Mr. Gray gives Franklin's name alhofrontata, priority of aureola 
Lesson^ but according- to Pucheran^ this bird is '^ Shipedura 
mireolaf' Y., and if sOj this name should stand. 

323 &^s.— Erythrosterna parva, Bechst. 

I only saw specimens of this species in the neighbourhood of \\ 
Sukkur. '; \ 

351.— Petrocossyphus cyanus, L. 

In the level cultivated and irrigated tracts of Sinh^ this species 
was never met with, but it was by no means uncommon in the 
rocky hills that divide Sindh from Khelat ; and where, at rare 
intervals, perennial streams such as the Gaj, and the Nurree Nai 
flow through them_, it is abundant. I met with, it in several 
localities along the Mekran Coast, and I shot and preserved a 
specimen from Muscat, 

356.— Geocichla unicolor, Tichell. 

I myself never met with this species in Sindh, but Captain 
Maiden informed me that he killed a specimen at Jacobabad 
on the 7tli February, 186 7. 

365.— Cicliloides atrogularis, Tem, 

In the better cultivated portions of Upper Sindh especially in 
and about groves and gardens, this species was very common. 
We used continually to see it busy on the ground in the thick 
brush-wood, turning over leaves in a most systematic and busi- 
ness-like manner. I particularly noticed it on one occasion 
working a large patch of dead leaves backwards and forwards as 
a pointer would a field of turnips. Occasionally it was also 
seen in localities entirely devoid of trees feeding in the irregular 
patches of a kind of mustard that is so generally grown through- 
out Sindh. About Hyderabad I again noticed it, and strange 
to say obtained two fine specimens, one a male, in nearly full 
breeding plumage, at Gwader on the 19th February. 

385.— Pyctorhis sinensis, Gmel. 

This species is abundant in Sindh along the banks of the 
Indus, wherever there is long grass. Again, between Jacobabad 
and Sukkur, I saw it in greater numbers than I have ever I 
think elsewhere noticed it_, unless perhaps in the Eastern Jumna 
Canal in the Saharunpoor district. It is not so common about 
the inland waters, but even here I saw it occasionally. In the 
arid tracts, which so largely predominate in this province, it 
was never met with. 


180 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

432.— Malacocercus terricolor, Eodgs. 

The Sindh babbleTs are not exactly typical terricolor: they are 
to a certain extent intermediate between this and malaharicii,s ; 
that is to say^ they have the striations of the back caused by the 
light centering to the feathers much more conspicuous than in 
typical terricolor. The distinctness however of malabaricus and 
this latter is^ I think^ very questionable ; on the one side of India 
these Sindh birds form to a certain extent a link between two ; 
on the East again^ birds from Raipoor^ form another connecting 
linkj decidedly nearer to malaharicus than terricolor, and absolutely 
identical with specimens from Seegore on the north-eastern 
slopes of the Neil^herries ; while a specimen from Coonoor on 
the south-eastern slopes of the Neilgherries is intermediate be- 
tween these and the typical malabaricus, which I have both 
from Ootacamund and Kullar, on the south-west slopes of the 

Mr. Blythj I note^ identified this species with canorus, L., 
but Mr. Gray I see considers this to be a Chinese species. 
and I have therefore retained Mr, Hodgson^s name. 

438.— Chatarrhea caudata. Bum. 

Common everywhere, even up in the bare rocky hills^ where 
scarcely a single other living thing was seen. Near Kussmore 
I fancied that I saw^ C. 'EarleL Bl.j but I secured no specimen 
and never noticed it again^ so I was probably mistaken. 

443.— Laticilla Burnesi, Blytli. 

I first m-et with this species on the banks of the Chenab near 
the junction with the Indus. I next found it on the banks of 
the Indus near Mittencote. Then again it was comparatively 
abundant between Skikarpoor and Sukkur^ near Larkhana, 
and subsequently in several other localities in Upper Sindh. 
It was only found in high grass jungle, was almost impossible 
to flush, and when once disturbed, climbed about in the interior 
of the reeds and grass, very seldom indeed affording a chance 
of a shot. I procured a considerable number of specimens, but 
they cost me far more trouble than any other bird I met with 
in Sindh except Cettia sericea, Natt. which latter is the ne plus 
tiltra of little skulks. 

The following are the correct dimensions, &c., of this species. 
I may premise that the sexes do not differ materially in size. 
Length, 7*3 to 7' 7; expanse, 6-3 to 7; tail from vent, 4 to 
4-8; wing, 3 to 3-3; tarsus, 0-85 to 0*9; hind toe and claw, 
0-51 to 0-54; bill at front, 0-4; from gape, 0-6 to 0-65. The 
legs and feet are pale horny brown^ or brownish fleshy; the bill 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8j'c. 181 

is a horny brown, pale fleshy on lower mandible ; the irides are 
brown. Weight, 0-45 to 07 oz. 

Description. — The lores, and a circle round the eye, pure white. 
The whole upper parts olive brown, paler and yellower on the 
head, and somewhat conspicuously ting-ed with rufous on the 
back and sides of the neck, each of the feathers of the head, 
back, and sides of the neck, upper back, and scapulars with a 
dark brown central stripe ; the rump and upper tail coverts un- 
striated ; the tail olive brown, the central feathers very broad , 
in good specimens 0"6 in width, obsoletely barred (as are the 
laterals also, though less conspicuously so) somewhat darker ; 
the lateral tail feathers very narrowly margined at the tips with 
fulvous white and equally narrowly margined on the outer 
webs slightly paler, and more rufescent. The tail, when perfect, 
consists of twelve feathers, very much graduated ; the external 
tail feathers are nearly 3"75 shorter than the central ones, and 
barely exceed the lower tail coverts ; the ear coverts are min- 
gled grey and white. From the base of the lower mandible on 
either side of the throat, a double line of little brown spots 
descends below the eye and ear coverts. The lower tail coverts 
are deep ferruginous, the vent feathers, sides, and flanks, tinged 
brownish, the feathers of the two latter with narrow yellowish 
brown central streaks ; the rest of the lower parts pure white ; 
wing lining, brownish white. The fifth and sixth quills are 
equal and longest ; the fourth is about 0*05 shorter ; the third 
about 0*23, the second about 0'5, and the first, 0'9 shorter than 
the fifth. In some specimens the ground color of the head, espe- 
cially towards the forehead, is almost albescent ; in others again 
the rufous tinge on the back of the neck is much more conspi- 
cuously marked. 

459.— Otocompsa leucotis, Gould, 

This white-eared bulbul is perhaps the very commonest bird 
in Sindh, and in the eax-ly sunny mornings it might be seen and 
heard singing most sweetly from the topmost sprays of all the 
larger tamarisk bushes. It is a very tame, famihar, cheerful 
little bird, and almost if not quite the only songster Sindh can 
boast. Common as it is throughout the Punjab, Rajpootana, 
and the upper portion of the North- West Provinces, it is 
even more so in Sindh. It occurs also on the Mekran Coast 
as far as Gwader. Jerdqn^s dimensions are somewhat small, a 
male measured at random in the flesh was, length, 8 ; expanse, 
11 "3 ; tail from vent, 3 '5 ; wing, 3"7 ; wings when closed, reached 
to within two inches of end of tail. 

The color of the lower tail coverts in. this species taries from 

182 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^e. 

a bright pale gamboge to a saffron yellow. 

470 &*s.— Oriolus galbiila, L. 

A very considerable nnmber of western forms snch as tbe 
Egyptian bee-eater, and the European roller, visit Sindh, but 
only during the inundation. The golden Oriole is one of these. 
We of course never saw it, but Mr. James, c. s., has recently 
forwarded to me a specimen procured early in September in a 
mango grove close to Kurrachee. There is no mistake about- 
the species, the much larger size, the longer wing (all but 6,) 
the comparatively smaller bill and the entire absence of black 
behind the eye, separate the bird as clearly as possible. Mr. 
James never remembei's to have seen another, but I do not doubt 
that if search be made next August and September, plenty of 
others will turn up. 

480. — Thamnobia cambaiensis, Latham. 

Although I have identified the Sindh birds with this species, 
it must be understood that the Sindh specimens are exactly 
intermediate between typical fulicata and camhaiensis. The 
backs of the males are much too dark for the one and not dark 
enough for the other ; and here I may notice that these birds are 
precisely similar to some I obtained in Guzerat, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Ahmedabad,. and again at Aboo and Jodhpoor. If 
the name had any real significance, these ought to be the true 
eamhaiensis, and the southern and northern birds should be 
treated as merely darker and lighter races of this one species ; 
fulicata, however, has the priority, and must stand, but never- 
theless I myself question the necessity of acknowledging 
any second species. In the South we have one race, in the 
North another ; typical specimens of each race contrast together 
strongly, but when we come to look into the question, we find 
that between these two types every possible intermediate link is 
to be found ; under such circumstances I personally would in- 
clude both types as local races of one species. 

481.— Pratincola caprata, L. 

The Sindh Mack robin runs perhaps a trifle larger than the 
common Upper-Indian bird. A Sindh male measured length, 5*7; 
expanse, 8"5 ; tail from vent, 2'9 ; wing, 2'8 ; specimens of caprata 
of Upper India (males) vary in length, from4'88 to 5 '3; expanse, 
7-88 to 8-5; wing, 2-4 to 2-75; tail, 17 to 2. Birds from Sanger 
and Hoshungabad seem slightly larger ; Neilgherry birds average, 
length, 5 '5 to 5*7; expanse, 9*8; wing, 3; tail from vent, 
3 to 2 "2; Upper-Indian and Sindh birds do not exceed 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 183 

0*62 oz. in weight, and I do not think they average as much as 
0'5 oz. The Neilgherry birds (P. licolor as it is commonly de- 
signated) weighs up to 0"75 oz., and averages 0*63. 

Except this small difference in weight, I do not really see any 
constant or sufficient difference between the Neilgherry and 
Ceylon birds, (for I have a specimen from Ceylon absolutely 
identical with Neilgherry ones) and those of the rest of India. 
Two specimens from the immediate neighbourhood of Madras are 
fully as large as any Neilgherry one, and between the largest 
Neilgherry bird with a wing, 3"15 j (and practically they rarely 
exceed 0'3;) to the smallest Upper-Indian bird, with a wing, 2-4, 
every size of wing may be met with in intermediate localities. 

I very much doubt the pi'opriety of retaining atrata, Blyth, 
licolor, Sykes, as a distinct species ; all that can be said is 
that Northern-Indian specimens of c«/?f<??^(^ are generally smallest, 
Central-Indian, Goojerat, and Sindh birds intermediate, and 
Southern Indian and Ceylon birds, largest. 

This species was pretty common everywhere in Upper Sindh; but 
perhaps somewhat rarer in the southern portions of the Province. 

483.— Pratincola rubicola, L. ^^-^2^^.r . 

I do not think that under any circumstances the most typi- 
cal examples of the so-called Fratincola indica deserve specific 
separation. On examining a large series of say thirty or forty 
specimens, collected in different parts of India from North to 
South, it will be found that these readily divide into three groups. 
\st, birds absolutely identical with European s^^ecimens (I say 
this after comparing them with a large series of European birds) ; 
^nd, birds of the true Indica type smaller, and much blacker ; 2>rd, 
intermediate specimens which it is difficult in many cases to 
assign preferentially to either group. 

It is true that as far as my experience goes, typical rulicola 
does not breed in the Himalayas; but comes to us as a 
visitant from beyond these, while typical Indica breeds through- 
out the lower ranges of the Himalayas ; but these facts do not 
in themselves in my opinion in the face of the unbroken series^ 
of connecting links that exist, justify a specific separation. 

Be this however as it may, the great majority of the Sindh 
birds, (and the stone chat is very common throughout the pro- 
vince) clearly belong to the ruhicola type. Indeed though some of 
the birds are intermediate, I did not succeed in securing a single 
typical indica between Jhelum and Kurrachee. .y . - 

484.— Pratincola leucura, Blyth. >4^>/^^< 

This species was very abundant, but only in particular loca- 
litiesj in Sindh. I obtained a single female in reeds standing: 

184 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

out in the water near the junction of the Ravee and Chenab^ and 
again in a very similar locality near the junction of the Chenab 
and the Sutlej. With these exceptions I never saw the bird 
except on dunds as the Sindh broads are locally designated. In 
all these where the water was as it were paved with the leaves of 
the lotus and sing-hara (Trapa Bispinosa) and dotted over with 
tiny clumps or single stems of reeds, and flowering grasses, the 
white-tailed chat might be seen perched sideways on one of 
these wind-swayed reeds, every now and then darting down on 
to one of the lotus leaves, seizing some insect there and returning 
to its previous perch, instantly recognizable when on the wing 
by the great amount of w^hite in the tail. 

Outside the high-water mark, I never saw a single specimen ; 
twenty yards from the water's edge, rubicola was abundant,, 
but leucura was never once seen. I know that this is scarcely in 
accordance with Dr. Jerdon's experience elsewhere, but I paid 
particular attention to this species, never having before seen it. 
I shot a very great number both of it and rubicola, and in the 
whole of Sindh, I never once succeeded in obtaining a single 
specimen of leucura really well outside high-water mark, while 
inside, they abounded on every large inland piece of water, 
being often, as in the Munchur Lake, two or three miles away 
from the nearest dry land. The males are as like ruhicola 
as they can possibly be, except as regards the tail, which 
has the central feathers a paler brown than those of ruhi- 
cola, margined conspicuously with yellowish white, and the 
whole of the rest of the tail white, except the tips of the feathers 
on both webs which are pale brown, with a somewhat darker 
brown stripe running up the shafts for from half to two-thirds 
of their length. Perhaps, on the whole, the breast is also paler. 
The females are excessively close to those of ruhicola, and in fact 
are scarcely separable from them except by the pale hue of 
all the lateral tail feathers, and the more conspicuous pale 
margins of all the tail feathers. 

489. — Dromolaea picata, Blyth. 490. Saxicola 

capistrata, Gould. 

I have already in " Stray Feathers" Vol. 1, p. 3, recorded my 
conviction of the identity of these two supposed species, and I 
shall here deal with them as identical.'* They abound through- 
out the whole western Punjab, and in Sindh to the very foot of 

* Mr. Gray, I see, actually puts capisfraia under Saxicola and picata under 
Dromolaea ! but accidents like this will occur ; an equally great authority, but 
in another branch. Ichthyology, has placed the young and old of the same fish in 
different families. •; 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 185 

the hills. They are met with, like the stone chat, always 
perched on the top of some bush, low tree, or pointed stone in 
the wildest and most desolate parts of the country ; continually 
flittering- their tails, redstart-like and perpetually darting- away 
from their perch to capture insects both on the ground and in 
the air ; active restless little birds, their glossy black and snowy 
white plumage is often the only thing that catches the eye in 
the midst of a dull brown desert like expanse of sand and grey 
weather-beaten rocks, and stone interspersed with a few strag- 
gling blades of withered grass, and stunted scorched-looking, 
camel- browsed acacia bushes. 

I quite concur in the distinctness of leucomela Pallas, and 
capistrata which, as I have already explained, I consider one 
stage of picata. The bill in leucomela is markedly larger, whilst 
the wing in capistrata is nearly a quarter of an inch longer ; the 
lower tail coverts in leucomela are a decided buff instead of being 
only faintly tinged with that color as in capistrata. Again, at 
least the half of the inner webs of the quills of leucomela are 
pure white; in capistrata, they are uniform blackish brown. 
Lastly, the black on the tips of the lateral tail feathers is much 
more extended in capistrata than in leucomela. 

Talking of the white patch in the inner webs of the wings of 
leucomela, I notice that Saxicola melas, Licht. of RiippelFs 
" Neue Virbl. Tab. 28, fig. 2, exhibits the same peculiarity. 

It may be useful to notice in connection with the identity 
which I assert of capistrata and picata, that similar duplicate 
forms distinguished only by the presence or absence of the white 
head, exist amongst the Nubian Dromolaea's, and though at 
present considered distinct, are, I submit, not impossibly merely 
different stages of the same species. 

489 &^s.— Dromolaea alboniger, Eume. Stray 

Feathers, Vol. L, jp. 2. 

I have already fully described this species and pointed out 
loc. cit., its distinctness from picata, and I have now only to add 
to what I there mentioned, that the type specimen was procured 
in the interior of the Nurree Nai in the hills west of Sehwan. 
I may however remark that in this species there is an almost 
entire absence of that pale fulvous fawn tinge which usually 
characterises the lower tail coverts of picata. 

Since writing my former note, I have obtained a specimen of 
leucopygia, Brehm. I find that this species has the white head 
of monacha, and the whole breast and abdomen black, it is there- 
fore quite distinct from alboniger and equally so from monacha 
to which it approximates in the pure white laterals. 

186 ContrilitUons to the Ofnithology of India, 8fc. 

490 &is.— Dromolaea monacha, Buppell. Pi. 

Col. 359. S. Gracilis^ Licht. 

When characterising S. alhoniger (Stray Feathers, No. I. p. 2,) 
I mentioned that this present species which had never previously 
been recorded as pertaining- to our Avifauna was not uncommon 
in the same localities as those in which alhoniger was found, viz., 
in the bare rocky hills dividing Sindh from Khelat ; and in the 
similar hills which run along the Mekran Coast. There is no- 
thing- in the habits of this fine wheatear to distinguish it from its 
congeners, and I shall therefore now only give measurements 
(recorded in the flesh) and descriptions taken from my Sindh and 
Mekran specimens. 

Length, 6'75 to 7*25 ; wing, 4 to 4*2 ; tail from vent, 
2-5 to 2-75 ; tarsus, 0-9 to 0-95 ; bill at front, 0-62 to 0-65. 
The females run somewhat smaller than the males. 

The adult male has the whole forehead, crown, occiput, and 
nape, lower back, rump, and upper tail coverts, abdomen, flanks, 
and lower tail coverts, and the whole of the tail feathers, except 
the terminal three-fourths of the central pair, and a streak at 
the tip of the outer webs of the external laterals, (which ter- 
minal three-fourths and streak are brown,) pure white, with, 
in some specimens, a very faint yellowish tinge, here and there. 

The lores, cheeks, ear coverts, chin, throat, breast, wing 
lining, and axillaries, upper back, scapulars, and lesser wing 
coverts, black ; the feathers in some specimens more or less 
tipped, but very narrowly with slightly fulvous white, and the 
row of small under wing coverts running along the carpal joint 
apparently always so tipped ; the whole of the quills, the greater 
and median coverts, blackish brown ; the secondaries very nar-. 
rowly tipped with white. The legs, feet, and bill, black. The 
adult female is precisely similar. In a somewhat younger bird, 
the quills and coverts are a comparatively pale brown. In the 
immature bii'ds of both sexes, the whole head, neck, upper and 
middle back are a pale, very slightly fulvous, earthy brown ; the 
ear coverts slightly darker brown, the lower parts are albescent 
tinged with fulvous fawn ; the wing coverts and axillaries dull 
white, the latter dark shafted ; the rump and upper and lower 
tail coverts pale fulvous fawn, or isabelline. The central tail 
feathers with the whole visible portion, dull brown ; the lateral 
tail feathers the same color as the upper tail coverts, but all 
with traces of a brown spot and dark shafted at the tips, and 
the external pair of all, with nearly the terminal, half brown. 
Wings and coverts, pale hair brown, but all the feathers con- 
spicuously margined paler. 

Contributiom to the Ornitliology of India, ^o. 187 

< 491.— Saxicola isabellina, Riippell. 8. saltatris, 

Menetries. /bl squalida, Eversm. S. wnanthe, L. 
apud, Jerclon. 

This speciesj thoxig-h common enoug"!! throng-hout Sindli, was 
not by any means so numerous there as it is everywhere in the 

f North- Western Provinces, the Punjab, and Rajpootana. 
-491 his, — Saxicola Kingi, Hume. Ibis, Jamj. 
1871, p. 29. The Bed-tailed Wheatear. 

I reproduce my original description, &c., of this species taken 
from the Ibis, with slight additions. 

Dimensions — Leng-th, 6-3 to 6*5; expanse, 10 to 11-3.; tail 
from vent, 2"2 to 2*4 ; wings when closed reach to within 0*7 
to 1*5 of end of tail. Wing, 3"7 to 4*4 ; the third primary is 
the longest, the second, 0"35, and the first, 2*0 shorter than the 
third. The tail is perfectly square. Bill, leng-th at front 0.55 to 
0-6 ; tarsus, 1 to I'l ; foot, greatest length, 1-15 to I'S; greatest 
width, 1 to 1"1 ; mid toe to root of claw, 0'55 to 0*64 ; its claw 
(straight), 0-2 to 0-24. 

Description. — Legs and feet, black ; bill, black ; irides, dark 

Plumage. — A dark grey line from the gape to and under the 
eye ; a broad slightly greyish white line from the nostrils over 
the eyCj, much more conspicuous in some specimens than in 
others ; ear coverts, silky rufescent brown ; forehead, greyish 
brown ; crown, occiput, nape, back, and scapulars, nearly uni- 
form grey-earthy brown, as a rule only very slightly tino-ed 
with rufescent towards the runip ; but in some specimens, more 
strongly so ; rump and upper tail coverts, bi-ight rufous fawn ; in 
some specimens pale rufous buff ; tail feathers, bright, in some 
pale, ferruginous ; with a sub-terminal blackish brown band 
extending over both webs, and a narrow tipping of rufous 
white, which jets in at the shafts for about the tenth of an 
inch ; occasionally on the lateral feathers, the black bar is more 
or less imperfect. The dark band is from 1*1 to 1*4 broad 
on the central tail feathers, about 0*6 to 0-8 on the feathers 
next the centre, and 0*4 to 0-6 on the external ones. The 
tertiaries and most of the coverts are hair brown, broadly 
margined with pale rufescent ; the winglet, primaries and, 
secondaries, and primary greater coverts, are slightly darker 
hair brown, very narrowly tipped with white, and some of 
them, the secondaries especially, very narrowly margined with 
pale rufescent. The chin and xipper throat white, with a faint 
creamy tinge. The sides of the neck behind and below the ear 


188 ContnhuUons to the Ornithology of India, 8fe. 

oovertsj grey, greyish white, and greyish brown, blending on the 
one side into the color of the throat, and on the other into 
that of the back of the neck. The breast and upper abdomen 
are a very pale rufescent brown, all the tips of the feathers being 
paler. The centre of the abdomen and vent, slightly rufescent 
■white ; flanks, rufescent fawn ; lower tail coverts, a somewhat 
pale buffj wing lining and axillaries pure white. 

This species which I first described from a specimen killed at 
Jodhpoor, and which I subsequently obtained in considerable 
numbers from the salt range, Murdan, and Peshawur, and also in 
the summer from the ranges bounding Cashmere on the south, 
is common throughout Sindh, and the Punjab west of the 
Jhelum. Comparatively rare where there is any cultivation, I 
found it alike on earthen cliffs of the Jhelum near Jung, 
and other similar localities of the Chenab and Indus, and again 
in precipitous places throughout the hills that divide Kelat 
from Sindh, and that run along parallel to the Mekran Coast. 
Occasionally, but rarely, I found it, as near Mooltan, in fallow 
fields. My original description was from a female ; but both 
sexes are precisely alike, nor do I think that there is any cons- 
tant difference in size between them, though individuals of both 
sexes vary somewhat in dimensions. It is absolutely terrene ; 
1 never once saw it perch upon any bush or .tree ; when at rest, 
it is difiicult even with binoculars to distinguish it from isabel- 
llna, but the moment it flies, its bright rufous, black-tipped tail, 
betrays its identity. 

This, is I think, without doubt the bird represented in Burners 
, drawing which Mr. Blyth identified with Cercomela melamira, 
Biippell. When the wings are closed, and the rump and upper 
tail coverts hidden by them, and only the black tips of the cen- 
tral tail feathers shewn, the bird does bear a certain resemblance 
to Temminck^s figure, PL Col., p. 1 ,fig. 2, though not nearly so 
blue above, and differently colored below. I do not believe that 
if the true melmmra was a regular inhabitant of Sindli, it could 
have altogether escaped our party, and I am half disposed to 
think that it should be removed from our Indian list. 

492.— Saxicola deserti, B.Hpijell. 

Mr. Gould has accepted no less than three species, all founded 
on this one. He admits deserti as one, and this I supjwse is the 
autumn or spring plumage. He takes Blyth^s atrogidaris which is 
the mid winter plumage, and creates montana out of the breed- 
ing plumage. I have already in the Ibis, and in " Lahore to 
Yarkand,''' expressed my conviction of the invalidity of montana, 
I must now equally record my dissent to atrogidaris, a species 

Contriintions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 189 

which thong-h it originated with Mr. Blyth, has been adopted 
and fig-ured by Mr. Gould. Mr. Gould remarks in regard to 
atrogularis and deserti — " While I find them to be very similarly 
colored^ I do not fail to observe that the specimens of S. deserti 
in my collection at leasts have rather longer tarsi^ somewhat 
shorter wings and smaller bills^ than those of atrogularis ; but 
the great difference exists in the coloring of the under surface of 
their shouldere, that part being nearly white in the former and 
jet black in the latter, and that this black coloring of the under 
shoulder is the best character by which the Indian bird may be 
distinguished from its African ally.""^ Now this best character 
is absolutely worthless ; in the breeding plumage, the under sur- 
face of the shoulder is black ; in the winter plumage, it is almost 
entirely white, and with a large series before one, every possible 
proportion of black and white in the axillaries and wing lining 
may be pointed out. As regards the bills and tarsi, no such dis- 
tinctions hold good between my African and Asiatic specimens, 
and I entertain no doubt whatsoever that atrogularis must be 
placed in future like montana as a synonym of deserti. 

8. deserti was common to a' degree throughout Sindh, as it is 
eveiywhere in the cold season throughout the North-Westera 
Provinces, the Punjab, and Rajpootana. The bleaker and more 
inhospitable the barren wastes stretched away, the more at home, 
true to his name, seemed the desert wheatear. It was not 
however only in Sindh that this bird occurred, we equally met 
with it at Pusnee and other places .along the Mekran Coast, and 
I have no doubt that, in suitable localities, its range extends un- 
broken from Cawnpore to Cairo. 

497.^K,nticilla rufiventris, Vieill. B, ^hoeni- 

curoides, Moore. B. erytliroprocta, Gould. 

I have in a separate paper which will appear in an early num- 
ber, recorded my views as to the changes of plumage of our very 
variable Indian redstart. It will be sufficient here to mention 
that almost all the specimens I preserved were, with one excep- 
tion, either in the autumn or plmnicuroides stage, or in the 
stage between that and the full winter plumage. I obtained 
one male on the Mekran Coast on the 15th February, in the 
garb of the adult female. I do not at all understand this j 
structurally it is in every respect identical with full plumaged 
males obtained in the same locality, and throughout Sindh and 
the Upper Punjab, and I can only imagine that the failure to 
assume the masculine garb must have been due to some 
accident or lusiis natures ; but it ^vas an adult male, and its 
plumage is that of the adult female. 

190 6ontribuUons to the Ornithology of India, ^"c. 

This species was common everywhere, at times even in the 
most desolate localities^ throughout all the districts and pro- 
vinces which we traversed. 

514.-~Cyanecula csernlecnla, Pal. 

The Asiatic blue-throat occurred hut sparingly and only in the 
better cultivated portions of Sindh. Larkhana and Mehur were 
the only places where I noticed several pairs on the same day. 
All these birds are analogous to what I take to be the true 
suecica, having red throat-patches^ the lencocyanea type, with 
the white satin throat-patch, is of very rare occurrence, and I 
have only succeeded as yet in procuring two in India. I think 
it very doubtful whether this variety is entitled to specific 

It will be seen, that having myself no European specimens 
.for comparison, I have followed Mr. Gray in separating the 
Asiatic blue-throats from the European. The matter needs in- 
vestigation, a p-iori, I should doubt the specific distinctness 
of the two. 

515.— Oalamodyta brunnescens, Jerdon. 

This large reed bird, as indeed might have been expected, 
swarmed in the reedy clumps that fringe and dot the many 
inland waters of Sindh, and was not unfrequently noticed on 
the tamarisk bushes, where reeds were scarce. I have so often 
mentioned this species in my diary, that it is needless to say 
more of it here. 

517.— Oalamodyta agricola, Jerdmi. 

Of this species I saw only a few specimens, but I did not 
hunt after the bird, and it never, I think, shows itself so freely 
as do brunnescens and dumetonim. 

518 &i5.— Lusciniola Melanopogon, Tem. 

The occurrence of this pretty reed warbler in India was first 
made known by my friend Mr. W. E. Brooks, who met with it 
abundantly in the Etawah district. There are dunds, or in- 
land lakes, in Sindh which looked at, even from their margins, 
appear one waving field of herbage, so dense, close, and even 
is the growth of a species of rush throughout their whole extent. 
The fowlers and fishermen have cut through tliis rush many little 
narrow channels, just sufficiently wide to admit the passage of a 
small canoe, and along these alone is it possible to progress at 
all satisfactorily. The rush rises from two feet six inches to three 
feet six inches above the surface of the water. 

These meadow-like broads are, the special haunt of the present 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 191 

species, as well as of the marbled duck. At best the monstach- 
ed warbler is not a very easy bird to secure ; rarely does he 
disport himself upon the tops of the rushes. As a rule he tlireads 
his way rapidly from stem to stem about hnlf way up, only when 
the boat IS actually on him, makino> a short, sudden flight, and 
then before he is far enoug-h to fire, without blowing him to 
pieces, dropping- invisible into the waving- sea of rushes. 

The following are dimensions, &c., taken from the fresh bird. 
The sexes not differing- appreciably in size. Leng-th, 5-7 to 5-8 ; 
expanse, 7-3 to 7-5 ; tail, from vent, 2 to 2-2 ; wmg^' 3-4 to 2-5 - 
wing-s, when closed, reach to within 1-25 to 1-4 of end of t'lil • 
bill, at front, 0-42 to 0-47 ; tarsus, 0-82 to 0-87; hind toe and 
claw, 0-5o ; claw onlj^^ from root straig-ht to point, 0-3 ; weight. 

The irides are brown to pale brown ; the feet, dark horny 
grey; m some, dusky brown; the legs, d.isky brown; soles, pale 
yellowish ; the bill very dark-brown, almost black, paler on 
lower mandible. A broad conspicuous white stripe from the nos- 
trils over the eyes and ear coverts; a dark brown stripe from in 
front of, under, and through the eyes, enveloping the upper 
portion of the ear coverts, darker in the males than in the 
females ; the chin, throat, and lower parts, including the lower 
tail coverts, white ; faintly tinged rufescent on the l)reast, more 
strongly so on the flanks about the vent, and, in some spe- 
cimens, the lower tail coverts also; the sides,- both of the 
neck and of the body, tinged with greyish, or in some, olivace- 
ous brown ; the forehead, crown, occiput, and nape, very dark 
brown, the featliers tipped and margined with a paler yellowish 
olive brown ; m some specimens, these ti]ipings entirely obscure 
the bases, except on a narrow line immediate] v above the white 
eye streak ; m others, these parts appear to be very dark brown 
regularly striated with the paler olive brown, while in some, 
the ti])pings are almost wanting. The back, scapulars, rump, 
and upper tail coverts, the same yellowish olive brown, becomino> 
more rufescent on the lower back, rump, and upper tail coverts'': 
the feathers of the centre of the back with more or less con- 
spicuous dark central shaft streaks. In some birdsHhe whole 
back seems regularly streaked with dark lines, in others only a 
few faint darker streaks are visible in the very centre of the 
back ; m some again the lower back is much more decidedly 
rufous. The wings are hair brown ; the primaries very narrowly 
margined, and tipped on the outer web, paler ; the secondaries 
and tertianes and most of the coverts more distinctly maronned 
with a sort of rufescent olive ; the wing lining and axilTaries 
pure, or nearly pure white ; tail feathers, somewhat pale hair 

192 Contrihdions to the Ornithology of India, 8^c. 

brown, obscm-ely margined with rufeseent olive ; the shafts^ dull 
white below. 

The plumag-e is rather variable, and in some specimens the 
flanks and tail coverts are much browner than I have above 
described. The upper surface, too, varies a good deal in its gene- 
ral appearance, as indeed I have attempted to explain above. 
All the quills are margined on their inner webs albescent. 

518 ^er.— Cettia sericea, Natt. Cetti, Marm. 
altisonans, Rlipp. 

I ought I dare say to begin as Mr. Gould would, and 
remark, that " the occurrence of this species in Sindh must be 
very interesting to all who make a special study of the Syl- 
viad group," but personally I (A. O. H.) consider the individuals 
of this species the most unmitigated little beasts that ever bother- 
ed an ornithologist. 

I secured personally seven specimens, and each one of them 
represents from one to two hours'' hard work, up to one's knees 
in mud and rush. Such inveterate and incorrigible little 
skulkers, birds so utterly incapable of appreciating the de- 
mands of science, it has never been my misfortune to en- 
counter, and " 1^ can scarcely believe that the whole feathered 
kingdom can afford us any similar examples of avine depravity.'"' 

On several occasions when boating about in gloomy rush 
and tamarisk swamp, I caught glimpses for a second of a small 
dusky long-tailed bird fluttering about the stems of the centre of 
the tamarisk bushes ; each time I mentally resolved, '' next time 
I see that fellow, I'll shoot him." This went on for several days ; 
but I never once did see him ; a momentary glance in the centre 
of a thicket was all that was ever vouchsafed, and so I made up 
my mind that I wmsf get a specimen, coute qui couie. 
At last having seen, or fancied I saw, one in a small island 
of rush, about 40 feet square, in which some dozen dense tamarisk 
bushes were growing, I set to work systematically, and made six 
men beat through it in the expectation that the bird would, at any 
rate when thus pressed, fly out into one of the many neighbouring 
similar little islets ; no such result however followed ; one of the 
men saw it flit by him and that was all. This process was re- 
peated five or six times^ but with no better success ; then I made 
up my mind to go and beat through rushes and bushes 
myself, which as the water was cold, and with the mud fully 
three feet deep, was unpleasant. I drew the charges of my gun, 
put in only about ^ drachm of powder and 5 oz. of dust shot in 

* ? Gould's Birds of Asia. I can't find tlie passage, but there is no mistak- 
ing the dignity of the style. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 193 

each barrel, and went in for mud-larking" operations in earnest. 
Three times I bea-t the clump backwards and forwards without 
catching- a glimpse of the wretched little creature ; g-etting" my 
hands and face scratched and cut, with the reeds and tamarisk 
branches, besides getting- up to my waist in a hole at the root 
of one of the bushes, yet as each time one of the party saw it, I 
felt bound to persevere; the fourth time the bird suddenly ap- 
peared at the muzzle of my gun, darted, I believe, between my 
legs, where there couldn't have been much room, considering 
the depth of water, and disappeared. I duly let the gun off, but 
I had reason to suppose, in exactly the opposite direction to that 
in which the bird at the moment was ; then I altered my tactics 
and stood quite still in the middle of the clump, whilst I made 
the men beat from the other side. This was obviously the right 
plan, for the very first time I got a shot, at least seven feet off 
the muzzle of the gun, and blew the bird entirely to pieces, 
besides, unfortunately, peppering one of the boatmen so soundly, 
that though it was only dust shot, they positively refused to 
beat any more upon that system. This was by many degrees too 
bad ; I had no special grudge against the species to begin with ; 
but I then and there registered a vow that an ample series 
should give me my revenge ; accordingly for many hours of two 
days I. devoted myself entirely to Cetti's warbler. Every little 
dark dense patch of rush, reed, and tamarisk, standing out 
in the water contained one or two of these atrocious little 
skulks, the thing was to hag them. I never but once succeed- 
ed in flushing any one of them, and then I missed him, 
at least so the boatmen said. I did not admit the fact at the 
time, and I don't see why I should now, but anyhow the corpus 
delicti was not produceable. I never got a shot more than 
three yards distance from the muzzle of my gun, and I abso- 
lutely blew to pieces more than half of the specimens T did suc- 
ceed in shooting, and all I can say further is, that having esta- 
blished the occurrence of the species in India, any one else may 
go and shoot them who pleases, no one will ever catch me at 
it again. 

The following are the dimensions taken from the fresh birds. 
The females being', as a rule, somewhat, though scarcely appre- 
ciably, smaller than the males. Length, 5*8 to 6-5 ; expanse, 
7*5 to 8*4 ; tail, from vent, 2*4 to 3 ; wing, 2-5 to 2*8 ; wings, 
when closed, reach to within from 1-2 to 2 of end of tail ; bill at 
front, 0-4 to 0-5 ; tarsus, 0-8 to nearly 0-9 ; weight, 0*4 oz. 

The plumage is soft and lax ; the tail feathers broad, and the 
tail much graduated ; the fourth and fifth quills are the longest, 
the fifth being slightly the longest, the third is about O'OS ; 

194 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, 8fc. 

tlie second^ 0"4 to 0-5; and the first, I'l to I'S sliorter; the irides 
are brown ; the leg's and feet are pale brown^ or fleshy brown, 
darker on toes and claws, the bill is dark horny-brown ; but 
paler on lower mandible. A spot in front of the eyes dusky. A 
streak from the nostrils over the eye and a circle round the eye, 
fulvous white ; the forehead, crown, and whole upper surface, a 
warm rufous or ferruginous brown, more rufous on the rump, 
and upper tail coverts ; the quills and tail, hair brown, margined 
with rufescent olive; the ear coverts, sides of the neck, body, 
flanks, and vent feathers, a pale dull greyish or earthy brown ; 
chin, throat, breast, and abdomen, white. Lower tail coverts 
sliglitly rufous brown (webs very lax and mitcli disunited) nar- 
rowly tip]>ed with white ; axillaries and wing lining, slightly 
greyish white ; the edge of the wing, just above the base of the 
primaries, is white; in some few specimens the eye-streak ex- 
tends beyond the eye, above more than half of the ear coverts, 
but in most it ceases just behind the posterior angle of the eye. 
Our birds somewhat exceed in size European specimens. Mr. 
Brooks sends me the measurements of two — wings, 2'43 and bill 
at front, 0"39. Before working the bird out, I had fancied tliat 
it might be Bradyptetus cinnamomeus, Riippell, but that I find is 
a considerably larger bird, and has a decidedly stouter bill, and 
I myself am not disposed to separate our Sindh race. It is 
certainly, as far as I can judge, though somewluit paler on the 
upper surface, and slightly larger, in other respects, absolutely 
identical with Cetti's warbler. If any one chooses to separate 
it, it must stand as Cettia Cettioides, nobis, unless it should prove 
to be Tristram^s orieiitalis from Palestine, of whicli I have no 
aecurate description at hand. 

530.— Orthotomus longicaudiis, Gmel 

I never met with this species mA^self in Sindh, but Captain 
Maiden informed me that he had killed a specimen at Jacobabad 
in March, and since my return I have had a specimen sent me 
from the neighbourhood of Kurrachee. -Y 

544.— Drymoipns longicaiidatus, T'wl. ' 

This species was very common indeed on the banks of the 
larger rivers, alike in the Punjab and in Sindh; but though it 
did occur inland, I saw it there mucli seldomer. I measured, 
as it happened, a great number of specimens in the flesh, and 
I therefore append the dimensions, which so far as the length 
of the tail is concerned, and consequently the entire length of 
the bird, vary materially. Length, 5-35 to 6-4 ; expanse, 6-1 
to 6-8; tail, from vent, 27 to 3-5; wing, 1-85 to 2-15; wings. 

Conlributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc, 195 

wlien closedj reach to from within 2 to 2'5 of end of tail; 
bill at front, 0"35 to 0"41 ; tarsus, 0'9 to 1 ; weight, 0'3 to 0'35 oz. 

549 ier.— Blanfordius striatulus. Eume, Stray 

Feathers, vide infra. 

When characterizing this new genus and species, I gave all 
particulars available and have nothing now to add. The single 
specimen obtained was shot by Mr. Blandford in the neighbour? 
hood of Kurrachee. > i-li.^^ ft-*- 

550.— Burnesia gradiis, Riip^p. 

This was equally abundant with Drymoipm longicaudatus and 
in the same situations. It is a much commoner bird than is 
generally thought. I have it from various parts of the Doab, 
from the Punjab, and from several localities in Rajpootana, 
notably the neighbourhood of the Sambhur Lake, where Mr. 
Adam informs me that it is very common. Along the banks 
of the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Sutlej and the Indus, wherever 
there was any vegetation, but specially tamarisk bushes, you 
could scarcely fail to meet with 50 specimens in an hour's walk. 
Inland, in Sindh, it was much commoner than B. longicaudatus ^ 
but not nearly so common as along the banks of the great 
rivers. The following were the dimensions of several specimens 
measured in the flesh. Length, 5"2 to 5-5 j expanse, 5'5 to 
5*6; tail from vent, 2"6 to 3"2 ; wing, 1-6 to l"8j wings, when 
closed, reach to within from 2 to 2 "6 of end of tail ; bill at 
front, 0-3. 

551.— Franklinia buchanani, Blyth. 

Appeared to me to be uncommon in Sindh ; I only saw it once 
or twice in Upper Sindh, and the only specimen I have was shot 
by Mr. Blandford in the neighbourhood of Kurrachee. 

554.— Phyllopseuste tristis, Blyth. 

Common enough in the babul trees on the banks of all the 
larger rivers, but comparatively scarce inland. A rather fine male 
measured in the flesh. Length, 5 ; expanse, 7'3 ; tail from 
vent, 2-; wing, 2-45; bill at front, 0-37 j weight, O'S oz. 

554 &is.— Phyllopseuste neglectus, Eume, 

Ibis, 1870, p. 143. 

When first characterising this species, I remarked — " There is 
a species of Fhylloscopus very closely allied to, but yet clearly 
distinct from, either P. tristis, or P. fnscatns. This latter has 
the upper surface a moderately dark dingy olive-brown, and 
the wing lining and axiilaries a sort of. dingy buff or pale 

196 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 

rufous. P. tristis has the upper parts brown, paler than P. fns- 
catus, and with scarcely any olivaceous tinge, and the wing 
lining and axillaries, pale primrose yellow. 

*' The third, hitherto unnoticed species, which I call P. neg- 
lectiis, has the upper surface a grey earthy brown (the color of 
Phyllopneuste ramd) , and the wing lining and axillaries white. 
In dimensions and structure (and in plumage with the above 
exceptions) P. neglecim agrees pretty closely with P. tristis. 

" P. neglectus is common in the cold weather in the Punjab, 
and in the Doab, at least, as low down as Agra ; but hitherto 
I have seen no specimens from Central India or the Lower 

This tiny little leaf-hunter, the smallest of the whole group, 
is not uncommon along the banks of the Indus, and through- 
out Upper Sindh where ever thick clumps of the babul {Acacia 
Arahica) are met with. It is a very silent, self-concealing bird, s^ 
creeping about amongst the feathery leaves of the acacia, 
and very difficult to secure. The bird is too often either so 
blown to pieces as to be past preservation, or else escapes al- 
together. Even when a tolerable specimen is obtained, it is 
difficult beyond measure, so delicate is tlie skin, to preserve it, 
and though I must have shot at more than twenty birds, I Ot; 
only brought home with me four specimens, and two of these 
far from satisfactory ones. <^ 

The fresh bird Can never be mistaken, so tiny is it, for any " ^ 
of the other Phjlloscopi ; tristis, which at first sight, it most ^ 
closely resembles, weighs, on the average, fully double as much ; -^ 
tristis varies from 0*3 to 0*4 oz., neglectus, from 0'15 to less than ^ 
0'25 oz. The following are dimensions, (the sexes not varying '^1 
appreciably, though the female is a trifle the largest) of speci- ^ 
mens measured in the flesh. 

Length, 4 to 4-3 ; expanse, 6 • 35 to 6 '4 ; tail, from vent, 1*4 to 
1-6; wing, barely 2 to 2-15; bill, at front, 0-27 to 0-3; tarsus, 0-68 
to 0'71. The frourth primary, the longest ; the third and fifth, a 
hair's-breadth shorter; the second, 0*26 to 0*3; and the first 1 to ^ 
I'l shorter than the fourth; the irides arebrown ; the legs and ^ 
feet black ; the bill black, paler, or horny greenish in some, at the x 
base of the lower mandible. The lores are brownish white; a com- 
paratively pure and very narrow white streak runs from the 
nostrils over the lores and eyes, but not beyond. The whole upper 
surface is dull earthy brown, with, in some, a faintly olivaceous 
rufescent tinge on the back, most couspicuous on the rump ; the 
quills and tail are a moderately dark hair-brown, narrowly mar- 
gined on the outer webs with pale olivaceous brown, much the 
same color as the upper parts ; the secondaries are very narrowly 




Contributions to the OniitJiology of India, 8fc. 197 

maro-incd at the tips with albescent. The whole lower surface 
is albesceutj tinged with very pale fnlvous fawn^ or earthy brown, 
more strong-ly so in some specimens than in others ; the sides and 
flanks more strongly so in all; indeed in some specimens the sides 
and flanks are pale earthy brown ; the wing lining- and axillaries 
are white, with at times the faintest possible fulvous or brown- 
ish tinge. 

I obtained one specimen of P. nitida, Lath., floating in the 
Jhelum, some few miles above its junction with the Clienab, but 
this was the only specimen we saw, and maj/ have floated down 
the whole way from Cashmere. 

563.— Reguloides occipitalis. 

We never procured this in Sindh, but Capt. Maiden had shot 

it at Jacobabad. 

581.— Sylvia Jerdoni, Blyth. 

This species I often met with near the banks of the larger 
rivers, but inland I saw few specimens. I measured one rather 
fine female in the flesh j the dimensions were : 

Length, 6"8; tail, from vent, 2'8 ; wing, 3*; wings, when 
closed, reached to within 1'3 of end of tail ; bill at front, 0*55 ; 
tarsus, 1 ; the irides were very pale, whitish yellow ; the bill, 
horny brown, pale greyish at base of lower mandible ; legs and 
feet, dark greenish grey. 

I follow for the present Mr. Gray in separating our Lidian 
birds from the European orphea, Tem. ; at the same time, I am 
far from convinced that they deserve specific separation. 

582.— Sylvia affinis, Blytli, ^V 

White-throats were no less abundant in Sindh, than they are /) 
everywhere else about Continental India during the cold sea- 
son. I preserved numerous specimens at Jlielum, Mittencote!, ^ 
Tugwanee, Jacobabad, Sukkur, K-oree, Hyderabad, &c., and -^'- 
carefully ascertained, and recorded the sexes of all my specimens, 
yet I am still in the same state of uncertainty, with more than 
fifty specimens before me from all parts of Lidia, as well 
as from Sindh, besides others from Yarkand, aud true curruca 
from England, as to whether we have only one or three species 
in India, and whether if we have only one, this is the true lesser 
white-throat or not. 

My difficulties are simply these. ' 

There are three apparently very distinct races, differing chiefly 

in size, but also somewhat in shade of coloring. I have failed 

hitherto to discover any other constant points of difference, and 

so far as I am concerned, therefore, I should be inclined to eon- 

198 Confribidions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

sider all the three races as pertaining to one species. The- 
great difficulty is that the ascertained males of the largest race, 
are fully double the weight of those of the smallestj have a wing 
fully one-fifth larger, and bills half as long again. 

The three raee& may be thus characterized. 

First, there is the smallest race, which for convenience sake 
I separate as minula. The length of this is about 5 '3 mea- 
sured in the flesh; the wing, from 2 '3 to 3-4; the bill, about '3 
from forehead to tip. This is the palest of all the three, I have 
sixteen specimens of this race, males and females, from Bhawulpore 
Yarkand; Jhansie, and Sindh. The males and females do not, 
differ perceptibly in size -, but the grey of the head of the fe- 
males is slightly paler than in the males. 

The second race is the intermediate one, generally identified 
with the European curruca or garnda. This is about 5 '75 
inches in length, has a wing varying from 2*5 to 2 "6, and a bill at 
front of nearly 0*4; in some specimens only about 0*35. Some 
specimens of this race are absolutely identical with English 
specimens, not only as to color, but as to shape and size of wings, 
legs, feet, and bill. 

Then there is the third and largest race which corres- 
ponds well with ajjinis, Blyth ; length fully 6; wing, from 
2'65 to 2'75, and bill at front, 0*45. This latter species hss the 
whole upper parts much darker as a rule, than eurruca and 
h fortiori than minula, and the grey of the head seems to over- 
shade to a certain extent the whole of the mantle, rump, and 
upper tail coverts. 

I have forgotten to mention that in both the two latter races 
the females are somewhat smaller and decidedly duller colored 
than the males. 

Defined as above and arranged in three groups, the races seem 
distinct enough ; but then when closely examined, grave reasons 
will be found for doubting whether any hard and fast line can 
be drawn between the three races. I can pick out half a dozen 
affinis, a dozen curruca, and a like number of minula ; (both sexes 
in each case being represented by the selected specimens) which 
no one certainly would consider to belong to one and the same 
species ; but then there will be some twenty odd specimens, which 
more or less bridge the intervening gaps, and there are some few 
in regard to which it is a mere toss-up to which of two 
divisions they should be assigned. Under these circumstances, 
according to my view of such cases, all tliese should be consi- 
dered as belonging to one and the same species ; but the differ- 
ences between a typical male minula, and a similarly typical 
affmi^ are so striking, both in size and color, that I confess I 

Contrihitions to tJie Ornithology of India, ^c. 199 

should expect few ornithologists to concur in this view ; are we 
then to suppose that there are three species which interbreed, 
and which are all winter visitants to the same localities? I 
confess that I am myself unable to accept any such explanation, 

583 Us. — Sylvia delicatiila, Eartlauh. 

This pretty little sylvia which I have occasionally met with 
in the Sirsa district, and have had sent me from Bhawulpore, 
is one of the very commonest birds in the more barren portions 
-of Sindh. 

As in the more desert portions of the Punjab, so throughout 
vast similar tracts in Sindh, barren, sandy, and gravelly plains "^ 
extend for miles, the only vegetation on which is the Booee 
f^ (Erua boviij and the Lana (anabasis mtiUiflora) , These 
plains are the favorite haunts of the Houbara, and in a- 
mongst these bushes 8ylvia delicatnla abounds; occasionally 
it is seen sitting on their tops, but more generally it is found 
pecking amongst the fallen flowers at their roots. In and out of 
these bushes, it runs looking for all the world like a little short- 
tailed mouse, and when disturbed, it retreats precipitately into 
the centre of the nearest bush, from which it is by no means easy 
to flush it. At best it takes but a very short and feeble flight, 
and its only note that I ever heard was a tiny twittering un- 
worthy the name of a song. I was unable to ascertain whether 
it was really a permanent resident ; but I was assured that it was 
so, and that it bred in these very bushes which it uniformly 
frequents during the cold weather, early in the hot weather, and 
again at the close of the inundations. I do not pretend to vouch 
for these latter facts, " I tell the tale as it was told to me." 

The following are the dimensions taken from freshly-killed 
specimens, and I may note that there was no appreciable difference 
in the sizes of the sexes. Length, 4*8 to 4*9; expanse, 7 to 7*2; 
tail, from vent, 1'8 to 3; wing, 2 to 3-2; v/ings, when closed, 
reach to within 1 to 1'2 of end of tail; bill at front, 0*3 to 
0'33 ; tarsus, 0' 8; irides, yellow to orange yellow; legs and 
feet, pale yellow ; in some, very pale lemon yellow ; claws, dusky; 
bill, pale yellow, dusky, or horny grey on eulmen and at tip. 

The lores are greyish white ; from the nostrils to the upper 
margin of the eye, runs a very narrow yellowish streak, whiter 
and less grey than the lores ; this line ceases to be visible in nine 
out of ten skins, but is sufficiently apparent in the freshly-killed 
bird. A circle of yellowish white feathers surrounds the eye ; fore- 
head, crown, occiput, nape, back, and scapulars, pale fawn-brown \ 
rump and upper tail coverts, pale rufous; central tail feathers, pale 
rufous, with dark shafts ; external lateral feathers, wholly white |. 

200 Contfihtitlons to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

next pair white on tlie outer webs, and witli a moderately broad 
wliite tip to both webs; the rest of tbe inner webs, dark hair- 
brown; the rest of the feathers dark hair brown, margined on the 
outer webs with pale rufous. The whole of the lower parts 
white, with, in the freshly-killed bird, a just perceptible rufescent 
ting-e; wing lining and axillaries, pure white; wings, pale 
brown, narrowly margined and tipped with rufescent white ; 
the tertiaries, pale dingy rufescent. with browii sliaftsy / /^ 

583 2^tclf.^MelizopMlus striatus, Brooh. 

Only a short distance below the summit of Duryalo, the 
highest hill in the range that divides Khelat from Sindh, my 
friend Dr. Day shot three specimens of a small warbler which 
I at once referred to the same genus as the Dartford warbler, 
and from its striated plumage christened striatus. This was on the 
16th January. All three birds were obtained in stunted Acacia 
trees or bushes. I myself never saw the bird alive ; but mea- 
sured one specimen in the flesh. 

In February, Capt. Cock observed and procured the same bird 
at Nowshera, half way between Attock and Peshawar. He sent 
them to Mr. Brooks, who without any knowledge of my having 
already procured this species, and quite independently solely 
from the same considerations of structural affinities and charac- 
ter of plumage, named and published it under the same name 
that I had selected for it. • 

Capt. Cock remarked that they were found in pairs among 
low stony hills, and are very restless active little birds, and pro- 
portionately difficult to shoot. 

This species breeds, according to Capt. Cock, in April, laying 
a small white, reddish pink-speckled egg similar to that o^FranJc- 
lenia Buchanani, and not very unlike that of JBhyllopnetiste rama. 
The eggs measure about 0'63 by 0"45 ; in shape they are a 
moderately brOad oval, somewhat compressed towards one end : 
the ground is a pure glossless white, and they are moderately 
densely (most densely so at the larger end, where there is a ten- 
dency to form a zone) sprinkled and speckled very finely with 
reddish pink, pinkish red, or in places in and about the zone 
purplish lilac. I reproduce Mr. Brooks's original description. 

Descrijotion. — " Above, light brownish grey, streaked on the 
head as far as the shoulders, with dark-brown, narrow streaks ; 
a pale rufous-brown broad supercilium ; the cheeks, and ear 
coverts are also of this color, which extends down the sides of 
the neck and breast, becoming very pale, and diluted under 
the wings, and on the flanks. Wings, light brown ; the edges 
of quills and coverts, greyish. Tail, a very much darker or 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^'c. 201 

rather blackish brown ; the outer feather on each side is rather 
lighter, and is tipped with white. The tail feathers are cross- 
rayed, particularly the outer ones. 

Lower surface of body, except sides of neck, breast, and jflanks, 
white, with narrow brown streaks from chin to upper breast. 
These streaks are well defined in one specimen, and faint in 
another. Lining" of wing and ridge of the same, reddish white. 
Bill, dark brown, except basal half of lower mandible, which is 
dull brownish orange ; legs and feet, yellowish brown ; claws, 
brown. Length, 4-55 to 4-8 inch; wing, 1'93 to 1-95 ; tail, 2-14 
to 2-33 ; tarsus, -77 to -82 ; bill, at front, -35 ; from gape, "46. 
The bill is excessively like that of Melizophiliis provincialis, the 
wing also resembles that bird, except that the first primary is 
larger in proportion. Tail of similar form, but proportionately 
sliorter ; the outer feathers are "35 shorter than the central ones. 

Notu>ithstanding the difference I have noted, the general 
resemblance is so strong to melizopliilus , that I have placed it in 
that genus. The head is streaked, and so are the throat and 
breast, but I have a Dartford warbler with small white streaks 
on the throat. It would not be advisable, therefore, to create a 
new generic term, merely because, in mode of coloration, it differs 
somewhat from melizopMliis!' 

I have only to add that in one of my specimens the streaks on 
the chin and throat are altogether wanting ; that the central 
tail feathers are pretty conspicuously margined with greyish 
brown, and that both the lateral feathers on each side are ti]3ped 
with white, in some specimens the external pair being pretty 
broadly so tipped. The following are dimensions of a male 
taken in the flesh. Length, 4*7; expanse, 6*2 ; tail, from vent, 
3 ; wing, I'D ; wings, when closed, reach to within 1'6 of end of 
tail ; bill at front, 0*35 ; tarsus, 0'8; weight, 0*3 of an oz. 

I should note that in one specimen not only the sides and 
flanks, but the whole abdomen, vent, and lower tail coverts, are 
strongly tinged with pale rufous fawn. 

591 Us, — Motacilla dukhunensis, ^ylm, ^j 

I have already in a separate paper. Stray Feathers, page 26, 
discussed our Indian grey wag-tails. I need only here say that' 
this present species was very abundant throughout Sindh, and 
that one of the specimens I obtained would certainly pass mus- 
ter any where if killed in Europe, as M. alba. 

592. — CalobateS boarula, Penn.suliMirea, Bedist. 

Very common in Sindh. Some ornithologists separate our 

Asiatic race as melanoj^e, Pall. I have compared a large series 

202 Contributions to the Ofnitliology of India, Sfc. 

of European and Indian specimens^ without being able to dis- 
cover any valid, constant difference. 

593.— Budytes viridis, Scop, 

Comparatively common throughout the irrigated and irrigable 
portions of Sindh. / , 

594.— Budytes citreoloides, Hodgson. 

This was the commonest of all the wag-tails ; one or two 
specimens killed in January even, had large patches of black 
mingled with the grey of the back. I have in a separate paper, 
which will appear in an early number, discussed these yellow 
wag-tails and have nothing now to add on the subject. 

594 &^s.— Budytes citrepla, Pallas. 

Less common than the preceding, but still plentiful enough 
in marshes, swamps, meadows, (and there are such, though not 
many, in Sindh) and irrigated fields. _f-. ,\..;^,f '^ 

597. — Pipastes plumatus, MullArboreus, Beehst. 

This pipit appeared to me to be almost wanting in Sindh. I 
may have overlooked it ; but the only specimen that I seem to 
have noticed and procured, was in the better cultivated region of 
this bleak country ; in fact in that portion which the desert 
dwellers of Sindh are pleased to call the garden of their pro- 
vince, namely Larkhana. 

Of Pipastes agilis, Sykes., P. maeiitaUis , Blyth, so abundant in 
most parts of India, I procured no single specimen, and cannot 
remember even to have noticed it. Probably I overlooked it, but 
at the same time since spinoletta is common in Sindh, it may be 
that agilis is there represented by it, and really does not occur 
except, perhaps, as a straggler. 

602.— Agrodroma campestris, Bedist. 

This species was far less common in Sindh, than it is through- 
out the North-West Provinces and the Punjab. In the bare 
portions of the country which in Upper Sindh extend from 15 
to 40 miles from the foot of the hills, and throughout the bare 
hilly region south of the Sehwan Hills on the right bank of the 
Indus, I altogether missed it ; but in the more cultivated lands 
about Shikarpore, Larkhana, and Mehur, and to the east of the 
Indus, in Roree, Hyderabad, and Tatta, we met with it, though 
not in great numbers, and I procured a single specimen close 
to Kurrachee. 

I have never been able to understand the changes of plumage 
in this species. Some birds have the plumage below absolutely 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 203 

spotless J there is no bi-own stripe on the sides of the neck nor 
does the breast exhibit the fain-test trace of a spot ; others 
again show a well-marked stripe on the sides of the neck, and 
have the whole of the breast pretty conspicuously spotted. 
Degland tells us that in the male, in spring-, the breast is with 
or without spots, and that the brown neck stripe is present. He 
makes out also that in the summer, the marking on the lower 
parts almost entirely disappear, and that in autumn, both neck 
stripe, and spots become again very conspicuous. I do not 
believe a word of this. I have now before me three males killed 
in the last week of December, two exhibit well-marked spots, 
one is spotless. I have foin- specimens killed in the latter half 
of October, one is devoid of markings on the lower surface, one 
very faintly marked, two tolerably well marked ; I have four 
specimens killed in the middle of March, of which two are 
spotless, and two have the markings of the lower surface con-: 
spicuous. It appears to me that the difference in markings de- 
pends either upon the individual, or upon age, and certainly not 
upon season. 

Then Degland tells us that the female is characterized by a 
sort of pectoral band formed by a great number of longitudinal 
spots. Unfortunately, as far as my specimens go, the females as a 
whole are not one whit more spotted than, and are just as often 
spotless as, the males. 

604. — Agrodroma Jerdoni, Finsch. A. griseo 

rufescens, nobis. A. Sordida, apud Blijth et Jerdon, 
nee Bilppell. 

This species is decidedly uncommon in Sindh. It may occur 
there more plentifully, perhaps, in the autumn ; bat during De- 
cember, January, and February, when I was in Sindh, I only 
saw it twice, once near Hyderabad, and once near Kurrachee. 

The males in this species are very considerably larger than 
the females. Large males are met with, measuring in length 
up to 8 "4, with a wing nearly 4; expanse, 13; a bill 0'7 at 
front, and weighing as nearly as possible, 1*35 oz. An average 
male is about 8"2 in length ; expanse, 12*5 j wings, 3'8 ; bill at 
front, fully 0*6, and weigbt about 1-15 oz. In the fullest sized, 
females, the length is somewhat less than 8 ; expanse, about 
12-35 ; wing, barely 3-7 ; bill at front, 0*58 ; and weight barely 
I'l oz. 

The very nearly allied southern species A. slmilis, Jerdon, 
which I have seen only from the Neilgherries, Pulheys, and 
Anamallies, has the whole upper surface conspicuously darker.^ 
It has a bill fully as large, and, I think as a rule, somewhat 

2.04 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc, 

stouter^ but the bird itself is somewhat smaller ; the larg-est 
male I have seeu^ measured' (in the fleshy) leng-th, 8 ; expanse, 
12; wing-, 3"7j bill at front, 0*7 nearly, and weighed one oz. 
Both these species have comparatively Short hard claws, say 
averaging- (measured) straight from root to point, about 0'4. 
The claws vary of course to a certain extent according to in- 
dividuals, but I think that, as a whole, the claw in simills is de- 
cidedly deeper, and more curved than in Jerdoni. 

605 Us. — Anthus spinoletta, Lin. A. aquatims,. 
JBechst. A. montanus, Koch. A. testacea, Pallas. 

This species, or at any rate our Indian representative thereof, 
which Mr. Verreaux considered absolutely identical with the 
European one, (an opinion from which I have seen no grounds 
for differing) is not at all uncommon in the Western Punjab, 
and in Northern Sindh where it is often met with in the 
neighbourhood of canals and streams. I obtained it on the 
banks of the Indus, at Mittencote, near Jacobabad, Shikarpore, 
and Mehur ; but I did not notice it south of Sehwan. In the 
cold weather plumage it is not very unlike AnfJms arloreus ; 
but may be distinguished at once by its longer, slenderer, and 
more pointed bill ; by its dark brown legs and feet ; by its 
much more elongated and more compressed hind claw, and by 
the narrowness of the breast spots. In summer plumage, 
in which we obtain it in March, the comparatively uniform grey 
brown tint of the upper surface, and the almost entirely unspotted 
pale rufous tint of the lower surface, a tint tending towards vina- 
ceous, are sufficient to distinguish it. Besides, the localities already 
mentioned, I have it from Mooltan, Lahore, Goorgaon, Feroze- 
pore, Etawah, andtheinteriorof the Simla Hills near Koteghur. 

This species is not included in Dr. Jerdon''s birds of India ; 
I first brought its occurrence to notice, some years ago, in the 
Ihis ; but I do not think that any description of the Indian bird 
has yet appeared. I give dimensions from several specimens taken 
in the flesh, noting that the females are somewhat smaller than 
the males. Male, length, 6-75 to 7-35 ; expanse, 11 to 11-25; 
wing, 3"46 to 3-6; bill at front, 0*45 to 0-53; hind toe and 
claw, 0' 7 to nearly 0-8; weight, nearly 1 oz. Female, ' length, 
6-37 to 6-62; wing, 3-15 to 3-3; expanse, 9-5 to 10*5; bill at 
front, 0'45 to 0'5j hind toe and claw, 0'7 to 0*75; weight, 
0-63 to 0-8 oz. 

In all the specimens the legs and feet .are at least darh brown, 
in some birds they are almost black; the soles are yellowish; the 
claws, black ; the bill is dark horny brown, j^ellowish at base of 
lower mandible; bill, legs, and feet are all darker, I 

Contributions to the OniitJiologi/ of India, 8^c. 205 

think, in tlie summer plumage ; the irides are dark brown* 
In the winter pkimage the upper surface is a sort of. olive 
brown, with more or less of a faintly rufovis tinge; the rump 
unstriated, the head and back with dark hair brown centres to 
the feathers ; there is a well marked, dull white, stripe from 
the nostrils over the eyes; the coverts and the quills are mostly 
hair brown, the former broadly margined with brov^^nish or 
olivaceous white, purer just at the tips of the coverts, and the 
latter narrowly margined, the first few primaries with greyish 
white, the rest with a sort of greenish or olivaceous white ; the 
tippings of the coverts form two tolerably well marked wing 
bars; the tertiaries which are somewhat paler than the rest 
of the quills, are broadly margined with brownish white. The 
central tail feathers, which are the shortest, are a compara- 
tively pale brown, margined all round with brownish white ; 
the next pair on either side are very dark brown^ very narrowly 
margined with pale olivaceous, and the fourth with a tiny 
whitish spot at the extreme tip ; the exterior tail feather of all 
has the whole outer web white, slightly brownish towards the 
tip, the whole inner web white for nearly half an inch from the 
tip, beyond which for another three quarters of an inch, the 
white occupies (next the shaft) a gradually diminishing por- 
tion of the inner web, the rest of the feather being brown. 
The lower surface is a dull white, in many specimens with a 
faint vinaceous tinge in parts, with a row of small brown spots 
down the sides of the neck, with similar spots on the breast and 
longer striae, along the sides and flanks. 

In the summer plumag'e the whole upper surface becomes 
greatly overlaid with an earthy or greyish brown shade ; the 
striations of the back and head almost disappear, though the 
edges of the feather are still somewhat paler than the centres, 
and the whole lower parts become a nearly uniform pale 
vinaceous color without, in what I take to be the perfect 
plumage, a single spot or streak; in some specimens, which 
however I believe to be somewhat less advanced, a few spots 
still remain on the breast, and one or two streaks on the flanks. 
In all stages of plumage, the axillaries are white and the 
greater portion of the wing lining and the lower surface of the 
quills pale satin grey. 

657.— Corvus Lawrence!, Sume. 

The Indian, raven which I have provisionally separated (Lahore 
to Yarkand, p. ) under the above name, is a cold weather 

visitant to Sindh, more especially to Upper Sindh. They abound 
at Jacobabad; and the very remarkable fact has already been 

206 Contrihttionsto tJie Ornithology of India, ^c. 

noticed in my diary that both when they first arrive, in 
November, and for sometime afterwards, and again jnst before 
they leave on the approach of the hot weather, great numbers 
of them die ; half a dozen may sometimes be picked up in a 
single compound. In Lower Sindh they are less common, but we 
saw them not only at Hyderabad, but also here and there along 
the Mekran Coast to Gwader. 

663. — CorvUS impudicus, Hodgson. 

Is as impudicus \M Sindh as elsewhere, though perhaps not quite 
so numerous. The only thing I have to notice is that the neck, 
tipper back, and breast of many of the Sindh specimens run paler 
and more all)eseettfc than I have ever seen them elsewhere in 
India. The difference in color strikes one even without com- 
paring specimens, and this led me to shoot and preserve several. 
As to the specific name I only follow Mr. Gray, splendens of 
Temminck, from Java and Sumatra, he separates as distinct, 
while splendeuH of Vieillot, which I always fancied had priority 
of Temminck's name, he degrades into a synonyme of impudicus, 

? 669 Ms.— Garrulus Melanocephalus, Gene, 

I failed to secure specimens, but I satisfied myself thnt a 
species of jay, presumably from the description given v!\e,melano- 
eepJialus, does occur, not uncommonly, in the Hills dividing 
Sindh and Khelat. 

674.— Dendrocitta rufa, Scop. 

This bird is common almost everywhere in Sindh. The 
Sindh race is large and comparatively dark like the generality 
of upper indian birds, but is almost as small-billed as the 
southern Indian birds. 

681.— Sturnus vulgaris,* L, 

The common starling was everywhere met with in large flocks 
except in the most barren portions of the country. 

In the debateable ground between desert and cultivation, I 
occasionally met with isolated pairs of starlings which struck 
me as smaller and darker than the common bird. Unlike the 
common birds, I saw them only in pairs, and found them 
very wary, and partly, owing to this latter cause, and partly 
through not sufficiently recognizing their distinctness, I only suc- 
ceeded in procuring and preserving a single pair. On com- 
paring these latter with numerous specimens of the common 

* I cannot follow Mr. Gray in separating the Indian race as S. splendeus 
Tem. I have compared Inrge series of Indian and Eiiropean birds, and see 
no valid ground for specific separation. 

■Contributions to the Ornithology of India ^ ^-e. 207 

starling", and also of Sturnns nitens, nobis, (Lahore to Yarkand 
pag-e fig". ,) I find myself unable to identify them with either, 
though they are uudoubtedly nearest to the latter. The gene- 
ral character of their plumage is like that of the ordinary star- 
ling, but in the first place whereas in the common starling the re- 
flections of the head are purple and of the back green, in these 
birds the head is green and the back purple ; secondly, whereas 
in the common starling the wing varies from 5 to 5 "35, and 
the tarsus from 1*1 to 1*2; in these birds the wing is only 4*3 ; 
and the tarsus barely 1 ; the bills are about the same length, 
as the common starling, measuring exactly an inch in front; but 
they are more pointed, have a move decided eulmen ridge and are 
less broad at the base. One of these is apparently quite an adult, 
with only a few white spots on the upper back, throat, sides of 
the neck, upper breast, and vent, the other, the female, is a young 
bird, profusely and thickly spotted with white as in the com- 
mon starling. 

I thought these birds might be specimens of nitens in a stage 
of plumage in which I had not yet seen this species ; but on com- 
paring the birds, I find that while the wings are decidedly 
shorter, the bills are decidedly longer, and while in nitens the 
head, chin, and throat are purple, in these small Sindh birds they 
are green ; moreover, the primaries want the conspicuous white 
margins so characteristic of the adult nitens. I have a strong 
objection to separating mere local races on the strength of trifling 
variations, very generally found on investigation to be either 
bridged over by intermediate forms or more or less inconstant, but 
in the "present case the difference in size, and in the distribution of 
colors is so marked, that should these prove constant, it will, I 
believe, be necessary to. separate this form which n ay then stand 
as 8. minor, nobis; butimtil I obtain more specimen« with which 
I hope some of my contributors in Sindh will soon furnish me, I 
suspend my opinion as to the necessity of any such sepairal^ion. 

684.— Acridotheres tristis, L, ^'' yi^-^ 

Pretty common in some of the better cultivated tracts, but no-" 
where nearly so much so as in the rest of India. In the wilder 
and more desert districts, rare or absolutely wanting. 

685.— Acridotheres ginginianus, Latli. yj Ljjr^ 

Not at all common in Sindh as a whole, but met with con- 
stantly on the banks of the Indus and often seen in small de- 
tached colonies in the better cultivated portions of the pro- 


208 Contributions to the Ofnitliology of India, 8^'c. 

690.— Pastor roseus, K 

Rarely seen bj any of our party white in Sindli, but Captain 
Maiden informed me that it arrived in Upper Sindli, in April, iu 
larg-e flocks. Where this bird breeds is a mystery still. Millions- 
throng" the plains of India during" nearly nine months of the 
3^ear ; they do not leave us before the end of April and many 
are back again with us in Aug-u&t. In Europe they breed, 
amongst other places, in the banks of the Danube. I used to 
fancy that they must breed in the banks of the Indus, but I 
have traced this river almost from Attock to the sea, and every- 
where I have heard of them only as birds of passage going 
further west. As they appear in Sindh, so higher up at Dera 
Ghazee Khan, they appear early in the hot weaither and agg,in, 
after a very short period, disappear to retui-n in August or Sept- 
ember, for a few days, and pass on eastwards. 1 hope ornitho- 
logists on our western frontier will note their moyements. They 
do not go to Cashmere, or into our hills to breed. Mountaneer 
in all his life only met with one in the interior, which he sent 
me as a rare and strange bird. 

Mr. Gray separates our Indian race 2iS peguanus, Lesson, with 
suratensis, and seleucus, Gmel.,, as synonymes, but seeing that 
the head quarters of the species appear to be the basins of the 
Black and Caspian Seas, and the circumjacent provinces, I cannot 
myself believe in the distinctness of the birds that visit India 
and Central and Western Europe. 

695.— Ploceus manyar, Eorsf, 

I shall take an early opportunity of reviewing the Indian 
members of this genus. Certainly more species occur within our 
limits than is generally supposed, and I am inclined to believe 
that the birds which I notice under the above name from Sindh, 
will have to be separated as a distinct species. However enough 
for the day is the evil thereof, let them stand for the present as 
manyar. Everywhere in the giant flowering grass so common 
in the neighbourhood of Shikarpore and other similar localities 
in Upper Sindh, this weaver bird is seen in large parties feeding, 
as I ascertained by dissection, both on the grass seeds, and on 
, small insects that haunt the grass. Half a dozen may be seen 
perched closely side by side upon the topmost sprays of the 
lono-est grass stems v/hich, curving slightly beneath their weight, 
sway backwards and forwards at every passing breath, much 
apparently to their satisfaction. No sooner, however, are half 
a dozen comfortably placed, than a dozen others insist on sharing 
the perch -, great is the commotion that ensues ; down bends the 
o-rass stem; and off they all fly to resume the same game oa 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, S^c. 209 

•some other stem, and so tliey will g-o on continuously fpr half an 
hour at a time. It is a curious thing- that with one exception 
every specimen of this species which I procured belong-ed to the 
sterner sex. What on earth had become of the ladies ? I shot 
a good number of the species, but only obtained one that may 
have been a female, and I was rather doubtful of the identifica- 
tion of the sex, even in this one bird, as it had been badly shot. 

696. — Ploceus bengalensis, K 

Found in the same localities as, and in company with, the last 
named species. Of this species too I did not succeed in meeting- 
with a single female. It is absolutely a mystery to me where 
the females can have got to, the birds were certainly not breeding, 
and had the females been in that part of the country some of us 
must surely have secured some specimens, as not less than forty 
were shot from first to last. 

703.— Munia malabarica, L. <i- 

Very common alike in the western Punjab and throughout 
Sindh from Kussmore to Kurrachee. 

704.— Estrilda amandava, L. 

I only met with this species on the banks of the Indus at 
Kussmore, and again in similar thickets of giant grass between 
Shikarpore and Sukkur ; but I was told that at some seasons of 
the year it was met with pretty well all over Sindh wherever 
there was long grass. 

706. — Passer indicUS, Jard. and Selb. •-•^>^'-.'- -^A'.' 

Of course very abundant. Throughout Sindh, as in past years 
throughout Rajpootana and the western Punjab, I searched in 
vain for Mr. Siyih's Passer pyrrhonottcs, ^oidi^Q hundreds of com- 
mon sparrows that Mr. Blyth is answerable for having led me to 
execute, ought to form a heavy load upon his conscience. 

In regard to this supposed species I am fast verging on Betsy 
Prigg's conviction in regard to Mrs. Harris, and if such a bird •■ 
exists, it would be only decent for it, for the sake of its scientific 
historian, to put in an appearance with as little delay as possible. 

707— Passer salicicola, Vieill. 

The willow sparrow, which during the cold season invades 
nearly the whole Punjab in such vast flocks that a single shot 
would often enable one to secure materials for a dozen pies, is appa- 
rently only a straggler in Sindh. I never saw a single large 
flock of it, and the only specimens I obtained were single birds 
killed by accident out of flocks of common sparrows. 

210 Contributions to the Qrnithology of India, 8fc. 

^ 732 ^is.— Bucanetes githagineus, LicU. 

This delicately tinted species which is another that Sindh has 
unexpectedly added to our avifauna^ was met with only at com- 
paratively short distances from the lower slopes of the hills 
which divide Sindh from Khelat. They were seen exclusively 
in small patches of cultivation which here and there occur^ oases 
in the barren waste which fringes the skirts of the mountains. 
They were always in small flocks feeding- in a kind of mustard ; 
very tame but difficult to shoot, because, invariably, when in the 
least disturbed, running- on the g-round, with which their upper 
surfaces are almost absolutely unicolorous, in amongst the mus- 
tard plants. Whether it is that my birds were all shot about 
the end of January, and that the breeding" plumage is brighter, 
or that the figures are over-colored, I cannot say but not 
one of the fifty odd birds that I obtained could compare in 
brightness with the figure in the pi. col. 400 (in which prok 
piidor ! the bills are colored vermillion red) or even with D\\ 
Breeds figure ; with Bonaparte^s figure (Mon. des Loxiens, t. 33) 
however they agree well, ; 

It is very likely that before I first obtained specimens I over- 
looked them ; seen feeding in the fields at a little distance, they 
looked for all the world like a party of hen sparrows, it was only 
the color of the bills that one day attracted my attention and 
led to my shooting one ; once in the hand the faintly rosy, blue 
grey tinge of the head and breast and the decided rose color of 
the rest of the lower parts at once showed me what the bird 
was, and I then set to work vigorously to procure specimens, and 
in two days, I think, we shot thirty, so that they were plentiful 
enough in that immediate neighbourhood, which was Gool 
Mahomed in the Mehur sub-division. I noticed them once or 
twice afterwards and shot a few more, one or two I remember 
near the mouth of the Nurree Nai. I notice that Mr. Gray 
besides y/'/!/««^me?<;*, Liclit. , and sinaiticus, Licht., gives a third 
species crassirostris, Blyth, from i^fghanistan. I cannot ascertain 
' where this species of Blytli's is described, and as I have no Euro- 
pean or Arabian specimens to compare, it mai/ be that, if really 
distinct, our bird should stand as crassirostris, but it agrees per- 
fectly with Bonaparte^s figure and description of githagineus. J 
subjoin measurements, &c., taken in the fiesli. 

.Dimensions — Males. — Length, 5"7 to 6 ; expanse, 10 to 10*7 ; 
tail from vent, 2"1 to 3 ; wing, 3"3 to 3"6 ; wings, when closed, 
reach to within 0'7 of end of tail. 

Females. — Length, 5'7 to 5*8; expanse, 10 "5 to 11" 1 ; tail 
from vent, I'S to 3 ; wings, 3*2 to 3-4; wings, when closed^ reach 
to within 0*6 to O'S of end of tail. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 211 

Botii sexes. Bill at front, 0-35 to 0-41 ; tarsus, 0-67 to 0-77. 

The irides are brown, the leg-s and feet fleshy brown ; claws, 
dusky ; soles whitish. The bill, orange yellow, in some probably 
less mature, pale yellow, brownish on upper mandible. 

In the male the head is pale, bluish grey, the feathers tipped 
browner ; the chin, throat, breast, cheeks, and ear coverts, a sort 
of blue g'rey, the feathers faintly tinged, most conspicuously so 
round the base of the lower mandible, with pale rosy ; the ab- 
domen, vent, and lower tail coverts, very pale rosy white, the 
longest of the latter with dark shafts ; the back and scapulars 
dull earthy brown, with when fresh a faint rosy tinge, which 
disappears in the dried skin, and somewhat greyer towards the 
nape ; rump, pale brown, more decidedly tinged with rosy ; the 
visible portion of upper tail coverts rosy white, more strongly 
tinged with rosy at the margins, the centres and bases of the 
longest being pale brown ; these however are not seen till the 
feathers are lifted. The tail feathers dark brown, conspicuously, 
though narrowly, margined with rosy white, which is most rosy 
towards the bases of the lateral feathers. The wings hair-brown, 
conspicuously margined and tipped, the coverts, secondaries, and 
tertiaries most broadly so, with pale rose color, or rosy white. 
There is a very narrow, inconspicuous, pale rosy frontal band. 
The wing lining and axillaries are pure white ; the winglet 
alone is dark-brown, unmargined with rosy. 

The female has the whole upper surface and the side of the 
head and body a dull pale earth}^ brown, with only a faint rosy 
tinge upon the rump and upper tail coverts ; the lower parts a 
still paler earthy brown, with the faintest possible roseate tinge 
on the breast and becoming albescent on the vent and lower tail 
coverts and tibial plumes. The wings and tail are as in the 
male ; but the margins are narrower and less conspicuous, and 
are pale brownish instead of rosy white. 

This species if (as I think there is little doubt) I have cor- 
rectly identified it, has been observed in the Islands of the 
MediteiTanean and the countries bordering thereon, France, 
Italy, Algeria, Syria, Arabia Petraea, and again, in the Canary 
Islands on the West, and Nubia on the East Coast of Africa. 

759.— Ammomanes lusitania, Gmel. 

This, in and about the hilly portions of Sindh, is the lark par \~^ 
excellence; in the barest and most desolate hills, absolutely de- 
void of the slightest trace of vegetation (all about Duryalo 
they had had no rain for more than two years when I was there) 
this bird was abundant. From the very northernmost to the 
extreme southern point of Sindh, it was equally plentiful in 

S12 Confribufions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

suitable localities,, and all tlie way up tlie Mekran Coast I met 
with it whenever and wherever we landed. It is a perfectly- 
fearless and familiar bird^ and when shot at g-enerally drops^ if not 
woiuided, at a few yards distance and -seeks safety by squatting", 
when it is impossible even at a couple of yards distance to make 
<5ut its whereabouts, so perfectly does its sober garb harmonize 
with the barren localities it affects. Further north, it is equally 
common in the salt range, in the hills that encircle the 
Peshawur valley, and Hazara. 

760.— Pyrrhiilauda grisea, Scop. 

This little lark was common enough throughout Sindh. We 
generally met with it scratching about in the dust of the roads 
with which the color of its upper surface harmonizes admirably. 
A rather fine male measured in the flesh was, length, 5 ; ex- 
panse, 9'7; wing, 3 ; tail from vent, 1*95; wings, when closed, 
reached to within 0*61 of end of tail; bill at front, 0"35 ; weight, 
0-5 oz. 

760 &is.— Pyrrhulauda affinis, Blyth. 

I did not myself meet with this species in Sindh, but Mr. 
Blanford sent me a single male which he shot near Kurrachee. 
In this the wing measures 3"16 ; and the bill at front, 0*43. 

This bird which I have now received from both Sindh and 
Muttra is very close indeed to grisea. Females I have not yet 
procured ; the males diifer from those of grisea, first in having 
a considerably larger bill, and a slightly larger wing ; and second- 
ly, in having the whole crown and occiput unicolorous with the 
eye streak, lores, chin, throat, &c., leaving only a short broad 
white band on the forehead. The upper surface of the body 
is also slightly more rufous and less grey than in grisea. Mr. 
Elyth describes the species thus : " Crown of the male black 
with broad white forehead, and small blackish spot on the nape, 
less developed than in the Nubian Bird ;" but neither of my 
specimens shew the slightest indication of any dark spot on the 
nape, to which the chocolate black of the crown very nearly 
descends en masse. The females would probably be distinguish- 
ed by the lai'ger size of the bill. 

Mr. Blanford suggests that this species ''^should becompared 
with P. albifrons Sund j" but I fancy he means rather frontalis 
of Licht, from Nubia, and not frontalis, Bonap, which latter 
Mr. Gray identifies with both albifrons, Sund, and nigriceps, 
G-ould, a Cape Verde Island and Canary^ species, with which our 
bird could scarcely be identical, though it might be with the 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 213 

761.— Oalandrella brachydactyla, Leisl. ^ 

Common everywhere in Sindh. Seen also once or twice on the '^^ 
Mekran Coast. "^ 

762 ^er.— Alaudula Adamsi, Hume. Ibis, 1871. 
p. 405. 

This little sandlark is extraoi'dinarily abundant along* the 
whole course of the g-reater Punjab rivers almost from the foot 
of the Himalayas to Kurrachee, just as Alaudida raytal equally ~ 

affects, though not in anything' like such numbers_, the Ganges 
and most of its tributaries. 

The two species resemble each other pretty closely in plumage,, 
appearance, and habits ; but they are distinguished at once by 
the shape and size of the bill which in ray ted is more lengthened 
and slender than those of the true larks, measuring at front 0'5 
(not 0*38 as Jerdon wrongly gives it) while that of Adamsi is 
that of a true lark never measuring in front more than 0*38. 
The bill of the latter, besides being shorter, is much stouter and 
has the culmen more curved, moreover it is differently colored, 
being grey or bluish horny, with a brown tinge on the culmen 
instead of yellowish horny as in raytal. I have seen some hun- 
dreds of both species, and never saw a single bird in any way 
intermediate, and I am compelled therefore to consider the two 
species distinct. -| 

The following are dimensions recorded in the flesh : 

Male, length, 5-9 to 6 ; expanse, 10-4 to 11 ; tail from vent, 
3-1 to 2-2 ; wing, 3-3 to 3-5 ; bill at front, 0-35 to 0-38 ; tarsus, 
0*75 to O'S ; wings, when closed, reach to within 0*7 to 0'8 of 
end of tail; weight, 0*7 5 oz. 

Female, length, 5*6 to 5-7 ; expanse, 10 to 10-5 ; tail from 
vent, 2; wing, 3-05 to 3-2 ; bill at front, 0*32 to 0-38 ; tarsus, 
0'75 to 0'78 ; wings, when closed, reach to within 0'6 to 0*7 of 
end of tail; weight, 0'6 to 0*7 oz. 

The irides are pale brown ; the bill, pale gi*eyish or slaty grey, 
brownish on culmen and at tip ; slightly yellowish white at base 
of lower mandible ; legs and feet, fleshy brown, or in some brown- 
ish yellow, dusky on joints. 

In the winter the whole upper surface is a very pale grey or 
wliitey brown, all the feathers narrowly centred with grey 
brown, so as to produce a striated appearance. There is, in many 
specimens, a inore or less perceptible, but still very faint rufous 
tinge on the back. The wings are pale brown, the outer webs of 
the first primaries nearly entirely cream color, the other primaries 
narrowly tipped and margined white ; secondaries more broadly, 
tertiaries and coverts still more broadly, margined with fulvous 


214 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, Sfc. 

or slightly greyish white. The central tail feathers browo, 
somewhat conspicuously margined with brownish or fulvous 
white. The exterior tail feather on either side wholly white, ex- 
cept a dark brown stripe down the inner margin of the inner 
web. The next feather with the whole exterior web, pure white; 
interior web, dark brown ; other tail feathers dark brown, very 
narrowly margined with dull white. The lores and a stripe over 
and under the eye, white or rufescent white ; a very narrow grey 
line through the centre of the lores only noticeable in very good 
specimens or in the fresh bird ; ear coverts mingled grey brown, 
and fulvous white, and usually exhibiting a somewhat darker spot 
just behind and below the posterior angle of the eye ; the whole 
lower parts white, with, in some, a very faint rufescent tinge on 
breast, sides, and flanks, and with numerous narrow or linear 
darkish brown spots on the breast, very strongly marked and 
conspicuous in some specimens, reduced almost to speckles in 
other birds. The flanks and sides are faintly tinged with brown, 
or in some, pale rufescent. So far the plumage corresponds very 
closely to that of raytal ; but the difference in the bills is so 
very conspicuous, that it can only be compared to that between 
those of Melcmocorypha maxima and M. tatarica, of which they 
are respectively minatures. 

One stage of the plumage of A. Adamsi deserves special men- 
tion, because I have observed nothing analogous in A. raytal. 
Only one single specimen in my museum, which was sent me 
from Murdan, and which I owe to Captain Unwin, exhibits this 
stage. The date on which it was procured has, unfortunately, 
not been noted, but I conclude it to be the nuptial garb. 

In this stage each primary has a broad subterminal somewhat 
silvery, or slightly greyish white band, which, except in the first 
two or three, extends over both webs ; the outer webs of the 
three tail feathers, next the central ones, become almost wholly of 
this color, and the inner webs are greatly blanched, or, more 
properly, appear to be overlaid with the same greyish white. Is 
this an accidental variety ? There is nothing in the single speci- 
men before me to decide the question. 

7^9.— Galerida cristata, L. 

The crested lark, as might be expected, is excessively abun- 
dant throughout Sindh, as it is indeed throughout Kajpootana, 
the Punjab, Oudh, and the North-Western Provinces. As usual 
the plumage is excessively variable, but most of the Sindh birds 
belong to one of two types, the grey brown and the desert or 
isabelline. I at one time believed that these were divisible speci- 
fically, but the examination of large series convinces me that no 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 215 

sueli separation is either desirable or possible. Mr. Gray g-ives 
a number of species chendoola, Franklin ; Boi/sii, Blytli ; abyssi- 
nica, Bonap ; isabellina, Bonap ; macrorhyncha, Tristram ; rutiia, 
Miiller ; brachyzcra, Tristram. I confess that I should g-reatly 
like to see the type specimens of all these supposed species. 
Seeing" as I do how extraordinarily this bird varies' in India, I 
am strangely suspicious of all these supposed Nubian, Abyssinian, 
Egyptian, Syrian^ and Arabian Galeridas, while as to the two 
supposed Indian ones, I know from actual compai-ison of series 
such as have never probably previously been got together, that 
they are nothing but G. cristata of Europe. 

As a matter of fact this species is very variable alike in colour 
and size both according to sex and individuals. The wing varies 
from 3*5 in a small female to 4"33 in a very large male, and the 
bill at front, in like manner, varies from 0*54 to 0*76. 

In the Ibis for 1867, p. 48, Mr. Blyth remarks, " Galeriia 
Boysi, nobis, proves to be a good species. Examples from Lahore 
have the wing 3 5, and the rest in proportion ; otherwise resem- 
bling G. cristata. 

I am, however, compelled to suppress this supposed species as 
well as chendoola, Frank. ; the examination of a large series 
proves that it is impossible to draw a line anywhere between the 
largest and the smallest examples. A perfect series of the wings 
occurs, and as for the difference in tone of plumage, big and 
little examples are alike met with amongst the brown, rufous, 
sandy or desert color, and grey types. I have measured carefully 
some fifty specimens and arranged them before me according to 
the size of the wing, and the following will shew the localities 
whence I received the birds, with each size of wing. 

3-5 Etawah, Sirsa, North-West Punjab^ Km-rachee. 

3*6 Etawah, Saharunpore. 

3-65 Mittenkote banks of Indus North Sindh. 

3" 7 Sirsa, Etawah, Raipore, Sirsa. 

3-78 Etawah, Sirsa. 

3*8 Sirsa, Etawah, Peshawur. 

3'85 Sirsa. 

3 "9 Etawah, Jerripanee Mussoorie, Loodiana, Etawah, Sirsa, 
Murdan, Banks of Chenab near junction of Indus, ditto. 

3-92 Kurrachee. 

3*95 Saharunpore, Sirsa, Mittenkote. 

3-97 Sukkur Sindh. 

4-0 Sirsa, Sirsa, Etawah, Murdan, Sirsa, Sehwan Sindh. 

4-05 Sirsa. 

4-08 Gwader the Mekran Coast. 

4*1 Sirsa, Sukkur^ Chenab near junction of Indus. 

216 Contr'ib idiom to the OrnitJiology of India, Sfc. 

4" 15 Hussun ki gurhi North Sinclh. 

4"3 Hussun ki gurlii North Sindh. 

4-25 Hussun ki gurhi North Sindh. 

4"3 Sirsa. 

4*32 Sirsa, Jacobabad. 

In this large series it is impossible to draw a line anywhere. 
As a rule all the birds up to 3 "9 are females, and those of 3'9 and 
upwards, are males; but one female has awing of 3" 95, and there 
is a male with awing of onlj 3' 6 ; but this is quite a young bird. 
Besides the variation in the bill and wings, that in the hind 
claw is excessively great. Picking out the two extremes^ I find 
that this varies from 0'28 to 0'6, and though the claws are to a 
certain extent proportional to the size of the bird, the longest 
claw of all pertains to a female with a wing only 3*8. Again, 
the variation in the spottings on the breast is very remarkable ; 
in some these are large, well defined, blackish brown, in others 
they are mere blurred streaks, of a somewhat pale brown ; in some 
the spots are very numerous, in others there are not more than 
half a dozen altogether. 

As regards the size, all that can be said is that all the biggest 
birds appear to be from the far West and North- West. 

770— Alaemon desertorum, Stanley, 

So far as my experience goes, this species is confined to the 
more sandy tracts included in the broad strip of comparative desert 
which, almost everywhere, borders the bases of the hills that, 
alike on the north and west, separate Sindh from Khelat. It 
is never found congregated in flocks. It is rare to meet with a 
second bird within half a mile of any other. They never appa- 
rently fly, if left undisturbed, but run about, with their little porce- 
lain white legs twinkling in the sunlight, hither and thither, 
for all the world like miniature coursers. Now bending down the 
body horizontally, now stretching themselves straight up, so as 
to raise their heads as high as possible ; here meandering slowly 
about, creeping as it were along the sand, then suddenly making 
short darts with the utmost rapidity, and generally so con- 
ducting themselves as to render it difficult to realize that they 
can be larks and not plovers. I measured a considerable number 
of these birds in the flesh, and the following were the dimensions 
I obtained; the males being particularly variable in size, the 
female less so. 

Male, length, 9-4 to ll'l; expanse, 16-25 to 17-3; tail 
from vent, 3-7 to 4-1; wing, 5-1 to 5*45 ; feet, length, 1*45 to 
1*6; width, 1 to 1"2; wings, when closed, reached to within from 
1-2 to 1-6 of end of tail; bill at front, I'Ol to 1'14; tarsus, 
r35 to 1-45; weight, 1-5 to 2 oz. 

Contfihutions to the Ornithology of India, SfC. 217 

Female^ length, 8-4 to 9*4; expanse, 14-75 to 15-4; wing-, 
4-6 to 4-75 ; tail from vent, 3-3 to 3-5 ; foot, length, 1"3 to 1-5 ; 
width, 0*9 to 1; wings, when closed, reach to within 1-3 to 
1-5 of end of tail; bill at front, 0-85 to 0*95 j tarsus, 1-2 to 1'3 ; 
weight, 1'35 oz. 

The irides are brown; the legs and feet, pure China white, 
greyish on claws; the bill is very variable in color, sometimes 
it is unifrom pale plumbeous, sometimes pale slaty grey, darker 
at base and tip, and sometimes horny grey, or greenish grey, 
in all cases whitish at base of lower mandible. 

I will only add to Dr. Jerdon''s description that there is a near- 
ly black spot or line exactly in front of the anterior angle 
•of the eye, and a similar one behind the posterior angle, 
dividing the white supercilium from the fulvous white ear 
coverts, which are not tipped blackish; from the gape, a very 
narrow dark line extends below the eyes till, opposite the base 
of the ear coverts, it expands into a moderate sized gape spot. 

When on the wing their flight is very unlike that of Galerida 
■cristata in whose company, or rather neighbourhood, they are so 
commonly met with, and when they do alight, they always run 
along the ground for fifteen or twenty yards before coming to a 
halt ; then they stand up to their full height, and look backwards 
at you over their shoulders. It is not often that they do fly, but 
where closely pressed, and one must walk uncommonly quick to 
do that, they will rise and then the huge, broad, double white 
band upon their long wing is excessively conspicuous. I have 
repeatedly noticed this species in my diary and need say no more 
about it now, 

787.— Palumboena Eversmanni, B'p. 

I only once came across this, our Indian stock dove, in any 
numbers in Sindh, and that was near Kumber in Upper Sindh; 
here there were, for a wonder, a consideiable number of large 
trees dotted about amongst the cultivation, and on these^ whole 
i&ocks of this dove were clustered. At certain seasons of the 
year, I understand, that this species is much more numerous; 
but with the exception of the one instance above mentioned, I 
never saw above one or two at any time, and these on only two or 
three occasions and never in Lower Sindh. 

788. — Columba intermedia, i^trioli. 

The common blue pigeon of India was tolerably abundant in 
the plains of Sindh during the feeding hours of the day ; but its 
home appeared to be in the rocky valleys of the hills ; and about 
four or five in the afternoon, I generally saw them returning to 
these; in m.oderate sized flocks. While camped at the Gaj one of 

218 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

tlie few perennial streams that flows througli the hills dividing 
Khelat and Sindh^ I specially remarked the considerable numbers 
of blue pigeons that towards evening' tenanted the precipices 
bounding, in so many places, the gorge, and the majority of these 
belonged to the present species. When grain is ripening, the latter 
appears in large flocks about Jacobabad, but is more rarely seen 
there during the cold season. 

788 Us.—Co\ynnb^ livia, Bp. 

I procured one undoubted specimen of this species, shot by Dr. 
Day in the sand hills of the Roree Division, and was informed 
that the white rumped pigeon was not uncommon there. Again 
in the Gaj, amongst several true intermedia, I obtained one livia 
and one or two intermediate forms. . 

The species that I described with much hesitation as 
Columha neglecta in my Ornithology of the Yarkand Expedition, 
must now, I am convinced, be identified with livia. The wing of 
this latter species varies, as I find, from Scotch specimens, from 
8*3 to 9'75; and after comparing European and Indian birds, I 
entertain no doubt of the identity of the Ladak and Scotch 
specimens. Cashmere birds, however, which I also class under 
^iz?w, differ slightly; they have somewhat less of jowre white on 
the lower back ; and the rest of what is pure white in true livia, 
is faintly shaded with very pale grey ; in all other respects, size, 
general hue of plumage, they are identical with the European 
bird. Of the Sindh birds, two are typical livia, others resemble 
the Cashmere birds, and one again seems intermediate be- 
tween the Cashmere bird, and the true intermedia, though nearest 
to the former. 

Below Duryalo, inside the first range, Dr. Day saw large 
flocks of the white backed pigeon similar to the one he shot 
for me at Roree. 

794.— Turtur cambayensis, Gmd. 

Common throughout Sindh. 

795.— Turtur suratensis, Gmel. 

Strange to say I did not see this bird, and to tell the truth I 
shoiild hardly have expected to find it there, but Capt. Maiden 
informed me that it was pretty common in Upper Sindh. 

796.— Turtur risorius, L. 

Common throughout Sindh. 

797.— Turtur humilis, Tem. 

I noticed this species on one or two occasions, but only in 
the most fertile, most highly cultivated, portions of the provinee. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 219 

799.— Pterocles arenarius, Pallas. 

The larg-e sand grouse was met with occasionally in Upper 
Sindhj (I did not myself see it lower than Sehwan, though I 
heard of its occurrence^) but never in any thing like the numbers 
in which it occurs throughout the North- West Punjab and 
parts of Rajpootana. In fact as far as I could see and learn^ 
the only rock grouse which occurred in very great numbers were 
P. alchata and F. senegallus. 

800 62^5.— Pterocles Lichtensteinii, Tem. FL 

Col. 355, 361. 

The occurrence of this North African and Arabian species 
within our limits is a matter of no little interest. I never saw 
however but one single pair which, until we had shot them, I 
did not recognize as distinct from fasciatus. This was at Gool 
Mahomed, Mehur, Upper Sindh, where we were shooting along 
with a native gentleman ; he recognized the birds immediately 
as a species of which only a few stragglers were yearly seen in 
mid winter. I have nothing to add to the little on record in 
regard to the habits of this species. We only saw the pair 
squatting on the bare ground adjoining a thinly cultivated field, 
and Mr. Watson of the Sindh Commission who was with me, 
shot them both almost immediately they rose. 

The following are dimensions taken in the flesh : 

Male, length, 107; expanse, 21; tail from vent, 3-2; 
wing, 6-65 ; wings, when closed, reach to within 07 of end of 
tail; bill at front, 0*54 ; bill from gape, 0-65; tarsus, 1-05. 
Weight, 8 ozs. 

Female, length, 10-37; expanse, 20; tail from vent, 3; 
wing, Q-<o; wings, when closed, reach to within 07 of end of 
tail; bill at front, 0-55; from gape, 0-62; weight, 8 ozs. 

Legs, wholly feathered in front ; feet, orange yellow ; reticula- 
tion, white ; claws, dusky, tipped yellowish ; bill, fleshy brown, 
darker in the female ; irides, brown ; orbital skin,yellow. 

Plumage, male. — Forehead, white ; a broad semi-circular black 
band from the lores on either side encircling the white frontal 
patch. A similar white band immediately in rear of this, imper- 
fect on the crown ; the whole of the rest of the top and back of 
the head, pale creamy, the feathers centered black, producing 
an irregularly striated appearance. Chin, and part of the 
upper portion of the centre of the throat, dull yellowish white, 
unspotted ; aides of the upper part of the throat and uppeif 
part of the neck, yellovnsh white, each feather with a tiny black 
spot at the tip ; the ear coverts, fulvous white, slightly streaked 
duskyj and more m less irregularly tipped with dull black. 

220 Contrihdions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

The lower part of the neck all round, the whole of the back, 
scapulars, rump, upper tail coverts, and tail feathers, pale isa- 
belline, closely and reg-ularly barred with black ; the barring's 
being narrowest on the neck, and broadest on the tertiaries, and 
these latter as well as many of the scapulars conspicuously 
tipped with buffy yellow ; the tips of the tail feathers isabelline, 
and the penultimate bars, especially in the lateral feathers, 
much broader than the rest. The primaries, their greater co- 
verts, and the winglet are hair brown, darker on the coverts and 
'Winglet; the primaries everywhere very narrowly margined with 
dull white, except towards the bases of the first three or four, 
where the white margins are broader and more conspicuous; the 
secondaries are French grey on the outer webs, for the basal por- 
tion ; dark brown on the terminal portion ; the entire inner webs 
somewhat pale brown; the secondary coverts and the lesser primary 
coverts are mostly banded much like the back, but with a 
g-reater admixture of pure white and buffy yellow, and the ear- 
lier of the secondary greater coverts nearly entirely pure white 
on their outer webs ; the breast is pale buffy yellow, intersected 
by a broad, conspicuous, brownish maroon band, and bounded in- 
feriorly by a black band ; below this the whole abdomen and flanks 
are dull white, the feathers pale brown at their bases, each with 
a conspicuous, somewhat crescentic blackish brown subterminal 
band. The lower tail coverts, somewhat similarly barred, but 
.each feather with mimerous bars, and the terminal one cunei- 
form. The tarsal feathers, unspeckled buffy white. 

The female lacks alike the white frontal patch, and the black 
and white encircling bars, the whole head being similar to the 
hach head in the male. 

The chin, throat, neck, abdomen, lower tail coverts are all 
very similar to those of the male, except first, that the female 
has no unspotted central streak in the centre of the upper por- 
tion of the throat, and second, that the barrings are narrower and 
somewhat less conspicuous. She entirely wants the yellow 
breast and the two breast bands ; her breast is a pale fulvous 
white, very regularly barred with narrow, and somewhat wide- 
ly-set, dark brown bars ; only, where the regular barring of the 
breast ends, and just before the crescentic barring of the abdo- 
men commences, there are traces of a broad, indistinct, scarce- 
ly barred fulvous white band. The back and mantle, including 
.scapulars and tertiaries, are a delicate isabelline yellow, very 
•narrowly and closely barred, much more so than in the male, 
with blackish brown, the bars not extending quite to the tips 
or quite to the margins of the outer webs, of the exterior co- 
,¥erts and longer scapulars^ and most of the scapulars being 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 221 

Wrongly tinged with rufous, except just at the tips and mar- 
gins. The wiugs of the female are otherwise similar to the 
male_, but want the French grey band at the bases of the secon- 

This species closely resembles P . fasciaiios , but the males are 
distinguished at a glance, by the entire absence of the barring 
all round the lower throat and neck of y»5c^a'^!^^,y, by the much 
bolder character of the barrings on the back o^fasciatus, and by 
the abdomen in fasciati^jS being black with crescentic white 
marks, instead of white with crescentic black ones as in the 
present species ; the difference in the abdomen holds good in the 
females, and besides the whole chin and throat is spotless isabel- 
line ixifasciatus female, while it is albescent, throughout closely 
speckled, with blackish brown in the female Lichtensteinii. The 
upper surface of the female in both species belongs to the same 
type, hvit fasciatiis is much more rufous and has far bolder 
markings. Lastly, the bills in the present species are consider- 
ably longer than iwfasciatus which has it in the male 0*4 to 
0"45 ; and in the female, 0"35 to 0'4. 

This species has hitherto only been reported from Northern 
Africa, and to the best of my belief. North- Western Arabia; 
fasciatus does not appear to have been ever met with in Sindh. 

801 — Pterocles alchata, L. 

I never myself succeeded in shooting a single specimen of this 
species while in Sindh, but I saw one or two flocks of it some 
few miles west of Jacobabad, and I was assured by an Officer 
there who is not only a first-rate sportsman but somewhat of an 
ornithologist also, that in this north-west corner of Sindh they 
arrive in spring in countless multitudes, and are incomparably 
more numerous at that time than all the other sand grouse put 
together. They appear to remain for only a very short period. 
For about three months in mid-winter, this species known to 
local sportsmen, as the painted rock grouse, is abundant about 
Murdan, near Attock, in parts of the Peshawur valley, Abbota- 
bad, and some isolated localities in Huzara. Nowhere in India 
does it descend far into the plains. 

801 &?;§.— Pterocles senegallus, L.—T. E. 

130, — PI Col. 345. — Gould's birds, Asia, III. pi. 
6; — guttatus, Licht. — Senegalensis, Shaw. — Alchata^ 
B. Senegallus, Omel. — Tachypetes, p. Tern. 

Numerous as the spotted sand grouse were incerta in localities, ^ 
they were as a rule only met with within a comparatively nar- 
row zone ; that within which the inundation tracts abut on the ; 

E^Si''; Contributions to the Ornliliology of India, Sfc. 

dry uplands and cultivation and desert inosculate. In the im- 
mediate neighbourhood ot" the hills themselves^, we never saw 
them^ except in parties coming- up for a few minutes to drink at 
some perennial stream^ close to where it debouches from the 
hills^ and ag-ain we equally missed theili well down into the 
heart of the cultivated area. Denizens of the desert as their 
plumage shows them to be at the first glance^ they never ad- 
vance far into the cultivation, to the immediate neighbourhood 
of which they are attracted by the facilities for obtaining food. 

There is really nothing to be said about their habits ; they 
keep together in parties of from five to fifty ; very often each 
flock, at any rate in winter, consists of one sex only; occasionally 
we found both sexes intermingled ; they trot about on the dry 
soil, picking up seeds and insects, or squat motionless sunning 
themselves in the early morning sun ; they fly ofi" to drink, morn- 
ing and evening, often to comparatively very distant localities, 
and in fact comport themselves in most respects much as all the 
other rock grouse with which I am acquainted do. It was 
perhaps due to the season being yet young, but it did strike me 
that though I often watched them from distances of from 80 to 
100 yards with my binoculars, I never saw that perpetual skir- 
mishing going on amongst the males which I have so often 
noticed amongst those of arenarius (but no doubt later in the 
year) in the Punjab. 

Of the six species of sand grouse as yet known to visit Sindh, 
four I think we may safel}'' assert, do not breed within the pro- 
vince ; one exusttts certainly does, and the sixth, the present 
species, senegallus, probably does. It will be for local observers 
to settle this point. 

The bird being new to me I measured the first dozen specimens 

1 obtained in the flesh, and the following are the dimensions : 

Males, length, 13-4 to 14-7 ; expanse, 23 to 23'7 ; tail from 

. vent, 5*3 to 6 ; wing, 7*5 to 7*9 ; the wings, when closed, reach 

to within from 3-3 to 2"8 of the end of the longest tail feathers, 

viz., the central ones which exceed the others by from 1"75 to 

2 ; bill at front, 0-44 to 0-47 ; tarsus, 1 to 1-05. 

Females, length, 12-4 to 13-1 ; expanse, 22 to 22-6 ; tail from 
vent, 4 to 4*6 ; the central tail feathers only extending from 
0*75 to 1*2 beyond the rest ; wing, 7*3 to 7*5 ; bill at front, 0*4 
to 0*44. 

Irides, brown ; bare orbital skin, yellowish ; bill, pale plum- 
beous, bluish grey, or bluish white, always somewhat more 
dusky towards the tip ; feet, pale plumbeous, or bluish white, 
paler towards the tips of the toes and whitish on scales ; weight, 
8 to 12 0ZS-, but averaging about 10 ozs. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 223 

The male has the whole chin and throat with a patch extend- 
ing upwards from the throat towards, but not quite meeting- on, 
the back of the neck, bright hnSy yellow or orange buff ; lores, 
forehead, a broad stripe over the eye continued round the nape, 
and the back of the neck, pale blue grey, dull and tinged fawny 
in some specimens ; crown, occiput, and nape, a sort of dove 
•color or pale slightly rufous fawn ; back and rump, a somewhat 
similar, but more sandy color, in many specimens more tinged 
with fawn ; the upper tail coverts, buffy yellow, all but the 
longest obscurely tipped with a somewhat pinkish mouse color. 
They are more or less pale dove color at their bases, which colour 
however is not seen till the feathers are lifted. The central tail, 
feathers have the pointed tips black, in many specimens more or 
less tinged hoary buffy , and th€ rest of the visible portion yellow- 
ish buff; but the bases as may be seen on lifting the feathers are 
greyish ; the lateral tail feathers ar€ a greyish brown at base, dark 
shafted, with conspicuous white tips, and broad blackish blown 
subterminal bands ; the primaries are pale isabelline, the shafts 
conspicuous and black ; they have broad il]-defined subterminal 
brown bands, beyond which there is a narrow paler tipping, and 
they are pretty conspicuously margined on their inner webs 
towards the tips with still paler isabelline. The first primary has 
the outer web browner, the othei"s ha\ e the outer webs, especially 
towards the bases, a brighter isabelline. The whole visible por- 
tions of the lesser coverts and of the primary greater coverts are 
yellowish fawn, or isabelline, varying much in shade in different 
specimens, these greater coverts dark shafted, and with a brown- 
ish tinge next the shafts on the inner webs ; the scapulars 
bluish grey at the bases, tipped broadly, but chiefly on the outer 
webs, with buffy yellow, and the lesser ones tinged immediately 
above the yellow with a somewhat brownish purple, or dull grey- 
ish vinaceous. The secondary, median, and greater coverts like 
the lesser scapulars, but shewing more of the vinaceous hue. 
The secondaries are brown, lighter towards their bases. The 
lower part of the neck in front and upper breast are nearly the 
same blue-grey or greyish fawn as the back of the neck ; the 
lower breast, abdomen, sides, flanks, axillaries, and wing lining 
isabelline or desert color ; the upper abdomen often with a faint 
orange buffy tinge. A broad irregular deep brown patch runs 
down the centre of the abdomen to the vent ; the lower tail co- 
verts are greyish brown at their bases, but are broadly tipped 
with white (often tinged buffy or isabelline) which is the only 
color visible until the feathers are lifted. The lower surfaces of 
the quill shafts are white. 

Th« female has the yellow chin and throat-patch like the male 

S'2'4< Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 

but paler ; the lores and feathers immediately encircling the eye, 
pale isabelline white ; the whole upper parts and the neck all 
rotind pure isabelline, ting-ed slightly rufous on the occiput, nape, 
and back, and conspicuously spotted with dull, somewhat greyish, 
black ; the spots on the forehead and front part of the head are 
small and irregular ; on the nape and occiput they are more or 
less arranged in rows, (so as to produce more of a striated 
appearance) and in a band running from behind the eye round 
the nape, they are very much more densely set ; on the upper 
tail coverts they are larger ; while on the scapulars they take the 
form of double spots or irregular bars. The primaries and their 
greater coverts are much as in the male, but paler ; the central 
tail feathers are isabelline, dark shafted, the points greyish black, 
and the rest of the feather with narrow, transverse, irregular 
bars of the same color on both webs ; the lateral tail feathers are 
much as in the male ; but have the basal portions more tinged 
with isabelline, and more or less imperfectly barred. The breast, 
abdomen, wing lining, &c., are as in the male, but somewhat 
purer and paler; and the abdominal patch is narrower and per- 
haps also somewhat paler. 

This species has previously only been obtained in Northern 
Africa and North- Western Arabia. 

I notice that Mr. Gould^s figure, and indeed all the figures 
that I have seen of this species represent the bird as very much 
stouter and clumsier than it really is ; they are really compara- 
tively very slim, slender creatures, very unlike the broad massive- 
chested partridge like arenarltts. 

801 ^er.— Pterocles coronatus, LicU.—Pl. Col. 

339, S40.— Gould. Birds, Asia, IIL, pi. 7. 

I never myself was fortunate enough to secure this handsome 
sand grouse ; but it is at one season at any rate not uncommon 
in the extreme North- West of Sindh about Jacobabad, and one 
of the officers there, Captain Loch, very kindly gave me a skin 
of a male which he had shot shortly before my arrival. This 
species has hitherto, only I believe, been sent from Nubia, Algeria, 
and North- Western Arabia. 

The dimensions of the male I obtained taken from the dried 
skin were as follows : length, about 12 ; wing, 7"1, tail from 
vent, 375 ; bill at front, 0-45 ; tarsus, 0-95. 

The male has the point of the forehead white, tinged with 
isabelline, and a broad black stripe running upwards from the 
gape on either side of this ; from the ends of these stripes a broad 
pale bluish grey band runs over the eyes and ear coverts, and 
round the nape. The chin, and the base of both mandibles and a 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fO. 225 

streak about an inch long- running" down the front of the throat, 
black ; the lores and a narrow border to the black at the base 
of the lower mandible, white; rest of the throat, ear coverts, and 
a broad collar on the sides and round the back of the neck, brigdit 
buffy yellow or orang-e buff ; crown and occiput, a somewhat ru- 
fous fawn or dove color, with a slight cinnamon ting-e ; base of 
the neck all round, breast, and abdomen, pale isabelline, with a 
slig-ht greyish ting-e on the neck ; lower tail coverts, sides, axil- 
laries and the greater portion of the wing lining almost pure 
white ; the smaller coverts along the carpal joint faintly tinged 
isabelline and with slightly darker shafts. The whole back, rump, 
and upper tail coverts isabelline, all the feathers margined and 
tipped with brownish grey so as to produce the effect of the ends 
of the feathers being all dirty. The central tail feathers greyish 
isabelline, dark shafted ; the laterals similar, tipped with fulvous 
white, and with a more or less well marked grey brown spot or 
imperfect transverse bar just above the tipping. The primaries 
and their greater coverts dull grey brown, with brownish white 
shafts ; all but the earlier primaries tipped, and broadly mar- 
gined towards the tips on the inner webs, with isabelline ; the 
scapulars and the median coverts with greyish vinaceous bases, 
dark brown shafts except just at the tips, isabelline tips and a 
blackish grey band running down the shaft from some little dis- 
tance above the isabelline tips, and dividing when it meets 
■them, and extending on either web so as to bound these tippings 
and separate them from the vinaceous color of the basal portions 
of the feathers ; the dingy margins to the rump and back 
feathers, produce a somewhat mottled appearance, which is still 
moi'e conspicuous on the scapulars, wing coverts, &c., where grey- 
ish black, yellowish isabelline, and greyish vinaceous are all min- 
gled in patches ; the whole of the visible portion of the greater 
secondary coverts are isabelline, and the secondaries themselves 
are plain hair brown. 

I did not as already mentioned procure the female which 
Mr. Gould thus describes — " The female has the crown, very pale 
cinnamon, spotted with black ; all the upper surface, buff, with 
numerous crescentic broken bands of brownish black ; scapularies, 
largely blotched with black ; throat and cheeks, yellowish buff ; 
under surface, sandy buff; the throat and breast marked with 
crescentic bands like the upper surface, wings similar to, but 
paler than those of the male.^' 

802— Pterocles exustus, Tem. 

Pretty common everywhere, but not apparently in any thing, 
like such numbers as P. alchata or P. senegallus. 

S26 Contrihtiifions io the Orniiliology of India, 8fc: 

818 — Francolinus vulgaris, Steph. 

In suitable localities throug'hout Sindh wherever there is 
water and long- grass^ the common francolin abounds. About Kus- 
laore^ on the banks of the Indus they swarm, and on the road 
between Shikarpoor and Sukkur, they run backwards and forwards 
across the road in front of you as our pheasants do in Norfolk. 

820 — Caccabis cliukar, Grmj. 

The Sindh chickore tho-ug-h not specificallj^ separable is a great 
deal paler than that found in Kumaon, the valleys of the Jumna, 
Gang-es, Sutlej, and Beas, so far as these lie within the hills, and 
the lower of the intermediate hill ranges. As we travel further 
west, an intermediate type of coloring is noticeable, and as a rule 
the birds from the neighbourhood of Murdan, though quite as 
dark on the upper surface, have the abdomen: and vent, &c.^ 
much paler, in fact almost as pale as that of the Sindh birds. 

So far as the general tone of color is concerned, the Sindh 
birds closely resemble the race from Ladak which I designated 
(" Lahore to Yarkand") pallescens ; but that bird is characterized 
"by its larger and stronger bill, and by the almost entire absence 
of any rufous tinge on crown, occiput, and nape, whereas, in the 
Sindh birds, the bills run slightly smaller than those of the com- 
mon Himalayan form, and there is a decided rufous tinge on the 
occiput and nape. It is found throughout the rocky hills that 
divide the Punjab from Afghanistan and Khelat, and the latter- 
from Sindh. 

821 — Ammoperdix Bonhami, Gray. 

This pretty little desert partridge so common in the salt range' 
and in the hills that divide the Punjab fi-om Afghanistan, is 
found, but by no means in equal numbers, in those which divide 
Sindh from Khelat, and again in those which run up the Mekran 
Coast. In these latter localities I fully expected to meet with the 
nearly allied A. Mei/ii, Tem., but though we shot several birds 
they proved to be all Bonhami. I have measured a great number- 
of these in the flesh ; the following are the dimensions. 

Males, length, 9-5 to 11 ; expanse, 16 to 16-75 ; wing, 4-9 to> 
5" 75 ; the third, or occasionally the third and fourth primaries 
are the longest ; tail, from vent, 2 to 2 '5 ; tarsus, 1-1 to 1-2; bill 
from edge of cere to point, 0-44 to 0*48 ; closed wings fall short 
of end of tail by from 1-25 to 1*75 ; weight, 7 to 8 ozs. 

Female, length, 9 to 9-75 ; expanse, 15 to 16-25 ; wing, 4*9 ta 
5-1 ; tail, 2 to 2-5 ; tarsus, I'l to 1-2; bill as above, 0-4 to 0-46 ; 
closed wings fall short of end of tail by I'l to 1-75 j weight, 
5-75 to 8 ozs. 

Contrihidions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 227 

Legs and feet^ pale dingy wax yellow, in some greenish, in 
some dusky yellow ; claws, pale bvown ; the irides vary a good 
deal : they are generally either bright yellow, orange, or orange 
brown ; but in some specimens, they were dull red, and in some a 
bright brown ; the bill is generally orange, somewhat dusk}^ on 
the culmen j in some, however, it is a brownish orange red, and in 
the females especially often brov/n above and orange below, or 
even yellowish brown ; the cere is generally a hoary orange red, 
sometimes only brown. 

822.— Ortygornis ponticeriana, Gmel. 

Pretty common in the neighbourhood of cultivation through- 
out Sindh. 

829.— Cotumix commnnis, Bonn. 

I met with this constantly in Sindh, but never far from cul» 
tivation. I nowhere put up more than a couple or two in any one 
place, but in certain seasons of the year I am told that they are 
very plentiful. 

830.— Coturnix coromandelica, Gmel. 

I myself never saw this bird alive iu Sindh, but it is very com- 
mon during the monsoon and I saw specimens that had been pro- 
cured during the previous rains and others have since been sent 
to me. 

835.— Turnix Dussumieri, Tem. 

Shot at Jacobabad by Capt. Maiden. We failed to secure any 
specimen in Sindh. 

836.— Otis Edwardsi, Gray. 

One specimen was shot some years ago near Kurrachee, and 
it is not very uncommon, I hear, in the Thurr and Pakur districts, 
east of the Indus. 

837.— Hoiibara Macqueeni, Gray. 

The Houbara thoug-h scarce in Sindh compared with what 
it is in the North-Western Punjab, is very often met with in those 
barren plains which I have already described [c.f. supra sylvia 
delicatula, ^'c.) where the Lana and Bouee afford it shelter. I never 
myself saw above a couple of pairs in any one day, and never 
took the trouble to go after it ; but as an idea was prevalent 
among sportsmen that it was different from the Punjab Houbara, 
I examined a couple of specimens that one of them had by him, 
and found that they were identical with the Punjab birds. Mr. 
jGlray makes or accepts two species of this genus, or sub-genus ; the 


228 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

one, the orig-inal houlardoi Gmel., from North Africa, Arabia, and 
Spain, and the other, the present species, from " Punjaub, Sindh, 
Eng-land, Germa,ny, Belgium.'''' Can these really be distinct? 
and if so, wherein does the distinctness lie ? 

838. — Sypheotides auritus, Latli. 

"We never met with this species, ])ut yearly in August or 
September, when the inundation has been good, from 10 to 30 
couples of this beautiful and graceful little bustard are killed in 
the neighbourhood of Kurrachee. I have not yet heard of their 
appearance elsewhere in the province. 

840. 'bis, — Cursorius gallicus, Gmel, 

The cream colored courser was met with, though sparingly, in 
all suitable localities, sandy v^astes, especially in the neighbourhood 
of cultivation. They are permanent residents, and breed in Sindh 
as they do in suitable localities in the northern and western dis- 
tricts of the Punjab and almost throughout Rajpootana: 

There has been an idea that our Indian race was distinct and 
Jerdon hesitatingly proposed for it the name of Jamesoni ; I have 
compared an African specimen (a bad one it is true) with a series 
of Indian ones, and I can discover no difference whatsoever 
between them. 

844.— Sqnatarola helvetica, L, 

I only met with this species in the Kurrachee Harbour where 
it was very abundant ; feeding in company with Cirrepiclesmus 
Geoffroyi, mongoUcus, and numerous other little waders on the 
vast mud flats that the retreating tide daily lays bare. All were 
in winter plumage. 

■845.— Charadrius fnlvus, Gm. longipes, Tem. 

I myself never met with this species in Sindh ; but Dr. Day who 
is well acquainted with the bird, and who was an ardent ornitholo- 
gist himself before he turned his attention to Ichthyology, observed 
a pair in the neighbourhood of Larkhana. Dr. Jerdon says, that 
many of this species breed in India even as far south as Nellore ; 
hitherto none of ynj correspondent.s have ever been able to verify 
this fact; Mr. F. R. Blewitt who watchedt hem carefully for some 
years at Raipore on the stony plains about which they occur in 
myriads, found that by the 1st May they become wild and shy, 
and by first of June disappear entirely. 

Quite recently, however, Mr. A. J. Rainey, most obligingly 
sent me a nest and egg, with the following remarks : 

Nest and egg of the Golden Plover, (charadrius longipes, Tem.) 

S^^tember 23, 1871. — '' At Khalispur, about li miles from 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 239 

the sub-division of Khulna^ in the district of Jessore^ Province of 
Lower Bengal, on rather wet ground, in a bare field, from which 
a crop of rice had been reaped about a month before, found the ac- 
companying nest and e^g, (along with two other eggs with their 
shells broken, which I cast away), on which was sitting the pa- 
rent bird, evidently a female : it flew off" on my approach, and 
joined a flock of the same species of plover close by, into which 
I fired, and bagged half a dozen of them." 

The nest is of coarse grass and paddy stems loosely put to- 
gether, say six inches in diameter and a couple of inches thick, 
with a slight central depression. The egg^, / should have pro- 
nounced to be that of the painted snipe and far too small for this 
present species, but I presume Mr. Rainey is correct. The egg 
is a moderately broad slightly pyriform oval, with a pale caf^ 
an lait ground, thickly and boldly blotched with blackish brown ; 
there are no secondary markings such as characterize plover's 
eggs, and the shell has a fair amount of gloss. The ^^^ measures 
1*35 by 0-96. Can this really be the q^"^ of C. fiilvus ? 

It may be well to note that there are three nearly allied golden 
plovers; viz., the present species from North Eastern Africa, 
Asia generally, the Indian Archipelago, and Australia ; Pluvialis 
from Europe, Asia Minor, and many parts of Africa ; and Vir- 
ginicus from America. 

Fluvialis is at once distinguished by its pure white axillary 
plumes which are brownish grey in the other two species. 

Fidvus- and Virgirucus differ chiefly in their relative propor- 
tions, the former being always smaller. The following are di- 
mensions of the three given by Harting : 

C. virginiciis 
C. fulvus 
C. pluvialis 

846.— Oirrepidesmns Geof&oyi, Waghr. 

This, the largest of the small sliore plovers, was met with in 
thousands in the Kurrachee Harbour, feeding along with its con- 
geners, Godwits, oystercatchers, turnstones, and the like, on 
every mud flat. It was equally common, I was told, about the 
mouths of the Indus, from which locality I saw a sj)ecimen, and 
in all suitable localities along the coast. With one exception 
all the very numerous specimens I obtained were in winter 
plumage ; but one male shot on the 2nd February, has the broad 
rufous pectoral patch, rufous forehead, rufous collar round the 
back of the neck, and rufous tinge on many of the scapulars, indi- 
cative of the breeding plumage. I measured a great number of 





7 to 7-4 


0-8 to 0-9 

64 to 6-6 





230 Contfibuilons to the OrnUholog?/ of India, Sfc. 

these ill the flesh ; I found that there was no constant difference in 
the size of the sexes ; there were equally large males and large 
females. The following are the dimensions : 

Length, 8-5 to 9'25j expanse, 17*5 to 19; tail from vent, 2-2 
to 2'5 ; wing, 5'4 to 5*95 ; bill at front, 0"95 to 1*05 j tarsus, 
1'5 to 1'65; wings, when closed, reach from within 0'15 of, 
to quite to, the and of tail; weight, 2 "7 to 3 oz. Legs, greenish 
grey, or pale olive; feet, dusky or blackish ; bill, black ; irides, 

847- — Cirrepidesmus mongolicus, Pall. 

This species was found in the Kurrachee Harbour in vast num- 
bers and also in various localities along the Mekran Coast. Only 
one specimen shot at Korebut, on the 15th February, exhibits 
any traces, and t^.ese only the very faintest, of the summer 
plumage ; of these too, I measured many in the flesh, and could 
detect no constant difference in the size of the sexes. The di- 
mensions were, length, 7*25 to 8; expanse, 15'75 to 16'25; 
tail from vent, 1'9 to 2-3 ; wing, 4'8 to 5 ; bill at front, 0-66 to 
0-71; tarsus, 1-27 to 1-39; weight, 1*7 to 1-9 ozs. Legs dusky 
plumbeous, greenish dusky, or olive green ; bill, black ; irides, 

848.— -^gialopMlns cantianns. Lath. 

We met with this species all along the banks of the larger 
rivers both in the Punjab and Sindh ; occasionally in some of 
the inland waters of Sindh, and commonly in the Kurrachee 
Harbour and along the Mekran Coast. One specimen killed on 
the 6th February, had nearly assumed the summer plumage; 
the lore streak and ear coverts were black ; the large patch on 
either side of the breast black; the crescent on the forehead 
above the white frontal band, black; and the crown, occiput, 
and nape strongly tinged with rufous. Specimens measured in 
the flesh, gave the following dimensions — length, 6*5 to 6'8; 
expanse, 13 to 14; tail from vent, 1-9 to 2*1; wing, 4*1 to 
nearly 4*5; bill at front, 0*55 to 0*65; tarsus, 1*1 to 1*2; 
weight, 1*2 to 1*4 oz. 

849. — .^giatitis fluviatilis, Beclist ; equals, ac- 
cording to Mr, Gray, curonicus, Besch. 

More common than the last species, but found in the same lo- 
calities ; may always be distinguished from the preceding by 
its slenderer head, and by having the shafts of all the jDrima- 
ries but the first brown, whereas in the three preceding species, the 
shafts of all the primaries are white. I shot a specimen of this 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 231 

at Gwader on tlie Mekraii Coast, auci I saw, but failed to pro- 
cure a specimen, as I was endeavouring" to shoot an osprey at 
the time, a flock of them near Muscat. 

There is some little confusion in reg'ard to what our smal- 
lest Indian shore plover really is. Mr. Blyth says unhesita- 
ting-ly curonicus, which Mr. Gray gives as a synonj^me oifiwia- 
tilis, Bechst, and to which he assig'us a habitat of East and 
South Europe, Eg-ypt, Red Sea. On the other hand, Mr. Gray 
only assig-ns to India philipprnus, Lath., which he identifies 
^N\\h jjusilhis , Horsf., niinutus, Pall., simplex et collaris, Licht., 
interm.edius Menetr, and zonatus, Swains, and which would 
appear to occur also in China, the Philippine Islands, and 
West Africa ! 

Jerdon, I think, clearly describes fiuviatilis ; oi philippinns. 
Blyth says, that " in nuptial dress, it has the usual white fore- 
head surmounted by a black band, also a black loral streak and 
auriculars in part ; crown, rufescent brown, with a more rufous 
periphery, some black behind the white nuchal collar above, the 
black pectoral streak narrow or interrupted in front, and the 
tail unhanded, with the three outerm.ost feathers white ; legs, 
pale in dry specimens; length of wing, 4 inches; of tarsi, l"12r 

If I have rightly identified the birds, we have hoth in India ; 
fl'uviatilis is the one common in the North-Western Provinces, 
the Punjab, and Sindh, and probably everywhere along the west 
Coast. It occurs also on the east, but there and at the Anda- 
mans, philipptinus also occurs. 

Fiuviatilis breeds freely with us. I have its egg^ sent me by 
Mr. F. R. Blewitt, from the Mahanuddy in the Raipoor dis- 
trict, and from the Gansres near Fnttehgurh. 

Philippinus, as far as I yet know, does not breed on the main 
land, but verj^ likely may on the Andamans and Nicobars. 

851. — Vanelins cristatus, Meyer. 

The peewit is rare in Sindh; I ouly saw it occasionally in the 
neighbourhood of some of the larger lakes. 

852. — Cliettnsia gregaria, Pall. 

This lapwing was often met with ; chiefly in waste places in 
the immediate neighbourhood of cultivation. As a rule this is 
an upland bird; you may see it occasionally near jheels; but it 
is most common in the neighbourhood of cultivation on waste 
dry uplands. It keeps together in flocks of from 20 to 100, 
and until shot at once or twice, is fearless and tame. 

Dr. Jerdon only describes the summer plumage of this species. 

232 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, S^c. 

In winter plumage the crown and occiput are not Wack^ but 
olive bi-own^ more or less mottled with duskv, and on the crown, 
with fulvous white. There is no dark line through the lores, 
which with the chin, throat, abdomen, lower tail coverts are pure 
white ; the sides and front of the neck and breast are greyish 
white, more or less tinged, streaked, and mottled with greyish 
brown ; the forehead and superciliary stripe are tinged rufous ; 
most of the feathers of the mantle are narrowly tipped with rufous 
white or pale buffy ; and the abdominal patch is entirely want- 
ing. I do not know whether this species breds in India, but I 
think it does not. 

853. — ChettUSia fiavipes, Savigni. C. leucura, 

I often met with this species in small parties in the neigh- 
bourhood of large pieces of water in Upper Sindh ; but in south- 
em Sindh, I only once saw it. It is essentially. a bird of the 
swamps, very rarely seen on the banks of rivers or running 
streams. It is only a winter visitant to India, but during that 
season is very plentiful throughout the Punjab, Oudh, the North- 
Western Provinces, and Rajpotana, in suitable localities. 

855. — Lobivanellus indicus, BoM. Goensis, Gm. 

Abundant every where in Sindh, but not nearly so numerous 
as in the North-Western Provinces. 

858. — Esacus recur virostris, Guv. 

This great stone plover occurs, though nowhere very numer- 
ous, in all the great rivers of the Punjab and equally so in the 
Indus in Sindh. A fine male that I measured was, length., 
21 ; expanse, 36'5 ; tail from vent, 5"5 ; wing, 10"o ; elongated 
tertials exceed primaries by nearly an inch ; bill at front, 3 ; 
tarsus, 3"4 ; irides, light yellow; legs and feet, very pale yellowish 
green ; bill black, greenish yellow at the base ; the bird weighed 
1 lb. 12 oz. 

859— CEdicnemus crepitans, Tem. 

The goggle-eyed plover is not uncommon in Sindh. "We met 
with it in several occasions in rather open tamarisk jungle in 
comparatively large parties. Salvador! separates our Indian 
thick-knee as indicws ; but I confess that I have great doubts of 
the necessity of this. Upper Indian birds do run somewhat 
smaller than the European ; but the Sindh birds are I think 
larger than the upper Indian ones, and I expect that if a lai-ge 
series were got together, every possible variation in size would be 
found. One male I killed measured^ lengthy 16 ; expanse, 30-75 ; 

Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, Sfc. 233 

tail from vent^ 7*2 ; bill at fronts 1-27 ; tarsus^ 2-85 ; wing-, 9 ; 
weig-ht;, 0*75 lbs. These dimensions are no doubt much smaller 
than those g-iven by Macgillivray^ who gives leug-th^, 17'5 ; 
expanse^ 29 ; tail^ 3"75, bill at front, 1-33; tarsus, 3-U8; wing-, 
9'b3. But these birds vary in size very materially, and I have 
seen European specimens no bigger than many Indian ones, and 
I have shot Indian ones v^hlch looked bigger than the one of 
which I have given the dimensions above. 

860.— Cinclus interpres, L. 

The turnstone vi^as abundant in the Kurrachee Harbour and 
not uncommon along the Mekran Coast but everywhere was shy 
and wild, and I had great difficulty in procuring the seven 
specimens I actually brought to book. My birds were all killed 
early in Februarj^, and were all in the winter plumage, which 
Dr. Jerdon does not describe and which it is impossible to identi- 
fy with the full breeding plumage which he quotes from Yarrell. 
The sexes do not appear to differ in size nor even in plumage, 
at any rate in winter ; and although Macgillivray says, that the 
females have the black parts more tinged with brown, no such 
difference is observable in my winter killed specimens. Dimen- 
sions taken from the fresh bird : 

Length, 9'o5 to 9*5 ; expanse, 18'5 to 19; wing, 5'9 to 6'1 ; 
tail from vent, 2'4 to 2-5 ; bill at front, 0-8 to 0-9 ; tarsus, 0-97 
to 1'05 ; weight, 3*75 to 4'3 oz. 

The bills were black ; irides, brown ; the legs in some, orange 
red, in others, orange yellow ; in both cases somewhat dusky on 
the joints and with the claws dusky. 

Plmnage. — The chin and centre of the throat, the middle of 
the breast, abdomen, lower tail coverts, axillaries, wing lining, 
middle and lower back, longer upper tail coverts, and the basal 
portions of all the tail feathers, the greater portion of the inner 
webs and bases of the secondaries and tertiaries, and a few of 
the median scapulars (not seen till the others are raised), the 
tips of the secondary greater coverts, and the tips of some of 
the later secondaries, pure white. The terminal rump feathers 
and the shortest upper tail coverts, and the terminal portions 
of the tail feathers, blackish brown (tipped most narrowly on 
the central and most broadly in the lateral tail feathers) with 
white. A line from the gape, cheeks, ear coverts, the sides, and 
base of the neck in front and the sides of the breast, white, 
mottled broadly with blackish brown. Lores and forehead 
brownish, with an obscure darker brown line from the point of 
the eye to the base of the culmen. The crown of the head, hair 
brown ; all the feathers edged M^hitey brown ; the back of the 

234 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 

neck and interscapulaiy region, blackish, brown, with green 
reflections ; the feathers margined with paler brown, and the 
white bases of the feathers shewing" through a good deal ; the 
scapulars similar, but rather paler. The primaries and their 
greater coverts, blackish brown; the shafts of all the former, 
white, except just at the bases and tips where they are tinged 
brownish. The edge of the wing just at the base of the pri- 
mary greater coverts, white; the sixth to the tenth primaries 
shewing the white of their bases on their outer webs just beyond 
the tips of the greater coverts. The terminal portions of the 
secondary greater coverts hair brown, margined, and as already 
mentioned, broadly tipped with white ; the tertiaries brown, with 
greenish reflections, margined exteriorly towards the tips with 
fulvons white; the secondaries almost entirely white ; but with 
the visible portion of their outer webs, and a corresponding 
patch on the inner webs, next the shaft, brown ; the extent of 
this brown diminishes, and its tint pales as the feathers recede 
from the primaries. 

861 — Dromas ardeola, PayK 

I secured no specimens of this species, though I more than 
once fancied I saw it in Kurrachee Harbour, and since my return 
from Sindh Mr. James, of the Civil Service, informs me that a 
specimen has actually been procured in the harbour. 

862.— Heematopus ostralegus, L. 

Numbers of oystercatchers may be daily seen feeding at low 
water on the mud flats of the Kurrachee Harbour in company 
with innumerable waders. When the tide is up, they hang about 
oyster rocks outside the harbour, and we saw them in various 
localities along the Mekran Goast, and again a pair on the rocks 
outside the Muscat Harbour. They were always terribly wary, and 
it was almost impossible to procure a specimen, the few we did 
obtain were only secured after a vast amount of trouble. A 
male measured in the flesh, length, 15-5 ; expanse, 34 ; tail from 
vent 4"4 ; wing 10 ; wings when closed reach to end of tail; bill 
at front, 3'1 ; tarsus, 2-1 ; weight, 1 lb. 6 ozs. 

The bills in this species are very variable in length and range 
from little more than 3 to 3-6 ; the legs and feet are brownish 
purple; the bill, bright reddish orange, dingy and yellowish at 
tip ; the eyelids orange red, and irides red. 

863.— Grus antigone, L. 

I only saw one single specimen of the sarus in Sindh, and I 
think it must be very rare in the province. In any part of the 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sj-c, 335 

North-Westj one would have certainly seen a couple of hundreds 
during" such an extended trip as we made. 

864.— Grus leucogeranus, Pall 

Twice saw small parties of these^, once at Guibee Dera^ and once 
at the Madho Jheel, in the Mehur sub-division. They are_, I 
fancy only occasional visitants^ for the boatmen had no distinc- 
tive name for them^ and did not seem to know what they were. 

865.— Grus cinerea, Bechst. 

Very common throilg"hout the western Punjab especially in the 
neig-hbourhood of the larg-er rivers on the banks of which they 
g-enerally spend the warmer portions of the day. Not uncom- 
mon in Sindh^ but chiefly found in the better cultivated portions 
lying- within (for them) easy reach of the Indus. 

866.— Anthropoides virgo, L. 

I only once saw the Demoiselle crane in Sindh^ and that was 
close to the Muncher Lake. 

871 — Gallinago scolopacina, Bp. 
872.— Gallinago gallinula, L, 

Both these^ odjets aimes of every sportsman, are common 
enough during the cold season, in suitable localities throughout 

873.— Rhynchsea bengalensis, L. 

I shot a single specimen near Mehur. During- the cold season 
this species is very scarce, quite, I believe, an accidental straggler, 
in Sindh, but in the early autumn, it is less uncommon. 

875.— Limosa segocephala, L. 

This godwit was observed occasionally on the banks of the 
Indus and all the larg-ev rivers of the Punjab, and in several 
of the swamps and broads of Sindh, I met with it in very large 
flocks ; on one occasion I killed nearly two dozens at a single shot, 
and on another occasion, one of the party made an almost equally 
large bag. 

875 &^s.— Limosa rufa, Tem. ? L. Lapponica, L. 

This species was only met with in the Kurrachee Harbour 
where I daily observed it feeding in large flocks. It was excessive- 
ly wary, and though with others I was continually after it, we 
only succeeded in securing six specimens, all in winter plumage ; 
this bird is not described by Dr. Jerdon. The following are the 
dimensions of this species : 


236 Contnhidions to the Ornithology of Inaia, SfC. 

Males, length, 14"5 to 14-8 ; expanse, 27 to 27-75 ; tail from 
vent, 2-7 to 3-3 ; wing-, 7'8 to 8-4 ; tarsus^ 2; bill at front, 2-8 
to 3-1 ; weight, S'l ozs., 

Female, length, 15-75 ; expanse, 28 ; tarsus, 2 ; tail, 3; wing, 
8*4 ; bill at front, 3-65 ; weight, 9 ozs. 

The legs and feet are black, in some dusky plumbeous ; irides, 
brown ; the bill pinkish, for about the basal half, black or dusky 
on the terminal half. 

In the winter plumage, there is a broad indistinct white 
superciliary band, and the feathers immediately below the eye 
are also white ; the chin and throat are pure white ; the forehead, 
the whole top, back, and sides of the head, and the neck all 
round, brownish white, closely streaked with darker brown, the 
streaks very minute on the cheeks and sides of the head, some- 
what larger on the front of the neck, and darker and stronger 
on the head and back of the neck, where but little of the white 
nemailis visible. The upper back, pale earthy brown, each feather 
with a narrow dark brown central shaft stripe and mostly mar- 
gined somewhat paler. The breast, pale greyish brown, more or 
less obscured by the albescent tippings to the feathers, and some 
of the feathers with, inconsYjic\ious darker shafts; the feathers 
of the central portion of the breast, if raised, will be found to 
be not merely tipped whitish, but to be also obscurely barred 
with white. The abdomen, vent, and lower tail coverts are pure 
white, as are also the axillaries and wing lining ; the rump is 
white with a few cuneiform or heart-shaped blackish brown 
spots ; the upper tail coverts white, with narrow irregular arrow- 
head bars; the tail feathers grey brown, with dark shafts tipped 
white, and mottled with white on the inner webs of the exterior 
ones, in some with traces of darker transverse bars. The pri- 
maries and their greater coverts, black ; the shafts of the first 
two or three, white, subsequent ones, brownish white ; the scapu- 
lars and tertiaries, pale brown, darker shafted, margined paler, and 
many of them more or less tinged with ashy; the lesser and 
m.edian coverts like the scapulars, but margined whitish ; the 
siecondaries brown, paler on the inner webs, and margined on 
both webs and on the tips with white, as indeed are also, so far 
as the tips ai-e concerned,, the later primaries, though less con- 
spicuously so ; the greater secondary coverts a more ashy brown, 
narrowly margined with white. In one specimen which appears 
to be further advanced, the lateral tail feathers are distinctly 
barred blackish brown and white ; the cuneiform barrings on the 
rump and upper tail coverts are more marked; the axillaries 
are all strongly barred ; the feathers of the sides and flanks and 
also the lower tail coverts exhibit numerous arrow-head bars ; 

Contributions to the Ornithology/ of India, Sf^. 237 

and one or two rufons or chesnut feathers with black bars have 
began to shew themselves on the breast. 

The summer plumag-e is thus described by Temminck — 
Male. — " Upper part of the head and occiput, blackish brown, 
mixed with streaks of reddish yellow ; a band of the latter colour 
over the eyes ; lores, blackish brown j cheeks and throat, of a yel- 
lowish red; all the lower part of the body, including- the under 
tail coverts, pale yellowish red ; upper part of the back and scapu- 
lars, blackish brown, marbled with reddish yellow and whitish 
gvey ; lower part of the back and rump, white, marked with 
longitudinal yellowish red spots ; the tail marked with browu 
and white bars, those of the latter tint irregularly distributed, 
and disposed more or less longitudinally j quills black from their 
tip, the remaining part towards the bases, blackish brown, with 
their inner webs whitish grey, marbled with pale brown ; the 
secondaries, grey, with the shafts and margins, white. 

Female. — " The head and lores as in the male ; the throat, white, 
marked with reddish grey ; cheeks and neck, very light reddish, 
with numerous brown streaks, which become broader, and form 
small transverse brown and white bars on the sides of the breast; 
the latter and the belly marbled with white and very pale 
reddish; the abdominal part, white; the lower tail coverts, 
reddish white, with light brown bars,''^ 

876.— Terekia cinerea, (aiiUenst. 

This species was very abundant in Kurrachee Harbour and I 
met with it once or twice on the Mekran Coast. At a little dis- 
tance it was very like the lesser redshanks. Most of our speci- 
mens, killed early in February, were still in winter plumage, a 
few of them exhibited black streaks on the scapulars indicative 
of the coming summer plumage. By some oversight, I measured 
none of the males. Females, measured in the flesh, varied as 
follows — length, 10 to 10-5 ; expanse, 17 to 17-25 ; tail from 
vent, -l to 2-0 ; wing, 5-1 to 5*2 ; bill at front, 1-75 to 2 ; tarsus, 
l-ltol"15; legs and feet, pale reddish orange; bill, orange at 
base, blackish at tip. 

877 — Numenius lineatus, Ouv. Begn. An, 2nd 

Ed. I., p. 52. Note 2. (? N. Major. Fauna Japo7iica. 
Aves, PL 66.) 

Although I follow Mr. Blyth (and Prof. Schlegel ?) in con- 
sidering the Indian curlew as possibly deserving of specific 
separation, I am yet by no means certain of the fact. Mr. Blyth 
remarks. Ibis 1867 p. 158, " British curlews are far more uniform 
in size, and have the breast and flanks much more conspicuously 

238 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

spotted," and he identifies our Indian bird with SchlegeFs N. 

Schleg-el, Faun. Japon., p. iii^ thus contrast the two species. 

Arquata Major. 

Bill, 4-94 to 5-94 7-11 to 7-33 

Tarsus, 3-1 3-56 to 3-65 

Wings, 12-05 to 12-4 •12-4 to 12-68 

Spots of the flanks in g-en- 

Spots of the flanks — trans- eral — long-itudinal, most com- 

versal, broad, and triangular. monly narrow, and sometimes 


Now as regards European curlews being more uniform in size 
than Indian ones, I must beg to doubt the fact. There appears to 
be just the same disproportion between the sexes of the European 
bird that there is amongst the Indian. I have an English male 
before me, of which the bill is only 4-85, and again an English 
female, with a bill 6-12. 

Then as regards what both Mr. Blyth and Prof. Schlegel say 
as to the flanks of the European bird being much more broadly 
spotted, I regret that I cannot in any way concur ; on the 
contrary, I believe that differences in this respect are pure- 
ly individual ; I have one English bird in which the spots 
on the flanks are considerably narrower and more longitudinal 
than in fully half my Indian specimens, and again some Indian 
birds that have the spots, regular broad arrow-head bars, fully as 
broad as any English specimen ; and generally, I may say, that 
the Indian and English birds at any rate to judge from my 
specimens of both, though varying materially as individuals in- 
ter se, are absolutely inseparable as races, so far as plumage is 

But so far as I can judge, there really is a marked difference 
in the length of the bills of the two species. I myself have an 
English male with a bill only 4-85, a female 6-12. Macgillivray 
gives the bill at 6-25 ; so that, probably, taking the two sexes, 
the bills of the English birds vary from 4-85 to 6-25. Now the 
bills of the males of Indian birds vary from 5-25 to 5-9, and those 
of the females, from 6*5 to 7-5, so that taking the two sexes 
together, the bills of our Indian birds vary from 5-25 to 7-5, 
against 4*8 to 6-25 in the English. As to the Indian birds, I 
can speak with absolute certainty, having carefully measured the 
bills of 18 specimens. Of the English bird, I cannot of course 
speak so confidently, but should their bills really only vary within 
the limits above assigned, then the difference in length is very 

Contributmis to the OrnWiology of India, 8fc. 239 

Another point that strikes me in the Indian hirds^ and it is 
impossible to lay half a dozen of each kind tog-ether without at 
once noticing- it, is that the bills of our birds are much more 
markedly curved than those of the European ones. As for the 
dimensions assigned by Schlegel for the European bird, he must 
have measured mounted individuals, in which the feet being- set 
at right angles to the tarsus, the full length of the latter cannot 
be measured. A very small English male, with the bill only 
4'85, has the tarsus fully 3 "2, a correspondingly small Indian 
male, with the bill 5 "25, has the tarsus precisely the same length 
as the English one, while the tarsus of the largest Indian male 
I have, is only 3-3. The longest tarsus of any Indian female is 
only 3"5, and that of a fine female, with a bill 7, is only 3*3. 
This same bird has the wing only 11*6, and the largest bird has 
a wing of only 13"6. 

As far as I can judge, therefore, the only real distinction that 
exists between the Indian and English birds is that the former 
have longer bills which are conspicuously more curved towards 
the tips ; whether this is sufficient to constitute a distinct species, 
is merely a matter of opinion. 

The grey curlew is very abundant throughout the cold wea- 
ther along the banks of all the greater rivers of the Punjab and 
of the Indus in Siudh, and is nearly equally common in the 
neighbourhood of all the larger inland pieces of water as well as 
in. all the harbours and back-waters of its coast and of the 
Mekran Coast. I measured one day three fine females in the 
flesh, and the following were the results : 

Length, 35 to 26'5 ; expanse, 40*5 to 43 ; tail from vent, 
4'8 to 5-4; wings, 11-6 to 13; bill at front, along the curve 
from forehead to tip, 6*8 to 7 '35 ; tarsus, 3*35 to 3*5 ; weight, 
1 lb. 11 ozs., to 1 lbs. 14 ozs. I have some longer billed birds, 
and some with longer wings, none with a longer tarsus than 
one of these : they are certainly three fine females ; and I wish 
some one at home would measure half a dozen fine females, and 
see what amount of difference really exists between the two 
races. I have many smaller females than these, and the males of 
course, as may be judged by the dimensions I gave of their bills, 
are altogether smaller. 

880.— Philomachus pugnax, L. 

Ruffs and Reeves, so common during the autumn and winter 
in Upper India generally, were apparently scarce in Sindh. I 
think I shot three altogether, and may have seen a score from 
first to last. I undex'stand however, that just towards the close 
of the inundation, they sometimes appear in very large flocks, 
disappearing again in about a month. 

240 ContrihitioTts to the OrnitJwlogy of India, Sj'c. 

881 bis,— TringSi crassirostris, Temm. et ScMeg., 
Faun. Jap., p. 107, pi. XIV. — Sclioenicolus magnus, 
Gould, P. Z. S. 1848, p. 39. — Totanus tenuirostris^ 
Swinhoe. nee Horsf. Lin Trans., Vol. XIII., p. 
192. — T. magna, Bonap. 

Whether professor Sehleg-el be correct or not in asserting tliat 
tenuirostris, Horsf, loc. cit. really refers to Totanus stagnatilis, this 
present species must assuredly stand under SchlegeFs name of 

How Mr. Gray could possibly assign to crassirostris the coars- 
est and thickest billed of Tringa's, Horsfield^s name of tenuiros- 
tris, which he describes as " rostro temii" and in regard to which 
he remarks that " the beak is more slender than in the Euro- 
pean species of this genus" (Totanus) is " one of those things 
that no fellah can understand •" but Mr. Gray rarely^ if ever, 
did any thing without very good reasons. I much wish the 
matter could be cleared up. The occurrence of this fine species 
in Sindh was to me most unexpected. I found it common (but 
very wary) in the Kurrachee Harbour, and saw a small party of 
it again near G wader; common as it was at Kurrachee, its 
extreme shyness prevented my procuring more than seven speci- 
mens, all these killed in the month of February, are in winter 
plumage, none have the slightest rufous tint on the upper sur- 
face, and only one or two large black spots on the breast betray 
any indication of the summer plumage. 

I measured five of these in the flesh, and the following are 
the dimensions, I noting that there seems no appreciable constant 
difference in the sizes of the sexes. 

Length, ll"35tol2; expanse, 23*5 to 34; tail from vent, 
3*7 to 2-8; wing, 7'1 to 7"3; bill, at front, 1-6 to 1-85; tarsus, 
1*4 to 1'55 ; wings when closed reach from 0'3 to 0*4 beyond 
end of tail. 

Bill, black, sometimes paler at the base of lower mandible ; 
legs and feet dusky, greenish dusky, yellowish plumbeous, or 
pale plumbeous ; according, I suppose, to age or seasonal progress. 

Plumage. — In the winter plumage the upper surface reminds 
one not a little of that of Totanus stagnatilis. The whole lower 
parts are white, but the base of the neck in front, and the sides 
are marked with numerous small brown strise, and the upper 
breast, besides more or less of these striations, is mottled with 
larger pale brown spots, here and there interspersed with conspi- 
cuous heart-shaped blackish brown spots, which are the first 
traces of the coming summer plumage. 

Lores, top, back, and sides of the head and neck very pale 

Contributions to the Orniniology of India, ^"c. 341 

greyish brown, all tlie feathers narrowly streaked along the shaft 
with dark brown. The upper back and whole mantle is a mix- 
ture of pale brown and ashy, most of the feathers with blackish 
shafts, more or less darkly centred, and all conspicuously, thoug-li 
narrowly, margined and tipped with white. Lower back and 
rump brown, the feathers narrowly and regularly margined,, 
with white ; upper tail coverts similar, but the white margins 
much broader and the brown more or less obsolete on many of them.. 
Tail feathers, greyish brown ; greyer and somewhat darker on 
the central ones, and paler and browner on the external ones, all 
are excessively narrowly, in fact almost obsoletely, bordered with 
white. The primaries and their greater coverts are hair brown, 
most of the latter tipped white ; the secondaries and their gi'eat- 
er coverts are a pale somewhat greyish brown, all of them' 
narrowly, but the coverts less narrowly of the two, margined' 
with white. The wing lining, except just at the margin of the 
wing which is mottled with brown, pure white ; the axillaries 
white with traces of irregular, wavy, pale brown bars. There 
are a few elongated triangular pale brown dashes on the flanks, 
and in some specimens one or two larger blackish brown spots 
pertaining to the summer plumage. 

According to Schlegel, the summer plumage is as follows : 
" Feathers of the head and neck each with a large dark brown 
, longitudinal streak or spot on an albescent ground, which is tinged 
with brownish rufous on the nape. Feathers of the breast and nape, 
brownish black, each with a whitish transverse band about the 
middle often tinged with brownish red towards the middle. The 
rest of the lower parts and the rump, pure white; spotted, except 
towards the middle of the abdomen, with broader or narrower 
dark brown spots. Back and wings, brownish black, lighter 
on the wing coverts ; all the feathers spotted and bordei'ed witk 
a bright brownish rufous, gradually disappearing towards the 
edge of the wing. Lower wing coverts, white, becoming black 
at the base.^^ 

This species, (though it is larger, and stouter,) so far as winter 
plumage and general appearance go, very much resembles the 
knot, and I have no doubt that it was a: specimen of this species 
and not of T. canntus of which Dr. Jerdon obtained a solitary 
specimen at Madras. Hitherto this species has been obtained 
at Swan River, and on the north coast of Australia, in Borneo, 
Java, and many of the islands of the Indian Archipelego, Japan, 
on the coasts of China, the banks of the lower Amoor, and the 
Sea of Okhotsh ; but its occurrence in large numbers as a regu- 
lar seasonal visitant so far east as Kurrachee, is a very noteworthy 

342 Contributions to the Ofnitliology of India, 8^c. 

As to its habitSj tliey are in no way different from those of 
the rest of the family, and it is always met with feeding" on the 
mud flats in company with the bar-tailed godwit, the turnstone, 
oystercatchers, the sanderling- et id omne genus. I oug-ht to 
note that Capt. Maiden thought he had obtained T. canutus: 
at Kotree on the i4th November, 1867, bnt I cannot help sus- 
pecting that his bird was the present species. 

882.— Tringa subarquata, Gould. 

The curlew stint was pretty abundant on the Sindh and Mek- 
ran Coast, much less so however than the dunlin. While the 
dunlin abounds on every large river of Upper India through- 
out the cold season, I have never yet met with suharquata more 
than one hundred miles from the sea coast, except at the great 
Salt lake of Rajpootana at Sambhur, whence, as also from the 
Yarkand river, I have it in summer plumage. It does not however 
breed at Sambhur. 

883.— Tringa cinclus, h. 

The dunlin was abundant everywhere in the Indus, the 
Kurrachee Harbour, along the Mekran Coast and all the large 
rivers of the Punjab. The only inland piece of water on which I 
noticed it was the Muncher Lake. 

884.— Tringa minuta, Leisler. 

This little stint was common in Sindh as it is throughout 
India. Mr. Blyth in his Commentary on Jerdon^s Birds, liis^ 
1867, p. 168, substitutes fov S. mi?mta correctly, as I think, given 
by Dr. Jerdon, T. damacensis, Horsf. He does not explain the 
grounds upon which this is done; but assuming his meaning 
to be that damacensis and not minuta is the species which we 
commonly obtain in India, I think that there is no doubt that he 
is in error. 

I have the true minuta from the Mekran Coast, Kurrachee, 
various parts of Sindh, the Punjab, the North-West Provinces> 
Oudh, the Central Provinces, as far as Raipoor, and Bengal as 
far east as Dacca. I have never seen damacensis from India, nor 
do I think that the bird comes as far east. In Peninsular India 
and Ceylon, it may occur, but all the specimens I have hitherto 
seen labelled damacensis were the true minuta, or the slightly 
larger oceanic race Tringa albescens, Temm which I am half dis- 
posed to concur with Schlegel in uniting with minuta. 

It may be useful to point out the leading distinctions between 
mimbta and damacensis, Horsf., ( = T. sub-mimda, Middendorff, and 
salina, Pallas) as this latter is found throughout Eastern Asia, in 
Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and other islands of the ArchipelagOj, 

ContrihiUons to the OrnitFiology of India, 8fC. 243 

and may not improbably occur in the Nicobars, even if it does 
not extend to the Andamans^"^ Southern India, and Ceylon. 

The two main points of distinction are these : In mimda, the 
shafts of the primaries are mostly white, in damacensis, as in Te?n^ 
mi'iicki, with the exception of that of the first primary, the rest 
of the shafts are brown, and while in Temmincki the first shaft is 
nearly entirely white, in damacensis it is decidedly tino-ed with 
brown. The second distinction consists in the much greater 
leng-th of the mid toe. T. minuta is doubtless very variable in di- 
mensions; but mid toe and nail included,, no specimen of 
minuta ever exceeds, I believe, 0*8 in length, while in damacensis 
the mid toe and nail together, measm-e a full inch ; the bill also 
in damacensis measures about 0-75 ; in no specimen of minuta 
that I have examined, including the larger race known as albescens, 
does it exceed 0-73, and in some specimens, both English and 
Indian, it does not exceed 0'65. M, Schlegel, I observe^ gives the 
bill of some of his specimens of minuta from Australia, Timor 
and Java, all of which doubtless belong to the variety albescens, 
at 9 French lines, which is about 0'83 English, but I have 
examined a great number of specimens without meeting with 
any such elongated bills, and possibly we do not measure exactly 
in the same way. 

I do not think that any other constant distinctions can be 
established between damacensis and minuta. Mr. Blyth remarks 
that minuta has a broader bill j but this certainly does not hold 
good when several birds of each species are compared ; as a rule 
I should fancy that subminuta was somewhat smaller than 

As regards the variation in size of mimda, Schlegel gives the 
wings of European specimens, as from about 3-76 to 3-93 ; of 
African specimens, as from 3-83 to 3-93; Formosan specimens, 
as from 4 to 4-11 ; Chinese, 4-2 to 4-38 ; Javan, from 4 to 4-2; 
Moluccan, 3-93 to 4-2; new Giunea, 4-11 j Australia, 3-83. 
Macgillivray gives the wing at 4-08 with the remark that, that 
of the female is slightly larger ; but Yarrell gives the wing at 
3-75, and this latter dimension corresponds exactly with my 
English specimens. Amongst all my Indian killed specimens, 
male and female in winter and in summer plumage, only one 
has a wing above 3-9 ; in the vast majority the wings are be- 
tween 3*7 and 3 '8, and in a few specimens the wings range be- 
tween 3*6 and 3-7, and again in a very few, between 3-8 and 3-9. 
All the birds obtained in Sindh were in winter plumage, one only, 
killed in the middle of February, exhibits a single feather of the 
rufous summer plumage near the shoulder of the wing. 

* Whence, however, I have true minuta. 

3^ 44 Contritutions to the Ornithology of India, }^e. 

By the end of May, when I think they leave us, these birds 
are in full breeding plumage, and at the beginning of Septem- 
ber, when we again see them^ they have many of them lost but 
little of the breeding dress. 

885.— Tringa Temminckii, Leisler, 

This little species though found throughout Sindh, (as indeed 
it is throughout the whole of India during the cold season,) is 
not nearly so common there as the preceding. It is readily dis- 
tinguished from miimta, by the color of its legs and feet 
which in winter are pale horny green, varying to dusky olive 
yellow ; in summer, olive yellow ; while in minuta, they are black 
at all seasons ; in winter and summer, respectively, the two or 
three outer tail feathers on each side in Tem.mincldi are pure 
white, in minuta, pale grey brown ; then in the winter plumage 
in Temminckii, there is always a broad dusky or grey brown band 
extending over the whole breast, which in minuta is confined to 
the sides of the breast ; there is also the difference in color of the 
shafts of the primaries which I have already noticed in speaking 
of minuta and damacensis. None of our specimens shew the 
slightest indication of summer plumage ; but specimens of this 
species also, obtained in other parts of India, in May, exhibit the 
full summer plumage which is, however, much duller and less 
rufons than that of the corresponding stage in minuta. 

886.— Tringa platyrhyncha, T&mm, 

This species was very common in the Kurrachee Harbour, and 
along the Mekran and Sindh Coasts. Dr. Jerdon says, that the 
broad billed stint is tolerably common towards the north of 
India, rare in the south. To the best of my belief it is exclu- 
sively, with us, a maritime species ; no ornithologist probably has 
been so much about the great rivers of Upper India as I have, 
and I never once saw a specimen in the Central Provinces, Oudh, 
Behar, the North-Western Provinces, Rajpootana, the Punjab 
or Sindh above Kotree, nor have I ever met with a specimen 
in any of the very numerous collections made in these provinces 
which I have examined. 

Till I got to Kurrachee I had never seen the bird alive, and I 
therefore measured a good number in the flesh ; the sexes do not 
differ appreciably in size. Length, 6 "9 to 7*1 ; expanse, 12"9 to 
13"2 ; tail, 1'3 to 1'8 ; wing, 4 to 4*2 ; wings, when closed, reach 
from 0*2 to ()*3 beyond end of tail ; bill at front, 1*15 to 1'35 ; 
tarsus, 0"85 to 0*97 ; weight, 1 to 1'15 oz. 

888.— Calidris arenaria, L, 

The sanderling is very common in the Kurrachee Harbour, 

Contributions to the OrnitJiology of India, Sfd. ^45* 

Dr. Jerdon says, that he once obtained a specimen on the sea 
coast at Nellore ; but no other instance of its occurrence in India 
has been recorded. It wants the hind toe altogether and its 
bill is somewhat more plover-like than the rest of the stints and 
snippets, and this has led some ornitholog-ists to unite it with 
the plovers as an aberrant member of the group. I particularly 
watched this species as I had never before seen it alive, and I 
noticed as a fact that it consorted rather with ^gialitu than 
Tringa. Very often they were all mixed up tog-ether ; but I ob- 
served (it was impossible to pick your birds) that I got more 
sanderlings, with lots consisting chiefly of JSgialitis than with 
others composed chiefly of Tringas, and this was also the case 
with StrejpsUas interpres. A fine male measured, length, 7*5 ; 
expanse, 14'7 ; tail from vent, % ; wing, 4'7 ; wings, when closed, 
reached to 0"3 beyond end of tail j bill at front, 0"93 ; tarsus, 
0-92 ; weight, 1-7 oz. 

889.— Phalaropus fulicarius, L. 

I first saw this species when out fishing about two miles out- 
side the Kurrachee Harbour. A small party of about 20, if I. 
remember rightly, swimming about merrily in the open sea. I 
saw similar parties in various localities, the whole way up the 
Gulf of Oman, and they are equally common, I was told, in the 
Persian Gulf. So far as my experience goes they are very wary, 
rising, en masse, and skimming along the surface of the water, 
for a couple of hundred yards or so, as soon as the boat approaches 
within a hundred yards of them. "With very great difficulty, 
though i often went after them, I secured a single specimen in 
the open sea, half way between Gwader and Muscat, and that I 
dropped out of a flock at fully a hundred yards distance. Mr. 
Blyth procured a single specimen in the Calcutta market, but ifr 
has never yet been recorded by any other observer from India. 
It is, however, as I ascertained, a regular and well known visitor 
to the seas that wash the Sindh and Mekran Coasts, and I my- 
self again observed it in the open sea between Kurrachee and 
Bombay. The specimen I procured was a female. Length to^ 
end of tail, 7*9; the lower tail coverts project 0"1 beyond the' 
end of tail ; expanse, 13'8 ; tail from vent, 1'7; wing, 4*4; 
wings, when closed, reach to the end of tail; tarsus, 0"82; bill 
at front, 0*92 ; the second qxiill the longest ; the first, 0*08 and 
the third, 0'15 shorter than the second. 

The bill is black; irides brown; the legs and feet, pale 
plumbeous blue, dusky on claws, joints, and exterior of tarsus. 

The lores, forehead, crown, chin, cheeks, front, and sides 
of the neck; breast, abdomen, vent, lower tail coverts, sides 

246 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

of the rump, lateral upper tail coverts, and a broad tipping- 
to the secondary greater wing coverts, pure white. A more 
or less imperfect ring round the eye, and a broad streak 
from the lower part of the eye over the lower portion of 
the ear coverts, sooty black. Occiput, back of nape, back 
and mantle, dull, dusky, blue grey; many of the feathers, 
especially the scapulars, narrowly margined with white. The 
rump, central tail coverts, and tail, greyish brown, paler on the 
lateral tail feathers; quills, blackish brown, white shafted; 
the posterior secondaries paler, and conspicuously margined with 
white towards the tips ; the greater primary coverts blackish 
brown ; the posterior ones narrowly tipped white ; the rest of 
the coverts more or less dark brown ; the greater secondary 
coverts, as already mentioned, with broad conspicuous white tip- 
pings, a few dull grey streaks on the sides of the body and 

I am by no means certain that this is fulicarius ; it is a 
Thalaropus, both by bill and wing, but it does not agree over well 
with my European specimens, and when more examples are pro- 
cured, may not improbably have to be separated as asiaticiis, 

890.— Lobipes hyperboreus, L. 

I did not mj^self obtain this species, but subsequent to my 
leaving Sindh, my friend Mr. E. James, c. s.; obtained a 
specimen in August, in the Kurrachee Harbour, and forwarded it 
to me. Unfortunately, he noted neither sex, colour of soft parts, 
date, or measurements in the flesh, but the bird is nearly in 
breeding plumage. Measuring the ^/^:i;^, I find the length about 
7"5; wing, 4'25; \}i\.Q first primary the longest; the second, 0'06, 
and the third, 0*3 shorter. Bill at front, 0'83; tarsus, 0"83; 
bare portion of tibia, 0*47. 

The forehead, lores, a narrow streak over the eye, the sides of 
the head and neck and entire lower parts including the sides of 
the rump, the axillaries and the major portion of the wing 
lining, white, except a dark sooty streak from the front of, 
and under the eye, to the ear. Numerous grey striae on the 
sides of the body and flanks ; the greater primary lower coverts 
which are grey, and the smaller lower coverts along the edge of 
the wing which are pale greyish brown, margined white. A very 
faint refescent tinge at the point of the forehead, and on the 
base of the neck in front. The crown, occiput, and nape, dull 
sooty; back of neck, blackish grey, the feathers paling some- 
what at the margins ; back and scapulars^ black, almost velvet 
black, the feathers more or less broadly margined with rufous 

Contributions to tlie Ornitliology of India, 8fc. 247 

Idu^. Rump and upper tail coverts, dusky grey, the longest of 
the latter marg-ined towards the tips with rufous buff; tail, 
brownish grey ; the central feathers darker towards the tips, 
where they are narrowly marg-ined with buff, the lateral ones 
similarly margined with white and huffy white. The lesser and 
median wing coverts dark greyish brown, darkest in the case 
of the median coverts towards the tips, where they are narrowly 
margined, with white and pale rufous buff ; the greater coverts 
dark brown, tipped white, those of the secondaries very broadly 
and conspicuously so. Primaries, dark brown, conspicuously 
white shafted, all but the first three, ver-i/ narrowly margined with 
white at the tips; secondaries similarly, but not quite so narrowly 
margined ; white at their bases, the extent of white increasing 
as the leathers approach the tertiaries, so much so, that the 
latest are almost wholly white, having only a pale grey brown 
streak down one web towards the tips. Tertiaries like tiie 
scapulars, but paling towards their bases and less broadly 
margined with rufous buff. 

It will be seen that the above description does not correspond 
over well with that usually given of L. liyperhoreus. 

The bird is clearly a Lohijjes, with a very slender, pointed, 
compressed bill, tapering to a point not at all enlarged at the end 
as in Fhalarojms. The first quill also is the longest, and not the 
second as in this latter genus. Bat the wing lining is white, 
not grey, nor are the upper tail coverts barred white and grey as 
in hyperborem, and the marked rufous buff margins of the back, 
scapulars, and tertiaries, as well as the velvetty black of these 
parts, rather resemble P. fulicarins. 

Altogether I am by no means certain that when we get more 
specimens we shall not find grounds for separating our species, 
when it might stand as L. trojnciis, nobis, but until I obtain -V~ 
European specimens for comparison, I shall retain the specimen 
under the Linnean title. 

Whether Hyperhorens, or a nearly allied but distinct species, 
there can be little doubt that this is the bird of which Dr. 
Stewart obtained a single specimen at Madras. 

892.— Totanus ochrophus, L, )^ '<_^ 
893.— Tringoides hypoleucos, L. ^ ' 

Both species were occasionally met with throughout Sindh. 

894.— Totanus canescens, ^.—T. glottis, L. 

apud. aud. ''^<^. 

The green shank was extraordinarily abundant in the great 
rivers of the Punjab, in large parties of fifty occasionally, and 

248 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fS. 

as they were pretty tame and uncommonly g-ood eating, we shot 
a g-ood number of them for the pot. In Sindh the/ were by no 
means scarce either on the Indus or inland ; but they were in 
notliing^ like the numbers in which we noticed them hig-her up. 
A male measured in the flesh, levig'th, 13 ; expanse, 24'25 ; 
tail from vent, 3"4! ; wing, 7"5 ; wing, when closed, reached 0*5 
beyond the end of tail ; bill at front, 3"05 ; tarsus, 2'36. 

896,— Totanus fuscus, L. 

Almost equally common with the preceding in the rivers of 
the Punjab, and common enough in Sindh, especially about the 
larger lakes, where we occasionally met with enormous flocks of 
it. Specimens measui'ed, length, 13*9 to 13*3 ; expanse, 21 to 
22 ; tail from vent, 2-9 to 3'2 ; wing, 6*5 to 6'9 ; wings when 
closed, reached exactly to end of tail ; bill at front, 2*3 to 2'4 ; 
tarsus, 2*3 to 2*4 ; weight, 7 "5 to 9 oz. 

897.— Totanus calidris, L, 

I met with this species only on the larger rivers and in the 
Kurrachee Harboiir where it was very abundant. I do not 
remember ever noticing it on any of the inland waters. A male 
measured, length, 11'5 ; expanse, 21'35 ; tail from vent, 2*7 ; 
wing, 6 "45 ; wings, when closed, reached to end of tail ; bill at 
front, 1*7 ; tarsus, 2 ; weight, 6 ozs. 

898.— Himantopus intermedius, Blyth. 

Under this name Mr. Gray separates the Indian stilt, assign- 
ing to the European and African bird v. Hasselquist^s name 
autumnaXis as having priority over candidus,. Bonn., sind melanop- 
terus, Flem., the names by which that species is most commonly 
known. The Australian race he separates as leiicocephalue , Gould. 
Personally I suspend my opinion as to the distinctness of these 
three supposed species ; in the mean time I may mention that 
be its correct scientific name what it may, our stilt was not un- 
common in suitable localities any where in Sindh, though it was 
less common, than in Upper India. 

899.— Recurvirostra avocetta, L, 

Yery common about the larger inland lakes ; at the Muncher 
lalce especially, I noticed it in large parties, certainly a hundred 
in a single flock. They are very busy active birds, trotting 
about very rapidly with their whole bill immersed in the water,, 
moving their heads from side to side as they trot along and 
reminding one very nxuch in their actions of the spoonbill. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, S^c. 249^ 

901.— Hydrophasianus chirurgus, S'cop. 

We met with this on several of the larger inland lakes, but 
nowhere in any considerable numbers. All the birds we saw were 
of course in winter plumage. 

902. — Porphyrio neglectus, 8chl.~P. poUoee- 

phalus, Latham, apud Jerdon, 

In some of the rush over-grown lakes of Sindh, the purple 
coot is excessively abundant ; unlike the common coot, and 
water hens, they seem scarcely ever to shew themselves outside 
the reeds, but when pushing through these in a boat, they rise 
continually all about you, floundering up above the tops of the 
rushes with a flapping noisy flight like that of a pea-fowl, 
and, never rising more than a few yards in the air, again drop 
at once after a short flight into some reedy thicket. The bird 
when alive is certainly very beautiful; but in the skins not only 
the color of bill and feet, but of the whole plumage fades so 
much, that little trace of its natural beauty remains ; its eggs 
which I have described elsewhere, are also when fresh amongst 
the most beautiful that I know ; but they too alas, fiwle equally. 

Gray assigns Latham^s name to the Sultana coot of the Philip- 
pines and Madagascar? I confess that if the birds from both 
these localities are identical, it is difiicultj prima facie, to believe 
that 02irs are distinct. 

903.— Fulica atra, L. 

Numerous as these birds are in our Norfolk broads where 
about the commencement of the winter, they afford one or 
two days grand fun, this is nothing to the multitudes that swarm 
on the great inland broads of Sindh. On the Muncher lake I 
believe they would have to be counted not by thousands but by 
hundreds of thousands ; a square mile of water may be seen per- 
fectly black with water-fowl, and although ducks of various des- 
criptions do seem innumerable, they form scarcely one-tenth of 
the floating herd, the great bulk of which consists of coots. When 
a shot is fired near to them and they rise, the noise of their wings, 
and of their feet striking the water, is like the roar of the sea upon 
a shingly beach. You can shoot nothing without knocking over 
some of these wretched coots. During the days I was at the 
Muncher lake, I never once fired at one, and yet I daily killed 
between twenty and thirty accidentally in shooting at ducks. In 
no part of the world have I ever seen such incredible multitudes 
of coots as are met with in Sindh ; in the Muncher lake par 
eivceUence, but also in many others of the larger inland pieces of 

!J50 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fe. 

905.— Gallinula chloropus, L, 

The water-hen abounds "in every swamp and broad in Sindh. 
I shot some almost daily, expecting- to g-et BlytVs G. Bw'7iesi, 
especially at the Muneher lake, whence the type specimen was 
sent. I have killed and examined many specimens ; but all I 
met with were referable to the European species. I beg-in to have 
strong^ doubts as to whether G. Bnrnesi is not merely the 
immature chloropus. In his orig-inal description Mr. Blyth 
remarks : '^ The outer web of the first primary is white and the 
outermost feather of the wing-let is also bordered with white.^' 
As a matter of fact, however, this is often the case in G. chloropus, 
so that these two characteristics cannot certainly he depended 
upon for descriminating- the two species if they really exist. I 
have two specimens one killed at Syree^ below Simla, the other at 
Erinpoorah, in Rajpootana, which undoubtedly represent G. 
Burnesl, and supposing- this latter to be really a distinct sjiecies 
(and neither of my birds, ^jriwz^^/ac?'^, appear to be immature) the 
features by which it can be most readily disting-uished are first, 
its much smaller size, second, almost entire absence of frontal 
plate ; third, far smaller development of the lateral membrane of 
the toes ; /c»?^f?^>^, entirely white chin, and thxoiii', fifth, brown 
head, nape, and neck almost unicolorous with the back. The 
dimensions of Burnesi and chloropus males and females, were as 
follows : 

BuuNESi. Chloropus. 




Tail from vent 


Mid toe to root") 

of claw J 

Bill straig-ht toS 

front including [- I'lS I'lS 1-35 1-14. 

frontal plate _) 

These birds were all killed in the autumn or cold season, and 
all measured in tlie flesh; but the question has more than once 
suggested itself to me whether after all Burnesi may not merely 
be the quite yoang bird of chloropus, and I hope some one who 
has an opportunity of obtaining these birds soon after they 
leave the nest, will kindly secure and send me specimens. My 
Syree bird was obtained on the lOtli August^ that from Erinpoorab 
on the 13th October. 





























Contrihutlom to the Omiihology of India, 8fc. 25Z 

907.— Porzana phoenicura, Penn. 

I did not myself meet with this species^ but Mr. James, c. s. 
kindly sent me a specimen which he had procured in Jaauary on 
the Barra canal, with the remark that thoug-h he never saw it 
elsewhere, the men who were with him, told him it was common. 

909.— Porzana maruetta, Bris.—Ballus porza- 
na, L. 

A single specimen of this rail was shot for me in the Roree 
district by Dr. Day. We never happened to come across it 
again, but sportsmen to whom I shewed the skin, informed me 
that it was not uncommonly met with in tamarisk thickets in, 
and on the edges of, swamps when beating for snipe. 

910 &i.§.— Porzana minuta, Pall ;— P. pusilla, 


The little rail is very abundant in Sindh. In some of the 
inland pieces of water, that at Dost Alii for instance, a dozen 
may be seen at the same time, busy feeding, running on the 
lotus leaves, or again swimming rapidly from leaf to leaf. Baillon^s 
crake, fP. pygmaa,) I never once met with in Sindh ; but 
I have it from near Simla, up to a height of 4,000 feet, from 
Etawah, Sirsanear Delhi, Raipoor, Dacca, and Tipperah, from 
none of which I have seen minuta. In fact until I went to 
Sindh, I never met with this latter bird in India, and Dr. 
Jerdon does not include it in the birds of India. Fygiiima breeds 
in the North- Western Provinces at any rate, as Mr. Brooks 
and I took one nest containing three eggs in the Etawah district, 
and minida breeds, as the boatmen told me, regularly in Sindh. 

Pygmaa may always be distinguished at a glance from minuta 
by its smaller size, shorter, and in proportion deeper bill, and 
by having the back, scapulars, and greater wing coverts all 
more or less profusely variegated with bluish white, whereas in 
minuta, the white markings which are somewhat broader and of 
a somewhat purer white, are confined as a rule to the centre of 
the back, though occasionally some of the longer scapulars are 
also faintly edged with bluish white. In mimda the wing 
varies from 3 "75 to 4*1; the bill at front, from 0"7 to 0'76; in 
^yy^i^a, the wing varies from about 3 "45 to 362; and the bill 
0-6 to 0-62. 

A male of P. minuta was, length, 8*2; expanse, 12'5 ; tail 
from vent, 2'25 ; and weighed 1*7 oz. In the males, the lower 
surface is a grey bluCj in the females, a light rufous buff. 

25^ Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8^e. 

915.— Leptoptilus dubius, Gm.~L. argala, Lath. 
I myself never saw this species in Sindh^ but Mr. Watson 
informed me that it was not nucommon at times in the Rooree 
Sub-Division where there was water. Mr. James, c. s., observ- 
ed it once on the Indus, in Upper Sindh, in November, and it is 
occasionall}^ seen both in Upper and Lower Sindh, soon after the 
inundation subsides. 

917. — Mycteria indica, Lath. — M, australis, Lath, 
apud Jerdon. 

I only very seldom saw this fine stork in Sindh ; higher up 
in the Punjab, I often saw it along- the banks of the larger 

Mr. Gray considers the Indian race specifically distinct from 
the Australian, and as he had specimens of both to compare, and 
I have not, I have, though doubtingly, followed him. 

918.— Melanopelargus nigra, L, 

The black stork which, except in the districts lying immediate- 
ly below the hills, is a comparatively rare bird in the North- 
Western and Central Provinces, and Cis-Sutlej Punjab, occurs 
in vast numbers, in flocks of several hundreds, everywhere 
along the banks of the Jlielum, the Chenab, and the Indus 
in the Punjab, and along those of the Indus in Sindh. In- 
land too, in Sindh, I met with it on several occasions, and 
I shot a fine specimen out of a party of four or five on the 
banks of the Gaj just inside the hills. On the river banks 
this species is so excessively wary that numerous as it is, it 
is difficult to procure a sj)ecimenj it is scarcely possible to 
get within even rifie shot of them, and at three or four hun- 
dred yards distance, I found them uncommonly hard to hit, 
and I only secured one this way, and that too was not the bird 
I fired at. I measured a pair, male and female, in the flesh ; the 
following" were their dimensions : 

Male, length, 44; expanse, 78; tail from vent, 9; wing, 
22 ; wings, when closed, reached exactly to end of tail ; tarsus, 
8'75; bill at front, 7*5 ; foot greatest length, 5'75; wddth, 6; 
weight, 9 Bs. 

Pemale, length, 39"6; expanse, 77; tail from vent, 8*75; 
wing, 20-25; bill at front, 6-8 ; tarsus, 7-8; weight, 7-25 lbs. 

919.— Ciconia alba, L. 

I only once saw this species inland in Upper Sindh, a small 
party of about twenty feeding in a nearly dry swamp, but on 
the Indus it seemed more common. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India y 8j;c. 253 

923.— Ardea cinerea, L, 

The common hevou swarms in Sindh : it is cue of the birds 
wliich tlie professional fishermen^ malianahs as they are called, „/; 
capture in large numbers, partly for food, and partly to make i(^ 
use oF as decoys to other water-fowl. About every fisherman^s" 
villag-e hundreds may be seeu, perched about on the boats^ on 
stacks of brushwood thrown into the water, and on poles, per- 
fectly motionless, and more like stuffed than living- birds. The 
eyelids of all are sewn up ; they dare not move, poor things, 
and wherever they are placed for the day, there they remain 
immoveable. Generall}^ they are lightly tethered by one leg, 
but I saw several, perhaps old prisoners, in no way tied. Now 
and again they run their bills along their feathers, or flap 
their wings feebly, but as a rule they all stand like statues. The 
people feed them liberally, and say they grow very fat in 
confinement, and obviously appreciate them as much as an 
article of diet, as our ancestors appear to have done. Sometimes 
these birds get loose, or being loose, take it into their heads to 
fly. I mj'-self saw a bird get loose in this way and then it 
mounted in short circles straight up into the sky until we 
entirely lost sight of it, and this the boatmen assured me was 
what invariably happened in similar cases. What eventually 
comes of these, no one seems to know ; of course they must 
ultimately drop exhausted to the ground, but probably at great 
distances from where they started, for the fishermen say that 
never, by any chance, do they again see a bird that thus 

924.— Ardea purpurea, L. 

We never happened to meet with this, but Captain Maiden 
informed me that it was common along the banks of the In- 

925.— Herodias alba, L. 

926. — Herodias intermedia, v- Hasselq. — H. 

egrettoides, Tern. 

927.— Herodias garzetta, L. 

All three species were met with in vast numbers at all the 
larger inland waters of Sindh ; alha and intermedia are quite 
as commonly captured and kept by the fowlers and fishers, 
about their reed huts and boats, as cinerea. Such Noah^s arks 
as these boats often are j you will see one about 20 feet long 
and six wide at the outside, with a small thatch over the central 
portion, which will contain, a man and his wife, an old man, 

254 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, 8fe. 

some relative, six children, two pelicans^ six or eig-lit herons, g'rey 
and white, a couple of cormorants, a kid, a dog", and otter spears, 
nets, lines, hooks, and the like of all descriptions. In such a 
menag'erie the mahanahs will live for months, cooking-, eating-, 
sleeping-, in fact living wholly in tliis one boat, thong'h doubtless 
generally landing- daily for an hour or so, to exchange their 
surplus fish. At other seasons or in other places, they put up 
tiny reed huts by the water^s edg-e, and live in these instead 
of in their boats. 

928— Demiegretta gularis, Bo.^c, Actes Soc. 

cVhist. Nat,, I. p. 4, tab. 2 ; — J. albicolUs, Vieillot. — A. 
schistacea, Lichtenste'm. — A. asha, Sykes. 

Professor Schlegel and Mr. Gray are certainly wrong in 
uniting aska, Sykes, with Jngularis, Forster ; they are probably 
right in considering concolor, Blyth, as identical with this latter; 
but aska of Sykes is gularis, and not jugularis. The fact is 
there are two nearly allied species, the one occurs along the 
eastern and north-eastern coast of Africa up to Suez down 
the Arabian Coast, and has now been observed by me at Mus- 
cat, along the Mekran Coast, and at Kurrachee, and again on 
the Bombay Coast at Teetul, near Bulsar; and Dr. Jerdon^s 
description shows clearly that this is the bird which he and 
Sykes found down the western coast of India. This is 
gularis ; on the other hand, the second species is found in New 
Zealand, Australia, throughout the Indian Archipelago, and I 
have reason to believe, though I have no specimens with me 
to compare, throughout Burma, up to Ramree Island, in the Ni- 
cobars and Andamans, and possibly on the eastern shores of the 
Bay of Bengal. This latter is jngulanh, Forster ; pannosa, Gould ; 
concolor, Blyth ; and probably sacra, Gmelin, the name by which 
it should according to Mr. Gray stand. Both species are ty- 
pically, when adult, deep slaty blue, becoming more or less black 
in old birds ; both seem to have an allotropic white form, which 
is not necessarily the young, these having been taken from the 
nest of the same dark color as the typical adult, and both have 
a light slaty grey stage, which appears to me to indicate imma- 
turity, in which a good deal of the centre of the abdomen, vent, 
and lower tail coverts are white. 

The two species differ in these respects. Gularis has the whole 
chin, thi'oat, and sides of the head nearly to the gape, and quite 
to the base of the ear coverts, white ; jugularis or sacra has only 
a narrow white stripe down the centre of the throat ; gularis is 
a somewhat larger bird, has the bill in adults from 3"5 to 4-1, 
against a bill of 3-1 to 3-4 in jugularis j a tarsus of from 3*9 to 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfe. 255 

4*4 afT'ainst a tarsus of from -'3 "8 to 4"1 in jw/idaris j a mid 
toe to root of claw of from 2i'3 to 2*6, ag'ainst a mid toe \njuf/ulari,s 
of from 2 to 2*2; lastly, f/ularis has the bare portion of the 
tibiu from 2*2 to 2-9; against a bare portion m jugularis vel 
sacra, of from 1*2 to 1*5. 

A very great deal remains to be ascertained in regard to the 
changes of plumage of both these species, and it is possible 
that Jug/daris or sacra may be found to include two species, but 
gularis 'awH jugularis are clearly distinct and can be separated 
at once, as above explained, and our Western Indian bird is 
unmistakea.bly gularis, and demiegreila asha, Sykes, is equally, 
certainly identical with it, and not with jugularis as Schlegel 
and Gray give it^ 

Our present species is excessively abundant in the Kurrachee 
Harbour where it may be seen at all times feeding (as a rule 
solitary) on the edges of the mud flats, or standing motionless 
a few yards off the water^s edge. Occasionally, but more rarely, 
it is found pei'ched on the mangrove bushes; as a rule it is 
somewhat wary; but at times will allow of an easy shot. This 
same species is, I ascertained,' very common about the mouths 
of the Indus in all the innumerable creeks and water-courses 
that there abound. Along the Mekran Coast we saw it occasion- 
ally, and I procured a fine adult at Gwader, and again saw others 
in some of the bays along the Coast near Muscat. 

I measured several in the flesh and give the dimensions thus 
obtained, noting that the paler grey birds, with a good deal of 
white about the abdomen and vent, and occasionally on the 
centre of the breast also, are always smaller, and always want 
the occipital and pectoral plumes, and are in my opinion un- 
questionably the birds of the year. 

Length, 24'2.5 to 27'5 ; expanse, 38 to 42 ; tail from vent, 
3 to 3"8 ; wing, 10 to ir4; wings, when closed, reach to end 
of tail, or even to 0*5 beyond it; bill at front, .S"6 to 4'1 ; 
tarsus, 3*6 to 4*4 ; mid toe to root of claw, 2*3 to 2'6 ; bare por- 
tion of tibia, 2-2 to 2'9 ; weight, 1 lb. to 1 lb. 4 oz. 

The irides vary from bright yellow to yellowish white ; the 
bill is yellow, brownish or dusky on culmen ; the legs and 
feet are very variable, in one the feet and terminal twofifths 
of tarsi were yellowish green, the front of the upper three- 
fifths of tarsus, and of til^ia black, the posterior portion of tarsus 
dusky orange ; in another the whole legs and feet were greenish 
yellow, with only the front of both tarsi and tibise, black ; 
another had the whole of the legs black; only the feet greenish 

256 Contnlniions to tlie Omiilwlocjy of India, Sfc. 

929.— Bubulcus coromandus, Bodd. 
930.— Ardeola Grayii, 8yhes. 

Both species veiy common, tlirougliout the province^ wherever 
tliere was water. 

931. — Butorides javanicus, Horsf, 

The little green bittern was not uncommon on the banks of 
canals and watercourses, skulking- under or within heaps of 
brushwood or the branches of some half immersed tree during 
the major portion of the daj, emerg-ing and stalking" slowly along" 
the bank and close to the water as day declined. I believe that, 
this species is very common in Sindh, but onl}'' in the hicalities 

I liave indicated. I never met with it in any of the swamps or 

935.— Ardetta minuta, L. 

I obtained a single specimen of this species, which I have 
never before known to occur in India out of the Himalayas (it 
is very abundant in Cashmere and I have obtained it at Syree 
below Simla) in a large broad at Dost Alii near Larkhana. I 
was beating a clump of reed rush and tamarisk, a little island in 
fact of these for Cetti^s warbler ; coots, and water-hens innumer- 
able had been driven out, when I observed this queer little heron 
creeping" about from bough to bough near the bases of the 
tamarisk bushes, and shot it. I never saw a second specimen ; 
but if it always keeps as close in the day time as this bird did, 
this is not to be wondered at, since after I had secured a certain 
number of specimens of Cetti's warbler, I never again attempted 
to beat these thickets. 

936— Botaurus stellaris, L. 

The bittern which, in Upper India at any rate, is a decidedly 
rare Ijird, was very abundant in Upper Sindli, and in one fort- 
night a])out the Shikarpore Collectorate, I certainly saw more 
specimens than I had ever seen in my whole life before. 

937.— Nyctiardea nycticorax, L. 

The night heron was often seen ; rarely in the day time unless 
disturbed, generally towards evening, flying overhead to its 
feeding grounds, uttering its characteristic harsh croak. A male 
measured, length, 24 ; expanse, 43 "5 ; tail from vent, 4" 6 ; wing, 

II "5 ; wings, when closed, reached to within 0"4 of end of tail ; 
bill at front, 3 ; tarsus, 3. 

939.— Platelea leucorodia, L. 

Alike along the banks and sandbanks of all the greater rivers 

Contributions to the Orniihology of India, 8fc. 257 

©f the Punjab^ and of tlie Xndus in Sindhj the spoonbill w:is re- 
peatedly met with in lavg-e flocks. In the broads and lakes it was^ 
I think, comparatively infrequent. 

The bills in this species vary very materially in length even 
in the same sdx ; among-st the males^ for instance^ f l^ey vary from 
8-2 to 9-7. 

A male that I measured in the fleshy by no means a particu- 
larly large bird^ gave the following dimensions, length, S3*25 ; 
expanse, 58 ; tail from vent, 5 ; vising, 15-3 ; wings, when closed^ 
reached to within 0*8 of end of tail ; bill at front, only 8"4 ; 
tarsus, 6 "2 ; the irides were reddish yellow. 

941.— Threskiornis melanocephalus, L. 
942.— Geronticus papillosus, Tem. 

Both species abundant, in suitable localities, throughout 

943.— Falcinellus igneus, Gm. 

The glossy ibis occurred in huge flocks in and about many 
of the large inland lakes of Upper Sindh ; but I never met 
with it in Lower Sindh. We got it in every stage from the 
quite young bird, with a bill of about 3-75, and without 
a, vestige of ruddy tint below or of purple reflections above, to the 
old bird in full breeding plumage, with a bill over 5-5 in length. 
It was excessively tame and sat on the trees and bushes over- 
hanging the water or fed fearlessly in amongst the rush and 
reeds till the boats were within 2U yards of it. It is impossible 
to explain these things, but the fishermen who eat and relish 
every description of paddy-bird consider the glossy ibis very in- 
different eating, whereas some Europeans at any rate who will 
not look at a paddy-bird consider the ibis a dish worthy of an 
epicure. In the Jumna and Ganges, many races of fishermen 
will not touch fish so long as crocodile is to be got ; and an old 
friend of mine who was persuaded to try it, said that crocodile 
bore the same relation to fish that pork does to mutton, 
and was highly commendable as an article of diet ; but really 
de gitstibus, &c. - 

944.— Phoenicopterus rOSeUS, Pall.— P. anti- 
quorum, Tem. 

How shall I describe the countless myriads of flamingoes 
that are seen either massed upon the water, huge rosy islands, or 
floating above it like a sun-set cloud in all the larger lakes of 
Sindh ? Elsewhere I have seen flamingoes in flocks of several 
hundreds^ here they were in tens of thousands. It is a wonder- 

258 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, Sfc. 

ful sig-ht to see one of these enormous flocks rise suddenly when 
alarmed ; as you approach them, so long as they remain in the 
water at rest, they look simply like a mass of faintly rosy snow. 
A Tifle is firedj and then the exposure of the upper and under 
coverts of the wing" turns the mass into a gigantic, brilliantly 
ros\^, scarf, waving to and fro in mighty folds, as it floats away. 

The flamingoe I found swims rapidly and well. A winged 
bird which fell in deep water kept well a-head of our primitive 
native punt, and was only secured, when after fully half a mile's 
swim, the bird began to be exhausted. It did not swim like a 
swan, with the neck bent backwards over the back, but with the 
neck nearly straight, and bent slightly forwards, jerking at every 
stroke, apparently, of its feet, looking in fact as if it was stag- 
gering along hurriedly in water, just reaching up to its breast, 
but the water was really 10 or 12 feet deep, so that if its modfi of 
progression could not fairly be called swimming, it was at any 
rate " treading water.'' 

944 &^s.— Phoenicopterus minor, Geoffr. Sti Eil. 

I have already (Stray Feathers, p. 31 ante) said all I have to 
say about this species. I did not myself meet with it in Sindh ; 
but the fishermen are well acquainted with it and described it by 
its smaller size and brilliant rosy hue, in such a manner as to 
leave no possibility of a doubt as to its identity. 

945.— Anser cinereus, Meyer. 

The grey lag goose was excessively abundant along all the 
greater rivers of the Punjab ; but least so on the Indus in Sindh. 
We met with it, but comparatively rarely, in the neighbourhood 
of lakes, and once or twice feeding in the fields. It is not near 
so common in Sindh as in many parts of the North-Western 
Provinces. Dr. Jerdon gives the expanse at 54, but this really 
varies from about 60 to 65. The bean goose (Anser segetum) is 
said to occur in India, but I have never been fortunate enough 
to meet with a specimen, or to meet with any one else who had. 
It is nearly the same size as the grey lag goose, but may be dis- 
tinguished at once, by having the nail, edges, and base of the 
bilf blackish, vsrhile in the grey goose these parts are pink and 
greyish white ; by having the whole legs and feet orange, 
these being in the grey lag dull fleshy or occasionally pale 
creamy pink; by having all the wing coverts greyish brown, while 
in the grey lag the upper and median, and the whole shoulder of 
the wing are a light grey. I should be very glad to receive 
authentic information of the occurrence of the bean goose in 
India. Anser brachyrJiyndms, Baillon, is another goose very rare 
in India. I have only seen two Indian killed specimens of 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sj'c, 259 

this which I myself shot in the Jumna in Etawah. It is very like 
the bean g-oose^ but has the legs and feet pink ting-ed with Vermil- 
lion^ and is smaller, being about 28 inches in leng'th to 30 inches 
in the bean goose. The bill is only 2 inches in length against 
nearly 2 -4 in the bean g'oose, and the central portion of the bill is 
bright carmine instead of yellowish orange as in the bean goose. 
This is another species easily verified,, and I hope some of our 
numerous contributors will endeavour to find out something more 
about the occurrence of this sjoecies in India. 

947. — Anser erythropUS, Flemming. — A. erythro- 
pus, Limi. nee. Gmel. — xi. albifrons. Gmelin, Sfc. 

The white fronted goose is very rai'e in India. For the first time 
in my life I saw and shot three specimens in the river Jhelum 
below Shahpoor, and I again saw a pair in the Indus^ between 
Sehwan and Kotree. No where else did I observe them during 
the trip, though their small size, and very brown appearance, 
renders them easily recognizable at long distances with the help 
of binoculars. In neither cases were they associated with other 
water fowl. In one case the three, in the other the pair, were 
seated at the water^s edge on the river^s bank with no other birds 
of any kind near them. The three specimens I obtained varied 
a good deal ; the one which appears to be an adult male has the 
whole chin white, as is also the broad band on the forehead and 
on each side of the upper mandible. The female has only one 
single feather white at the point of the chin, and the white band 
at each side of the upper mandible is much narrower ; the third, 
also a female, but as I take it a young one, has the head, and 
neck much paler brown, no white at all on the chin, and the band 
both on the forehead and at the sides of the upper mandible 
very narrow. The lower surface, too, varies very much ; in one 
it is pale greyish white with a few black mottled patches on the 
abdomen ; in another, the mottled patches are so numerous and 
large, that the black decidedly preponderates over the greyish 
white; in one specimen which I have from Oudh, the white 
frontal band is 1"15 broad; in the adult male above mentioned, it 
is 0"85 broad; in the adult female it is 0"6, and in the young 
female only 0-3. In all these it is a band stretching straight 
across the whole forehead, not running up on to the crown in a 
broad longitudinal band as it does in a minutus Naumann, which 
latter by the way, and not the present species, is according to 
Newton (I suspend my own opinion) the eri/thropus of Linnoeus. 

The dimensions of my three birds, measured in the flesh, were 
as follows; length, 26 to 27 '7 5; expanse, 52 to 55' 5 ; tail 

260 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

from vent;, 5-2 to 6; wing-s, 15 to 15-75 ; wings, when closed, 
reached exactly to the end of tail ; bill, at front, including nail, 
1-7 to 1-75 ; tarsus, 2-45 to 2-75 ; weight, 4Ib 5 oz. to 5ffi 2 oz. ; 
legs and feet, bright orange ; nails, piuky or greyish white ; bill 
pale livid fleshy, in one tinged orange on the culmen, in another 
similarly tinged on the nares and base of lower mandible ; nail 
whitish or pale yellowish white j irides pale brown. 

949. — Anser indicus, Gmelin. 

This species was much more plentiful in the rivers of the 
Punjab than the grey lag ; but in Sindh, both on the Indus and 
inland, it was decidedly less numerous. 

A female measured, length, 27*25 ; expanse, 56 ; tail from 
vent, 6 ; wing, 16-3 ; wings, when closed, reached 0-6 beyond 
end of tail; bill, at front, including nail, ]-75; tarsus, 2-8; 
Weight, 4 lb, 12 ozs. ; legs and feet, pale orange ; claws brown ; 
bill, pale lemon yellow ; nail, black ; irides, brown. 

952. — Dendrocygna arcuata, Cuv. 

This species appeared to me to be far from common in Sindh 
during the cold weather, and though mentioned to me as often met 
with during the inundation, we only once saw it. 

954.— Oasarca rutila. Pall. 

The brahminy duck was very abundant on all the larger rivers 
of the Punjab, on the Indus, and the inland waters of Sindh. 
-We often saw fifty in a single day. The numbers of this species 
that yearly visit India are scarcely less astounding than those 
of the bar fronted goose. Of both species, a vast proportion, at 
any rate, breed in the higher plateaux of the Himalayas (not 
under an elevation of twelve or thirteen thousand feet) in the 
neighbourhood of the many lakes and pools which these enclose. 

956. — Tadorna COrnuta,G^m. — T. vulpanser,Flem. 

The shieldrake I only noticed about the Muncher lake, where 
numbers were feeding along the banks on the northern and 
western shores. They were very wary, and though I stalked 
many of them and got within a hundred and a hundred and fifty 
yards, I failed to secure a specimen. In Upper India, in similar 
large inland pieces of water, as low down as Cawnpore and 
Fyzabad, a few are generally to be seen during the cold season. 

957.— Spatula clypeata, L. 

I saw the shoveller daily all along the banks of the Jhelum> 
the Chenab, and the Indus, and again on all the inland lakes of 
Sindh. They are not worth eating, and though the male but 


Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sj'c. 261 

for . his clumsy bill would be handsome, I think we inust put 
them down, on the whole, in the " cheap and nasty" category. 

958.— Anas boschas, L. 

In the North -Western Provinces, compared with other ducks, 
the mallard is scarce and so it is in the Punjab Cis-Sutlej ; 
but, as you proceed further west, its numbers increase, and 
all down the Jhelum, and the Chenab from Jhelum to Mooltan, 
it is out-and-out the commonest duck. I killed from a dozen to 
twenty daily, and might easily have killed double that number. 
They were comparatively speaking very tame, and I used to drift 
down to them in a little boat to within thirty or forty yards, as 
they sat in small parties asleep at the water^s edge, bagging two or 
three as they sat, and knocking over one and sometimes two 
more as they rose with the second barrel. In the Indus, too, they 
were equally abundant but more wary, as people continually 
shoot at them from the steamers, and in most of the larger 
inland waters of Sindh, I met with them in great numbers. At 
first starting, the mallard lies better, and affords better sport than 
any of the other ducks, and when you first go on to a broad that 
has not previously been shot that season, the mallard keep conti- 
nually rising pretty close to the boat from under the boughs of 
water-surrounded tamarisk trees, and clumps of rush, affording 
beautiful shots. 

959.— Anas poekilorhynclia, Gmel. 

Pretty common, but much less so than the last species, thought 
found in the same localities. 

961.— Ohaulelasmus streperus, L. 

The gad wall was foimd in much the same places as the two 
last. It was much commoner everywhere than pmkilorhyncha, 
and more common than the mallard in all lahes, in fact on the 
whole perhaps tlie most common duck on these, but it was decid- 
edly less common on the rivers. 

962,— Dafila acuta, L. 

I never met with this in any of the rivers, but on many of 
the lakes it abounded. It has a habit of sitting in parties 
in amongst low water plants, with nothing but its long white neck 
showing, and when basking thus, will often permit a tolerably 
near approach. 

963.— Mareca penelope, L, 

I saw very few of the widgeon in Sindh as a whole, and none 
on the rivers, but in the Mmicher lake they were in hundredsj. 

262 Co7iiributions to the Ornthology of India, Sfci. 

and during- the few days we were there^ very considerable num- 
bers were killed. 

964.— Querquedula crecca, L, 

Common enoug-h everywhere^ alike on the rivers and the 

965.— Querquedula circia, L. 

The garganey must, I think, he rare in Sindh dm-ing the 
cold season, for I never chanced to see it, nor did any of us ob- 
tain a specimen; I have however since received one, killed at 
the close of the inundation, and at that season I understand 
they come in, in large flocks. 

966 6^*5.— Querquedula Angustirostris, MS- 

netries. — Q. marmorata, Tern. 

The marbled duck, a species not included by Dr. Jerdon in 
the Birds of India, was singularly abundant in suitable localities 
in Sindh, and I have also heard of its being* killed in Guzerat. 
In Sindh where I had abundant opportunities of observing it, I 
found it invariably associated in large parties ; its favorite haunts 
are broads, thickly grown with rush, in which it feeds and sports, 
comparatively seldom shewing itself in the open watei-. As a rule 
it does not at once rise when guns are fired as the other ducks 
do, but, if at the outside of the rush, scuttles into these for con- 
cealment, as a coot would do, and if in them already, remains 
there perfectly quiet until the boats push within 60 or 70 yards of 
it ; then it rises, generally one at a time, and even though fired 
at, not unfrequently again drops into the rush within a couple of 
hundred yards. When there has been a good deal of shooting 
on a lake, and almost all the other ducks and with them of 
course so^iie of these are circling round and round high in the air, 
you still keep, as you push through the reeds and rushes, con- 
tinually flushing the marbled duck, and the broad must be 
small, or the hunting very close and long continued, to induce all 
the marbled ducks to take wing*. Of course where there is little 
cover (though there you never meet with this duck in large 
numbers) they rise and fly about with the other ducks ; but their 
tendency in these respects is rather coot-like than duck-like. 
Individuals may take wing- at the first near shot, but the great 
majority of them stick to the rush as long as this is possible, and 
on two occasions I saw very pretty shooting, boats in line push- 
ing up a wide extent of rush-grown water, and the marbled duck 
rising every minute in front of us at distances of 60 or 70 
yards, like partridges out of some of our great Norfolk turnip 

Contrihutions to the Ormthology of India, Sfc. 26-3 

fields ; here and there a shoveller, or a white-eyed duck, both of 
which, when disturbed, cling- a g-ood deal to cover, would be 
flushed ; but there were not one of these to ten of the marbled 
duck. This species is not amongst first-class ducks for the table; 
it ranks with the shoveller and the white-eyed duck, and after 
obtaining" a goodly array of specimens, we never shot it, first 
class ducks, gadwal, mallard, and pin-tail, as well as the Indian 
canvas back [aythya ferina) being always available. 

The dimensions of this species are as follow : Male, length, 
18-3 to 19 j expanse, 28-5 to 29*5; tail from vent, 3*6 to 4; 
wing, 8'1 to 8'5; wings, when closed, reach to within 0*7 to 1'5 
of end of tail ; bill at front, including nail, Vll to 1*85 ; tarsus, 
1"44j to 1'52 j weight, 1 lb. 3 oz. to 1 lb. 5 oz. Female, length, 
16-9 to 17-5 ; expanse, 27 to 28 ; tail from vent, 2-8 to 3-7 ; 
wing, 7*9 to 8*1 ; wings, when closed, reach to within from 0"5 to 
1 of end of tail; bill at front, 0*6 to 0'75 ; tarsus, 1*4! to 1'5 ; 
weight, 1 lb. to 1 Tb. 3 oz. 

Description. — The legs and feet are dusky olive or dark horny 
brown, with the claws and webs black ; or horny green, with 
the claws and webs dark grey; the bill bluish grey, black on 
culmen and tip, or dusky, bounded at the margins of the fea- 
thers of the forehead and cheeks with a pale, leaden blue line, 
continued along the margin of both mandibles to near the tip, 
and a spot of the same color just above the nail; the irides are 

Plumage. — The male has the forehead, crown, occiput, and nape 
brownish white, with numerous narrow, close-set, wavy, irregu- 
lar, dark brown bars, which become more speckly on the occiput, 
where also the g-round colour is a more rufescent brown. Fea- 
thers immediately round the eye, very dark brown; a broad irre- 
gular stripe over the eye, and a large patch on the side of the 
head behind the eyes, moderately dark brown, shading into the 
very dark brown immediately surrounding the eyes ; the whole 
space between the sides of the upper mandible and the dark 
feathers surrounding the eye, the whole sides of the head below 
the dark eye and ear-patch, the whole chin, throat, and front of 
the neck, slightly greyish, or brownish white, very narrowly, 
regularly and closely streaked with brown. The lower parts, a 
slightly brownish white ; the breast feathers with greyish brown 
subterminal transverse bars, mostly more or less concealed by 
the pale tippings of the superincumbent feathers, and only 
clearly seen when the feathers are lifted; the sides and flanks 
similar, but the subterminal bars much broader and some of the 
flank feathers with several bars ; the vent feathers and lower 
tail coverts, generally, with a slightly more rufescent tinge. 

£64 Contribubiions to the Ornithology of India, 8fe. 

and with two or more narrow^ widely-separated^ transverse browit 
bars. The tibial plumes browner/ and with numerous narrow 
closely set, but ill-marked, transverse brown bars ; the abdomen 
more or less obsoletely mottled with very pale grey brown, which 
on lifting- the feathers is found to arise from more or less faint, 
irregular, transverse, subterminal, brownish bars. 

The barrings above described are very much more marked 
in some specimens than in others, in some in fact on the abdo- 
men they are almost entirely obsolete, and can hardly be traced. 

The upper back, greyish brown, the feathers with a subterminal 
richer brown bar ; the scapulars brown, with a yellowish white 
terminal spot, and of a much richer brown, the longer ones especi- 
ally, just above the spot; the tertiaries and secondary greater 
coverts are greyish brown, the former obsoletely barred paler ; the 
secondaries are pale grey ; the primaries, their greater coverts, and 
the winglet, pale slaty, the primaries with a silver- grey tinge 
on the outer webs towards the tips ; the inner webs, pale grey 
brown, except towards the tips where they are much darker and 
where the shafts also are conspicuously darker. The middle back, 
rump, and upper tail coverts, the same grey brown as the upper 
part of the back ; the feathers of the middle back narrowly and 
obscurely tipped with yellowish white, those of the rump and 
upper tail coverts more broadly and conspicuously so, and with 
a subterminal dark brown spot ; the longest of the upper tail 
coverts, are very broadly and conspicuously so tipped, and have 
a subterminal dark band. The tail feathers, pale grey brown, 
broadly tipped, and narrowly margined with yellowish white; 
the two central tail feathers darker on the inner webs and dark 
shafted, and the lateral tail feathers paling as they recede from 
the centre. 

The female is similar, but smaller, with the eye patch and 
generally all the markings and tints duller and less conspicuous. 

967.— Fuligula rufina, Fall 

The red-crested pochard was but seldom seen on any of the 
large rivers, neither did I observe it in any of the smaller inland 
pieces of water ; but at the Muncher lake and some few others 
of the larger broads it occurred in considerable flocks. 

968.— Aythya ferina, L. 

I only met with this duck on some of the broads, but where 
it did occui', it occurred in incredible numbers; at the 
Madho jheel it out-numbered all the rest of the water-fowl put 
together, tens of thousands were congregated together. It was 
generally in lakes possessing a considerable breadth of open 

Contributions to the OrnitJwlogy of India, ^x. 263 

water that the red-headed pochard was found. 

969.— Aythya nyroca, GiM. 

The white-eyed pochard on the other hand which was met 
with in every inland piece of water^ big or little, (but never in 
the rivers) , specially delights in rushy, reedy waters, and when 
alarmed, like the marbled duck, rather seeks safety in cover, than 
in flight. It is very indifferent eating, and it may be a cognizance 
of this fact, and that sportsmen generally disdain its slaughter, 
that leads it to remain tranquilly in amongst the rushes while 
heavy firing is going on all round, often not taking the trouble 
to rise till the boat is within twenty yards of it. Anyhow this 
is ths fact, and I have seen as many as thirty or forty rise singly 
one after the other, all within easy shot, in a couple of hours 
punting through the rushes. The boatmen say that this duck 
breeds in Sindh, it may do so (in Cashmere its eggs are so 
plentiful, that at one season they constitute an important staple 
of trade at Srinugger) but the fact requires verification. 

971.— Fulix cristata, L. 

The tufted pochard was less common than any of the precedr 
ing, the only locality in which I saw it^ in any considerable 
numbers was on the Muncher lake. 

973.— Mergellus albellus, L. 

The smew was as rare in Sindh as it is elsewhere in Upper 
India. I saw one party on the banks of the Jhelum near 
Jung and shot a specimen, a young male, and I saw it again on 
the banks of the Indus near Kussmore, and lastly, I saw several 
parties on the Muncher lake. These were the only occasions on 
which I met with it, though the black and white plumage of 
the male is so conspicuous^ that the bird can never be over- 

974.— Podiceps cristatus, L. 

This species is very rare inland in Sindh. I only saw it once 
and then on the Muncher lake ; but in the sea outside the 
Kurrachee Harbour, and as I ascertained along the coast to 
Kutch, especially about the mouths of the Indus and again all 
the way up the Mekran Coast, and notably in both the Gwader 
bays, it is excessively abundant, though not easy to procure, 
and the specimens I shot cost me many hours delightful, but 
still hard work. 

Three males measured, gave the following results : 
Length, 20-75 to 24 ; expanse, 30-5 to 35 ; wing, 7-1 to 7-8 ; 
wings, when closed, reach to within 2 of end of tail ; bill at 

266 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 

front, 1"9 to 2-1 ; tarsus, 2-25 to 2-45; weight, 2 lbs. 10 ozs. 
to 3 lbs. 8 ozs. A female measured, length, 19-75 ; expanse, 31 ; 
wing, 7"2; bill at front, 1*65 ; tarsus, 2"2,- weight, 2*4 ozs. 

The irides were red to bright red ; the bill from fleshy red 
to bright pink, brownish on the culmen at base, and at base 
of lower mandible; the legs and feet varied from blackish 
brown to dusky plumbeous exteriorly, and interiorly from 
creamy, to dingy yellow, somewhat dusky on the joints. Some 
of the birds were entirely in winter plumage, with no trace of 
rufous or a ruff about them ; others had the whole head rufous 
with the black ruff band well developed, and a great deal of 
rufous mingled with the upper plumage. 

974 bis. — Podiceps nigricoUis, SundevaU. 

Golymhus auritus var. B. Linn. 8. N. t. i., p. 222. — 
Briss Ornith. t, vi, p. 55. — Lath. Ind. Orn. t. ii, 
jp. 781. — Podiceps nigricoUis, Sund. Ofvers, Kongl. 
Velesnh. Alad. (1844) p. 210. 

I believe that opinions are still divided as to whether nigri- 
coUis really merits specific separation from auritus. The two 
species are certainly very closely allied ; but differ, I think, both 
in certain details of coloration and in shape of bill sufficiently 
to justify their separation. 

Our birds, though somewhat exceeding the dimensions usu- 
ally assigned to SundevalPs species, belong clearly to the nigri- 
coUis, and not the auritus division. The adults have the whole 
neck in front blackish, and not merely the upper portion as in 
restricted aurittis. The beak is entirely black without any 
ruddy tinge towards the top or at the base ; the upper man- 
dible is markedly depressed towards the middle, and raised to- 
wards the tip, while it is decidedly broader than it is high be- 
hind the nasal grooves, whereas in auritus, it is higher than 
wide at this place. 

This species is not uncommon about the mouths of the 
Indus, and along the Sindh and Mekran Coasts as far, at any 
rate, as G wader. I saw specimens just outside the Kurrachee 
Harbour, beyond the Oyster Rocks ; but failed to procure any 
there. They were most common at Soomeeanee Bay, just at the 
boundaries of Khelat and Sindh, and it was there that I procur- 
ed most of my specimens. Like all grebes these birds depend 
for safety on their extraordinary diving powers, and after one 
or two shots have been fired, they never dream of flying- when 
any boat is at all near them. On the other hand, before they 
have been disturbed, I noticed them flying about, more than 

Contrihutions to the OrnitJiologi/ of India, Sfc. 267 

I have ever seen any other g-rebe do. On two or three occasions 
I noticed them taking spontaneously flights of fully a quarter 
of a mile, three or four tog-ether flying- low, and very rapidly ; 
and at Gwader I noticed a single bird flying pretty high 
across the strip of sand that divides the eastern and the western 
bays, and on which the town is built. 

None of my specimens were in full breeding plumage ; the 
most advanced, a male, though furnished with the long- silky 
orange red tuft behind the eye, still exhibited a white speckling 
on the chin and throat, and only bore the faintest trace of 
the rufous striation which is said to characterize the sides and 
flanks in summer ; but as my specimens were all procured in 
February, this was only to be expected. 

Dimensions. — Male, (only one measured); length, ]3; ex- 
panse, 24'5; wing 5'6 ; foot, length from heel to tip of mid 
toe, 3" 2; width 4; weight IB; bill at front^ 1; tarsus, 

Females, (three measured); length, 12'2 to 12-7; ex- 
panse, 22-5 to 23*5; wing, 5-2 to 5-4; foot, length, 2*9 
to 3-1 ; width, 3-6 to 3-75 ; weight, 1 lb to 1 lb 3 oz. ; bill at 
front, 0-9 to 0-94 ; tarsus, 1-6 to 1-7. 

In all, the bills were black; the irides, vermillion; and 
the legs and feet greenish plumbeous, interiorly, and blackish, 
exteriorly. My most advanced male has the whole of the top 
of the head, together with the rest of the upper parts, the chin, 
throat, and neck all round, blackish brown ; very glossy on the 
head, back and wings, duller and browner on the neck all round; 
the chin, and throat almost quite black, but still a good deal 
speckled with white ; this white speckling extending as a stripe 
up the sides of the neck behind the ear coverts. There are two 
short thick tufts on either side of the occiput, which, though 
scarcely noticeable in the dried skin, are erected at pleasure in 
the live bird. Immediately behind the eye, extends for about 
1-4 inches, a broad streak of orange and reddish yellow, silky, 
glistening feathers. The inner web of the sixth primary 
and almost the whole of the subsequent primaries and secon- 
daries, pure white; but this is scarcely seen in the closed 
wiugs, the tertiaries and all the coverts being unicolorous with 
the back. The whole breast, abdomen, and vent, satin white; a 
little tinged with greyish brown about the vent. The tail can 
scarcely be said to exist, what there is of it is unicolorous with 
the back, and on either side of it ; and of the tail covei'ts, a 
good deal of white appears. The sides and flanks are mottled 
with blackish brown, and there are traces of a rufous, or orange 


^68 Contrihdions to the Ornithology of ' India, 8fc. 

In full breeding' plumage I believe that the sides and flanks 
are very strong-ly streaked with orange red, and the parts that I 
have indicated as speckled with white are entirely black ; in the 
winter plumage the colors are duller ; the front of the neck is an 
earth}^ brown ; and the whole of those portions which I have 
indicated as speckled with white are pure white ; the orange red 
tuft behind the eye is entirely wanting. 

In a quite young bird that I obtained, the colors are duller 
still, the whole top ot" the head and back of the neck are a dull^ 
rather dark earthy brown ; the chin, throat, and the sti'ipe run- 
ning np behind the ear coverts pure white ; the rest of the front 
of the neck, very pale earthy brown, and all the feathers of the 
mantle narrowly edged with dingy fulvous white. 

975— Podiceps minor, L, 

The little dabchick was, as might be expected, very plenti- 
ful in all the inland waters of Sindh. Mr. Gray retains phiUp- 
pensis, Bonn, as distinct, but with a note of interrogation. 
So far as our Indian birds are concerned, I have compared a 
large series with eight English specimens, and can discover no con- 
stant difference whatsoever. 

976 &^5.— Puffinus Persicus, .Httme. Stray Fe- 
tilers I,, _p. 5. 

I have ah-eady fully described this species loc. cit., and have 
nothing further here to iadd in regard to it. 

977 i^er.— Stercorarius parasiticus, L, Lestris 

Rlcharclsoni, Audubon. 

A kind of skua which I believe to be referable to the species 
above quoted, is common at sea, along tiie coasts of Sindh and 
the Gulf of Oman. The birds are very waxy, the consequence 
was, I only succeeded in procuring a single specimen. This was 
a male, and as well as I can judge, a bird of the second year. 
The central feathers only project about 0"75 beyond the rest. 
I do not think that the changes of plumage among these skuas, 
is at all well understood, and in the absence of European speci- 
mens to compare, I cannot be certain whether this is a new 
species or whether I am correct in referring it to the species 
commonly known as Richardson's skua. 

Eno-lish writers disting'uish between this which, according 
to Sundevall, is the true parasiticus of Linnoeus, and a slen- 
derer, smaller, but longer tailed species which Yarrell calls 
Buffon's skua, biit which I see Schleg-el gives as S. cephus, 
Briinich. They also give the large skua S. catarractes, Vieillot, 

Contfibutlom to the Ornithology of India, Sj^c. 369 

and S. pomarinus, Grray^ the Pomarine skua, of which hitter 
Dr. Jerdon remarks, that " a specimen was procured on tlie 
Burmese coast by Major Tickell/' adding" that "as it is a bird 
frequenting- high Latitudes, its occurrence in tropical regions 
must have been quite exceptional/'' As a matter of fact, how- 
ever, I saw at least fifty skuas between Gwader and Bombay, 
and this was in splendid weuther and during February, so that 
the birds cannot be exceptional stragglers. If my bird belongs 
to any of the four sipecies ahove noted, it is parasiticus j but I 
think it not improbable that it may hereafter turn out that 
both my specimens and Major TickelFs belong to a distinct 
species intermediate hetweeu po-marimis and parasiticus, in which 
case it may stand as S. asiaiicus, nobis. The following- are the 
exact dimensions and a description of my bird : 

•A male killed at Pusnee on the Mekran Coast, a short distance 
beyond the Sindh boundar}'-, on the 16th February 1872; leng-th, 
19; expanse, 45; tail from vent, 6*4; wing, 13 ; wings, Avhen 
closed, reach to end of longest tail feathers ; bill at front, 
including cere, 1"2 ; cere only, 0'7 ; bill from gape, 2'02 ; tarsus, 
1"8; feet, length, 3*3 ; width, 2*4, mid toe and claw, 1"78; weight, 
IB 3 oz. 

The legs and feet dull black ; bill brown ; the cere, pale 
greenish brown ; the irides, brown. 

The central tail feathers are manifestly imperfectly developed, 
one projects 0-75, and the other 0'25 beyond the rest of the 
tail; the bird is obviously in a state of chang-e of plumage as 
the two first primaries in each wing are old and compartively 
pale brown, with conspicuous white shafts only tinged brownish 
for about 0-5 immediately above the tips; while all the other 
primaries are new and very dark brown, almost black, with 
only the basal half of the shafts white, and even that slightly 
tinged brown ; some of the secondaries, scapulars, coverts, and 
feathers of the back are brown ; the same dull pale umber as 
the first two primaries, and so are two of the tail feathers, 
while the whole of the rest of the back, wings, and tail are of 
the same deep blackish brown as the third to the tenth 
primaries. What is noticeable is, that on the back and scapu- 
lars, the paler brown feathers have no white tippings, which 
most probably have worn off, these feathers being the old ones, 
but all the dark feathers of these parts have narrow brownish 
white margins. The upper tail coverts are conspicuously tipped 
with white, and the longer ones have two, very broad, slightly 
rufous or fulvous white bars. The forehead, crown, and occiput, 
are dull, pale, wood brown, here and there, faintly tinged rufescent, 
the feathers with pretty broad blackish brown central streaks ; 

2^70 Contributions to the Ornitliology of India, ^c. 

the lores are g-reyish white ; the feathers narrowly dark centred ; 
the cheeks, ear coverts, and nape are white, more or less 
ting-ed with fulvous or buify, with very narrow dark brown 
shaft stripes ; the chin and throat, white ; the feathers of the 
base of the neck all round and the breast white, tinged in 
places fulvous, in places slig'htly rufescent, with a broad dark 
brown subterminal tranverse band; the sides, flanks, lower 
tail coverts, white, with broad brown transverse bars, which 
in some of the lower tail coverts have a slightly rufescent 
aureola ; the abdomen and vent are white, but on the sides of 
the abdomen, there are faint traces of barrings similar to 
those of the breast and flanks. The axillaries broadly barred, 
with a somewhat greyish brown and greyish white ; the tibial 
feathers, pure brown. I hope soon to have other specimens from 
the neighbourhood of Kurrachee and to ascertain whether this 
bird is really S. parasiticus or a new species S. asiaticus. 

978 S^'s.— Larus Argentatus, Briin, 

The herring-gull was very abundant about all the larger 
lakes in Sindh. I have met with it also occasionally in all the 
larger rivers of the Punjab, in the Kurrachee Harbour, along the 
Mekran Coast, at Muscat, and again between Kurrachee and 
Bombay. Years ago I pointed out that this species occurred in 
Upper India, having obtained specimens from the Nujjufghur 
jheel, in the Delhi district, at the Sambhur lake, and in one or 
two other localities. So far as I have yet been able to ascertain, 
Larus fitscus does not occur in India. A young bird given me 
by Dr. Jerdon as the young of fuscus, turns out to be the 
young of this species, and I have no doubt that the adult speci- 
men which Mr. Blyth mentioned. Dr. Jerdon^s sending from 
the Coromandel Coast was not fuscus, but the species I shall 
next treat of, occidentalis ; fuscus, I may notice, with marinus 
and dominicanus belong to a sub-division of the larger gulls 
which have the primaries black to their bases, while argentatus 
and the species next following, have the primaries grey or greyish 
white towards their bases. 

The herring-gull varies a good deal in size, and a number of 
specimens measured in the flesh, gave the following results : 
length, 23 to 35" 75; expanse, 58 to 60; wing, 16-75 to 18; 
tarsus, 2*5 to 2'78; bill at front, 1*9 to 2*35; from anterior 
margin of nares to tip, 0*9 to 1-07; mid toe and claw, 2*25 to 
2-6 ; weight, 1 lb. 12 oz. to 2 lb. 6 oz. 

As a rule the males are larger than the females, but this does 
not invariabli/ hold good, as many males will be found smaller 
than many females^ though the largest birds of all are always 

Contributions to the OmitJiology of India, 8fc. 271 

In the summer plumage, which, however, some birds assume 
as early as February, the whole of the head, neck all round, 
entire lower parts, upper tail coverts, and tail are pure white. The 
entire mantle and back, tertiaries, and secondaries, a delicate 
pale bluish grey ; the tertiaries, secondaries, and longer scapulars 
broadly tipped with white, and the earlier secondaries especially, 
with the major portion of the inner webs also white ; the edge 
of the wing about the carpal joint, white ; the first primary 
with the whole outer web black, with a white tip, and a broad 
white band across both webs near the tip, and above this band 
again a considerable portion of the inner web black, the rest 
of the inner web pale grey ; the second primary similar ; but 
the white band often wanting entirely, often reduced to a larger 
or smaller spot on the inner web only, the black on the inner web 
of less extent than in the first, and the basal portion of the 
outer web, the same pale blue grey as the coverts and the rest 
of the wing ; the third and following primaries have only the 
white tips, and no white band ; as they recede from the second, 
more and more of the outer webs become grey, and the black 
diminishes proportionally on the inner web also, so that on the 
seventh or eighth, it is generally reduced to a narrow black band 
across both webs, or in some cases on the outer web only, while 
in some it is entirely wanting on the last three quills. In some 
specimens the basal portion of the inner webs is almost pure 
white, in others it is the same pale grey as the mantle. 

The extent of the white band on the first primary is very 
variable ; in some specimens, it is little more than half an inch, 
in others it is two inches broad ; in one specimen it is absolutely 
wanting, in another it extends right to the tip, the usual 
intervening subterminal black band having entirely disappear- 
ed ; that on the second primary is equally variable. 

In the winter plumage the nape and the back of the neck are 
thinly striated with pale brown, and there are traces of similar 
striae, but much feebler and fainter as a rule on the crown, and 
to judge from my specimens, these are often entirely wanting. 

In the winter plumage the legs and feet are greyish white, 
with more or less of a fleshy tinge ; in one specimen they 
were an excessively pale lemon yellow, with a grey shade ; in 
another, greenish yellow. In another specimen killed in the 
middle of February, and apparently in every other respect in full 
summer plumage, the legs and feet were pale yellow; both 
Macgillivray and Yarrell speak of the legs and feet as flesh 
color, perhaps our ideas in regard to color differ ; but certainly 
none of the fifty odd birds that I shot had what / call flesh- 
colored legs. 

272 Contributions to tlie Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

The bill is yellow^ red near tlie tip of tlie lower mandible^ but 
ill the winter they are a very dnll yellow^ whitish at the tip, with 
a dark spot near the tip on both mandibles, and an orange spot 
in the tip of lower mandible ; other specimens had the greater 
part of the bill pale greenish yellow, but all have a dusky spot or 
bar towards the tip on both mandibles, turning to orange red on 
the lower mandible near the angle of the gonys ; the irides of 
all I examined were a very pale yellow or yellowish white, and 
the eyelids orang-e red. 

In the young the legs and feet are a sort of pale, dingy dove 
color ; the bill blackish horny, greyish white on culmen, and at 
base of lower mandible. As for plumage, the whole lower parts 
are dull white, streaked with brown on the base of the neck in 
front, and more or less broadly spotted or mottled with this same 
color on the sides of the breast, body, and flanks, and with 
faint traces of similar spots on many parts of the abdomen. 
The axillaries are white, barred with brown ; the wing lining is 
a somewhat darker brown, mottled with white ; the forehead, 
lores, chin, and upper throat, purer white, and in all my specimens 
unstreaked; crown, occiput, nape and back, and sides of the 
neck, white or brownish white, with pale brbwn streaks, broader 
on the neck, and narrower on the crown and occiput, from 
which places they first disappear as the bird advances to maturity. 
The back and mantle, mottled darker and lighter brown ; the 
feathers tipped with brownish or greyish white ; the quills and 
the primary greater coverts, hair brown, darker on the primaries, 
with narrow white tippings to the secondaries, and the greater 
primary coverts, and traces of the same on the last two or three 
primaries. The rump and upper tail coverts are mingled brown 
and white ; the tail feathers with nearly the terminal two-fifths 
of the central feathers and a lesser portion of the lateral ones 
dark brown ; the basal three-fifths brown also, but mottled more 
and more with white towards the bases. There is not the least 
trace of the pale blue grey that characterises the plumage of the 
adult in the quite young bird. As the bird grows older, the 
markings disappear entirely from the under surface, the striae 
on the head grow fainter and fainter, the mottling at the base 
of the tail increases in extent, and the feathers of the mantle 
begin to take on a pale French grey shade, the brown disappearing 
from it, and so by degrees the bird assumes the adult plumage; 
but long after all the other changes are complete, an irregular im- 
perfect blackish brown mottled bar remains at the tip of the tail, 
the first five or six primaries still want their white tips ; the 
second primary exhibits no trace of a white band, and two or three 
scapulars, still more or less mottled with brown, may. be detected. 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 273 

978 ter. — Larus occidentalis, A.udubon.—L. bo- 

realis, Brandt nee, Bruch. — L. argentatuSj var. 
cacliinnans, Schrenh. Ueisen, I. p. 504. 

This species^ hitherto unrecorded from India^ is abundant be- 
yond measure at Kurrachee. It stalks about on the harbour 
quays, amongst people and carts, as crows do elsewhere, and it 
cono-reorates bv thousands round the reed-built huts where a short 
distance outside Kurrachee the fishermen bring- their fish for sale' 
to the Kurrachee fishmong-ers. Associated with it may be seen the 
herring'-g-ull, but whereas the latter is found all over the coun- 
try inland, the Asiatic herring--gull as this species may be called, 
never quits the immediate neig-hbourhood of the sea. 

I found it all the way up the Mekran Coast, I shot it at Muscat 
and it hung about the steamer all the way from Kurrachee to Bom- 
bay. I have no doubt that it was an adult of this species that Dr. 
Jerdon sent from the Coromandel Coast and that Mr. Blyth ac- 
cepted a,s fusc'us. The color of its mantle indeed closely approaches 
that of fvjsciis ; being exactly intermediate in tint between that 
of Larm rnarinus and of the common herring-gull. This dark 
mantle renders it conspicuous amongst all the other gulls of the 
Kurrachee Harbour, and I myself, when I first saw it, made sure 
that I had at last secured the lesser black-backed gull that I had 
so long and vainly searched for. 

Except as regards color, and there the difference is very marked, 
this species is inseparable from its European prototype argentatus. 
If you compare single specimens you fancy that you can establish 
differences in the length of bill, tarsi, and toes, shape of nostrils, 
angulation of gonys and the like, but with twenty or thirty 
specimens of each before one, it is manifest that no single differ- 
ence except that of color holds, unless, indeed, occidentalis averages 
slightly larger. I measured a number carefully in the flesh, and 
the. following are the results : 

Males, length, 24 to 24-5 ; expanse, 59 to 60 : wing> 
16-75 to 17-8; tarsus, 2-57 to 27; mid toe and claw, 2-3 to 
2*4; bill at front, 2-04 to 2*25 ; from anterior margins of nostrils 
to tip, 1 to 1-03 ; weight, 2 lb 6 ozs. to 2 lb 12 ozs. 

Females, length, 22 to 23*5; expanse, 55-5 to 58; wing, 
16-5 to 17; tarsus, 2-5 to 2-68; mid toe and claw, 2*2 to 2-41 ; 
bill at front, 1"9 to 2*15; from anterior margins of nostrils to 
tip, 0-87 to i-03; weight, 1 lb 14 ozs. to 2 lbs. 

The irides vary from brown in the young to pale brown, 
brownish yellow, and pale yellow to white in the old birds ; the 
legs and feet vary partly according to age and partly according 
to season; from pale pinkish duskj; to pale greyish fleshy, pale 

£74 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 

yellowish fleshy and pale creamy yellow, to pale yellow in the 
adults. The bill of the adult is wax yellow, with bright red patch 
on lower mandible towards the tip, and with the g-ape and eyelids 
orange red ; less advanced birds have the bills either black, fleshy 
wh^te at base of lower mandible, or pale livid, a black patch near 
the tip of both mandibles, or a greenish white, with a similar 
black patch, or with the same dusky patch and an orange one at 
the angle of the lower mandible, or whitish with an orange 
patch towards the tip of the lower mandible, with a corresponding 
but fainter yellowish one on the upper mandible. 

As for the plumage it is precisely similar to that of argentatus 
except that the whole mantle and the basal portion of the pri- 
maries on both webs is a comparatively dark slaty grey instead 
of the pale blue grey of our European herring'-gull, and also 
in my opinion, that the striae of the head are more numerously 
set, and those of the back of the neck larger and darker in the 
winter plumage of our present species. 

If, as I believe I have rightly identified this species, I am at 
a loss to understand why Professor Schlegel has placed this 
species in a different section of the Laridoe to the common her- 
ring-gull. He himself remarks, that ^"^it is absolutely like 
argentatus, from which it is only distinguishable in the adult 
plumage, when the primaries, and the grey of the mantle and 
wings are much darker than in this species, though paler than in 
L. fwscus." As regards the young birds, until a few of the grey 
feathers of the adult begin to appear on the centre of the back, 
I am unable to give any constant rule for distinguishing them 
from those of argentatus ; but the first feather of the perfect 
plumage that shows out, betrays at once whether the youngster 
is an European or an Asiatic. 

Heretofore this species has been only recorded from the West 
coast of America, northward from California, and the east coast 
of Asia, from Macao northwards, but it has also been observed 
inland from Lake Baikal northwards. 

Mr. Gray separates occidenta lis , And., from America, as distinct, 
but I prefer to follow Schlegel here. 

If Mr. Gray is correct, our bird will stand as borealis, Brandt, 
nee. Bruch. 

978 quat,—'L2bVus Lambruschini, Bonap.—L, 

tenuirostrisj Temm. — L. gelastes,^ Licht. — L. roseus. 

This lovely species is numerically the most abundant of all 
that frequent the Kurraehee Harbour, and all the way up the Gulf 
of Oman in suitable localities, I met with vast flocks of it. Towards 

Conti'ibutions to the OrnitJiology of India y 8fc. 275 

mid-day it g-athers tog-ether at the point of some long sandy 
spit stretching- far out into the watei-; or else cong-regates on some 
tiny islet, and there suns itself, hundreds of them closely packed 
within the space of a few square yards, close to the water's edge. 
Sometimes one or two sooty gulls, conspicuous in their mourning 
weeds, may be detected amongst them, or a small party of 
Thalasseits hengalensis or Thalasseus cantiactts ; hut as a rule they 
are very exclusive, and admit no other bird into their company* 
Some little distance apart, one or two huge black-headed gulls or 
a little group of ridibunda will be seen, but these do not mingle 
with the slender bills at the time of their noonday siesta. 

This species, which has hitherto only been recorded from the Me- 
diterranean and the Caspian Sea, appears to have its headquarters, 
at any rate during the winter, in the northern parts of the 
Indian Ocean and the Gulfs of Oman and Persia ; no other sea- 
bird did I see collected in such vast flocks as this species. 

Just inside the Kurrachee Harbour, under the lee of the Minora 
headland, a strip of sand affords them a sunny resting place, 
and there daily in the cold weather from about 11 till 2 or 3 
o^clock, thousands may be seen congregated together, looking 
from Minora itself like a huge white sheet. They are very tame, 
and a dozen may be secured, at a single shot. 

When freshly killed, the whole lower parts, the back of the neck, 
and upper tail coverts are suifused with a delicate salmon pink, 
and though this has nearly faded now out of some of my 
specimens, one or two still exhibit this lovely colouring. I 
measured several of them in the flesh. The following are the 
results : 

Male, length, 17-5 to 18-25 ; expanse, 39-5 to 40-5 ; tail 
from vent, 4*6 to 4*8 ; wing, 11*7 to 12-2 ; wings, when 
closed, reach from 1*2 to 1*8 beyond the end of tail; bill 
at front, 1-63 to 1-82; from gape, 2-4 to 2-6; length of gonys, 
from angle to tip, 0-57 to 0-65 ; tarsus, 2 to 2-15 ; mid toe and 
claw, 1*55 to 1-7 ; weight, 12 to 14 ozs. 

The females are rather smaller. Length, 16-75 to 17'25 ; 
expanse, 36-5 to 38 ; wing, 10-8 to 11 ; weight, 10 to 11 ozs. 

In, as I take it, the full summer plumage, when the rosy hue 
is strongest, the legs and feet are deep red ; the claws and 
webs dusky ; the bill is deep red, or blackish red, almost black 
is some ; the eyelids are bright red, and the irides pale yellow ; 
but many of the birds, as I believe, seasonably less advanced, 
had the legs and feet pale orange, the claws brown, and the bill 
pale orange, dusky towards the tip, and every intermediate shade 
of color was noticeable ; in one or two specimens, not only the 
bill, but the legs and feet were, almost blackish red. 

276 Contribniions to the Ornithologi/ of India, Sjr. 

In the full plumage the whole head^ neck, all round, entire low- 
er parts, rump, upper tail coverts, and tail, white, everywhere ting- 
ed rosy, but most faintly so on the head and lateral tail feathers, 
The entire mantle including- the secondaries and tertiaries and all 
the coverts, (except those about the carpal joint, and the greater 
and median coverts of the first four or five primaries, which are 
white,) together with the axillaries and wing lining are a 
delicate pale bluish French grey, palest on the back tertiaries 
and axillaries. The first primary is entirely white, except the 
extreme tip, and the greater portion of the outer web which 
are black; the second to the fourth primaries are white, with 
successively broader and broader black tips, and an increasingly 
broader black or blackish brown band on the inner margin of 
the inner web ; the fifth prima,ry is similar to the fourth, but has 
a narrow white tip, the white of the outer web shaded with 
grey, and the inner web, slaty dusky ; the sixth primary is 
entirely pale French grey, slightly darker than the coverts with 
the white tip, and a broad blackish brown subterminal band ; 
the remaining four primaries are entirely French grey. 

Almost all the birds killed were adults ; two in which the 
colors were duller and the tippings of the primaries browner, 
and in which some of the secondaries have brown streaks on the 
outer webs towards the tips, have the tips of the tail feathers 
blackish brown, or in one dull wood brown, for about 0*75 of an 
inch ; these birds have also less white on the primaries. 

To a casual observer these birds closely approximate to L. 
Hdibundus in winter plumage ; but they may be very readily 
distinguished from these ; they never get the dark hood that 
Hdibundus does, and they never have the dark spot in front of 
the eye and behind the ear coverts that ridihimdus always 
exhibits in the cold weather ; the bills also are considerably 
longer, and in proportion to their length slenderer than those 
of ridibundtis ; the gonys especially is conspicuously longer, mea- 
suring from the angle to the tip in this species in males from 
0'57 to 0"65 j while in the same sex in ridibundus, it measures 
from 0*45 to 5 ; lastly, the perfect adults in this species want 
entirely the black margin on the inner web of the first primary, 
while this is as far as my experience goes invariably present 
€ver in the fullest breeding plumage of ridibandus. 

I may add that I never saw this bird except along the sea coast. 

979.— Larus iclithysetus, Pall 

This magnificent gull was not uncommon on the Muneher 
lake, and at sonje few of the largest of the others of the inland 
waters. At Kurrachee and all along the Sindh and Mekran 

Contributions to the Ornithology/ of India, 8fe. 'il% 

Coasts^ and again in the neighbourhood of Muscat, I constantly no- 
ticed it. 

As Professor Schlegel separates our Indian race as L. minor. 
I took the trouble to secure a good series of these, seventeen in num- 
ber, old and young, in winter plumage and in full breeding plum- 
age, in order to test the correctness of his conclusions. He says, that 
Larus ichthy^Rtiis from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean 
has a wing from 18-6 to 197 ; while our smaller (?) race which 
he says appears to replace this in Bengal, has a wing of from 
17*5 to 17-88. Now out of my twelve males from Sindh, the smal- 
lest wing measures 19, the largest 20. Of the five females, 
the smallest measures 18-5, the largest 18-9 ; but it may be said 
that Professor Schlegel refers only to Bengal, so I compared speci- 
mens which I had from the Nujjufghur Jheel, and I found that, 
these agreed in length of wing with the Sindh birds. Now 
those from the Nujjufghur Jheel are Bengal birds ; as a rule 
you only get them there early in the autumn and pretty late in the 
spring ; a few hang about the place the whole cold season, but 
as a rule the birds you get there are Bengal birds, on their way 
to or from their breeding haunts in Central or Northern Asia, 
I have watched them, year after year, and have seen them every 
year at these seasons, steadily making their way up or down 
country, along the courses of the Jumna and the Ganges. To 
the best of my belief at no other time in the year do you meet 
them, except as very rare stragglers on either of these rivers 
above their confluence at Allahabad. At these precise seasons 
a dozen or more will pass you every day, (I have seen fifty in 
a single day) flying steadily up or down and following exactly 
the course of the river. The Nujjufghur Jheel, especially in the 
early autumn, is, in most years, a vast sheet of water approach- 
ing very closely to the Jumna, and here when the birds are 
on their way down, a large number of this species may be seen 
for a short time gathered together. 

This species sits about upon the water a great deal. Both in the 
inland lakes and the bays along the Mekran Coast, they were 
much more commonly seen swimming about than sitting on the 
shore or flying. 

The birds which we shot during the laiter half of January 
had all of them white throats and some of them only slightly 
blackish mottled caps, but some of those killed at Muscat in 
the middle of February, were in the fullest breeding plumage, 
the whole head and neck all round being velvet black. 

I notice that Dr. Jerdon is mistaken in describing the tail 
of the adult as having a black band; it is pure white, and the 
black band, when it occurs, is a sign of nonag-e. 

278 Cojitrilutions to the Ornithology of India, Sj-c. 

A fine male^ shot in breeding plumage, measured as follows : 
length, 29-35 ; expanse, 68 ; tail from vent, 7*5 ', wing, 19'5 ; bill 
at front, straight from forehead to point, 2*65; from gape, 3-8; 
tarsus, 3"2j mid toe and claw, 2"55j weight, 2lhs. The irides 
were brown ; the edges of the eylids and gape, vermillion • the bill 
wax yellow, vermillion towards the tip, with a black bar across 
both mandibles just beyond angle of the gonys, and the exti'eme 
tips beyond this, orange yellow. 

980.— Larus bruimeicephalus, Jerd. 

This gull appeared to me to be comparatively rare ; I procur- 
red it in various parts of Sindh inland, and again on the Coast, 
but it was no where apparently common, and all mj specimens 
exhibited signs of nonage. 

981. — Larus ridibundus, L. 

This species I have found pretty common in the larger rivers 
of the Punjab, in the Indus, in Sindh, about most of the larger 
inland lakes of the latter province, about the Kurraehee Harbour, 
along the Mekran Coast and at Muscat. All the specimens pro- 
cured were in winter plumage, except a single female shot at 
Muscat, on the 23vd February, which had assumed the dark 
hood, though other birds killed at the same place and on the 
same day, as yet shewed no signs of the breeding plumage. 

There is another species, much the same size as ridibunchis, but 
with a somewhat stronger bill and tarsus, in full plumage 
with a black hood, and with the primaries entirely white, except 
the outer web of the first, I mean L. melanocepJialus, Natterer, 
which I think I once saw at Kurrachee the day I was leaving, 
and which I fully expect will hereafter be there procured. The 
adult in full plumage may be at onc^ recognized by the peculia- 
rities above indicated. In regard to the young, Mr. Howard 
Saunders remarks, (Ibis, 72, page 79) that the best distinction 
exists in the first primary. "In the young L. melanocephalas, 
that portion of the inner web which lies next to the shaft is 
smoke coloured on both upper and under sides, whereas in L. ridi- 
lundus it is white, as is also the shaft. This holds good until 
L. melanocepJiahis has lost all colour on the inner web of the 
first primary when the dark edging of the same feather in L. 
Hdibnndus forms a still more marked distinction.'''' 

Unfortunately that portion of the inner web of the first pri- 
mary which lies next the shaft, is not as a matter of fact always 
white in ridHmndiis ; on the contraiy, in one well maxked 
stage of the immature plumage, the whole inner web is smoke 
colour with a white streak down the centre, leaving both the 


Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 279 

portion next the shaft and the margin smoke coloured. How- 
ever the rule may in most cases hold good and may be useful. 

There is another gull very likely to occur in India, I mean 
L. atricilla, Linn. ; this is somewhat larger than hnmneicepha- 
liis, has the whole of the primaries, even in the perfect adult, 
entirely black, or at most only slightly tipped with white, the grey 
of the upper surface much darker than in ridibitndus or melano- 
cephalas, and in the breeding season the hood also much darker. 
This is another species for which ornithologists on the eastern 
sea coasts should look out. It is common on the western coast 
of America as far north at any rate as California, and is very 
likely to occur as a straggler on our south-eastern coast. 

981 ter. — Larus Hemprichii, Bonaparte. — L. Cras- 

sirostris, Licht. nee. Vieillot. 

The sooty gull is very abundant about the Kurrachee Harbour 
and all the way up the Mekran Coast and at Muscat, and both 
this aud Z. leucopthalmos , Licht. is, as every one going back- 
wards and forwards to England must have noticed, common 
at Aden and all the way up the Red Sea. Jesse, I see, obtained 
it in Abyssinia, and Finsch gives a very good figure of it in the 
Trans. Zoo. Soc, Vol. VII, p. 4, May 1870. 

In the Kurrachee Harbour it is like most of the water birds 
except Larus occidentalis, Lamhruschini and Thalasseus cantiacus, 
somewhat wary, but at Gwader and Muscat, it is excessively 
tame and a constant attendant on all the fishermen^'s canoes, 
who have only to wave their arms round their head as if 
throwing out oft'al of fish, and to call ailow, ailow, to gather 
a dozen of them round the boat in a few minutes. In this way, 
while I procured only three or four specimens at Kurrachee, 
and that with some little trouble, at Muscat and Gwader, I 
obtained at once as many as I required. None of the other gulls 
are so tame as these are, and none of them apparently can be 
thus called. The following are dimensions taken in the 
flesh : 

Males, length, 18-75 to 19-25 ; expanse, 46 to 48-5 ; wing, 
14 to 14'5 ; tail from vent, 4-75 to 5-6 j wings, when closed, 
reach to from 1-85 to 2*4 beyond end of tail ; bill at front, 
1-98 to 2*1; from gape, 2-4 to 2*6; tarsus, 2 to 2-2 ; mid toe 
and claw, 1*85 to 1-95 ; weight, 14 oz. to lib. 2 oz. Eemale (only 
one measured) length, 19-2; expanse, 46 j tail from vent, 5 ; 
wing, 13; wings, when closed, reached 2 beyond end of tail; 
bill at front, 2; from gape, 2-6; tarsus, 2-17 ; mid toe and 
claw, 1-9; weight, 13 oz. 

Bill, pale green, with a black bar near the tip, beyond which 

280 Conlribiitions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc. 

the tips are vermillion ; legs and feet, greenish grey or greenish 
fawn; claws, black; irides, brown; in younger, or perhaps 
seasonally less advanced birds, the legs and feet are brownish 
plumbeous; the webs, dusky; the bill, plumbeous dusky on 
culmen and towards tip, and orange red at tip. 

Fkmiage. — The forehead and lores are pale greyish brown ;, 
the cheeks, sides of the head, base of lower mandible, crown and 
occiput, a pale, but somewhat less greyish brown ; traces of a 
darker brown half collar- on the nape, which probably is more 
developed in the breeding plumage ; chin, pure white ; throat 
white, more or less mingled with pale brown ; neck all round 
the whole mantle including the wing coverts, breast, and sides, 
a dull, smoky, sooty bi-own, with here and there, especially on 
the coverts, a slightly slaty tinge; axillaries and wing lining 
similar, but darker and browner; the edge of the wing white ; the 
abdomen, vent, flanks, tail, and upper and lower tail coverts, 
pure white. Primaries black, conspicuously white tipped, and 
the later ones with an irregular paler spot on one or both webs 
not far above the tips; the secondaries very broadly white 
tipped, blackish or dark brown on the outer webs, paler on the 
inner ; the basal halves or more of their shafts white ; tlie tertiaries, 
a sooty grey brown, more narrowly tipped white ; and paling 
towards the tips. 

The young birds have the central tail feathers almost entirely 
brown, the lateral feathers brown on the outer webs, and for the 
terminal one-third to one-half of the inner webs ; the rest of 
the inner webs, white, and all the feathers narrowly tipped 
brownish white ; the neck and back, as well as the scapulars, 
tertiaries, and covevts are a paler wood brown ; the two latter 
more or less tipped with white, and both primaries and secon- 
daries are paler colored than in the adults. 

The vast majority of the specimens which we obtained, 
though in adult plumage in other respects, still exhibited traces 
of a black band towards the tips of the tail feathers. Some have 
the whole crown and occiput as pale as the lores, in some the 
chin is mottled white and brown, and there is little or no white 
about the throat. In some again the darker half collar on the 
nape is strongly marked, in others it is barely traceable. 

982.— Sterna caspia. Tall. 

The Caspian tern, which is almost unknown in the North- Wes- 
tern Provinces, Oudh, the Punjab, and Rajpootana, is occasionally 
seen in the Indus after that river enters Sindh, and is very 
common in all the larger lakes of the latter province. In the 
Muncher lake I have counted more than fifty on the wing at 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8^e. 281 

the same time, each bird flying separately on his own respon- 
sibility, and never so far as I have noticed associated in flocks 
or parties as is so often the case with the other terns and gulls. 
The local name is heyhra which does approximately (at any rat© 
when pronounced by the native fishermen) represent the harsh cry 
of this species. This bird has a very human peculiarity which I 
have not often noticed in others, viz., it always cries out when 
it is hit. If you fire at it and miss, the bird pursues " the even 
tenor of its noiseless way,'' but so sure as a few body feathers 
are knocked out, off goes the bird with his bill straight in front 
of him, anathematizing the sportsman in most unseemly 
fashion. Usually, when not interfered with, this species may be 
distinguished at a great distance by its long pointed bill turned 
downwards at right angles to the body. 

Individuals of both sexes vary much in size, from 20 to 23 
inches in length and from 48 to 54 inches in expanse ; tliey 
often weigh fully a pound and-a-half. In the Kurrachee Har- 
bour they were not uncommon, and 1 obtained specimens in 
more than one locality along the Mekran Coast, and saw several 
at Muscat. 

983. — Sterna nilotica, F. Easselq.—8. Anglica. 

This species was far from common in Sindh. I met with it 
occasionally in the larger inland pieces of water and once or 
twice on the Indus, but the only places where I saw numerous 
specimens were the Muncher lake and Kurrachee Harbour. 
VvxYiVq mirantia 2ai(\.j avanica, i\\Q present s])Qc\Qs appears to re- 
main for a considerable period in winter plumage, and I find 
specimens killed early in November and well into March still in 
this garb. 

984.— Sterna hybri(ia,P«Zks.— 6^. indica, Stephen. 

— S. leucopareia, Natterer. 

This species was occasionally met with on the inland lakes of 
Sindh ; but was nowhere numerous ; the fishermen however 
affirmed that it bred there, during the inundation, and as it 
breeds freely in Cashmere, in Oudh, and Rohilcund, and even 
(though more sparingly) in the North- Western Provinces, this 
may very likely be the fact, though it needs verification. 

985 —Sterna aurantia. Gray. 

This large river tern which is a permanent resident in all the 
chief rivers of Northern India at any rate, was fairly abundant 
the whole way down the Jheluni; Chenab, and the Indus^ right 

282 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, Sfd. 

down to the sea, as I saw specimens even in Kurracliee Harbour. 
Outside the Harhoui', however^ I missed it entirely, and never 
once saw it in the Gulf of Oman. In all the larg-e broads of 
Siudh (as we should call them, or dhunds as they are locally 
designated) this tern abounds beyond measure. 

In the winter plumag-e this bird entirely loses the black of 
the head, retaining- only a dark line round the eye and a 
dusky blackish tint on the ' ear coverts. The bill, too, at this 
.season is tipped dusky. It is however rare to obtain specimens 
in this stage ; the change does not begin till after the 1st of 
December, in fact I have obtained specimens in the full breeding 
plumage as late as the 15th of December, and by the 1st of 
February, or at latest by the 15th^ the full plumage is again 

Adams, I observe, states that Sterna hirundo* L., is common 
on the Indus and the rivers of the Punjab. I have made 
two trips down the Jhelum before, and I this year worked the 
Jhelum from Jhelum to the Chenab, the Chenab to the Indus, 
and the Indus to Sukkur, and again from Sehwan to Hyderabad. 
We had sometimes four guns out ; we onlj'' travelled by day 
and we worked not only the main stream, but all the more 
important side channels. On no occasion did we even see a 
specimen of the common tern, easily distinguishable at a con- 
siderable distance with binoculars, by the color and tbe shape 
of the bill, from 8. adirantia, the only bird with which we 
could have confounded it, and this although we were spe- 
cially on the look-out for it. During more than twenty years 
that I have been shooting in India, I have never met with 
a single specimen, though from my childhood upwards, I have 
been thoroughly familiar with it. The only specimens that I 
have ever seen were those brought from Yarkand and the head of 
the Pangong Lake by Dr. Henderson, and a single specimen said 
to have been obtained in Cashmere. I may have been singular- 
ly unfortunate, but my conviction is that it is almost unknown 
out of the Himalayas and that even there, the localities in which 
it occurs are high up and few and far between. 

987. — Sterna javanica, Horsf.—S. melanogastra, 

Mr. Gould says, that Sterna javanica, Horsf., is not identical 

* I presume 5. ^«/.«iaZz7J*, Naum., the cowimojj tern, and not S. hirundo, L., 
the arctic tern is meant. The former (in the adult) has the tip of the bill 
blackish, a tarsus of '7, and wings reaching beyond the tip of the tail. The 
latter has the bill entirely red, the tarsus only 0'55, and a tail extending beyond 
the wings. In the young the difference in the size of the tarsus has chiefly to be 
relied on. The above diagnosis I take from Mr. Sharpe. 

Contribution to the Ornithology of India, S)X. 383 

with melanogastra. I have not at the moment access to Hors- 
field's orig-inal description and can therefore form no indepen- 
dant opinion as to whether he is correct or not. But Mr. Gray 
says they are identical^ and deeming- it " better to err with Gray 
than^ &c.;" I retain Horsfield's name. 

This species also was excessively common throughout the rivers 
of the Punjab and the lakes and streams of Sindh. Like the 
preceding^ this bird only doifs the summer plumage for a very 
brief space of time. Up to the middle of December^ I have shot 
it with the black belly and black cap, and again by the early 
part of February have obtained it in the same garb. In the 
winter plumage this bird likewise has the bill conspicuously 
tipped with dusky. I thought at one time that this dusky tip- 
ping of the bill was a sign of immaturity, but numerous speci- 
mens obtained at different times have led me to the conclusion 
that this is a portion of the winter dress. 

988. — Sterna Bergii, LicMenstein, (nee Ueichen- 
bach, iuJiich=T. cantiacus, Gmelin ; — nee Hartlaubf 
luhich = T. galericulatuSj Lichtenstein) — Sterna 
vehx, Bilppell. 

There are four distinct species at any rate, (if not more) of 
Oceanic Terns which are closely allied and differ chiefly in size, 
size of bill, and the coloring of the upper parts. 

First there are (1) S. gcdenculata, Lichtenstein, (= 8. cristata, 
Swainson, and probably S. elegans, Gamb., and 8. comata, PhiL 
et Landb.) and (3) iiS'. maxima, Bodd, [=8. cayennensis, Gm, 
and probably 8. regia, Gamb.) which in the breeding season 
have the whole front of the head down to the beak, black; the 
bill is a yellowish red, and the upper parts of a very pale silvery 
grey becoming almost white. These have wings respectively of 
from 11'5 to 12, and from 14 to 15-5; in both the bill at 
front is from 3'4 to 3'5, but that of the former species is com- 
paratively very slender. These belong to the Coasts of Africa and 
America ; our bird, which is a peculiarly dark grey above, has 
a very robust bill, and a broad white frontal band even in the 
breeding season, is certainly not referable to either of these 
species ; next there is (3) 8terna pelecanoides , King, = ^S". 
rissa, Muller = 8. nigripennis, Bonap, and possibly cristata, 
Stephen, and if so, should stand by this latter name. This belongs 
to the same sub-group as our bird, and has the forehead white at 
all seasons. It differs from our bird in its somewhat smaller size, 
and somewhat less dark upper parts. Schlegel gives the wing in 
this species at from nearly 13 to a little less than 14, and the 
bill from a little more than 2 to nearly 2-5. The bill is yellow 

S84 Contribntions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

with more or less of a g-reenish tinge. The fourth is the species 
which frequents our Indian Coasts which I had previously- 
received from the Megna near Commilla. in Tipperah^ and from 
Madras, and which I now found to he common along the Sindh 
Coast, in the Kurrachee Harbour, and along the Mekran 

In my birds the wings vary from 14*2 in the smallest females 
to 14*8 in the largest males, while the bills vary from 2'6 to 
^•75. The upper plumage except of course the white neck, and 
the black or black and white head according to season is a yeiy 
dark grey, with more or less of a brownish tinge. 

Schlegel's maximum dimensions for this species somewhat 
exceed in some cases those given above, but the latter all exceed 
his minima. He gives the wing at from 14 to 15 "3 and the bill 
at from 2 '5 to about 2*7> 

This species, though not uncommon, is on the Sindh Coast, 
and the Gulf of Oman very rare as compared with either S. 
canfiaca, or 8. hengalensis. Of both these latter hundreds may be 
seen daily ; of the present species I saw at most a dozen and 
procured only five specimens. 

All these three latter species are said to breed on the rocky 
island of Astolah, famous for its turtles, and which lies off the 
Mekran Coast about half way between the boundary of Sindh and 
Gwader. The breeding season is said to be May. 

990 —Sterna bengalensis. Lesson— 8, affinis, 

Buppell, — S. media, Horsf. — 8. maxuriensis,Ehr en- 
berg — 8. Torresii, Gould, 

This species is excessively abundant in the Kurrachee Har- 
bour, and in all suitable bays, and back-waters, from the mouths 
of the Indus, at any rate to Gwader on the Mekran Coast ; while 
Bergii is met with only singly, bengalensis and cantiaca herd 
together in vast flocks, and though these too may be met with 
singly, whilst feeding, morning and night, at mid-day they are 
always seen congregating in such masses that a single shot, 
(and they have apparently no fear of men or guns) secures a dozen 

It will be observed that in regard to the synonymy of this 
species, I have followed Schlegel ; the subject is unquestionably, 
at present a thorny one, and it is only right to explain, that 
Mr. Gray acknowledges three distinct species where Schlegel 
(whom I believe to be right) gives only one, viz. : 

(1.) — Affinis, Riip., araUca, Ehr., from the Red Sea and 

(2.) — MaxuriensiSj Ehr.^ melanocejahala, Tern. North Africa. 

Contributions to the OrnitJiology of India, S^c. 285 

(3.) — -Media, Horsf., lengalensis, Cuv. (he seems to ignore 
hengalensis. Lesson,) Torresii, Gould, from Java, India, Ceylon, 
North Australia. 

990 his. — Sterna cantiaca, Gmelin. — 5^. Striata, 
Gmelin. — 8. Boijsii, Latham. — S. Bergii, Beichen- 
hacli, nee Lichtenstein^ Tab. 19, Fig. 265. — /S. 

Acufiavida, Cabot. 

The sandwich-tern which- has hitherto apparently escaped the 
observation of ornitholog-ists in India was excessively plentiful 
in the Kurrachee Harbour and everywhere along- the Coast from 
the mouths of the Indus to Gwader. I also procured it at 
Muscat. This species is at once disting-uished by its long, 
straight, black, yellowish -tipped bill. All the specimens which 
I procured were in winter plumage, one only, shot on the Mek- 
ran Coast, in the latter end of February, approached nearly to the 
summer plumage. The males in this species are somewhat 
larger than the females. The following are dimensions in the 
flesh : 

Male, length, 17 to 18 ; expanse, 37 to 39 ; tail from vent, 
6 ; wing, 11-5 to 12-5 ; bill at front, 2.'2 to 2*4 ; wings, when 
closed, reach to from 0*2 to nearly 1 beyond the end of tail; 
weight, 10 to 14 oz. 

Female, length, 16 to 17 ; expanse, 36 to 38 ; tail from vent,. 
6 to 6-5 ; win^ 11 to 11*75 ; bill at front, 2'15 to 2*35 ; wings, 
when closed, reach to from 0*75 to 1"1 beyond the end of tail; 
weight, 12 oz. 

Description. — The legs and feet are black ; the bill is black 
with the tips of both mandibles, for about &*35 to 0'5, pale 
horny yellow. The irides brown. 

In summer plumage the whole of the forehead, top, and back 
of the head, ear coverts and elongated broad occipital crest, glossy 
black. The whole under parts, neck all round, upper tail coverts 
and tail white ; the lower parts with a delicate roseate tinge. The 
mantle and wings pale silvery g^rey ; all the quills margined 
with white at the tips and on the inner webs, and beyond the 
tips the greater portion of the inner webs, especially of the 
earlier primaries, white. The first primary somewhat darker but 
its outer web white on the lower surface. 

In the winter plumage the whole of the front and top of the 
head becomes satin white, only in front of the eye there remains- 
a narrow black crescent, and the feathers from the back of the 
eye all round the crest are tipped dull black. The rosy hue of 
the lower parts almost disappears. In the intermediate stage,. 
in which most of my -specimens were procured, the whole cre&t 

286 Contrihtttions to the Ornithology/ of India, 8fc. 

and occiput are g*lossy black. The crown is black mottled wliite, 
and the forehead here and there speckled with black. 

This species appears to be entirely a sea tern^, I never ob- 
served it away from sea water. It is very tame and fearless^, fly- 
ing- over and past the boats as one is fishing-, but like the other 
ternS;, aiid nnlike the gulls, taking no notice of dead fish or fish 
offal which may be thrown out as it passes. It generally flies 
about, with its long thin bill pointed downwards like the Caspian 
tern, but its flight is not nearly so strong nor its strokes at fish 
as sudden and rapid as those of this latter species. In mid-day 
it cong-reg-ates in vast flocks on some sandbank, low rock, or 
sandy promontory, and there suns itself for hours together tak- 
ing- little, if any, notice of passing boats. 

Our birds are absolutely identical with European specimens 
that I possess. Mr. Gray, I note, considers Bergii of Reich, [nee 
Licht) , or as it should stand acuflavida of Cabot, founded on speci- 
mens from the Gulf of Mexico entitled to specific separation, 
Schlegel does not, neither do Sclater and Salvin, and as the 
British Museum contained no specimen of the supposed acu- 
flavida, I prefer to follow Schlegel. 

995.— Rhyn chops albicollis, 8io. 

I found this tolerably abundant in the Jhelum, Chenab, Sut- 
lej, and Indus, as low down as Hyderabad. I never saw it about 
the Kurrachee Harbour or in any of the lakes. It is exclusively, 
I think, a river bird. In the Ganges, the Jumna, the Megna, 
and all the Eastern rivers, it is much more often seen than in 
those we traversed in this recent trip. 

996.— Phaeton sethereus, L, 

The boatswain or bo's^m, as he is called, is not uncommon in the 
northern portion of the Indian Ocean and up the Gulf of Oman. 
We saw a considerable number and secured six, five of which 
were males. I know very little of this species, but they are 
all, as far as I can judge, immature, for Schlegel gives the length 
of the central tail feathers in this species as 29 old Erench inches, 
which is equal to 31-5 English inches; in no one of my 
specimens do the central tail feathers exceed 9-5 ; or project 
more than 5-75 beyond the others. 

They flew about the ship much like tems with their longish 
bill pointed downwai'ds after the manner of S. caspia and seemed 
totally fearless, in fact were attracted to the vessel by guns 
which we fired at other birds ; they did not, any of them, come 
very close, not nearer than 70 or 80 yards as a rule, but they 
flew round and round at this distance for some time; they were 
in small parties of from five to twenty, and were all as far as 

Contributions to the Ornithology of India, ^c. 287 

I could judge, precisely similar to the specimens obtained. 
They were very carefully measured in the flesh, and the following- 
are the results : 

Males, length, excluding elongated central tail feathers, 
16'85 to 17*8 ; central tail feathers project beyond the rest of 
the tail, 3 to 5*9 ; expanse, 37 to 39'5 ; tail from vent, including 
central tail feathers, 7 "5 to 10-3; wing, 10-75 to 11'8 ; bill at 
front, 2*2 to 2"45 ; tarsus, 1 to 1"13 j mid toe and claw, 1"55 
to l-8j weight, lib 1 oz to lib 4 oz. 

The female was 18-05 long, exclusive of the lengthened 
tail feathers, which projected 4, beyond the other feathers ; 
expanse, 39 ; tail from vent, including central tail feathers, 9 ; 
wing, 11-7 ; bill, at front, 2*4; tarsus, 1 ; weight, 1 lb 6 oz. 

Irides, deep brown j legs and hallux and its web, and basal 
-joint of other toes, white, tinged bluish and creamy yellow ; rest 
of feet and claws black ; in some the bluish was replaced by a 
livid fleshy tinge, and one was slightly yellower on the tarsus ; 
bill, dull orange red ; margins of both mandibles, nostrils, and 
tips dusky ; in some the bills were slightly paler than in the 

Flumage. — A broad, conspicuous black crescent in front of 
the eye, and a narrow black line from the gape to nostrils and 
nostrils to culmen, dividing the feathers from bill ; the whole 
forehead and the front part of the crown, ear coverts, and entire 
lower parts including wing lining, and axillaries, pure white, 
the lower parts of the body glistening like white satin ; a black 
line from the posterior angle of the eye, running round the 
back of the nape, where it forms a more or less conspicuous 
half collar. The hinder portion of the crown and nape inside 
the half collar, white, each feather with a triangular black bar 
near the tips, in a great measure concealed by the overlapping 
of the tips of the feathers; the carpal joint of the wing, the 
four or five posterior primaries, the whole of the secondaries, 
the primary coverts except those of the first five quills, the 
secondary greater and median coverts, pure white ; the winglet the 
greater coverts of the first five primaries, the outer webs of 
the first five primaries, together with a narrow stripe along the 
shaft on the inner web, black; the extreme tips and the inner 
webs of these feathers white ; the tertials and their greater 
coverts black, narrowly margined on the exterior webs and tipped 
with white ; the lesser secondary coverts similar ; the entire 
back, scapulars, rump, and upper tail coverts white, regularly 
and closely barred with black ; the bars being slightly cuspidate 
on the upper back, and the longest scapulars being almost 
devoid of barring, though this is not seen till the feathers are 

S88 Contributions to the Ornithology of India, 8fc. 

lifted. The shafts of the first five primaries are entirely black, 
those of the suhsequest ones black on their basal portion. 
The tail feathers white, the basal portions black shafted, and 
the lateral tail feathers mostly with an arrow head bar or spot 
near the tip. The female is precisely similar to the male. 

We certainly saw fifty birds of this species, and to the best 
of my belief none of these differed materially from the six 
obtained, and I watched them off and on for some hours, witfe 
binoculars^ at short distances. If these are, as I conclude them 
to be_, the young- of P. athereus, this is another instance of 
what is so commonly noticed, viz., the young of a species, 
extending their wanderings much further than the adults do. 

1001— Pelicanus onocrotalus, L. 

I only clearly identified this pelican on one occasion in Sindh, 
and then I came across in the Madho Dhund, in Upper Sindh, 
a flock which, I should guess, contained some thousands. In an 
early number I hope to produce a paper on the pelicans of India, 
and shall at present therefore say nothing further about them. 

1004.— Pelicanus philippensis, Gmel. 

I saw a few, and only a few, of this species in Sindh. 

1004 &^5.— Pelicanus crispus, Bruch. 

I have already noticed how wonderfully abundant this species 
is in Sindh and along the whole Mekran Coast. This is the 
pelican that the fishermen on all the inland waters keep tame. 
As with the herons, so with the pelicans, they generally sew up 
the eyes, and fasten them by a string tied to the- leg to the roots 
of some bunch of rushes or a stake driven in below water level. 
They thus serve as decoys to other water-fowl who, knowing 
how wary pelicans usually are, readily settle where they see one 
or more of these birds sailing slowly about backwards and for- 
wards, and are thus netted or captured in other ways. These 
pelicans serve the fishermen, who are fowlers also, in another 
way : they skin them carefully, and cutting away the abdomen, 
in fact the greater portion that would be below water-level in 
the live bird, line the skin with a frame of thin basket work.. 
They are very clever in mounting the birds, especially in dyeing 
the pouch and coloring it with turmeric so as to look exactly as 
in the live bird, and also in imitating the - eyes which they 
manufacture out of lac. When ready, the fisherman places it 
on his head, gets into the water, and progresses slowly and softly, 
making the skin which conceals his head, sail about in the 
water in the most natural way imaginable, until he reaches the 
spot when some of his blinded and tethered pelicans are sur- 

Contrihutions to the Ornithology of India, Sfc, 289 

rounded by wild water-fowl which he adroitly pulls under water 
without in the slightest disturbing the rest. Sometimes we 
were told he drags with him a piece of double rope, twisted, with 
a stone or weight fastened to it ; each bird as it is caught has 
the neck thrust between the twists of the rope, and thus as many 
as twenty will be captured at a single trip ; some have a light 
cord fastened round the loins, between which and their bodies 
they thrust the neck ; in either case they kill the duck almost 
instantaneously by a sharp twist of the neck. I never myself 
saw the ducks thus caught, but a man put on the pelican hel- 
met, and made it sail about before me in such wise that, even 
when quite close, it was difficult to believe that it was not a 
living bird. 

1005.— Graculus carbo, L, 

The common cormorant was abundant in Sindh. Small parties 
were occasionally noticed the whole way down the rivers Jhelum, 
Chenab, and Indus from Jhelum to Kurrachee. I saw a few 
also in the Muncher lake. Everywhere along the Mekran Coast 
they were abundant, and on the 23rd February, I shot and 
preserved a very fine male at Muscat in almost full breeding plum- 
age. Does any body know where these birds breed in India ? 
For ten years at least I have been on the look-out for their eggs, 
but entirely without success, though I have been told that they 
breed on rocky islands and also on trees near Mhow Burriaree 
in the Jumna, about thirty miles north of Allahabad. 

1007.— Graculus melanognatlius, Brandt. 

— G. javanicus, Horsf. 

The little cormorant swarmed in all the inland waters of Sindh. 
Unlike the larger coriliorant, I never saw it on the sea coast. 

1008.— Plotus melanogaster, Penn. 

I did not preserve any specimen of this species ; but I saw it, 
though not often, in some of the larger inland lakes, and I met 
with one specimen seated sunning itself, with wings extended, on 
a large rock, in the Nurreenai, just inside the hills. 

A. O. H. 

gates upn mn d t|e IttMan mxb €nxo^m\x €agks. 

By W. Edwin Brooks^ C. R 

In a former short paper on tlie Imperial Eagles of India (Pro. 
As. Soc. l^TZ, p. 64^) I noticed three species. 

I. — Aquila AdalbertI;, Brehm., the Western European spe- 

cieS; which I erroneously termed Aquila imperialis, Bechst. 

II. — Aquila Mogilnik^ Gm., to which I applied Hodgson^s 

more recent name of Aquila crassipes ; and 
III. — Aquila bifasciata, Gray and Hardwick. 
The above three very distinct species are all European^ and 
two of the three are found in India. 

1. Aquila Adalberti, Brehm., appears to be restricted 
to Western Europe^, and probably North- West Africa. I under- 
stand from Messrs. Gurney and Howard Saunders^ that the terms, 
mogilniJc, Gm., and imperialis, Bechst, do not apply to this 
species, which not only has white scapulars, but also white along 
the ridge of the wing from carpus to the body. The immature 
bird of this species is also not lineated, but is said to be a plain 
tawny-brown bird. In this plumage it has sometimes been con- 
founded with Aquila naevioides. 

2. Aquila mogilnik, Gm., Aquila imperialis, Bechst., Aquila 
Jieliaca, Savigni, is the true Imperial eagle common to both Con- 
tinents, and extends as far east as China. 

The old bird is of a very dark black brown, has a cream colored 
or buff head and upper neck ; black brown throat, and lower 
neck, as well as the rest of the body, save the grey barred tail 
with broad black terminal band. Like the western species, it 
also has white scapulars, when fully mature, to a greater or lesser 
extent, dependent probably upon age. The immature plumage 
of this species is lineated, there being a central fulvous stripe on 
most of the body feathers. That this striated stage passes into 
the old black brown bird, is clearly proved by the two changing 
specimens presented by Mr. A. Anderson, of Euttehgurh, to the 
Norwich Museum. To these I added young and adult examples 
so as to form a very complete and beautiful series. To look 
at this series, the impossibility of introducing an example of 
Aquila bifasciata, a species long confounded with. Aquila mogilnik, 
is apparent. 

3. Aquila bifasciata, Gray and Hardwick. The plain brown 
Imperial eagle, which, when immature, has two fulvous wing 

I ought to have termed the final addition of a buff or fulvous 
occiput, the third stage. 

Notes upon Indian and Fturopean Eagles, Sfc 


This eagle is often quite as fine and robust as Aquila mogilnik, 
but it is never black-brown, and never obtains white scapulars. 
The general tone of color in mature examples is earth-brown, 
or " soil brown/' according to Mr. Hodgson. His drawing 
No. 934, perfectly represents the adult stage. By European 
ornithologists it has been coiifounded with Aquila naevioides. 
Captain Elwes, in the Ibis, 1870, page 67, calls it " the dark form 
of the tawny eagle (A. naevioides, 1" and he has kindly forwarded 
to me an example of which Mr. Grurney says, " notwithstanding 
the remarkable difference of coloration in each of the three 
specimens, they agree so closely in other respects that (greatly 
ag-ainst my preconceived opinion) I am now disposed to look 
upon them as all belonging to the same species, viz., Aquila 
naevioides, of Cuvier. I moreover discovered in the eagle from 
the Bosphorus, two small scapular feathers which I had pre- 
viously overlooked. These confirm me in this opinion, as they 
are parti-colored, a portion of the feather being purplish browix 
and the other portion being rufous, which is an especially 
characteristic form of coloration in the typical African adults 
of A, naevioides. This, I think, shews that the Bosphorus 
birds are not in adult dress ; and I may, with reference to my 
former opinion that they belonged to a distinct species, add that 
/ never before saw any specimens of A. naevioides in the same 
jolumage as these eagles obtained on the Bosphorus." Ibis, 1870, 
pp. 67 and 68. V\\e italics are mine. Captain Elwes in conti- 
nuation remarks, " M. AUeon also thinks that he has never 
obtained an adult specimen out of the large nimiber he has seen, and 
he has never met with any of a tawny color, &c.," vide Ibis, 
1870, pp. 67 and 68. The italics again are mine. 

Here we have the anomaly of a large number of tawny 
eagles not at all tawny, of a large number and not one adult 
bird ! And Mr. Gui-ney says, he never saw examples of A. 
naevioides like them, and that he had been inclined to consider 
them as belonging to a distinct species. 

Having the very specimen, Mr. Grurney speaks of, with the 
two little fulvous scapular feathers, I can very safely say it is a 
mature male example of Aq%dla bifasciata, Gray and Hard : with 
the characteristic buff occipital patch well developed. It has too, 
the characteristic well barred grey tad of that species. Apart 
however from plumage, the structural difference in the form of 
the nostril is always sufficient to separate Aquila bifasciata from 
Aquila tiaevioides. That of the former is long and vertical 
almost, while that of the latter is the most circular of any eagles 
with which I am acquainted. In dried skins, however, the 
aostril is sometimes distorted. In the present instance Mr. 

393^ I^'uies upon Indian and European Eagles, Sfc. 

Guriie}^ overlooked this point, upon wliieh he now holds the 
saijae views that I do ; and he could not now recognize the 
Bosphorus bird as A. naevioide.s. There is also the additional 
difficulty of the totally different tail to contend with. As a rule 
the tail of aqidla naevioides is not barred, but plain black, like 
that of aqidla naevia. I have only seen one with the tail faintly 
barred and the bars were confined to the central portion of 
each feather. The tail of aqiula hifasciata is always strong-ly 
barred in the adult bird to the very end, in a beautiful wavy 
manner characteristic of the species. 

Tiiat the sudden apparition of this eag-le in Europe rather 
puzzled so good an authority on raptors as Mr. Gurney, is not 
to be wondered at. The fact of its occurrence in Europe is 
however very interesting, and I have sent Mr. Gurney a very 
iine series from youth to age for the Norwich Museum, Erom 
all I can learn this eagle is common in Eastern Europe; 
where, as in India, it appears to be a migratory bird. The 
■example sent me by Capt. Elwes is quite mature, and I don't 
think Mr. Alleon will ever meet with one more mature. I have 
the specimen safe, and any one who doubts the occurrence of 
this species in Europe, can examine it for himself and be con- 
vinced, I do not think much of the two parti-colored feathers. 
This want of color may be merely accidental, for young examples 
have no fulvous feathei's except the wing bars and the tip of the 
■tail. The two feathers are in the scapular region, and whether 
this species ever obtains buiF scapulars, corresponding with the snow 
white ones of Aquila niogilnlk, is a theory not worth entertaining, 
I should rather think not. Young examples of Aquila hifasciata, 
have the breast and abdomen, as well as the tibise, sometimes 
mottled with dull white. If this be a regular stage of the bird's 
plumage, I cannot tell. It may be only occasional and acciden- 
tal. Mr. Gurney seems inclined to consider it a stage of the 
plumage. These white mottled examples are scarce. Aquila 
hifasciata is an a,bundant eagle in India, though perhaps less 
abundant than Aqidla mogilnik. The latter bi-eeds sparingly 
in the Punjab, but I have not heard of the other species breeding 
in India. 

Aquila Naevia, (J. E. Graelin), the spotted eagle. Captain 
Elwes has also obligingly sent me a fine pair of this species, 
killed by himself in Turkey. They are in the well known 
spotted plumage shewn in the wood-cut of Yarrell's British 
birds. One has the wing 19-^ inches long, while the wing of the 
other is I9i inches long, 1 need scarcely observe that they 
are identical with Indian examples, and I can match the pair to 
a.feathej:j iind also in dimensions with Indian killed specimens. 

Notes upon Indian and European Eagles, Sfc. 293' 

The idea therefore that Aquila naevia of Europe is a distinct 
species from the Indian one, must be given up. In eagles, the- 
range as regards size is excessive, and examples of Aquila bifas- 
ciiita and Aquila mogilniJc shew far greater variation as regards 
size than the spotted eagle does. The greatest variation is to be 
found in A. bifaseiafa. 

As far as I can ascertain, it appears verj probable that Euro- 
pean ornithologists have in speaking of the spotted eagle, 
confounded two very distinct species, viz., Aquila naevia and 
Aquila hastata. Both birds, when not mature, have spotted 
wings. I have a specimen of Aquila hastata, an adult bird, 
sent to me by Mr. Dresser, which he assured me was killed near 
Danzic. It was sent as Aquila naevia. That it is undoubted 
hastata, I am quite sure ; for there are certain peculiarities in 
the coloration of the plumage present in this specimen, which, 
are characteristic of the species. The upper tail coverts decided: 
me, even if I had not found a perfect corespondence in every 
other respect. To this conclusion I must adhere till the speci- 
men is shewn not to be Aquila hastata. That the specimen is 
European, the get-up of the skin shews, even if Mr. Dresser did 
not know it to be European, beyond doubt; Aquila hastata is 
therefore a European bird. Among the s]ieciraens of eggs of 
"spotted eagles" which I have seen in England, obtained from 
the Continent, I saw many of a rather small size, and very broad 
in proportion to the length. I have no doubt that these were 
all eggs of Aquila hastata. Mr. Hume and I have obtained 
genuine eggs of the latter species with the old bird shot off the 
nest. We have also genuine eggs of Aquila naevia authenticated 
in the same manner, and the egg of the latter bird is larger and 
longer in proportion than that of Aquila hastata. 

Apart from the Danzic skin, from the European eggs alone 
which I have seen, I concluded Aquila hastata to be European, 
the correctness of my conclusion, further research will shew. 

The mere fact of my being positive is doubtless not con- 
clusive, but the bird killed near Danzic is eminently so, and I 
keep it open to examination by any one inclined to be sceptical. 
That Aquila hastata has for years been doing duty both by 
^gg and skin for Aquila naevia in European cabinets is rather 
ludicrous, but such I believe to be the case, and I long for the 
opportunity of ransacking a number of good European collec- 
tions to find out how many examples have been misnamed; 
Messrs. Gurney, Tristram, and Dresser are however now familiar 
with the tM^o Indian eagles, A. hastata and A. bifasciata, and they 
will be able, if opportunity offei's, to find out all the amusing 
blunders with the skins ; but the unfortunate " spotted eagle's '* 

294 Novelties. — CoUocalla innominaia. 

eggs are beyond a joke^ and the eg-g-s for which I paid long' 
prices years ag'o, are now only fit to be thrown away^ since 1 
cannot tell which species they belonged to. 

gokltics ? 

In puttinof on record the few following" supposed new species, 
it may be well ag-ain to remind my readers that our Indian 
libraries are very defective, our museums even more so, and 
that it is impossible for us here to make certain that any species 
new to us, may not have been already described elsewhere, 
from specimens obtained beyond our limits ; the birds are how- 
ever new to our Avifauna, and of such, even should they prove in 
any case not to be new to science, a careful orig-inal description 
such as we give in every case can scarcely fail to be usefuL 

CoUocalia innominata, Sp. Nov, 

Whng, 5"5. A well Tnarhed blachish brown cap ; wings and tail, black ; 
rest of upper parts, sepia brown ; lower surface, mouse brown. 

That this edible-nest swiftlet has been described or intended 
to be described, under one of the many names now ranked as 
synonymes o^ fuciphaga, Thunberg, is not impossible, but it 
certainly is not admitted as a distinct species at present, and 
that it is so, is clear. In the diagnosis I have described, our bird 
(which is from the Andamans) and need only add under this 
head that in the flesh the length is 5-25 and the expanse 13. 

Now this is not fuciphaga, Thun.^ of which the following is 
the original description, (Trans, A. K. Stock.) 

" Corpus mpra atrtim immaculatum, vix nitens, subtus cineretim., 
vel sorclide fuscum sen albidum a gula usque ad basin caudce ; 
pollices circiter quatMor longum." (Figured Rumphius Herb. 
Amb. VI., t. 75, f. 3 and 4.) Now our bird has the body in 
no sense black above but sepia brown, and tho dark cap, moreover, 
is most conspicuous and could not have been overlooked. More- 
over, it is distinct mouse-brown below, not grey or dirty white 
or ding}^ "fnsais," and it is well over five inches long. 

Again Tliunberg goes on to say " cauda rotundata, supra in- 
fraque a.tra." What the first two woi'ds may mean, I cannot 
tell, since all the four species of CoUocalia lying before me now. 

Novelties. — CoUocalia innominata. 295 

have the tail more or less forked, but in this species it is most 
markedly so. But as to the tail being' black below in our 
bird, it is not even a dark brown. 

It is not nidifica of Gray, which he himself identifies with 
fuciphaga, Thun. 

It is not brevirostris, M'Clelland, from the Assam hills 
which, Horsfield, it is true, identifies with fuciphaga, but 
which 1 venture to sug-gest is neither more nor less than 
Ci/pselus infiimatits, Sclater, C. tectorum, Jerdon. The following is 
IVrClelland's original description: Pro. Z. Soc. 1839, p. 155, "H. 
brevirostris supra nigricans, nitore olivacio, subtus fascescens alts 
elongafis ; Cauda mediori subfurcata, rostro brevissimo. 

" This species agrees with H. fuciphaga in habit, in proportional 
length of wing and shortness of beak, and in colour above ; 
but it is darker underneath, and more than one-third larger ; 
entire length, six inches." 

No one can compare C. infwmatus with this description, and 
then become acquainted with the facts, first, that brevirostris 
is described from Assam ; second, that no other similar bird was 
met with there by M'Clelland ; third, that infumaius is very 
common in Assam and is the only bird at all approaching bre- 
virostris that is to be met with there, without, I think, feeling 
inclined to accept this identification of mine. 

It is not unicolor, Jerdon, from the Neilgherries, of which I 
have nine specimens now before me and which is perfectly distinct 
(of which more anon) alike from Thunberg^s and our 'bird. It 
is almost needless to say that it is not concolor of Blyth, as this 
name was merely one applied by him to Jerdon^s Neilgherry 
birds, before the genus CoUocalia was separated by Gray, on the 
ground that Jerdon^c name unicolor, as applied to a Cypselus 
was already pre-occupied by a Madeira species figured by Jardine 
and Selby, pi. 83. Blyth himself pointed out, J. A. S. XIV, 
p. 209, that on the institution of the genus CoUocalia, Jerdon's 
name necessarily revived. 

It is not affinis, Beav., which is of the Linchi type, and either 
identical with or nearly allied to this. 

It is neither kijpoleuca, spilura, or neglecta (supposing these to be 
all distinct, which I greatly doubt,) which belong all to the 
esculenta, L., tj^-pe, with white at the base of the tail feathers. 

It is not leucop/igia or uropygialis, .with snowy white rumps, 
and it is not spodiopijgia, which also occurs in the Andamans and 
of which more hereafter. 

It is not troglodytes well figured in Gray and MitchelFs Genera 
of Birds, pi. 19, the smallest perhaps of the whole group, and 
with a conspicuous white rump band. 

S96 Novelties. — CoUocaMa innominata. 

Nor can it be Hirundo vanikorensis, Quoi et Graimard. 

'' Rirundo, tota corpore nigro ; rostro m'minio, recurvato ; guld 
hrunned, caudd longd, auhfurcatd. 

" Petit espece^ long-iie de 5 pouces, remarkable par la longeur 
de sa queue et la petitesse de son bee ; toute noire en dessus, 
d'un brun g-risatre sous la g-orge et enf ume sous le ventre, le bee, 
quoique petit, est fort ; la queue est legerement ecliancree. 
Provient de l^ile Yanikoro." Voj-age de l^Astrolobe, vol. 1, p. 
206, pi. 12, f. 3. 

I cannot get hold of the PI. En., where it is figured, but so far 
as can be made out from the brief description, it is not francicay 

I must confess ignorance of Forsteri, Hartl., and leucopJtceay 
Peale, but as these seem peculiar to Otaheite and Tahiti, and 
the latter must have some white or albescent about it, it is 
not very unreasonable to presume, in the absence of accurate 
knowledge, that it is neither of these very doubtful s^Decies. 

It is not, it seems to me, any of all these, and so far I believe 
it is " imwminata" ; si quid recl.iiis, Sj'cJ" 

Besides this, we have at the Andamansthe little swiffclet, called 
affmis by Beavan and Ty tier, which either is, or is closely allied to 
Linchi ; wing from 3 '82 to 4, above glossy greenish black; breast 
and chin, grey brown ; abdomen, white; the feathers more or 
less brown shafted. 

Then we have also spodiopygia, Peale. " Tota fuliginosa, 
supra saturatior , urojii/gio taenia transversa lata cinerascenti, alba" 
Wing 4*5 ; obtained from the Samoan and Fiji islands. 

Our Andaman specimen measured in the flesh, length 4'5 ; 
expanse, 10'8 ; wing, 4"6. Upper surface uniform deep or 
intense smoky brown, with a conspicuous brownish, albescent 
band on the rump ; below a smoky mouse-brown ; wings and 
tail, black. 

Should this chance to prove distinct from Peale^s bird, which 
I do not at all expect, it may stand as inexpectata, nobis ! 

As for the birds we get on the Neilgherries, these differ from 
all the preceding; they resemble innoyninata, but are much 
smaller; wings 4"3 to 4"6 ; have the whole under-surface a ^re^ 
brown and the upper surface, intermediate between sepia and 
mouse-brown, and no daric cap, though the head is slightly darker. 
These must stand as unicolor, Jerd. Very likely the true 
faciphaga will turn up at the Andamans, but I have not yet 
received it. 

Mr. Ball surely errs in saying- that the consensus of 
ornithologists is in favour of fuciphaga and linchi beings 
identical. No two species can well be more distinct. 

Novelties. — Brachyjiodius fuscoflavescens, 397 

My only doubt about linchi being- actually identical with 
affinis, Beavan, arises from the fact that Horsheld in describing 
the former (Lin. Trans, XIII., p. 143,) under the name of 
fnciphaga (he corrected the error and named the bird linclii, 
later. Catalogue, E. I. Cs Mus., p. 100) gives the length at 
5 inches. 

Now out of a large series of the Andaman birds mea- 
sured in the flesh, none exceeded 4 inches, and they varied in 
length from 3-75 to 4. The 5 inches is probably a misprint. 

Brachypodius fuscoflavescens, 8^. Nov. 

Resembles B. melanocephalus, but wants the well-marked black heacL 
and has the whole upper surface suffused ivith a dusky olive tinge. 

Dimensions. — Male, length, 6-7 to 7*1; expanse, 9-5 to 10; 
tail from vent, 2*8 to 3-2; tarsus, 0*55 to 0-65 ;■ wing, 3 to 3-2; 
wings, when closed, reach to within from 1-9 to 2-1 of end of 
tail; bill from gape, 0-8 to 0-9. The female slightly smaller ; 
length from 6*5 to 6"'8 ; expanse, 9 to 9'7 and so on. 

Description. — Legs and feet, plumbeous ; bill in some, plumbeous 
blue ; the upper mandible tipped and edged with black, in others 
nearly all blackish, but paler and bluer at the base; irides, pale 
Hue J 

The whole bird, except the wings and tail, yellow, (very bright 
on the abdomen, vent and lower tail coverts,) somewAat minscated 
on the breast, and strong ly so on the upper parts, with a dusky 
olive tinge. The feathers of the chin and upper throat with 
a blackish purple metallic gloss, and the feathers of the crown 
with more or less of traces of the same. The basal portions 
of the rump feathers are black, which, here and there, showing 
through the broad yellow tippings, produce a more or less barred 
or mottled appearance. The tail is tipped, most broadly so on 
the laterals, with bright yellow; has a broad dark brown 
subterminal band, and is olive yellow towards the base. The 
whole visible portion of the closed wing is the same, somewhat 
dusky olive yellow, as the whole upper parts (except the rump 
which is yellower), but the inner webs of the quills are dark 
hair brown, with a narrow pale yellow stripe along their inner 
margins, towards the base only in the earlier primaries^ but 
gradually extending, as the feathers recede, till in some of the 
secondaries it reaches quite to the tips. 

298 KoveLties. — Pellorneum minor. 

The females are somewhat darker and greener^ or more 
olivaceous^ both on breast and upper parts^ than the males. 

This is, I believe, the bird which, with only a single specimen 
before him, Mr. Ball thought might be the young of 
B. melanocephalus , but with three males and two females, all 
good specimens, and all apparently adults, to judge from, I 
think there can be no doubt, that we have here a distinct, 
though doubtless representative species. 

This bird appears to be common about Port Mouat and 
Mount Harriet in the Andamans. 

Pellorneum minor, ^S'p. 'Sov. 

Very similar to P. ruficeps, Swainson, and P. Mandellii, Blanford, but 
smaller ; wing, barely 2"5 ; bill at front, 0'5, and slender. 

This new species of Pellorneum which I received in a col- 
lection of birds from Thayetmyo, from Capt. Feilden, makes the 
sixth (or perhaps more properly the fifth) species of this genus, 
with which I am acquainted. These are first F. ruficeps, Sw., 
of Southern India, (Jerdon 399, vol. II., p. 27), second 
P. Mandellii^ Blanford, (J. A. S. B., 1872, vol. XLL, p. 165). 

Thirdly, we have the present species which closely resembles 

* As the Indian Ornithologists Library usually begins and ends with 
Jerdon's birds of India, I propose, whenever mentioning for the first time birds 
occurring anywhere in India or its dependencies not described by Dr. Jerdon, 
to give descriptions of these. Mr. Blanford thus described PELLORNEUM. 

P. peraffine, P. ruficepi. Swains., sed staturd minori, collo postico et late- 
rali maculis fuscis magnis signato, maculis pectoralibus majoribus et satura- 
tiorihus. Long, aloe, 2"65; caudce, 2'5 ; tarsi. 0'95; rostri a fronte, 0*6; a rictv, 
0!75 unc. 

Crown of head and nape, ferruginous ; lores, over and under the eye, pale 
pinkish isabelline; most of the feathers of the forehead, lores, and supercilia 
with slight dusky tips; ear coverts, pale rufous brown, also with dark tips; 
back of the neck isabelline, or pale brown, each feather with a large dusky 
spot, frequently confined to one web ; mantle and tail, brownish olive, all the rec- 
trices except the centre ones with narrow pale tips ; quills hair brown margined 
with brownish olive externally, internally, like the lining of the wing, pale brown. 
Chin and upper throat, pure white; remainder of lower parts, isabelline; breast and 
sides of neck with large elongated dusky spots ; flanks also spotted, but the spots 
are paler; abdomen, unspotted. Bill, dusky above, pale below; legs very pale 

This species difEers from P. ruficeps, Swains., and P. Tichelli, Blyth, (J. A. 
S. ti., 1859, Vol. XXVIII., p. 414 ; = P. suhocJiraceum, Swiuhoe, A. and M. N. 
H., April, 1871, p. 257), by having the neck spotted all round and by the spots 
in front being much deeper and darker. In size, it resembles P. TickeUi, being 
smaller than x'. ruficeps. 

Tellornenm minor. 299 

the two preceding- in tlie general tone of plumage ; but which 
has a bill as slender as rujiceps, and considerably shorter than 
that of Mandellii. This forms one sub-group. 

Then we have fourth P.palustre, Jerdon^ recently described by 
myself, Stray Feathers^ No. I., p. 4, and I understand figured by 
Mr. Gould's Birds of Asia, pt. XXIV. Fifth Pellornemi TlckeUi-\ 
Blyth, J. A. S. B.,1859, voh XXVIII., p. 414, from Amherst, 
Tenasserira Provinces, and sixth, P. fuscocapilltimX Blyth, J. A. 
S. B., 1849, vol. XVIII., p. 815, which latter should however, I 
think, remain under Bryfyiocatapli'm. 

Our present bird is about 5*5 in length ; wing, 2-45 ; tail 
from vent, about 2*5 ; bill at front, 0'5 ; tarsus, 1 ; exterior tail 
feathers, 0"55, shorter than central ones. 

Bill, upper mandible, blackish brown; entire lower mandible, 
fleshy yellow. 

Chin, throat, middle of abdomen, pure white; a band across 
breast, sides and flanks, fulvous ; the feathers with narrow central 
brown streaks, paler, and less numerous than in either ruficeps or 
Mandellii ; forehead, crown of the head, and occiput, chesnut, paler 

t Mr. Blyth thus described : 

" Pellorneum TiCEEiiLi, nobis, n. s., smaller than P. ruficeps, but absolutely- 
typical in structure ; colour uniform brown above, much paler and tinged with 
rufous below ; the middle of the belly, pure white ; frontal and loral feathers, pale 
centred, more or less. Upper mandible, pale dusky, the lower, whitish or probably 
pale corneous, as are also the legs; irides, sepia ; length, Si^inchj of wing, 2j 
inch, and tail 2 inch ; bill to gape, f inch, and tarsi 1 in. 

Col. Tickell, the discoverer of this bird, but whose specimens arrived in Cal- 
cutta a mail before his paper describing them, and which Mr. Blyth through 
some mistake proceeded to name and publish at once, thus descril)es the same 

" Spec. Male Woods of Teewaphado, 1,100 to 1,500 feet. February 24th, 1859. 

Dimensions. — " Length 5| inch ; wing, 2| inch ; tail, 2 Jg- in. ; bill, ^ inch ; tarsus, 
1 inch ; mid toe, ^a '^^• 

" Details. — Typical, but it carries a straighter and better raised tail than the 
type M. chloris, which gives it a more Sylvian than Timalian look. 

" Color M. and P. ; iris, blood red brown ; bill horny, with dusky culmen ; 
legs and chnvs, fleshy horn. All upper parts, reddish olive-brown ; wing and tail 
quills, burnt umbre-brown ; edge reddish. Frontals and face, paler and tinged 
fulvous. All lower parts from chin, clear pale fulvous, mesiaUy albescent except 
on breast. 

" Not uncommon in the hill forests, frequenting bamboos and underwood ; man- 
ners active and restless — silent" 

X The Ceylon species PELLORNEUM FUSCOCAPILLUM, Mr. Blyth thus 
describes : 

" Like Drymoeataphiis nigo'ocapitatus, but the supercilia, uniform with the 
lores, ear-coverts, sides of neck, throat, and entire uiiderparts, pale ferruginous- 
brown, a little deeper on the breast; coronal feathers, dark brown, margined with 
dusky -black, and pale-shafted ; rest of the' upper-parts, uniform greyish olive- 
brown; the primaries margined paler, and the extreme tips of the tail featlier^ ru- 
fescent. Bill, pale ; the upper mandible dusky, and feet pale. Length about 64 
in. ; the wing 2| in.; and tail, 2^ in. ; bill to gape, ^f in. ; and tarsi 1 in. 

"Inhabits Ceylon." 


300 Novelties. — A new Gemts of the Malurinm. 

than in either of the other two species; a long well marked rufous 
white^ or pale rufescent stripe from the nostrils to the nape ; lores, 
slightly darker ; ear coverts again darker^ but not nearly so dark 
as in Mandellii ; sides of the head behind ear coverts and nape, 
olive brown^ margined more or less broadly on one web with 
rufescent or buffy white; the occipital and nnchal feathers, a good 
deal developed as in Mandellii, so as to form a sort of occipital 
crest ; the whole of the rest of the upper surface olive brown, some- 
what paler than in Mandellii ; the inner webs of all the quills 
dark hair brown, and the outer webs cf the first few primaries 
somewhat paler and yellower ; the wing lining rufescent white, 
and the lower surfaces of the quills with a salmon colored tinge 
on the inner webs as in Mandellii ; lower tail coverts, olive brown, 
broadly margined with fulvous white ; the lateral tail feathers 
very narrowly tipped with wliite. 

This species at a first glance might be mistaken for Mandellii ; 
but it has a bill about half the thickness of that of this species, 
and is quite unmistakeably distinct. 

% lu&r %tm% rrf tl]^ Sl^Wnn?. 


Allied to Suya. The tail of twelve feathers ; wings, with the fifth, 
sixth, and seventh quills, equal and longest ; fourth, equal to eighth ; 
third, nearly equal to ninth. 

Blanfordius striatulus, S^. Nov. 

Female. Dimensions, from the dry skin : length, about 6 ; 
wing, 1*9; tail from vent, 2"75; bill at front, about 0'45; tarsus, 
07. Legs and feet, pale fleshy; bill, brown pale fleshy on 
lower mandible. 

Plumage ; an obscure rufous white streak from the nostrils 
to the upper part of the eye. The whole upper parts, dull 
greyish olive brown (the grey preponderating on the head), 
all the feathers, except those of the upper tail coverts, con- 
spicuously centred with dark brown. Wings, pale hair brown, 
all the feathers margined with pale rufescent olive; tail feathers, 
a sort of olive brown ; the feathers with conspicuously darker, 
very stiff" looking and glistening shafts; all the feathers ob- 
soletely transversely rayed, the central ones most strongly so; 

Novelties. — A ne^jo Gemis of the Mahtrina. 301 

all but the central ones, narrowly tipped with fulvous white, and 
with an obscure subterniinal dark band ; on the under surface, 
the shafts are white. The ear coverts ming-led fulvous and pale 
rufous brown, the sides of the neck streaked like the back ; on 
either side of the throat descends from the gape for about half 
an inch, a band of tiny feathers, white, with minute dark centres, 
so as to produce the appearance of two or three irregular rows 
of little spots on each side of the throat ; the chin and the centre 
of the throat, breast, and abdomen, white, tinged buffj on the two 
latter, and with all the feathers of the throat and breast very 
faintly and narrowly tipped with brown, so as to produce the 
appearance of a number of narrow faint transverse bars unlike 
anything I have seen in the Indian members of this family. The 
flanks, sides, vent, and lower tail coverts are tinged with dull olive 
brown, mingled with fulvous buff ; the tibial plumes are fulvous 
buff, the wing lining is buffy white, and so are the inner margins 
of the inner webs of the quills as seen from below. 

The bird that I have thus attempted to describe is one of some 
half dozen specimens shot by Mr. Blanford at Kurrachee when 
on his way to Persia, and kindly made over by him to me. It is 
in many respects a very remarkable bird, intermediate in many 
respects between Sui/a and Laticilla Burnesi, Blyth, which widely 
as Dr. Jerdon separates them, are really very closely allied, not 
merely in general appearance, texture of plumage, and the like 
externals, but equally so in habits and in their manner of creep- 
ing about in amongst grass\nd reeds. 

I have carefully gone through the North African IfahirincB 
as set forth by Riippell, Heuglin, &c. I have also tried to satisfy 
myself that the bird does not belong to any known European 
or Indian species, and I cannot avoid considering it new and 
distinct, alike specifically and generically from • any bird of 
which I can find a description. Only a single specimen, and 
that a female, was obtained. Moreover of this female the tip 
of both mandibles, and the tips of the two longest tail feathers 
are shot away, one wing also is altogether imperfect, so that it 
is not without great hesitation (although the specimen is a 
very good one in other respects) that I have ventured to 
characterize the species. I hope some of my friends in Sindh 
will search for, and endeavour to obtain for me additional speci- 
mens of this bird, which at a casual glance looks like a very 
bulky, dark and strongly striated specimen of £tiruesia gracilis. 

302 Novelties. — Carpophaga palumhoides. 

Carpophaga palumboides, 8]). Nov. 

Tail ftmch rounded ; second quill longest ; whole head and n^ck all round 
pale French grey ; wings and tail, hlachish ; rest of plumage dusky 
slaty blue, the upper surface with in certain lights metallic reflections ; 
green predovninating about the hack of the base of the neck and lilac 
purple elsewhere. Wing, 9 '5. 


This fine pigeon is from Port Monat, Andamans. At first 
I thought it might he insularis, Blyth, biit that I find is 
a mere variety of si/lvatica, while this is not only totally distinct^ 
so far as plumage goes from that species^ but (though not white) 
belongs to a different sub-group^ which Reichenbach separated as 

Of all the fruit pigeons I know it most nearly resembles 
(Bnea, Lin., but compared with a specimen from JBorneO;, it ap- 
pears to me quite distinct. 

I have only a single specimen and that is a female. The 
measurements recorded in the flesh were as follow : Length, 16"25 ; 
expanse, 29; tail from vent, 6-5; wing, 9-5; tarsus, 1; bill from 
gape, I'h ; wings, when closed, reach to within 2*5 of tip of tail; 
weight, 1 lb. 2 oz. 

Back and sides of tarsi and toes, very pale fleshy pink ; front 
of tarsi, bright red ; soles, whitish ; claws white ; upper mandible 
and lower mandible to point of gonys, pale, whitish yellow ; 
rest of lower mandible and cere, lake red ; irides, orang-e, towards 
pupil, changing towards exterior margin to light red ; naked 
orbital region, pinkish lake. 

The whole head and neck all round, a pale, pure Erench 
grey, slightly palest on chin and throat. The whole of the 
rest of the lower parts, dark, dusky slaty blue, becoming- blackish 
on lower wing- and longest lower tail coverts : rectrices and 
their coverts, winglet, quills, and their greater coverts, blackish 
brown, the second to the fourth of the quills very narrowly 
margined on the terminal three-fifth of the outer web with 
brownish white ; the rest of the upper parts (not already 
described) dusky slaty, almost black on the coverts, each 
feather with a more or less narrow terminal or subterminal 
band exhibiting in certain lights, pale green and purplish lilac 
metallic reflections, the green predominating about the base of 
the back of the neck, and on the coverts and the purplish gleam 
elsewhere. In one particular lig'ht a stripe of the inner webs of 
the primaries next the shafts, appears to glow with a golden 
brown lustre. 

Novelties, — Mareca albogularis. 303 

Mareca albogularis, 8p. Nov. "t' 

Allied to M. punctata, but smaller ; chin, throat, and front of neck, white. 

It seems to me that this Andaman widg-eon is distinct from 
the Australian bird. It is certainly not Colonel Tytler's Q. anda- 
manensis, which he has often told me was a true teal, with blue 
wing-Sj and such a teal I venture to assert will surely turn up. 

Of punctata, Schlegel gives the dimensions : wing-, 8*2 to 
9-1 ; the tarsi, 1-45 to 1-65 ; bill, 1-65 to 1-8. Our birds as will 
be seen are mucli smaller. Again, none of our birds have the 
conspicuous white spots on either side of the vent wliieh all the 
descriptions of pimctata that I can meet with dwell on. Is 
this perchance a seasonal sign, like the white thig-h patch 
in the cormorants? The conspicuously white chin throat and 
front of neck, which characterizes all the seven specimens 
that I possess, is alluded to in no description, and is at variance 
with some. In all our birds the first secondaries are conspicuously 
margined, and all but the last two or three conspicuously tipped 
with white, in some slightly tinged with buff. No one mentions 
this peculiarity in regard to jmnctata. Schlegel, it is true says, 
*' rec trices du second ordre voisines des tertiares h. barbe externa 
blanche,^^ which as it stands is nonsense, but even supposing 
rectrices to be a mistake for quills, it is the secondary next the 
j)7'imaries, and not next the tertiaries, which is edged with white. 

Any how if our birds nxe pimctatn ^ the desci-iptions I have 
hitherto met with are so imperfect and unsatisfactory, that it will 
be useful to have a more accurate record of its winter plumage. 

Dimensions. — Males, length, 17 to 18; expanse, 24'5 to 27; 
tail from vent, 4 to 4'2; wing, 7'8 to 8; tarsus, 1-3 to 1*4; bill 
at front, 1*4; from gape, 1*8; wings, when closed^ reach to within 
from 2 to 2-2 of end of tail; weight, 1 lb. 

Females, length, 15-5 to 16; expanse, 24 to 25*5 ; tail from 
vent, 3-25 to 3-5; wing, 7-25 to 7*4; tarsus, 1-25 to 1-35; bill at 
front, 1-3 to 1-35; from gape, 1-65 to 1-75; wings, when closed, 
reach to within from 1 to 1*75 of end of tail ; weight, 12 oz. 

Description. — Legs and feet, greenish blue, to plumbeous ; webs, 
usually darker ; claws, horny ; bill, plumbeous ; nail black, in 
some the lower mandible tinged with, in one the terminal two- 
third of this, pink; irides, reddish brown to deep brownish red. 

Top and back of the head and nape, dark umber brown ; 
chin, throat, and front of the neck, white ; face and sides of the 
head, brown ; the lower parts of the cheeks and ear coverts more 
or less mingled with brownish white. Some specimens with a 

304 Additional remarks on the Avifauna of, ^c. 

conspicuous pure white^ crescent along- the lower marg-in of tlie 
63^6;, the point in front extending up beyond the g'ape ; the lores 
where they abut on the upper mandible^ also pure white^ and 
a streak of white from the upper portion of the white lore patch 
to the upper point of the white crescent. The majority of specimens 
show nothinjj^ of this except a small white patch under the eye. 
Front and sides of the breast^ upper abdomen and sides^ each feather 
broadly margined with a warm brownish fawn colour, and centred 
hair l)rown. Lower abdomen^ flanks, vent, and lower tail coverts, 
a dull dingy brown, more or less yellowish or fawny (except on the 
lower tail coverts,) and exhibiting, though indistinctly except in the 
case of these latter, darker centerings to the feathers. 

This is in the presumably adult males ; in the females and 
young birds the lower surface is dxiller and sandier than above 
described, and the centerings of the feathers are less marked and 
produce more of a mottled appearance. 

The greater lower wing coverts are grey brown ; the axillaries 
and the ends of the median secondary lower coverts, pure white, 
and the rest of the lower coverts dark, almost blackish brown. 
Tiie primaries and their greater coverts, the winglet, and all the 
lesser and median coverts, a dark, hair brown, somewhat paler 
and with ever so slight a greenish gloss. The anterior secondary 
median coverts, and the ends of the posterior ones, a broad mar- 
gin to the outer web of the first secondary and usually a narrow 
margin to the second, and a broad tipping to all but about the last 
three secondaries, white, more or less tinged with rufous buff, the 
rest of the outer webs of the secondaries velvet black, with a 
brilliant metallic green speculum on two or three of them from 
the seventh to the ninth, smaller and more coppery in the fe- 
males. Back and scapulars, a rich brown with a faint purplish 
gloss, each feather narrowly margined with a pale rufescent ; ter- 
tiaries, similar but paler, and wanting usually the paler margins. 
In the males and young, the brown is duller and the purplish 
tinge wanting. E,ump upper tail coverts, and tail nearly syn- 
chromius with the back, but the first usually slightly darker 
and devoid of any purplish glance, and the second usually 
somewhat lighter than either the first or the third. 

All these birds were shot in December. 

^^^^^^ A. O. H. ^ 

g^^Mti0l1;al xtwmls m i\t %Mmm d i\t%\\]imM%. 

Since Mr. BalFs paper was printed off, a collection of some 
400 specimens from the neighbourhood of Port Blair, has been 
sent me up by my friend M r. Davison. 

Additional remarks on the Avifmma of, 8fc. 305^ 

This collection enables me to add the following' twenty-one 
species to Mr. BalFs list : 

39 quat. — Spilornis Pallidus, Waldenj? 8. Davisoni. Sp. ■^~ 
Nov. ? 

103 ter. — CoLLOCALiA Innominata, Sp. Nov. cf. Supra, p. 294. 

103 c[jiat. — CoLLOCALiA Spodiopygia, Peale. 

134. — Alcedo- Bengalensis. Gm. 

457 quat. — Beaghypodius euscoelavescejsts, Sp. Nov. cf. 
Supra, p. 297. 

483. — Pratincola Indica, B1. ? P. alhompercilUaris, Sp. 

556. — Phyllopseuste MagnirosteiSj Blyth. 

592. — Calobates Boaeula^ Penn. 

593 quat. — Budytes Flava^ L. 

780 ter. — Caepophaga Palumboides^ Sp. Nov. cf. Supra, p. 

834 his. — TuENix Maculosus, Tern. ? T. albiventris, Sp. Nov. ? 

844. — Squatarola Helvetica, L. 

849. — ^GiALiTis FluviatiliSj Bechst, ? jE. philippinus 
Lath ? 

870. — G-ALLiNAGO HoESFELDii, Gray, G. Stenura, Kuhl. 

876. — Teeekea Cineeea, Giild. 

882. — Teinga Subarquata, Giild. 

886. — Teinga Platyehyncha, Tern. 

928 ter. — Demiegeetta, Geeyi, Gray. 

930. — Aedeola Leucopteea, Bodd. 

934. — Aedetta Sinensis, Gm. ? A. pulchra, Sp. Nov? 

963 Us. — Maeeca Albogulaeis, Sp. Nov. cf. Supra, p. 303. 

Of these however, three, viz., B. fuscoflavesctns, C. Falumhoides, 
and M. alhogularis are the birds referred to as B. melanocephahis, 
juv, C insularis, and M. punctata, by Mr. Ball; as I cannot 
at present concur in these identifications, I have described them 
as new, loc. cit., and of these need say no more here. 

The Andamans contain at least two utterly distinct species of 
Spilornis ; the one, that described as Elgini,\)y Tytler,wing' averag- 
ing- 14*5 to 15 as a maximum; weight of an adult female, less than 
2 lbs. ; the whole under parts, a rich deep chocolate brown, much 
the colour of the young Moor Buzzard ; chin, throat, and upper 
breast, wholly devoid of any markings whatsoever ; the rest of 
the lower suface including the entire wing lining, under tail 
coverts, and tibial plumes, with conspicuous well defined oval 
or circular, pure white spots ; bill, pale whitish or yellowish, or 
brownish horny, except just at the tip. 

Is this hacka of Daudin ? That haeha occurs in the Andamans 
is certain, because two specimens sent to the Zoological Society 

306 Additional remarJcs on the Avifauna of, Sfc. 

by Col. Tytler^ though presented through some mistake in • Mr. 
Grote's name, were repeatedly examined in life, and one of 
them after death, by Mr. Gurney, who definitely pronounced 
them to be hacha. 

This however is not absolutely conclusive as to Elgini being 
hacha, because there are certainly two species in the island 
and there mai/ be three. 

I can not get hold of either Daudin^s Traite d^Orn. &c. (II., 
p. 43) or Levaillant, Ois. d'Afr. I., p. 68, pi. 15, on which 
Daudin founded his name. 

Horsfield^s F. bido is generally identified with Daudin's hacha, 
and Horsfield himself concurred in this. Cat. E. I. C.''s Mus., 
p. 49. Horsfield^s description Lin., Trans. XIII., p. 137, runs 
as follows : 

"i^. fuscus, capite supra remigihig caudaque nigris ; plumis 
crista capitis atris hasi alhis ; cauda fascia lata, aTbida, alis siihtus 
abdomitie crisso criiribiisque albo guttatis. Longitudo 34 ad 36 

This appears to me to agree fairly well with our birds. 
Swinhoe, Ibis, 1 870, p. 86, and Walden, Ibis, 1873, p. 364, 
give between them the dimension of eleven specimens of bacha 
from India (?) Ceylon, Malacca, Java; wing, 14*75 to 16; 
tail, 9-8 to 11 ; tarsus, 3'35 to 3-87 ; mid toe to root of claw, 
1-75 to 3. 

These dimensions seem somewhat in excess of ours, but not 
sufiiciently so, to make me doubt that Elgini'is really bido, Horsf., 
or {if bacha is certainly = to hido) as it should stand hacha, 

The second species is of a different type, in fact a minature 
(with some not very important differences) of S. cheela, Lath, 
It is about the size of bido, with the wing of the female 15. A 
pale brown beneath, with throat and breast finely barred with 
darker zig-zag lines ; the tibial plumes much more coarsely and 
strongly barred ; the abdomen much as cheela. The edge of the 
wing from the base of the primaries to the carpal joint and the 
under surface of the wing for an inch inside this margin, 
between these points, pure white ; bill, brown. 

Length in the flesh, of the female, 34 ; wing 15, against 
length, 39 ; wing, 31, in the same sex of cheela ; at first I thought 
this might be Rtttherfordi, Swinhoe, (Ibis, 1870, p. 86,) but 
this I find has a wing [m. adults) of from 16*5 to I7'75. 

It is not spilogaster, Blyth, which he distinctly says is only 
slightly smaller than cheela; moreover, I have numerous speci- 
mens of what both Mr. Blandford and I identify as spilogaster, 
from Southern and Central India, and Kaipoor, chiefly distin- 

Additional remarlcs on the Avifauna of, Sfc. 307 

g'uished from cheela by the barrings of the throat and breast, 
being- almost, (or quite in some specimens) obsolete, and by its 
smaller size, wing' varying from 17 to 18. It is quite clear, I 
think, that spilogaster is distinct alike from hido, and from our 

I had named this latter, 8. Bavisoni, after my zealous and 
enthusiastic curatoi-, and entertained no doubt of its being new, 
but in the last Ibis, Lord Walden (1873, p. 363) describes two 
young birds which, if I understand him, are of the cheela and 
not the hido type, (with wings 12'6'2 and 13'25,) under the 
name of pallidus, which might possibly, be the young of our 
Andaman bird. 

My only specimen is an adult, and consequently it is im- 
possible to institute an accurate comparison with Lord Walden^s 
descriptions, but so far as aiitj comparison is possible, the birds 

It is of course not 8. rufipecius, Gould [Cir cactus hacha 
celebensis, ScUegel,) a small bird, wing 13 or 13, with, in the 
adult, a blackish, chin and throat ; breast, a brownish cinnamon 
colour, unbarred, and the rest of the lower parts, a somewhat 
rufous brown, broadly and regularly barred with white. 

It is not S. holospilus, Vigors, P. Z. S., 1831, p. 96, Gr. and 
Mitch., pi. 7, distinguished at once by its profusely spotted 

Nor would it seem to agree with 8. 8alaenses, Schlegel Valk, 
V. T. 23, 4, 5, 6. If therefore it is not palUdus, Walden, 
which I hardly think, it must stand under the above suggested 
name of Bavisoni. 

The CoUocalias I have already fully discussed (of. supra., p. 394). 

Alcedo bengalensis appears to be even more common than 
asiatica, though several specimens of both are included in the 

The Pratincola, I believe to be indica ; only a single specimen 
however has been sent, and that seems to differ a good deal, fx-om 
any of indica which at the moment, away from my museiim, I have 
available for comparison, noteably in the very long broad and 
conspicuous whitish supercilliary streak; if distinct, it may 
stand as albosupercilliaris. 

I cannot make sure (the birds are in the winter plumage, and 
I have no others at hand) whether the little shore plovers are 
jiuviatilis, or philippinus. 

Gallinago Horsfeldii [stemtra, Kuhl.) appears common. Query, 
has not this hitherto done duty for the common snipe ? Does 
the latter really occur in these islands ? 
. Bemiegretta Greyi ; by this name I intend to signify the 


308 Additional remarJcs on the Avifmma of, 8fc. 

white allotropic form of jiigularis, Fors.^ or as Mr. Gray gives 
it, sacra, Gm. This form has been said to be the young- of this 
latter, but Col. Tytler took numbers of young sacra=^jngidaris=z 
concolor, Blyth, from the nest and kept them for months and 
assured me that they were slaty dusky ab ova. 

The bird is usually mistaken, I believe, for garzetta or 
egrettoides, but the bill is stouter and deeper, especially towards 
the points, and the tarsi are only three inches in length. In 
fact it is a pure white facsimile of sacra. Is it a distinct 
species ? It is not a mere accidental variety, or albino, or any- 
thing of that kind, for it appears to be quite as numerous, if 
not more so than the dark form. 

The little heronet which I have called sinensis, may be 
possibly a new species and might be characterized thus : 

Ver// like A. sinensis, Gm., h'lt slightly smaller ; the whole hack, 
scajmlars, and tertiaries, deep cinnamon rufous^ edged with golden 
huff and the whole chin and throat pure lohite, with a narrow well 
defined central golden huff streak and a broad dark brown pectoral 

But is it really distinct from sinensis ? It is certainly an 
intensely brightly coloured version of that species, with a 
strongly defined central throat stripe and a broad band of the 
deepest brown feathers from the sides of the breast across the 
npper abdomen. It is in some respects affined to clnnarnomea, 
Gmel., but is if anything smaller than sinensis even. Looking 
to the eaireme improbability of getting a new species of this 
genus from the Andamans when sinensis extends from Southern 
India to the Ladrones, I have identified it with this latter species ; 
but the colours of the upper parts, to say nothing of other 
differences, will not agree with those of any specimens of sinensis 
that I have seen. Jerdon says of this latter species, "back and 
scapulars, pale earthy or sandy brown ; wing coverts and 
tertiaries, pale isabelline fulvous." Schlegel says, " le male adulte 
a le dos et les scapulaires, d^un brun-rougeatre ;tirant au gris" 
and these two descriptions seem to me to cover all the variations 
in plumage that I have yet met with in sinensis. I assume for 
the present that it is a young freshly moulted bird of this 
species (which I have but seldom shot and with whose variations 
in plumage I am therefore less familiar) but if so, the stage of 
plumage it exhibits is one wortln^ of record. 

Length, about 13 ; wing, 5-1 ; bill at front, 2*1 ; tarsus, 1-7. 
The whole top of the head, back of the neck, back scapulars, 
tertiaries, and the lessor coverts along the ulna and about 
the carpal joint of the 'R'^ng, deep cinnamon rufous ; the fea- 
thers of the crown, centred darker, and a small short occipi- 

Additional remarh on the Avifauna of, Sj-c. . 309 

tal crest, almost black ; the featbei's of the back^ scapu- 
lars, and tertiaries marg-inecl with golden buff. Quills, winglet, 
primar}^ g-reater coverts, tail, black ; rest of coverts (excluding 
those previously mentioned, as rufous) golden buff. Edge of 
wing and entire wing lining, white. Sides of head and neck, 
golden buff. Chin, front of throat, and neck, pure white, with 
a narrow central bright buff streak. Breast, pale buff, streaked 
with brigliter and deeper buff. A broad band of deep brown 
feathers, narrowly margined with buff, beginning- at the sides of 
the breast traverses the upper part of the abdomen, but is parti- 
ally concealed by the overlapping- of the breast feathers. Rest 
of abdomen, pale buff; vent and lower tail coverts, huffy white. 
Legs, feet, and bill apparently pure yellow. If distinct, which 
I cannot well believe, let it stand as pukhra, nobis. \ 

^. mongolicus, of which Mr. Ball was doubtful, is common at 
the Andamans, and Calmfias nicobaricus, in regard to the occur- 
rence of which at the Cocos, he expressed surprise, considering it 
essentially a Nicobarian bird, was also met with. 

As regards the Andaman Otocompsa, I should say it was not 
the true jocosa, L., which is a Chinese bird, but the Bengal and 
Oudh emeiia, Shaw, which as Hodgson's drawings show is his 
pyrrhotis. At the same time it is to be noted that the Andaman 
bird has the ear tuft and the crest somewhat shorter, and is a 
somewhat smaller bird. However, after comparing some thirty 
specimens from the islands with a similar number from Calcutta, 
Dacca, the Terai, the Western Doars, Oudh, &c., I see no grounds 
for separating them. The southern form fuscicaudata, Gould, 
distinguished at once by the absence of white tippings to the 
lateral tail feathers, reaches as far North and West as Mount Aboo. 

There is a nearly allied species from Assam, monticola, McClell., 
P. Z. S., 1839, p. 160, which differs in having a scarlet ring 
about the eye, but no red tuft beneath this org-an. Mr. Blyth 
says, Ibis, 1867, p. 8, that monticola differs from emeriti, in 
having a shorter crimson ear tuft of a much deeper colour and 
the feathers composing it are more rigid and wiry, but 
Assam specimens agree with McClelland's description, have red 
round the eye, and no regular tuft. 

I think it not impossible thati/. kicionensis has been confound- 
ed with crisfatus by authors, who have given the latter from 
the Andamans. It may very likely occur there, but Tytler's 
specimen, the only one I ever saw of his from the Andamans, 
was a young lucionensis. 

The Fericrocoii that I have received from the Andamans were 
eertainlj'- not sjjeciosus ; I identified them with elegans, McClel- 
land, P. Z* S., 1839, p. 156, a bird more of the flammeus type. 

310 Spizaetus Kienerii. 

which I liave from Thyetmyo; but they may heardens of Boie, 
which I have not seen. 

The Andaman pipit is, I think^ the true cervinus , Pallas, the 
eastern form, disting-uished from Cecilii, Aud., vel. rufignlaris, 
Brehm, by its smaller size and by the colour of its breast and 
supercilinry stripe, which are pinker in the eastern and more rusty in 
the western form; rosaceus of Hodg-son is at once distin- 
guished from both by its yellow axillaries. 

Buchanga andamanensis is, I think, a very g'ood species with its 
sharply carinated bill and its long bristle-like feathers springing 
from the upper edge of the nares, on either side of the base of 
the culmen. These are very conspicuous in fine specimens. 

(xrancalus Bobsoiii, is very distinct from our Indian birds, but 
is it so from concretns, Hartlaub,, Vieillot, neither 
of which I have seen ? 

The Munia, very common in the islands, may be leuconota, Tem. 
It certainly is not the southern indian striata, L., with which 
the latter has usually (but I think wrongly) been identified, as 
the birds do not show any white shafting whatsoever to the fea- 
thers of the upper back. 

The koils are very puzzling*. One of the females is coloured 
like Ransomi. 

Of SpiziBtiis andamanensis, I can only say, that one sent me 
might have sat for Gould^s figure of S. alboniger, Blyth, if only 
it had a crest, which it hadu^t. 

The little tringas, sent are all true minnta (cf. supra p. 243.) 

A turnix sent appears to be a new species, close to onaculos'iis, 
but with a perfectly white abdomen, but the specimen is an in- 
difi"erent one, and I have only provisionally suggested for it the 
name of albiventris. 

In conclusion I must remark that so far as I have investigated 
it, the connection of the Avifauna of both the Andamans and 
Nicobars, is rather with India and Sumatra^ than with India and 
Malayana Proper. 

A. O. H. 

^pip^tUS Ikn^ii, Be Sparre. 
The Rufous-bellied Hawk Eagle. 

Since I published the first part of my Rough Notes, several 
specimens of this very handsome bird have come under my 
observation, and I think that a full description of an adult with 
dimensions recorded in the flesh can scarcely prove useless ; 

Spizaetus Kienerii. 311 

the bird is so rare in collections^ that I doubt whether any thing- 
of the kind is on record. 

This species was orig-inally described from the Himalayas, 
and I am by no means sure that specimens obtained elsewliere 
which at present do duty for Kienerii, really belong to it. 

The bird I propose to describe was an adult female^ in mag- 
nificent plumage, and contained three large eggs, one in the 
oviduct, nearly ready for expulsion ; it was shot near Darjeeling' 
on the 8th November, at a height of about 6,000 feet. 

Dimensions. — Female, length, 24; expanse, 50; wing, 17'5; 
the third and fourth primaries the longest ; the first, 5'1, the 
second, 0" 3 shorter ; tail from vent, 10; exterior tail feathers, 
0-7 shorter than central ones ; tarsus, 3 ; hind toe, 2"3 ; its claw 
straight, 1" 18 ; hind toe, 1*45; its claw straight, 1*52; inner 
toe, 1'5 ; its claw, 1'5 ; bill straight from margin of cere, 1 ; do. 
along curve, 1*2; from gape, 1*5 ; width at gape, I'l; heig-ht 
at front at margin of cere, 0*65 ; length of cere only, 0*45 ; 
wings, when closed, reach to within 4 of end of tail ; lower tail 
coverts fall short of do., by 4'2. 

Description. — Feet, yellow ; claws, black ; cere, yellow ; bill, 
leaden blue ; irides, brown. 

Plumage. — The whole of the top and sides of the head, in- 
cluding the lores, cheeks, and ear coverts, the back and sides of 
the neck, the back, scapulars, rump, and upper tail coverts, and 
lesser and median wing coverts, a nearly uniform blackish brown ; 
the feathers all with more or less of metallic reflections, some 
greenish, some purplish ; in some lights the whole of these parts 
appear to be almost, if not quite, black. The tail feathers are a 
dark chocolate brown ; the central ones, with two or three faint 
irregular paler patches, traces of where bars may have been; the 
lateral ones, with broad, but faint and irregular, paler and mottled 
transverse bars. The under surface of the tail feathers, a sort of 
silver grey, the shafts white, a broad ill-defined dusky terminal 
patch, and in all but the exterior feathers, four or five somewhat 
narrow transverse dusky bars above this. The quills are of two 
colors, the one set which appear to be older, dingy hair brown, 
the others, almost blackish brown, with faint green or purple re- 
flections. The inner webs in all are paler, except quite at the 
tips; and above these, there are dim transverse darker bars. The 
first five quills are conspicuously notched on the inner web, and 
the second to the fifth are emarginate on the outer web. The chin, 
throat, and breast are white, the feathers, tinged towards the tips 
with pale rufous, and most of them with narrow, blackish brown 
lanceolate shaft stripes. The whole of the wing lining, (except 
the lower greater primary coverts) axillaries, sides, flanks, abdo- 

312 SpizaeiMS Kienerii. 

men, tarsal tibial plumes, vent and lower tail eoverts, brig-lit 
ferruginous ; most of tbe feathers dark shafted, and many of 
those of tbe wing- lining-, abdomen, and sides with a conspicu- 
ous, narrovA^, black, shaft stripe, and a few of the feathers just 
above the base of the tibia, verj broadly tipped with blackish 
brown, forming- a very conspicuous patch. 

The bill in this species is much feebler than in any of ouf 
other Indian Spizaeti, and instead of a well marked sinuation or 
we might almost say blmit tooth, the margin in the upper 
mandible is almost straight. The general shape too of the 
bill is unlike that of the other species alluded to, for from 
the very base of the cere, the bill commences to slope 'down 
rapidly, instead of, as in the other species, the bill running 
out straight for a certain distance and commencing to curve down- 
wards only from the end of the cere. The head has something 
of the falcon character al)Out it, and as regards coloration is a 
facsimile of that of F. atriceps, nobis. The toes and claws are, 
compared with the other Indian species of this genus^ long and 

I may note that a second specimen, also a female, obtained in 
the same locality, differed in no material respect, from that 
above described, except that it was a decidedly larger bird. Length 
29; tail, 12-5; tarsus, 3-5. But the wing was barely 17, and 
the bill was, if anything, feebler than that of the former. The 
plumage differed only in having the dark bars on the lower 
surface of the quills, and tail feathers more strongly marked, 
and in having the black shaft stripes of the abdomen and sides 
considerably broader than in the specimen first described. 

Two others, sexes not ascertained and measurements not re- 
corded in the flesh, but with the wings 15*5 and 15,. and which 
I therefore take for males, though everywhere duller and with 
the bars more distinct on the tail and wrings (indications as 
I believe of nonage), are of precisely the same type of colour- 

At page 201 of my Roug-h Notes, I mentioned an immature 
specimen of an hawk eagle hitherto identified with this species, 
as having been killed near Aberdeen, many years ago. This 
specimen is figured in Jard. and Selb., 111. Oru., pi. 66. I 
much doubt whether this specimen is Kienerii, at all ; if it be so, 
it is in a stage of plumage altogether different to anything- 
that I have seen, and it may be useful to reproduce the original 

" The bill is black, the cere of a yellowish green colour, the 
naked space between the bill and eyes, greenish black. The 
forehead, throat, sides of neck, and whole of the under parts^ 

Notes. 313 

pure white ; the leofs are long, the tarsi thickly clothed with 
white feathers j the crown of the head and nape yellowish brown, 
mixed witli umber brown; from the occiput spring- six or eig-ht 
elong-ated dark brown feathers, foi-ming a pendant crest ; the whole 
of the upper parts of the l3ody are of a dark umber-brown 
each feather with a paler margin ; the ridge of the wings is 
white ; the tail is long, of a deep clove-brown colour, with seven 
narrow black bars, the tip white ; the feet are yellow, the 
toes i-eticulated as far as the last phalange, and armed with, 
powerful sharp and crooked claws, particularly those of the in- 
terior and hind toes. Length about twenty inches; the wings, 
when closed, appear to reach about one-half the length of the 
tail ; the first quill is narrow and short, the fourth and fifth 
the longest in the wing. 

A. O. H. 


Four eggs of the NICOBAR MEGAPODE, recently sent 
me, are long cylindrical ovals, in shape recalling the eggs of sand 
grouse. They measure from 3 'IS to 3-4 in length and from 2-05 
to 2"1 in breadth. One previously sent me, by Mr. Ball, mea- 
sured 3-33 by 2-12. 

At first sight they remind one somewhat of large turtle eggs. 
The shell is very stout and coarse and the eggs look much as if 
they were carved out of fine sandstone. All the eggs I have seen 
varied in colour from a pale slightly pinky brown stone colour, 
to a moderately warm pink-stone colour. The eggs are of course 
utterly devoid of gloss, as they are also of all markings, but in 
some of the eggs, numerous little depressions are filled with a 
white chalky film, giving them the appearance of being spotted 
with white. 

Amongst birds recently sent me for identification by L. Man- 
delli, Esq., of Lebong, is a beautiful specimen of indicator xan- 
THONOTUS. I already possess this species from Huzara in the 
far west, so that rare as it has hitherto been considered, the 
yellow-backed honeyguide has a range in the Himalayas, 
at aii^ rate from the borders of Afghanistan to those of Bhotan. 

Dr. Jerdon must, I think, have described either an immature 
bird or a female. The wing, which he gives at 3"38, has varied in 
the specimens I have seen from 3-6 to 3'8 j and the bill at front 
which he notes as 0*25, has in no one of the three specimens I have 

314 Notes. 

seen been less tlian 0"4. His description too does not tally well 
with adults, there being just those kinds of discrepancies, which 
might be expected, between young or females, and adult males. 

In the present specimen : 

The forehead, chin, and cheeks are silky golden yellow. The 
back and sides of the head and neck, and interscapular region 
blackish brown, every feather margined with olive yellow. If 
the featliers of the neck (but not of the interscapulary region) 
are lifted, their basal halves will be found to be yellowish white. 
The wings and scapulars are black, or at any rate so deep and 
black a brown that most people would call them black, and all 
the coverts and quills, except the first few primaries, are conspicu- 
ously though narrowly margined with bright olive-yellow. The 
tertiaries and longer scapulars, with a conspicuous marginal 
white stripe on the inner webs. The tail black, the outermost 
tail feathers (which are narrow, pointed, and 0"8 shorter than the 
next pair) broadly tipped with white or greyish white, and with 
a streak of the same running up the shaft. The next pair 
(which are about 0'3 shorter than the rest of the tail,) similar, 
except that the white tipping is confined to the inner web. Cen- 
tral portion of middle and lower back and rump, bright orange 
yellow; the basal portions of the feathers paler and many of them 
with a dusky streak or spot. Sides, rump, and upper tail coverts 
black, some of the longest of the latter margined with j^ellow- 
ish white. Breast dusky, Avith an olivaceous tinge, and the fea- 
thers obscurely margined with olive yellow; edge of the wing, 
wing lining, and axillaries, silky yellow, to yellowish white. 
Abdomen, dull brown, the feathers broadly margined with brown- 
ish white. Flanks, vent, and lower tail coverts, blackish brown, 
the feathers conspicuously margined with dull, somewhat yellow- 
ish, white. The bill appears to have been bright yellow. The 
third quill is the longest, the second a hair's breadth at most and 
the first and fourth less than 0"1 shorter than the third. The 
tarsuM is between 0*5 and 0*6 in length and is feathered in front 
for its upper three-fifths. 

I am very doubtful whether this species ought to be associat- 
ed with the African honeyguides, under Indicator. If ultimately 
it is decided to separate it, I would drop the name of honey, 
guide, which there is every reason to believe is inapplicable 
and christen it Pseudof ring ilia, or the Sham finch. A distinguish- 
ed naturalist who saw the specimen above described, before it was 
sent to me, told me that Mr. Mandelli had a new finch for me, and 
really barring the zygodactyle feet, it is a finch and no mistake. 
I should like to know more of this bird. For all its feet, I 
doubt strongly whether it ought to be classed with the Plcida, 

Notes. 315 

while on the other hand, it does not seem to me to have any 
relations with the Cuczdida, nnder which Mr. Gray places it. 
Of any of the scansors, it is nearest perhaps to the Capitonidee^ 
but it seems to me a very aberrant form^ and it is to be hoped 
that some ol" our numerous Himalayan ornithologists will 
succeed in ascertaining- something of the habits of this species, 
and, if they get a specimen in the flesh, send me the tongue 
and body in sjnrits. 

I PROCURED, this last summer in Kooloo, a magnificent 
eagle owl. It was shot at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet, 
eating a snow partridge on the ground. Unfortunately the sex 
was not ascertained, and my museum only contains a single 
specimen of B. mamnms of Europe. Compared with that, it 
appears somewhat larger, and very much paler, though of 
precisely the same type of coloration. 

If considered distinct, it may stand as B. Hemachalana, 

Another rare bird that I received from Kooloo, wag 
Archibuteo hemiptilopus, B1., and as my bird is in a very 
different stage of plumage to that described by Blyth and 
Hodgson, it may be well to subjoin a description of it. 

This species closely resembles B. ferox ; and when I first 
glanced at the specimen (which from its size as compared with 
the dimensions given by Jerdon, may possibly, though I doubt 
it, be a male) I passed it over as a large female of that species. 

On a second look, I thought it was a remarkably fine bird, and 
then taking it up to examine, I came across the tarsi closely 
feathered, in front and at the sides, down to the feet, and knew 
at once what it was. 

Now we know how varied are the stages of plumage through 
which B, ferox passes, and taking Blyth's (?) description quoted 
by Jerdon, Mr. Hodgson's drawing of the type and my present 
fcpecimen, it would seem that this species too passes through 
very similar stages. 

Mr. Hodgson's drawing now before me, a very beautiful and 
careful one, represents the lores and forehead as whitish, the former 
densely clad with curved bristle-like feathers, dark shafted at the 
tips. The whole of the rest of the head, chin, throat, and 
neck all round and upper breast, a rich rufous, somewhat paler 
and more huffy on the crown, each feather centred with dark 
brown, narrowly so on the crown, more broadly so elsewhere. 
The whole of the rest of the bird, a rich umber brown oy 


316 Notes. 

dark hair brown^ with a certain slight chocolate tinge, with on 
the rectriees five or six moderately broad, somewhat imperfectly 
defined, paler and greyer brown, transverse bai's. 

It must be understood once for all that Mr. Hodgson's 
colouring is almost perfect ; the drawing' may be at times stiff 
and the positions strained in cases in which he did not himself 
first sketch the outline, but his colouring is as a rule more 
faithful than that of au}^ artists I have seen. In the mottled 
plumag-e of many goat-suckers, scops, tragopaus, &e., every 
feather has been, as it were, photographed in colours, and I 
believe that I can absolutely depend on the accuracy of the plate, 
from which I have taken tl)e above description. 

On this plate Mr. Hodgson has recorded as follows : 
'^AuCHiBUTEO CEYPTOGENYS, (ptilogeni/s, Tibet(ina), Mihi ; tip 
of bill to tip of tail, E5 ; bill to gape, 1*75 to 1-87; to brow, 
1*12; tail, 12-25; tarsi to sole, 3*62; mid toe and nail, 2; hind 
ditto ditto, 1"62; wing closed, 18'5. 

Tibet, Dec. 1846, skin only. Like Booted buzzard; tarsi, 
wholly plumed ; acropodia, half scutellate, nearly ; rest re- 
ticulate. Toes, medial, unequal, not thick. Talons of medial 
strength and acuteness, rather long than thick. Bill, short, 
feeble ; to head as 1*87 to 1'62 ; curved from base and base very 
plumose, ev«n uares being hid ; nares ovoid obliquely longitu- 
dinal ; wings and tail, injured. Gape to mid eye, hispid and 
plumed. Bill with vague large festoon; tip of lower mandible 
obliquely truncate. 

" Variously allied to Butaquila leucocephalus , to circus (Buteo ?) 
plumijjes and Hemmkis strophiaiits." 

Of these latter species I shall have more to say on another 
occasion, but in regard to this present bird, I would first note 
that all the above remarks as to structural points, and as to the 
dense pluming of the lores and the nearly entirely concealed 
nares, apply in their full integrity to my bird, only mine is 
considerably larger in some dimensions, and was therefore 1 am 
disposed to believe, a female, while Mr. Hodgson's was, I fancy, 
a male. My bird measures in the dry skin : 

Length, 27 ; bill to gape, 1'98; to brow, 1*3 ; tail, 12; tarsi 
to sole, 3"5 ; mid toe and claw, 2*16 ; hind do. do., 1'7 ; closed wing, 
19-75. [Jerdon gives, L. 28; T. 13 ; W. 20*25 ; hind toe and claw. 

Forehead, chin, and lores greyish white, the bristle-like feathers 
of the latter dark shafted at the tips. Cheeks and ear coverts, 
fulvous white, the longer ear coverts fulvous, and with narrow 
wood brown streaks. Crown and occiput, nearly uniform wood 
brown, some few of the feathers very narrowly margined paler ; 

Notes. 317 

nape^ and back of neck dark brown, bvoadlj margined with 
rufous buff, and a g-ood deal of white showing- as usual in such 
birds on the nape ; interscapulary region^ a somewhat lig-hter 
brown and less broadly margined with rufescent buff; rest of 
back, rump, and upper tail coverts, dark hair brown, the longer 
coverts broadly tipped with pale rufous buff, and on the featliers 
being lifted showing several oblong- spots or imperfect bai-s, 
almost exclusively on the outer webs, which are buffy or rufous 
towards the tips, and more neaily white at the bases. The tail 
has the central feathers pale dull brown, g-reyish towards the 
centre, tipped for about O'l, with pale rufescent or dingy buff, 
with three complete, and traces of two or three other, rather narrow 
hair brown transverse bands, the interspjices between the perfect 
bars being- in the immediate neighl)ourhood of the shafts, strong- 
ly tinged with buff. The shafts are white except from where 
they enter the subtermiual brown bar (which is the bi'oadest 
and about 0-6 wide at the shaft) whence they are brown. The 
outer webs of the lateral tail feathers are similar, but have the 
tippings broader and more rufous and' the interspaces more 
strongly rufous, while except just at the tips, their inner webs 
have a greyish Avhite ground. The central tail feathers are 2 "25 
broad, and are a good inch longer than the exterior pair. 

The upper throat and sides of the neck are, a warm bright 
brown, the feathers huffy at their bases and more or less broadly 
margined with buff. 

The base of the throat, the whole breast, abdomen, vent, and 
lower tail coverts, white, with here and there a bright buffy tinge, 
and a few of the feathers of the- sides of the breast a more de- 
cided rufous buff, with in some broad, in some narrow, rufous 
brown shaft patches or sti'eaks towards the tips. The sides 
of the abdomen, a rich rufous brown, the feathers nurrowl}'- 
margined brighter rufous. The tibial plumes, which are very 
long, reaching down quite to the bifurcation of the toes, 
and the short close feathers of the front and sides of the tarsi 
similar, but somewhat darker. The foot is finely reticulate. 
The greater part of the back of the tarsus is covered with broad 
transverse plates, but the upper part near the joint, and the 
latter, are reticulate. The wings are long, and appear to reach, 
veri/ nearl}^, if not quite, to the end of the tail. The ed^^e of 
the wing is white, the lesser lower coverts and axillaries, rufes- 
cent white, here aad there strongly tinged with rufous buff, 
and here and there streaked, or again imperfectly barred wnth 
brown. The median lower wing coverts a deep brown, with 
some bright rufous patches towards the tips and the largest 
coverts, g-rey brown. The first four quills are strongly notched 

S18 Notes. 

on their inner webs. The second to fifth inclusive, feebly 
Binuated on the outer web. 

The first thi-ee quills have the whole of both webs above the 
notches and emai'ginations pure white, while the terminal por- 
tions are an uniform wood brown, only slig-htly greyer on the 
outer webs. The rest of the primaries are brown towards the 
tips, where they are narrowly margined paler, white on the rest 
of the inner, pale grey brown on the outer webs, with numerous 
moderately broad, transverse brown bars on both webs. The 
rest of the quills similar, but duller and more uniformly coloured, 
less grey on the outer, more strongly suffused with brown on 
the inner webs, and hence the transverse bars less apparent, (in 
fact scarcely apparent at all in the closed wing ;) the scapulars 
and coverts are unicolorous with the secondaries, but the lesser 
and a few of the median coverts are margined more or less con- 
spicuously with rufous buff. 

I do not in the least doubt that this is one stage of the 
veritable A. hemiptilopus, but it is a stage never yet described, 
and the extension of the white over both webs of the first three 
primaries above the notches and emarginations, a most note- 
worthy fact. Is this an individual peculiarity? Is it charac- 
teristic of this stage only, or is it persistent? and if so, how 
has it escaped notice ? or lastly, can there be two rough legged 
buzzards in the Himalayas? Should this latter, which I cannot 
at all believe, by any chance prove to be the case, this white 
winged species should stand as leucoptera, nobis. 

Peocarduelis Mandellii, nobis, described ante, page 14, 
will not stand. Blandford has already described it under the 
name of P. eubescens which must stand. This is no fault of 
mine, do what I will, I cannot get my proceedings and transac- 
tions of the Zoo. ; I have written frantically about this to my 
bookseller till / am tired, and to Dr. Sclater until — he is pro- 
bably tired of me. Even now I should have known nothing 
about it, had not Dr. Stoliczka kindly lent me Part III. of the 
Proceedings for 1871, which have never jet been sent to me, 
in which rubescens appears. It is really too bad, but what can 
one do ? I should like to hang some body, (I don''t care who, I 
am not cruel by disposition) pour encourager les autres, but 
doubts have been suggested to me as to the legality of such a 
course, and so I suppose I must even grin and bear it. 

Amongst the collection of birds from Thyetmyo, most kindly 
sent me for examination by Captain Fielden, I find one species 

Notes. 319 

PoUornis Uventer, T}em.=pallidus, hess, the occurrence of which 
on the very northern frontier of Burmah, appears to me note- 

Temminck originally g-aveitfrom Celehes, Sumatra, Java, and 
t/ie Continent of India. There is no reason to believe that it 
ever occurs in India Proper, but it certainly, as we now see, is 
found on the Continent of Asia, well inland. P. teesa is common 
at Thyetmyo ; and in 184-5, Dr. Heifer sent a young specimen 
of P. poliogenys (B. pygmseus, Blyth,) from Tenasserim. 

I HAVE a Spizaetws, from Travancore, that altogether puzzles 
me. Its leading characteristics are 

A CHEST, 4 inches long,blackish, not tipped white, brown at 

A WING, 14 inches, 

A TARSUS, 3" 9 inches, 

A TAIL, pale brown, with one subterminal 1*5 inch black- 
ish brown bar, a 3 inch space, and three other 0"6 to 0"75 
inch bars, about 1 inch apart, and no others, or any trace of 

I am sure any one who has studied this group will admit that 
this is a puzzler, especially coming from 'i'ravancore. 

We may first set aside caligatus, Raffles, which has usually 
no crest, never one more than 3 inches in length, of which the 
smallest male has a wing 15, (running sometimes to 17 even 
in the male) with a tarsus, 3*5. 

Also cirrhaiits, Gmelin, which has the crest feathers tipped 
white in the youngest birds, and a wing of 15*25 in the smallest 

Also nipalensis, Hodgson, which also always has the crest 
white or paler tipped, and in which the wing of the smallest male 
exceeds 17 "5. 

This seems a fit place for recalling attention to the distinction 
which I first pointed out (Rough Notes, page 208,) between ni- 
palensis and the two previous species, and which ornithologists in 
India persist in overlooking, sending me continually the young 
of nipalensis as cirrhatus. 

" In cirrliatits and caligains, the feathering of the feet ends, 
more or less above the division of the toes. In some specimens 
fully an eighth of an inch of the foot is left bare, in others 
the feathering, especially of the central portion of the foot, 
comes down all but level with the division of the toes. . In ni- 
palensis, on the other hand, the feathering runs distinctly down 
the middle toe, I'eaching furthest down exteriorly ; so that in 

S20 Is^otes. 

some specimens full}'; and in all nearly, one-half of the outer 
portion of the first joint of the mid toe is plumed/' I have 
now examined fully fifty specimens of each of these three species, 
and find this distinction holds good invariably, and I may here 
add, that I possess a nearly adult nipalensis brought me by Mr. 
Davison from the Neilgherries. 

To return to our bird, (the feet of which by the way are feathered 
as in caligatus) , it clearly belongs to none of these species. 

It naturally suggests itself that this may be the young of 
Kienerii, and I dare sa ysimilar specimens have been identified 
as such, but Kienerii was described from the Himalayas, and 
a very fine adult female, cf. supra, p., 311 with a wing 17'5, has 
a tarsus of only 3, and the longest tarsus of any female even of 
this species that I have seen, was 3 "5, whereas our bird, if it 
belonged to this species, must, with its wing only 14, be a 
very small male, and yet it has a tarsus 3 "9. Besides this 
it has a long full crest, while true Kienerii, has no well marked 
lengthened crest, only the occipital feathers as a body slightly 
longer than those above and below them. If it were not for the 
seven bars on the tail, which however are probably not a con- 
stant feature, I should believe that the specimen (cf. supra, p. 312) 
figured by Jardine and Selbj^, might belong to the same species 
as our present bird. 

It is not lanceolatus , Tem. and Schlegel, F. Jap., p. 7; 
(fasciolatus, Schl., M. P. B., p. 9,) which is distinguished 
b}' its absence of crest, and a male of which with the wing 
14-5, has a tarsus 3* 12. Of this species, by the way, Mr. 
Gurney remarks fiji ejnstj. 

S. lanceolatus, I believe to be quite restricted to the Celebes 
and Sula Islands. The following are the measurements of a 
female and male S. lanceolatus in the Norwich Museum : 

Male. Female. 

Entire length in inches ... ... 25* 28* 

'Wing from carpal joint to tip of primaries 14*5 17' 

Tail 9-75 11- 

Tarsus ... ... ... ... 3-12 3-62 

Middle toe with claw ... ... 2-87 3-62 

S. lanceolatus is figured under the name of S. cirrJiatits in 
Schlegel's " Valk, Vogel,'' pi. 7, fig. 2, (immature,) and fig. 3, 
(adult) ." 

It is not andamanemis , Tytler, for although the female of this 
with a wing 14, has sometimes a tai'sus of nearly 3'75, this 
species is crestless ; some old adults show traces of a crest, but 
never a well marked, greatly elongated crest as in our bird. 

Notes. 531 

It is not alhomger, Blyth^ at least I think not, because that 
species appears to have a short stout tarsus^, while ours has a 
particularly long" and slender one, a tarsus of 3 to a wing- of \% 
inches, against a tarsus of 8'9 and a wing' of 14 in ouis, and because 
even in the adult (and if our bird belonged to this species, it must 
be quite a 3'oung one) the crest in alboniger appears to be nearly 
an inch shorter, and to be broader, and differently shaped. It 
belongs to the same sub-g'roup, I believe, but it cannot be I 
think identical. 

It cannot be LatJiami, Tickell, (does any body know what 
that is?) for the length of that species is given at 18 inches, 
while ours was at least 23 ; nor can it be nmms, Wallace, 
Ibis 1868, p. 14, which with a wing 11, has a tarsus of only 2"6 
a mid toe feathered nearly to the first joint, and a crest con- 
spicuously white tipped. 

The only remaining Asiatic species that I am acquainted with 
is philippensis, Gurney, from the Philippines, and it is decidedly 
closer to this than to any of the others. These are Mr. Gur- 
ney^s dimensions : 

"Total length 25 inches; wing, 14-75; crest 2-5; tarsus, 3-5." 

These do not agree over well with ours, a longer wing, a much 
shorter crest and tarsus. 

Then the tail has seven bars, not four, as in ours, but there is 
the broad interspace dividing off the last bar as in ours, and 
*\ the throat has a broad blackish band running down its centre, 
with two similar and nearly parallel bands proceeding from the 
corners of the mouth, the tln-ee bands all merging in a cluster 
of dark brown lanceolate marks " Mr. Gurney adds " upon the 
upper portion of the breast, " but in our bird, on the basal portion 
of the throat. H not phili2)23ensi,i, it \s new; if new, how can 
one believe in such a species restricted to a little corner as 
this would seem to be, unless indeed it has been confounded in 
Ceylon with Kienerii ; \i phiMppensis what does it mean by turn- 
ing up in Travancore of ail places ? que diable allait il faii'e dans 
eette galere ? " 

However I will describe it in detail ; it is an enigma to me 
and if new, shall stand as 8. sphynx, nobis. 

Dimensions, (from the skin a very good one,) length, 22 
to 23; wing 14"1 ; the fifth quill the longest; the fourth, 0'15 ; 
the third 0-65 ; the second 1-6 ; and the first, 4-3 shorter than 
the fifth. Tail, 10-2; external feathers, 0-7 shorter than the 
rest. Tarsus, 3*9; mid toe and claw, 2"5 nearly. 

The firstfive quills very conspicuously notched on the inner webs, 
the sixth also notched but more feebly — the second to the seventh 
(both inclusive) conspicuously emarginate on the outer webs. The 

Sn Notes. 

nostrils narrowly ovate^ the major axis nearly perpendicular 
to the commissure. 

The whole back, top, and sides of the head, (excluding- the 
crest) hack and sides of the neck a pale slightly rufous brown, 
each feather with a blackish brown shaft stripe, broad on the 
crown, narrow elsewhere. Crest of about 20 feathers, blackish 
brown, except at the bases which are synch romius with the 
ground color of the head and neck. The longest feathers 
over four inches in length, the shortest about an inch, with 
every intermediate gradation. 

The intersciipulary region dark hair brown, with only a 
faint trace of^ paler margins; lower back rump and upper tail 
coverts uniform, rather pale brown ; scapulars, lesser and 
median coverts, hair brown; margined more or less broadly 
with pale brown, and paling- more or less above the tips on one 
or both webs, and towards their bases. Quills and their 
greatest covei'ts, dull brown, dai-kest (in fact blackish) on 
the outer w^ebs and tips of the earlier primaries ; the earlier secon- 
daries narrowly tipped with brownish white ; the secondaries 
and later primaries, with traces of darker bars even on their 
outer w^ebs, and the second to the seventh primary, with a decided 
pale rufescent, or fulvous bar on the outer web, just at the 
emargination. The edge of the wing from the carpal joint to 
the base of the primaries, white. On the lower surface, the tips 
of the earlier primaries, dark brow^n ; above this to the notch, 
grey, with three well marked transverse dai-k brown bars; above 
the notch, white; the later primaries and secondaries, greyish 
white, with a broad subterminal, and four or five other transverse 
dark brown bands. The lesser lower coverts, dull rufous, brown- 
shafted, more or less white edged; the rest, white, very broadly 
barred with deep brown. 

The chin and throat are white, with one central and two 
lateral blackish brown streaks, which iinite at the base of the 
throat at the front of the neck ; below this for about an inch, 
dull rufous brow^n, like the sides and back of the neck ; the 
breast white ; the feathers with huge dark brown drops, edged 
paler, towards the tips. 

Sides, abdomen, lower tail coverts, flanks, and exterior tibial 
plumes, a nearly uniform, somewhat pale, umber brown, most 
of the feathei's, with inconspicuous very narrow, whitish tips. 
Interior tibial plumes and tarsal feathers, pale dingy yellowish 
brown, paling most towards the feet. 

The tail above, a dull pale brown, narrowly tipped with 
brownish white, a 1-5 subterminal dark brown band, a two-inch 
blank space, and three other similarly coloured 0"6 to 0-7 broad 

Kotes. 323 

bands, about an incli apart ; below the ground colour is an 
albescent brownish grey, the bars showing- throug'h, but only 
the broad sub terminal one conspicuously. 

Is this j';/u7y;7J<?;/6v'.i' .^ is it new? I must leave jNTr. Gurney 
to pronounce judg-aient_, as for me, JJavus sum ii,ou (Edlpus. 

Me. H. R. p. Cae-ter, C. E., very kindly sends me from 
Coimbatore three specimens of the European House Martin, 
Chelldon urbica, L. All are young birds, but whether bred in 
India or not, I cannot g-uess. In England, if I remenber rightly, 
the young do not moult before leaviug us. Hitherto I have 
only received this species from Thundiani in Huzara, a little 
Sanatarium, nearly 9,000 feet above the level of the sea, where 
they are plentiful during' the summer. These Coimbatore speci- 
mens were shot during this present year. 

Me. C. W. Mathews, I. C. S., sends me the most lovely 
lutino of Palaornis rosa, that I ever saw. He shot it early in 
January, in the salt range, near the Maj^o mines. It is a very 
fine male; the general colour of the plumage, the brightest and 
purest canary yellow, only a few of the quills, and a few of the 
feathers of the back, rump, and flanks, a bright pare gi-een. The 
forehead, cheeks, and chin, a lovely magenta pink ; the central 
tail feathers pure white, except at the bases, (which, with the 
Avhole of the rest of the reetrices, are yellow,) and a narrow bright 
blue streak down the shaft of one of them. The bill appears to 
have been orange yellow and the feet pinkish. It is impossible 
to conceive, so bright and pure are all the tints, a more beautiful 

Mr. E. Lockwood, C. S., sends me a skin of the grey tit 
[Farus cinereus) from Purneah, where he says it is common 
in gardens, with the remark that since the roadside trees have 
grown up, numbers of species now visit Purneah in the cold 
weather that formerly never crossed the treeless belt of coun- 
try intervening between that station and the Terai. This is 
only another instance of the readiness with v4iich birds avail 
themselves of any alterations in the condition of things ; there 
are numbers now-a-days that seem absolutely to ignore the fiict 
that they can sit any where except on the wii'es, and who would, 
I have no doubt, consider the abolition of telegraphs a gross and 
unwarrantable disregard of their vested rights ! 

A. O. H. 

•V'OIi. L 

NO. 5. 



luitrnal oi §x\ni\oU^^ 





JULY, 1873. 


Vol. I.] JULY, 1873. [No. 5. 

Hi/ W. Edwin Brooks, C. E. 
No. II. 

Since ray former notice {vide page 290J I have received addi- 
tional information of great interest to the ornithologist. 

I have two specimens of the eagle known as Aquila orientalis. 
Cab., and erroneously termed by some authors Aq^. clanga of 
Pallas. One of these specimens was sent to me by Dr. Bree of 
Colchester, and is labelled Aci. orientalis, Cabanis, in Mr. Gur- 
ney's own handwriting, the other was sent me by Mr. Dresser, 
and was shot near Sarepta. 

The extreme similarity of these two birds to our Indian 
Aquila hifasciata when nearly matm-e, frequently struck me ;,but 
none of my Indian specimens corresponded exactly with them 
as regarded the tail, although in other respects they accorded 
perfectly. Now, however, I have just received Indian examples 
of Aq. bifasciata, with tails exactly corresponding with those of 
the two European A. orientalis above referred to. I have no 
hesitation whatever in pronouncing the two species to be iden- 
tical. Aq. bifasciata is, I believe, the older term, and if so, Aq. 
orientalis, Cab., will sink into a synonym. 

I have thus now in my possession three examples of Aq. 
hifasciata shot in Europe, which I consider quite sufficient to 
establish the species as European. I keep them by me with their 
Indian counterparts, and whoever doubts my conclusion can satisfy 
himself by examination. It was not to be expected that a migra- 
tory eagle of similar size and power to A. mogilnik should be re- 
stricted to Eastern Europe, considering that we have in India A. 
chryscRtos, A. mogilnik vel imperialis, A. ncBvioides and A. navia. 

The migratory eagles are not local, but are, as a rule, Tery 
widely spread. 

Speaking of the matui'e example of Aq. hifasciata which was 
sent to me by Captain Elwes, Mr. Gurney (Ibis, 1870, pp. 67 
and 68) attaches considerable importance to the two parti-colored 

■326 Notes upon some of the Indian and European Ragles. 

feathers in the scapular region of this specimen ; and he con- 
ckides that the presence of these two little parti-colored feathers 
demonstrates that the bird is Aq. ncevioides. In answer to this I 
may observe, that I found a specimen of Aq. vindhiana with 
parti-colored small scapulars; I have also seen a specimen of 
Aq. mogilnik with parti-colored scapulars. Mr. Anderson too 
speaks of one (P. Z. S., 1872, p. 621). The other day I exam- 
ined an example of Citncuma leucogaster with some of the sca- 
pular feathers having- one side of the feather fulvous, and the 
other brown. I believe occasional parti-colored feathers are to 
be found in most eagles, although to a greater extent in Aq. 
nmvioides, which I believe retains them permanently in its most 
advanced stage of plumage. At all events the Bosphorus ^. 
bifasciaia is st,ruct%irally opposed to Ag. ncevioides, and its nos- 
tril, though a dried ome, is most perfect ; having never had any 
thread or string passed through it to keep the bill closed. 

Mr. Gurney suggests (in Epist.) that the process of desicca- 
tion may have distorted the nostril ; so that though originally a 
round one, it may now be lengthened : but this supposition is 
quite out of the question. This climate, of ^ all others, will 
thoroughly desiccate the whole bird, especially the hot winds of 
the North-Western Provinces to which all my birds have been. 
exposed ; and after examining my numerous specimens of eagles, 
I find no material alteration ; certainly nothing to the extent 
suggested by Mr. Gurney ; and it is still easy in every ease, by 
looking at the nostril alone, supposing the body of the bird to 
be covered up, to tell to wlfat class of eagle it belongs. By no 
process of desiccation whatever, could the rather small round nos- 
tril of Aq. navioides become the large long vertical one of Aquila 
hifasciata. The size of the nostril in the two birds is so differ- 
ent. I have not before observed that Aq. hifasciata, as a rule, 
is Imperial Eagle size, which Aq. ncevioides is not ; and once 
more I maintain that the tail of the latter is a plain black one, 
very rarely barred, and then with the faintest possible barring 
square to the shaft of the feather, and not extending more than 
half way to the edge of the feather, if so much. 

Mr. Gurney informs me that if his m.emory does not deceive 
him he has seen specimens of Aq. ncevioides with tails ais 
strono-ly barred as that of the Bosphorus A. hifasciata in ques- 
tion. ° All I can say to this is, that the birds with grey well 
barred tails were not Aq. navioides, but some other species, pro- 
bably A. hifasciata. I~Have again strongly drawn attention to 
this question for my conclusions are disputed by English 
ornithologists. They won^t believe it possible that they have 
overlooked so large a bird in Europe as an eagle ; but the 

Notes upon some of the IiuUan and Eiiro2)ean Eagles. 3 £7' 

specimens themselves which I possess are very solid facts which 
the best men in Europe cannot contend against. 

It is now admitted by Messrs. Gurney and Dresser, that the 
adults of Aquila hastaia, and what they call the North German 
or small race of the spotted eag-le, (the true Aquila nmvia of the 
old authors,, in their opinion,) are not to be distinguished ; but 
they contend that the immature birds are different. In opposi- 
tion to this, I submit that the Danzic bird sent me as Aq. navia 
by Mr. Dresser is a veritable Aq, hastata, and immature birds of 
this species must occur in the same region. The spotted birds 
which differ may not have been satisfactorily connected with 
the adults to which they were said to belong. Did any one take 
the immature one from the nest, and rear it ? The statement 
that the immature plumage of the little Pomeranian spotted 
eagle is different from that of Aq. hastata, I regard, at all 
events for the present, as theoretical. 

I should not be in a position myself to say what the immature 
plumage of Aq. vindhiana was, unless I had brought up the 
young from the nest. How do Messrs. Gurney and Dresser 
prove that the immature of the Pomeranian spotted eagle is 
distinct from that of A. hastata ? 

They say the immature plumage of A. hastata has not occurred 
in Europe, and is not known there, but against this I say, it is only 
the other day that Aq. mogilnih, in the lineated stage was found 
to occur in Europe, and it is a plentiful bird there ! Again 
A. iifasciata has been bodily overlooked, so that I can quite 
understand that neither Messrs. Gurney nor Dresser have 
yet seen an immature European Aq. hastata. They will see 
them, however, before .long, and the immature typical Aq. 
bifasciata too, unless I am greatly mistaken. They have, I 
believe, at last seen the lineated Aq. mogilnik to begin with ; at 
all events thej^ must have heard of it by this time, and the 
others wilh follow in due course. How long is it since it was 
denied upon the best authority, that there was such a thing as 
a lineated Imperial Eagle in Europe, and it was contended that 
the Indian bird was quite distinct from the true imperialis or 
mogilnik ? Now they are united, and a distinct Western bird 
{^Aq. adalberti, Brehm) is separated. These birds were not seen, 
hecaiise they were not properly looked after ; and after all Europe 
with its numerous ornithologists and collectors, and with a 
climate facilitating the operations of the naturalist to the 
utmost, so widely different from the scorching Indian one, has 
been but very lazily explored, and there is no knowing what 
may turn up there in the future in the way of identiBcations. 

1 do not think that Aq. clanga, of Pallas, has any connection 

328 Notes upon some of the Indian and European Eagles. 

with Aq. bifasciata vel orientalis j for Pallas says, the tail is: 
black, " Cauda nigra" ; again he says, the back is black, 
'' dorsum nigrum." This could only apply to our Indian spotted 
eagle which frequently has the plumage very dark indeed 
and nearly black. The legs are said to be " nigricante albo 
varies" The white tarsus, or partly white tarsus is characteristic 
of Aq. navia, I mean of Aquila nmvia, as we know it in India, 
for Mr. Gurney now separates our bird as Aq. vittata, Hodgson. 
This I cannot understand, and he must prove the assertion before 
it can be generally received. 

Pallas, after saying that the back is black as well as the tail, 
and surely he could not have overlooked the strongly barred 
grey tail of Aq. bifasciata vel orientalis, says, the wing coverts 
are spotted with white, (" tectricibus albo variegatis"). Alto- 
gether, as far as I can understand his description, it is utterly 
impossible to apply it to Aquila bifasciata vel orientalis, but it 
suits large examples of our Indian spotted eagle and no other 
bird that I know of. This bird I have procured measuring 2 feet 
44 inches total length ; wing, 20^ inches; and weighing 6j lbs., 
a female of course. This species varies excessively in size, and 
I have some very small examples, barely exceeding Aq. hastata, 
in size. The way in which A. hastata and our Indian spotted 
eagle, which we call navia approach each other as regards size, 
renders it difficult to find out which the original A. navia was. 
I have an excessively meagre description by Gmelin, which to 
me appears to indicate the bird we recognize as %^^?^a in India, 
although some of the English naturalists evidently receive 
another bird as ncBvia. I believe the original description, which 
I have never seen, is by Brisson. 

The two Turkish spotted eagles sent me by Captain Elwes, 
as I mentioned before, are identical to a feather with our Indian 
A. ncevia in the same plumage. Mr. Gurney suggests that I may 
have received the immature of Aq. orientalis. This is quite 
impossible, for the two birds have the perfect ncevia spotted 
plumage, and, moreover, have the small roundish nostril of that 
species ; besides, they have plain black tails, which Aq. orientalis 
has not. It would be rather strange too, if I who have shot so 
many of this species in this very plumage, and who have had at 
least four times the number of specimens through my hands 
that any of the English ornithologists "have had, should not 
know the bird when I see it from Europe. I have seen most of the 
specimens belonging to Messrs. Hume, Anderson, and Marshall 
as well as my own. However, when I submit the birds at a 
meeting of Z. S., there will be no doubt upon this point, and 
this I shall do unless my identifications are accepted. To separate 

Notes upofi some of the Indian and European Eagles. 329 

Tliylloscopus Tytleri from P. viridanus and Hippolais agricolensis 
from P. Rama were real difficulties^ but to recog-nize Aq. ncevia 
in the spotted plumage is within the powers of the 'veriest tyro. 
Very little is known of the nestling", or first plumage of the 
various eagles. I have not even described that of the two 
young Aq. vindhiana {A. ftdvescens) I procured from the nest 
two years ago. The eggs of eagles are so keenly sought after, 
that the important point of the first plumage has been neglected. 
Perhaps something may be done this year towards a knowledo-e 
of the first plumage of two or three of our eagles_, if only the 
love for egg-collecting be moderated. It would be interesting 
to shew whether the young eagles moulted their first plumage 
in the autumn after they were hatched or not. I cannot believe 
judging from the analogy of the common Indian kite, that the 
lineated stage of Aq. mogilnih is the first one. It ought to be the 
second. This, and many other similar points, will, it is to be hoped, 
be cleared up before long, as the study of natural history extends. 
Although I and others have been writing about the various 
stages of plumage in eagles, we are still, many of us, ignorant of 
the first plumage ; and this ignorance might have been removed 
long ago, if the young birds had been looked to, instead of the 
mere acquisition of the egg shells. A knowledge of the eggs is no 
doubt interesting, but the birds themselves are of far greater 
interest ; and after all, eggs are but eggs, and merely temporary 
cases for the young, althoug'h they are often so beautiful. 

P. 8. — Since writing the foregoing, I have seen the '^^ original' 
description of Aquila ncsvia by Brisson. The synonyms are — 

Aquila navia, Schwenck, Avi. Sil., page 219. 

Aquila clanga, Klein. Avi., page 41, No. 6. 

Morjphio congener, Aldror, Avi. Tom. I., page 214. 

MorpJmo congener, Aldrova^idi, Willugh. Ornith., page 32. 
In his description of Aquila clangx, Pallas quotes the above 
synonyms, omitting however the last, but adding Aquila minor, 
Bufibn, Orn. I., p. 91. 

It is thus clear, that to apply the term clanga to any eagle 
but the original spotted eagle described by the older authors, 
is a great mistake ; and it is utterly impossible to apply the 
term to Aq. hifasciata, which I have shewn is identical with 
Jq. orientalis, Cal. Clanga is not Pallas^s term, but is a synonym 
of A. ncevia ; and why it was preferred by Pallas, I do not know. 
The total length of Aqtiila ncevia given by Brisson, is 2 feet 
7 inches and six lines : equal to 2 feet 8f inches English 
measurement ! I should have been inclined to think that there 
was some error here, but a second measurement of 2 feet 5 
inches from tip of bill to end of claws = 2 feet 6^ inches Eng- 

330 Notes upon some of the Indian and European Eagles. 

lisb, confirms the first measurement. It will be thus seen^ that 
the bird described \sfuU Imperial Eagle size j and this renders 
Mr. Guruey^s conclusion^ that original A. navia was a bird the 
size of Aq. kastata, impossible to be received. The tail is said to 
be 12 inches long = 12| inches English ! Now what Aqtiila 
hastaia or even A. navia, as we receive the bird in India^ has a 
VI in. tail ? Is it possible that the specimen described was a 
terribly elongated skin ? But though this would get rid of the 
difficulty of total lengthy what becomes of the extra long- tail, 
which certainly would not stretch. What a pity the old writers 
omitted the all-important measurement of length of wing from 
carpal joiiit ! But the expanse is said to be only 4 feet, ^^= 4 
feet If English. This is too little for even Aq. hastaia ; so 
that too much importance should not be attached to Brissou's 
total length measurement. In the description of the colors there 
are a few points noted, which strongly indicate the bird we 
recognize in India as Aq. navia. " Ala subtus mactdis nmltis, 
ovalibus, albis, hinc inde sparsis, insigniimtur. Crura et pedes pennis 
vestiuntur ad principium dignitorum usque, et albis similiter notis 
sunt flspersa." This reference to oval white spots could hardly 
apply to any other eagle. The general color of the body is 
thus described : *''' In universo fere corpore obscure ferrugineo 
colore tingitur. Guttur tamen obscure albet." The tail feathers 
are said to be white at their bases and their tips, and they are 
also said to be transversely barred. " Rectrices in exortu et apice 
albent ; in reliqua longitudine obscure, ferrugineo tinguntur, et 
maculis latin sculis , fuscis transversim notantur." I have noticed 
that some of the younger spotted examples have fairly barred 
tails, although this is not the rule ; and frequently the inner 
webs of the secondaries and tertials are barred. The only other 
eagle, any thing like the description by Brisson, is the young 
lineated Aquila mogilnik, and the dimensions, save expanse, 
would agree well. Can it be possible that this spotted stage of 
the Imperial eagle was the original A. navia ? I leave this for 
better j udges than myself to settle. It is important to settle 
the point, if possible, who was the original describer ; and 
which has priority, Aquila navia, Schwenck, or Aquila clanga, 
Klein ? One of the two latter authors may give some explicit 
reference which will remove all doubt as to what the original 
Aquila navia was. Again, it is possible, that although Pallas 
and Brisson unite the two terms, they may after all refer to two 
distinct species ? Brisson's reference to white on the tarsus, 
as in the case of Pallas's description of Aq. clanga, points to our 
Indian Nmvia or the spotted eagle of south-east Europe in con- 
tradistinction to the small Pomoranian eagle. The latter I 

Notes oil tJie Parroqiiets of India. 331 

have identified with our Indian Aq. Jiastata. If Mr. Gurney 
reads Brisson^s description carefully over^ he cannot apply it to 
that small eag-le, and pronounce it to be " the true A. noavla 
of the old authors/^ 

In the identification of Aquila orientalis with Aq. hifaseiata ; 
of Aq. hastata with the small Pomeranian eagle, of the Bospho- 
rus eag-le (thought to be Aq. .nmvioides by Mr. Gurney) with 
Aq. (5 j/«5ci^i5<3J, and jf. the two Turkish spotted eagles, with our 
Indian Aq. ncevia, I am not alone, but am confirmed by Dr. 
Stoliczka, Mr. V. Ball, and Captain G. F. L. Marshall who have 
carefully examined the different series which were used. 

If, after all, it turns out that the immature of the Pomeranian 
spotted eagle are distinct from those of Aq. hastata, it will be one 
of tlie most wondei-ful of ornithological facts ; but since the im- 
mature lineated Imperial eagle was for ages overlooked and said 
not to occur in Europe, so also immature Aquila hastata may 
turn up plentifully some of these days in Europe. 

P. P. S. — With reference to priority of terms, Brisson gives 
a list of authors quoted, with dates of publication. Schwenck- 
feld''s work is dated 1603, and Klein^s 1750. Aquila navia is 
therefore much the older term for the spotted eagle, and Aquila 
clanga, Klein, is but a synonym. I did not notice the list of 
authors till after I had sent my paper. 

Sates m % farrjjpcts 0f %M%, 

By Capt Thomas Button, C. M. Z, S., 8fc. 

Notwithstanding all that has been said and written regarding 
the parroquets of Continental India, — notwithstanding the long 
lapse of years since the time of iHexander the Great, by whose 
followers they are said to have been introduced into Greece after 
that warrior^s remarkable expedition from India to Ceylon, it is 
still a melancholy fact that every writer on these birds persists 
in giving PalcBornis Alexandri, a place in our Continental fauna. 
A few would restrict it as a rather rare species to Ceylon, others 
declare it to be exceedingly abundant in some parts of that 
Island ; some again declare it to be scattered all over India, 
while others state it to be a very local species capriciously cling- 
ing to one, and avoiding other districts. 

It is nearly certain, however, that the Indian bird described by 
Blyth, Jerdon, and a host of other observers, is totally distinct 
from the Ceylon bird, but so prone have been our Indian 
Naturalists to put their trust in some great leader who literally 
knew no more than they did themselves^ that one after another 

332 Notes on the Parroqnets of India. 

they have been content to accept as true all that their immediate 
predecessors have left on record^ without taking the trouble to 
inquire into the truth^ and thus the errors of the past have been 
perpetuated and several distinct species have become doubled up 
together under the one time-honored name of Palmornis Alexandri, 
or Alexandrine Parroquet. 

Various inquiries long since instituted by myself among the 
leaders of science in Calcutta only served to elicit the fact that 
none of them possessed the least suspicion that there could be 
more than one species in the country to which that name had 
been assigned^ neither could they tell me whether any of their 
museums contained a specimen of the Ceylon bird^ the usual 
answer being, ''*' send us a description of what you consider the 
true P. Alexandri, and then we shall be able to tell you whether 
we have it or not/' Determined to follow out my old plan of 
taking nothing for granted, no matter who the authority might 
be, I at once set to work to collect specimens and information 
from all parts of the country, and the result of my investigations 
I now purpose to lay before the public. 

The habits, manners, and food of the parroquets are, as a rule, 
nearly the same in all. The eggs are laid in holes cut by the 
birds for that purpose in the thick branch or trunk of some soft 
wooded tree ; they vary in number from two to four, and are 
pure white. P. torquafus however is said sometimes to lay its 
eggs in the holes of ruined buildings, but this can only be re- 
garded as an unnatural and occasional deviation from the rule, 
since previous to the decay of such buildings all birds must have 
resorted to rocks and trees or to the earth itself. The food of 
all consists of fruits, berries, hard grain, and even the smaller 
seeds of grasses and other plants, and they are quite as expert 
in dividing cherry stones after feasting on the pulp, as are the 
birds of the Grosbeak kind. 

The havoc committed in the fields of ripening corn is often 
very great, many of the ears being cut off and thrown down 
apparently in pure wanton mischief. They are fond of bathing 
in shallow waters and are naturally very cleanly in their habits ; 
they are fond likewise of swallowing small pieces of gravel to 
assist in the digestion of their food, and sharpen the edges of 
their massive mandibles by grinding down lumps of hard clay- 
stone and other earths, and if not well supplied with these, the 
captive bird is liable to become sickly and drop suddenly from 
its perch in a fit. A piece of hard wood placed in the cage will 
soon be reduced to chips, and by this means the too exuberant 
growth of the mandibles is checked ; without these occasional 
amusements, the bird is often very destructive to its cage cutting' 

Notes on the Farroquets of India. 333 

through, wire as thick as whipcord without the least difficulty. 
This of course applies more particularly to the larger species. 
In captivity, moreover, from the want of healthy exercise and tlie 
sameness of the food, as well as from the improper nature of the 
food itself, the brilliant colours are very apt to fade, the green 
becoming greyish, and sometimes partially white. 

These birds, except at the breeding seasons, are all truly 
gregarious, collecting into large flocks and screaming loudly 
in concert as they cleave the air with rapid and rushing flig-bt, 
so swift that they are scarcely seen before they are lost to sight. 

The natives in the Upper Provinces are curiously superstitious 
about these birds, most of the large ones being regarded with 
some degree of reverence ; and among the Hindoos the sale of a 
tame parroquet would entail the loss of caste ; they are per- 
mitted to give them away, but not to sell them, and even a bird- 
catcher who brings the nestlings for sale, if he chance to pass 
your door without offering the lairds, dare not retrace his steps 
even when called, until he has hawked his stock throughout the 
station ; you may go to him and purchase where he stands, but 
he cannot return to you. The Hindoo, however, has a curious 
method of evading the law which prevents his selling a pet 
bird ; he will tell you openly he dare not sell his bird, which he 
values at a high sum, and then cautiously following you, will 
tell you, soUo voce, that he will give you the bird and trust to 
your giving something in exchange, of course in the hope of 
making a far better bargain. Poor Hindoo, I fear his morals 
are no worse than those of more enlightened races. 

In preparing their nests these birds, having selected a suitable 
tree, begin to cut a circular hole, generally in the trunk, and 
having penetrated for four or five inches, they begin to cut 
perpendicularly downwards for eight or nine inches, sinking a 
perfectly cylindrical well, and laying their eggs on the soft 
chips at the bottom, to which are sometimes added a few dry 

The time of incubation is about twenty-one days, and the 
nestling is sufficiently feathered in about a fortnight or so after- 
wards, to be taken from tlie nest to rear, but if unmolested, it 
would not leave it until a month or five weeks old. 

1.— : 

Taking Bennett's description of what he terms the true P. 
Alexandri . of Ceylon, we find him stating in " The Garden 
and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London,-" published 
in 1835, that, "' the distinctive characters of this beautiful 
species of parrot consist in the hroad Uack patch occupying the 

':S3'4 Notes on ike Parroquets of Iniia. 

fove-pai'b of the throat, and extending, laterally, in two narrow 
processes on each side of the neck ; in the black line extending 
from the base of the beak to the eyes ; and more particularly in 
the deep purplish red patch at the base of its wings. Its bill is 
larger than that of the rose ring parrakeet, from which it 
scarcely differs except in this particular, — in the somewhat 
greater breadth ^nd deeper colouring of its rosy collar, and in the 
dark red marking of its shoulders which is wanting in the latter. 
The usual length of the male bird is from 18 to 20 inches ; the 
female is smaller but does not, according to M. Levaillant, 
differ in colouring."^" Bennett likewise informs us that the Ceylon 
bird " is of much rarer occurrence than several of the other 
species of the same group ; " while Mr. Layard declares that " in 
Ceylon it is found in countless thousands at Batticalea nestling 
in the cocoanut trees, and resorting to them at night in vast 
flocks." Cassell remarks of this bird that " it is a native of 
.India and Ceylon, and derives its designation from the fact, 
real or supposed, of its having been first transported from Asiatic 
countries by Alexander the Great. Its most distinguishing 
characters consist in the hroad black patch which occupies the 
fore-part of the throat and extends laterally in two narrow pro- 
cesses on each side of the neck ; a black line stretches from the 
base of the beak to the eyes, and there is a deep purplish red 
patch at the base of the wings." This however is but a repeti- 
tion of Bennett's account, and is evidently copied from him. 

Latham's description of what he terms P. Alexandri is this : 
" Length, 15 inches ; bill, red ; plumage in general, green, paler 
beneath ; throo.t blach, passing behind to meet a crescent of red 
at the back of the neck ; at the bend of the wing, a purplish 
spot j tail longer than the body, green fringed with blue, 
and pale yellow beneath ; in shape greatly cuniform ; legs, 

Then he gives a variety which he says "h 21| inches, the tail 
being longer in proportion ; lower mandible, dusky ; eyelids, 
broad, rough, crimson ; at the base of the neck a crimson ring, 
met on each side by a crescent of black, taking rise at the under 
jaw ; bend of the wing and the coverts blue ; on the latter a long 
patch of crimson, quills, blue ; tail, very long and cuniform ; 
legs, flesh colour. The female has no ring, nor any black on the 
chin t ; space round the eye narrower." 

* Does this meau that the female possesses the black and rose-coloured rings 
on the neck as in the male ? If sOj this character at once distinguishes the 
species from all Indian parrakeets. 

t This mention of no ring and black patch in the female of the variety looks 
as if it existed in P. Alexandri ! 

Notes on the Parroquets of India. 335 

Tliis seems somewhat like a fancy portrait. 

Jerdon's description of what he terms P. Alexandri is a propos 
to nothing-, and does not in any respect apply to it ; neither does 
the description furnished to me by Lieut. Col. K.. Tytler of speci- 
mens from Oudh and Rajmahal. 

Blyth in his Catalogue of the birds in the Museum of the 
Asiatic Society in Calcutta, has given at No. 16, a confusion of 
names which every one since his time has reverently followed 
and applied to the Ceylon bird, and yet it is altogether worth- 
less, since as before stated, P. Alexandri not being found on the 
Continent of India, it is clear that Hodgson's P, Ni2}alensis is 

This has long been my firm conviction, and now, in 1872, my 
friend Mr. A. O. Hume informs me that he has received two 
specimens of the true P. Alexandri from Ceylon-, and that he is 
disposed to believe that it is distinct from the Indian bird pass- 
ing under that name ; we may therefore in future erase it from 
our Indian fauna. 

No. 2.— PalaBornis sivalensis. Eutton. 

This name is only provisionally applied, as it is as yet doubtful 
whether it may not be identical with Hodgson's P. nipalensis, 
the description of which I have not seen. It is also probably 
identical with the bird which the bird-catchers annually bring 
round as nestlings from the Terai forests below Kumaon, 
and which they call the rai totali, or royal parrakeet, fi'om 

The bird to which I assign the above name is found in great 
numbers in the Eastern Dhoon, below the Siwaliks, near Hurdwar, 
but according to the information yet procured, does not occur on 
the western side of Dehra. Towards the end of January and 
beginning of February, it begins to cut a circular hole in some 
tree wherein to lay its eggs, which are usually two in number, 
and pure white. The tree generally in request for this pur-' 
pose is the semul or cotton tree (Bombax lieptapkyllum, 
and malaharicimi) , although, sometimes, even the hard wooded 
sal (Shorea roiusta) is chosen; the entrance hole is a neat- 
ly cut circle, either in the trunk or in some thick upright 
branch. The trees selected by these birds are not situated in 
the depths of the forests, but are detached on the outskirts, and 
what is curious in such a quarrelsome bird there are often three 
or four nests in the same tree. The eggs are hatched in about 
twenty-one days, and in the middle of March the young birds 
are about half fledged, and are then removed for sale. They are, 
exceedingly easy to rear and soon become tolerably tame, althougk^ 

336 Notes on the Tarroquets of India. 

some exhibit a rather savage propensity for biting- one's fingers ; 
as they grovv up and become familiarised to confinement_, they 
will even take a piece of sugar from between their feeder's lips j 
this is a trait worth noting, because, according to Bennett, it is 
not characteristic of the Ceylon bird, which he says is " not easi- 
ly domesticated." This, however, is always greatly dependent upon 
the mode of training, many persons apparently believing that 
animals were created solely for the purpose of being tormented. 
The nestling bird at two months old has the bill lai-ge, power- 
ful, and massive, especially in the male, and of a coral red, in- 
clining to dusky at the base above -, there is an incipient dusky 
somewhat bristly narrow line from the eye to the nostril, but by 
no means approaching to black, while in some,, there is no trace 
of it at all, A large elongated purplish red patch near the 
bend of the wing in both sexes even from the nest ; in some, 
but not in all, there is a dusky indication of what at a later 
period will become the black demi-collar on the side of the neck ; 
these are males. The sexes can be distinguished by a practised 
eye by the size and shape of the head ; in the male, the fore- 
head from the base of the bill backward to just behind the eyes 
is well arched, but thence passes back to the nape, flattened and 
straight, giving the head an elongated appearance ; whereas in 
the female the head is both smaller, and well arched, from the 
base of the bill to the nape. There is likewise a marked dif- 
ference in the form and massiveness of the beak ; in the male it 
is wider along the culmen, and well rounded out on the sides ; in 
the female it is flatter on the sides, that is to say, more com- 
pressed, and the culmen is consequently sharper; the lower 
mandible is punt-shaped in both sexes. At first the pupil of 
the eye is entirely black without any iris, but when about two 
months old^ a pale ashy white iris begins to appear. Grradually 
from this time the white iris becomes more and more apparent, 
and is encircled by a faint narrow bluish outer border, and the 
edge of the eyelids granular and reddish. The feet are of a dull 
greyish leaden hue. Adult male, with forehead bright light 
green; sides of the head, nape, breast, belly, upper part of 
back dull ashy green ; wings dark green, with an elongated 
dull purplish red streak rising near the bend of the wing • 
lower back, rump, tail coverts, and base of the tail above, bright 
green ; the two centre feathers very long and tapering ; bluish 
green above, but fading into dull yellow at the ends ; second 
pair, green at base, passing into bright yellow; the rest yellow, 
and all of them bright yellow beneath ; a well defined black 
demi-collar rising at the edge of the upper mandible and widen- 
ing at the base of the lower mandible, where it turns round to 


Notes on the Fanoqiiets of Ind'm, 337 

the side of the neck to meet a broad pale rose-coloured crescent 
at the back of the neck ; bill larg-e, mass-ive, well curved from 
base to point, of a deep coral red; culmen and sides, well rounded; 
feet, dull yellowish grey; iris, bluish internally, then yellowish 
white; eyelids, narrow, granular, pale red. The female similar in 
coloring-, but having no neck ring, and smaller. 

Cry very loud and harsh. It is said that the collar is not 
apparent in the parrakeets until the third year, but mine exhi- 
bited it in the second year. This species arrives in the Dehra 
gardens every morning in great numbers from the Eastern 
Dhoon, returning in the afternoon to the forests. The black 
collar does not unite under the chin, nor is there any black 
patch on the throat. 

This appears to be the bird which in Oude is also known by 
the name of the rai totah, and is brought for sale from the Terai 
jungles , below Nipal; iu a wild state it is said to be rarely seen 
in that Province, clinging chiefly to hilly regions of the Sub- 
Himalaya. Lieut.-Col. Tytler, mepistola, described a specimen 
which he shot in Lucknow, and which he also misnames P. 
Alexandri. From his description, which however is very loose, 
it is easy to see that the bird was P. sivalensis, though he says 
the nuchal collar was coral red like the beak ! The black 
demi-eollar which in the Dhoon and Kiunaon birds is well 
defined, is here also given as a black edging I Jerdon^s P. 
Alexandri was also in all probability this bird. 

No. 3. — Palseornis sacer. Hutton. 

This bird, although common in the forest of Chunda-bun-i 
along the base of the Sivaliks in the Western Dhoon, appears to 
be as yet undescribed ; it is known to the natives as the Chunda- 
bun-i totah, but is by them confounded with the preceding 
species. Tradition has it that many years ago when the 
Goorkhas held the district, some female fakir of the name of 
Chunda died, and was buried in this forest, and she being con- 
sidered a very holy woman, the forest became sacred to her me- 
mory. This parrot I have tried for years to obtain, but always 
without success, although my shikaris have annually found the 
ne^ts which were sure to be found empty when they returned to 
take the young ones. That it is distinct from P. sivalensis, 
there can be no doubt, as, the bird does not begin to cut its nest 
hole until the first days of April when the other is half fledged, 
which causes the natives, who cannot distinguish one from the 
other, to declare that P. sivalensis, with which they confound it, 
is doiible brooded I The nestling is said to have no wing spot, 
nor does it show it until the second y^ar. Unlike P. sivalensis 

338 Notes on the Tarroqiiets of India. 

this species appropriates a tree to itself, aud will not permit 
others to breed near it ; it usually selects a large peepul tree 
(Flcusrelighsa) . It is curious that, fond as the natives are of 
parrots, and although numbers from Kaladoongee are annually 
purchased by them, these two Dhoon birds are never captured ; 
this arises from the opposition offered to the bird-catchers by the 
religious devotees who reside in various parts of the Dhoon, and 
who regard the birds with some degree of reverence on account 
of their breeding in the semul and peepul trees, both of which 
are sacred, and must be injured if the bird-catchers were allowed 
to cut into the wood to obtain the nests. 

No. 4. — Pal^ornis punjabi. Hutton. 

This is another totally distinct species, and is brought some- 
times in large numbers in the adult stage from the foot of the 
Punjab hills about Kangra and other places. It is regarded by 
the natives as identical with those already noticed, but its cry 
is totally different, being much more feeble and slightly croaking. 
It is a more robust and, if anything, rather larger bird than P. 
sivalemls ; the tint of green is somewhat darker and there is a 
slight tendency to a brick-dust colour in the nuchal collar. They 
will sometimes sit the whole day through without uttering any 
sound at all, whereas P. sioalensis can scarcely hold its tongue 
for ten minutes together, and is almost always on the move. 

No. 5.— Palseornis vindMana. HuMon. 

Of this species I have seen but one specimen and that was a 
half-Hedged nestling, brought to me for sale at Monghyr many 
years ago. I have noticed it as a distinct species from the fact 
of its being half-fledged in the middle of December, which shows 
that the nest hole must have been cut in the beginning of 
November, at least two months earlier than any of the preceding 
birds. The general plumage was deep green with an elongated 
red patch near the bend of the wing ; the bill strong and coral 
red. It was taken from the range of hills at the back of 
Monghyr ; being then on my way to Calcutta, I did not pur- 
chase, and have failed to procure a specimen since. 

No. 6.— Palseornis torqiiatiis ? 

(The ring-necked Parrakeet.) 
Syn. P. torquatus ... Daubenton PL Enl. 

Psittaca torquata ... Brisson. 
Psittacus Alexandri . . . var B. Lath, apud Blytli. 
Ps. cubicularis ... Hasselquist. 

Ps. docilis . . . African Rose Ring, apud Gray.. 

Var Sulphin- Parrakeet Shaw. 

Notes on the Parroc[uets of India. 339 

S^har of S. India^ Jerdon •; ? S7/bar of Dhooii and Mussooree -, 
plains of India^ An-acan, Teiuisserim, and Malayan Peninsula 
to the latitude of Pinang". (Blytli^'s Catalogue.) 

This species as at present recognised by naturalists^ although 
common in the Dehra Dhoon throughout the year, never ascends 
the hills even in the breeding season ; in the Dhoon it breeds 
in April and even earlier, the young being- brought for sale 
about the beginning of May. It is known in the Bhoon as the 
S/jbar totah, and is an especial favorite with the natives. It has 
a shrill clamourous cry which it utters on the wing and is of 
very rapid flight, shooting past one with a rushing sound and 
scarcely seen before it is gone again. In the gardens and 
grain fields it is very destructive, settling on the stalks of 
the bending corn, and not content with a few grains, it 
wantonly ciits oif the ears and strews them in numbers on the 

At the pairing season the female of this species becomes the 
most affected creature possible, twisting herself into all sorts of 
ridiculous postures in order, apparently, to attract the notice of 
her sweetheart, and uttering a low twittering note the while, in 
the most approved style of flirtation, while her wings are half 
spread and her head kept rolling from side to side in demi- 
gyrations ; the male sitting quietly by her side looking on with 
wonder as if fairly taken a-back, — and wondering to see her 
make such a guy of herself. I have watched them during these 
courtships until I have felt humiliated at seeing how closely the 
follies of mankind resembled those of the brute creation. The 
only return the male made to these antics was scratching the top 
of her head with the point of his beak, and joining his bill to 
hers in a loving kiss. 

The Sybar never acquires a wing spot even at maturity and 
the ring round the neck, which is a miniature of that of P. 
Alexandri (verus) does not appear until the bird is two years 
old. Most writers say the third year, but this is erroneous, as 
from the hatching in one year to the breeding season of the 
third, is exactly two years, and it is then that the ring 

The nestling is of a uniform pale green, without any marking 
whatever ; the tail feathers bluish and the bill pale coral red 
above, black inside the mouth and at the base of the lower 
mandible ; the feet, plumbeous grey. 

The mature male is a handsome bird of graceful form, with a 
black curved line springing from the gape and passing round 
the side of the neck to a little beyond the eye ; these two lines 
are well defined and are united by a black patch beneath the 

84'0 Notes on the Parroquets of India. 

chin ; this blaek demi-collar is met on the sides of the neck by 
another demi-collar from behind of a bright brick-red ('not rose) , 
the ends of the two collars a little overlapping each other. Bill 
coral red above^ the edges bordered with a dusky black stripe, 
extending from the gape to the tip ; the lotoer mandible, entirely 
dmhy hlaclc. A narrow black bristly line from the nostril to the 
eye. Iris, watery blue ; eyelid, granulated and pale red. Fore- 
head, top of the head, the cheeks, flanks, and thighs, pale light 
emerald green ; the nape and neck as far as the red ring, and 
the sides of the head and neck within the black ring overlaid 
with soft cornelian or azure blue. Top of the throat in front 
beneath the chin-patch, pale canary yellow ; breast, faint dusky 
green, as also the back, the feathers of which are marked with 
many lines like watered silk ; rump, bright soft green ; centre 
tail feathers, faint bluish green for the basal third, dull blue for 
the remainder, but narrowly bordered and tipped with faint 
yellowish ; the next feather on each side also dull bhie above ; 
the others full green on the outer webs, which are narrow and 
yellowish on the inner and broader w^ebs ; tail beneath, dull 
canary yellow ; wing quills, dark green, the shaft blackish, the 
external webs faintly tinged yellow at the extreme edge ; 
tertiaries and greater wing coverts, d^ill yellowish green, overlaid 
on the coverts in some individuals with a bluish tinge ; wing 
lining, canary yellow; wing from bend, 6" 75 inches; length 
over all, 15 '6 inches ; tail, 10 inches; feet, grey. The female wants 
the collar, but there is a faint yellow ring instead ; length 
16 inches; tail, 10 to 10'25 inches; wing from bend, 6'5 inches ; 
no azure blue tint on the head. 

Bennett when speaking of P. torquatus of Ceylon, says it is 
" far more common than the Alexandrine bird, and appears to 
be dispersed over a much greater exterit of territory, being found 
not only in India and as far eastward as Manilla, but also, if 
the reports of travellers are to be credited, throughout a large 
portion of Africa, and even on the Coast of Senegal. It would 
seem indeed to be extremely abundant in this last locality, and 
to be from thence most frequently imported into Europe. It is 
consequently known in France by the name of the Perruche-de- 
Senegal.^^ (Gard. Menag. Zool. Soc.) 

Unfortunately, however, it appears that ''''the reports of 
travellers" are not. to " be credited," the African bird being 
now recognised as distinct under the name o£ Palceornis docilis 
(Gray) this being the true rose-ring, while that of Ceylon and 
Southern India is the ring-necked Parrakeet. It is at present, 
I think, very doubtful whether our North-Western bird is P. 
torq^iatus. No doubt Jcrdon has described it as such, but at 

Notes on the Parroquets of India. . 341 

the same time his description does not apply at all correctly to 
the North-Western bird, and it would seem as if he had desci-ibed 
the southern species and taken it for grantad that the northern 
bird was the same. 

One of these parrots kept by a buniah or grain-seller in the 
Bazaar at Neemuch, in Western India, came to a curious end, 
and one that nearly frightened its owner out of his wits. At 
night when the man lay down to sleep, the parrot^s iron cage 
with a cloth thrown over it was as usual placed beside his bed, 
but in the morning dire was the fright of the buniah when on 
removing the cloth, no parrot appeared to greet him, but in its 
stead, lay coiled up a hideous cobra. The snake being hungry 
had squeezed itself in between the bars, but having swallowed 
the bird, he had become too corpulent to squeeze out again. 

Jerdon says nothing of the black border to the upper mandi- 
ble, nor of the black under mandible. 

Palseornis SCMsticeps. Hodgson. 

(Himalayan Parrakeet.) 

P. schisticeps ... Hodgs. As. Res. XIX., 178. 

Conurus himalayanus ... ? Lesson Belang. Voy. apud Blyth 


Madhana Syga, Nepal . . . PaJiaree Tooia, Mussooree. 

These birds, like the males of P. hengalensis, vary greatly 
in the colouring of the head from the nestling state to maturity. 
"When fully adult, the name of P. melanocepliala would be even 
more applicable than the present one, for there is then no slate 
colour on the forehead. Although a true mountaineer, it des- 
cends in the winter season to the gardens and groves around 
Dehra and is often mixed up with the flocks of P. hengalensis 
a,nd P. tofqiMtiis ; but in the early spring they return to the 
hills which they never at any season entirely quit, and breed in 
April and May, The tree most usually selected is a large 
species of gum-yielding Pau/dnia, each tree harbouring but one 
pair of birds. The nestlings, and even many of the old birds 
while sitting, are destroyed in great numbers by some animal 
of the Marten or weasel kind, most probably Maries fiavigula. 
If the destroyer be this animal, it must withdraw the birds from 
their nests by its fore-paws as it could not introduce the 

When first taken from the nest and about half fledged, the 
young birds are dull green, with a very faint tinge of slaty on 
the head, but not always so. At about a year old or even less, 
the male has the entire head of a pale slaty colour ; the base 

3-1*3 . Notes on the Parfoqtiets of India. 

of the upper mandible is pale red^ with a sharp yellow tip j the 
under mandible is pale yellow throughout, or more correctly, 
the iipper mandible is pale yellow, with a faint rosy blush on the 
sides near the base. 

The plumage above is dull green, palest on the neek ; the 
quills are dusky, with the outer webs green and narrowly edged 
with yellow ; under parts, pale yellowish green j the basal two- 
thirds of the central tail feathers are dull bluish green, with the 
terminal third, bright yellaw. There is at this age no red spot on 
the wing, and indeed it it very uncertain at what age it ap- 
pears, as I have kept males until full four years old and yet saw 
no trace of it. 

The adult male has the whole head of a dusky blue black with 
a bordering of deep black, forming a well-defined ring or collar 
arising from the base of the bill, but not detached from the 
black cap ; below this black ring the colour of the neck is of a 
faint verditer green, deepening in intensity as it descends to the 
back, wing-coverts, and tertiaries ; on the wing a small purplish 
maroon coloured spot ; wing quills, dusky green on the inner 
webs, full green on the outer, with narrow yellow edging both 
within and without; shafts, dark. Wing quills obtusely round- 
ed at the ends; rump and upper tail coverts, light green; 
basal two-thirds of the central tail feathers, blue green ; the 
terminal third, bright yellow ; the next feather is yellow with the 
basal half of the outer web green ; the rest of the feathers 
yellow, with the outer web green nearly to the end ; tertiaries 
edged with yellow. Chin and throat black, lower parts, pale, 
yellowish green ; tail beneath, bright yellow. Feet, grey. 
Upper mandible, bright red, at the base with a yellow tip ; lower 
one, yellow. Length, about 16*75 inches; tail^ 10*75 inches; 
wing, 6*5 inches. 

The female has no wing spot and head green. 

Like other parrakeets this species as soon as tho young can 
fly and feed themselves, gathers into flocks varying in numbers ; 
the flight like that of P. torqitatus, is extremely rapid, and 
their shrill screams as they cleave the air and thread the 
mazes of the forest are often deafening and harsh. They are 
fond of the wild hill-cherries, the ripe berries of Launis lanceola- 
tns, FicMS venosa, the wild hill custard apple, wild pear, acorns, 
and several other kinds of forest fruits and seeds. According to 
Jerdon, Adams says, wheat is among its favourite food, which 
I am inclined to doubt, as I have never yet seen them settling 
on such crops, neither would my captives eat the grain. 

The flight where the forest is at all close is below the branches 
of the forest trees, and considering the velocity with which 

Notes on the Parroquets of India, 343 

they Btiovej it is wonderful how they manage to thread their 
tortuous course among them ; yet they do so^ and when wishing 
to alight, they suddenly, as if with one consent, sweep upwards 
into the branches of some tall tree ; where the forest is open 
and the trees scattered, they pursue a higher flight and easily 
evade the foliage, twisting and turning in and out until a batch 
of fruit is found when, with one wild shrill scream, they instant- 
ly alight as if by word of command. 

Palseornis bengalensis. 

Syn. Psittaca bengalensis . . . Brisson. 

Palseornis bengalensis . . . Linn, apud Sclater, 

Psittacus erythrocephalus . . . Gmel. 

Ps. ginginianus ... Latham. 

Ps. rhodocephalus ... Shaw. 

var Ps. narcissus . . . Latham. 

Palseornis rosa . . . Bodd. apud Jerdou. 

Psittacus cj^anocephalus ... Linn. "j 

Ps. flavitorques ... Shaw. L t^ i 

Ps. annulatus ... Kuhl f 

Palseornis flavieollaris . . . Pranklin J 

Native names Faridi, Beng ; Tin Suga, Nepal ; Ti(,ya, Mus- 
sooree ; Tuya totali, S. India, Jerdon. 

Should there eventually be found any specific difference be- 
tween the Southern and North- Western birds, the former will 
probably be P. bengalensis and the latter P. o'osa.^ 

Hilly regions of all Lidia, apud Blyth ; Assam, Sylhet, 
Arracau. Tenasserim, also Dehra Doon, Lower Mussooree, and 

This with us is, properly speaking, a Dehra Dhoon species, al- 
though many come up into the hills to about 5,500 ft. to breed, 
arriving about the end of March, and leaving, the majority^ to 
breed below in the Dhoon. 

In the hills they begin boring their nest-holes early in April, 
and by the end of May the young are sufficiently advanced to 
be taken from the nest. In the Dhoon they are ready rather 
earlier, being brought up for sale about the middle of May, 
when numbers are disposed of at from four to eight annas each. 
They lay from two to four eggs, of a pure white, and seem to 
breed in a variety of trees such as Andromeda ovalifolia and other 
soft-wooded trees, yet not turning even from the oak if they 
can find a soft semi-decayed spot. One pair bored a hole in an 

* There are certainly two species — P. bengalensis, Gmel. , which I have as yet 
only seen from Sikhim, Nepal, Assam, and liurmah — and P, purpureus, Miil. 
(=:: rosa, Bodd.) from the rest of India.— Ed., S. F. 

■ 344 Notes on the Farroq^iets of India. 

Andromeda^ early in April, and after completing- the work, for 
some reason abandoned it ; in about a week or ten days, however, 
they returned and took possession, but were finally driven out 
by a pair of Piciis brunnifrons which in turn, after two or three 
days, likewise abandoned it ; the parrots however returned no 
more, and the hole remained unoccupied. The nestling- bird has 
•a pale yellow beak, but neither wingspot nor coloured head ; it 
is imiformly of a pale yellowish green, with a still lighter 
coloured ring round the neck, and the upper surface of the tail 
exhibits a little blue. 

In the second year the head becomes of a fine bluish 
cast, with a yellow collar round the neck, when it becomes the 
P. ci/anocephalus, and in the third year, the head of the male 
becomes a most beautiful rich peach blossom, shading ofii" to the 
black ring into a soft azure blue. In the third year the full 
plumage of the adult is acquired, and each subsequent year, for 
sometime, only adds to its richness of colouring. 

In the male the upper mandible is yellow, the lower one the' 
same, but sometimes with a dusky spot; the entire head full 
rich roseate peach blossom, with plum bloom overlaying the back 
and sides of the head ; a black patch on the chin, the lower 
corners of which throw off a narrow black line which encircles 
the roseate head; immediately below this ring is another of 
verditer green, but not meeting on the throat, from whence the 
whole fore-neck, breast, and abdomen are yellow green ; the whole 
of the back, as far as the rump, is of a deeper or dingy yellow 
green ; rump light bluish, with a tinge of verditer; wings green, 
slightly tinged on the shoulder and wing coverts with verditer ; 
quills, dull green, dusky on the inner webs, faintly edged ex- 
ternally with yellow ; a narrow red elongated spot on the 
shoulder of the wing ; two centre tail feathers above, cobalt blue, 
with about two inches of the end dull whitish ; the next pair 
pale yellow at the end {not blue, as Jerdon says,) ; tail feathers 
beneath, with the central pair, dull blue, with dirty white ex- 
tremity, the others yellow. There is much variation in the 
brightness of colouring in difierent specimens. 

The female has the head plum blue and has no black collar ; 
there is, however, a pale yellow demi-ring (hence Eranklin's 
name of P. JlavicoUaris) . Length over all in the male, between 
14 and 15 inches; wing, full 5^ inches; tail, 9f inches (Jerdon 
gives only 8| inches). 

The food, as in all the others, consists of fruits and grains. 
The flight is rapid and the note less harsh and far more musical 
than in either P. torquatns ? or P. schisticeps. They readily 
earn to whistle tunes, and I possessed one that whistled 

Notes on the Varroquets of India. 345 

*^'' Jim Croiv," '' Poll?/ put the Kettle On" and other familiur airs 

Palseomis Osbeckii. 

* Syn. P. barbatus ... Swains. 111. Orn. Daub. PI. 

Enl., Blyth Cat. 

Ps. barbatus ; Ps. Pondi- 

cerianus . . . Gmel. 

Ps, bimaculatus ... Sparrm. 

Ps. Javanicus ... Osbeck. 

Ps. Osbeckii ... Latham. 

P. nigrirostris ... Hodgson, female. 

P. modestus ... Fraser, P. Z. S., young female. 

Bolurus barbatus ... Bonap. Rev. Zool. 

Ps. mystaceus ... Shaw. Hodgs. and Gray, Cat. 

P. Osbeckii ... Horsf. Cat. 

Mordna, Kajla, Hind ; Im7'it BJiela, Nipal ; Bettet, Java, 
Hab,, hilly pai'ts of Bengal, Nipal, Assam, Sylhet, Arracan. 
Tenasserim, Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and Borneo. 
(Apud Blyth.) Kumaon Terai ; known in North West Hima- 
laya as Madan Gour. 

I follow Dr. Horsfield in assigning this name in preference to 
either P. javanicus, P. himactdalios , P. harhatus, or a host of other 
synonymes, partly because, as he says, M. Osbeck was the dis- 
coverer of the species aud the first to give it a name (1757,) and 
because it is not, according to observers confined to Java. At 
the same time I much doubt whether the bird of Kumaon and 
Nipal, belongs to this species, deeming it more probable that 
these are distinct from the southern bird. It does not appear to 
occur to the westward of Kumaon and is brought thence to 
Mussooree for sale. The bird-catchers insist upon the black- 
billed bird being distinct from the red billed, while at the same 
time they completely refute their own statement by acknow- 
ledging that both are procured from the same nest. 

The nestling or half-fledged birds are brought to Mussooree in 
the end of May or early in June, so that allowing for the journey, 
the breeding season would appear to be March and April. 

* This synonymy cannot possibly be accepted. The species Capt. Hutton refers 
to is, I think, F.fasciatus, Miill. The Javan bird Javanicus, Osb., Osbeckii, Lath., is 
distinct, while the Tenasserim bird, melanorhynclms, Wagler, as also the Boruean 
bird, are likewise probably equally so. — Ed., S. F. 


By Viiicent Legge, Esq., R. A. 

This handsome malkolia, one of our rarest birds^ is exclusively 
a denizen of forest or larg-e secondary jung-le, and lias been 
thoug-bt hitherto to inhabit only the western and south-western 
districts of Ceylon. Layard notes it from the former part. 
Annals of Natural History, 1854^ and speaks of it as veiy rare 
and frequenting the tops of high trees. He says that he could 
learn nothing of its habits or nidification from the natives. This 
accords with my experience of aboriginal knowledge on the 
subject ; in those districts where I have shot it, I have found 
tlie natives quite ignorant al)out it, many of them never having 
seen it before. This arises from the fact of its existing- in small 
numbers and being at the same time very shy and wary and an 
\\i\\Qh\tiiVii oi \hQ interior of the forest. At the same time I have 
shewn the birds in my collection to intelligent natives and they 
have recognized it ; nevertheless as I have shot it in company 
with villagers, well up in the birds of their neighbourhood, but 
who were totally ignorant abont it, it must be allowed that 
taking its showy appearance into consideration, and the conse- 
quent likelihood of its not escaping observation, it is one of our 
rarest birds. Mr. Holdsworth in his Catalogue of Ceylon birds. 
Proceedings, Zoological Society, page 433, 1873, says, he saw one- 
flying across a road in the Central Province. This proves that 
like many of our forest birds Centroi^ns chlororhynchus, Dicru- 
russ lopliorhlnus, Toccus gingalensis, Clirysocolaptes StricMandi 
and others, it extends its i-ange up to a considerable elevation. 

It has been lately my good fortune to procure Thmnicopliaus 
pyrrhocephalus in the splendid forests between Anaradhapoora 
and Trincomalie, a district which I was surprised to find very 
Ceylonese in the character of its Avifauna, the same spot yielding 
many island birds, such as Oreocincla spiloptera, Ruhigula mela- 
nictera, XantJwloema ruhricapilla and Clirysocolaptes StricMandi, 
the latter in numbers. It was nevertheless a matter of some 
surprise to me to find this bird in the north of Ceylon, as I had 
become wedded to the belief that it was very local and quite a 
western inhabitant of our forests. It was as is usual, according 
to my experience, in pairs. While watching the movements and 
sprightly actions of a pair of JJissemurns malabariciis, one of these 
birds flew on to the limb of a lofty forest tree under which I 
was standing, and being partly obscured from my view by the 
leaves of an under-growing tree, so that I could only clearly 

On Phmnicopliaiis Tyrfliodphalm. 347 

distinguish the tail^ I took it for a hombrel, Toccus gingalensis 
of which there were numbers in the vicinity. I was, however, 
soon undeceived by seeing the brilliant crimson face contrasting 
with the brown leaves on which my prize had fallen, and think- 
ing its mate was not far oflP, I remained perfectly still, and in 
another moment I heard a low " kaa," resembling one of the 
notes of our jay at home, and saw the second bird flying from 
limb to limb of the great forest trees around me, looking for its 
fallen companion, on alighting each time it uttered its low call 
and elevated its tail. It presently flew into the tree under which 
I stood and fell to my shot. The first killed bird, the male, 
was the smaller of the two and had the iris deep clear Irown, the 
\nBt the female, hsid a, pearl to hite eye I I have digressed from 
my subject into somewhat of a narrative on the shooting of these 
birds, simply to shew that they were a pair and evidently mated 
and consequently both adults. 

In December, 1871, I met with a pair under similar circum- 
stances, in forest, on the low hills of the south-west, not far 
from Galle. They were flushed from some low bushes in the 
jungle and flew, with short flights from tree to tree, one after 
the other, uttering a much har&her and louder cry than that of 
the female just alluded to. I procured both birds, the male with 
dar^ drown iris and the female with a, pure tohite. The sexual 
organs in the male birds in both instances were well developed, 
and there was no appearance whatever of immaturity about their 
plumage. The measurements of the two southern birds were as 
follows : 

Male — Total length, 17 inches; tail, 9*5 ; wing, 6 ; bill to gape, 
I'b; tarsus 14; outer anterior toe, nearly 1. 

Female — Total length, 18 inches ; tail, 10*7 ; wing, 6'2 ; 
tarsus, 15 ; outer anterior toe, 1. 

The tail of the male is imperfect, the bird being in moult, but 
the longest existing feather is one of the uropygials and is an old 
feather, and the short outermost feathers are nearly half inch 
shorter than the corresponding ones in the female. 

The dimensions of the pair shot in the north-east shew the 
same disparity in size, and are as follows : 

Male — Total length, 17-3 inches; tail, 10; wing, 6 ; tarsus^ 
1'5 ; outer anterior toe, 1. 

Female — Total length, 18*1 inches ; tail, 11-3 ; wing, 6-3 ; tar- 
sus, 14. The tail of the male in this case, I regret to say, is imper- 
fect, but as before noted the longest existing feather is an old one 
and one of the centre ones. Taking these circumstances into consi- 
deration together with the difference in the wing, it appears very 
apparent that the female is the larger bird of the two, but until 

348 Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at Murree. 

more specimens are shot and earefully measm'ed and compareclj,- 
I would not state tliat this is aconstant feature. 

On thie other hanci^ with regard to the iris> there is no doubt 
whatever that in the female it is pure white^ aaid in the male 
dark brown. In both cases that have come under my notice as 
I have shewn the birds were pairs^ and in the adult state, Eveiy 
naturalist knows how the eye changes in many immature birds 
notably in Raptores^ but in the case of J^Tianicoj^hauB pyrrTioce^ 
phakts, the diiference of colour above noticed is undoubted- 
ly due to sex and not to age. The colour of the iris 
seems to have been a problem since the bird was dis- 
covered^ arising no doubt from the fact of single specimens 
haying always been procured. The remarks of Mr. Holdsworth 
in his catalogue above quoted bear me out in my experience. He 
says : " Layard says^ the irides of this cuckoo are white y but in 
the living bird"^ [a male) I had, they were hrown, and they are 
marked as of that colour in specimens in Lord Walden^s collec- 
tion. '* These latter are doubtless males. 

This- bird will no doubt be found to inhabit the forests round 
the south-eastern and eastern slopes of the mountain zone as 
well as those of the west, south-west^ and north-east in which 
localities I have procured it. 

Sates m ^ Collatt^tt M Cggs 

Made in and ahout Murree. By Captains CocJc ^ C. H. T. MarsJmll.. 

In the spring of 1873 we went in for steady birds — nesting 
all round Murree, from the middle of May to the end of July. 
As we began rather late, we missed several of the early breeders. 
To most of our Indian readers the situation of Murree is well 
known, but for the benefit of those who do not know, it may be 
as well to describe its whereabouts. It is the most north-wester- 
ly hill station in British India, and is on the high road to 
Kashmir, the highest point is about 7,500 feet. Most of the 
nests were found at a lower elevation and a large number came 
from a tract of thick jungle near the river Jhelum which flows 
through a valley about fourteen miles from Murree towards 
Kashmir. We did not go over a very large area, but as will be 
seen below, there was plenty to be done, and we were well rewarded 
as we obtained, in addition to several rare species, the eggs of 
one or two birds about whose breeding habits we have seen no 

* One brought to him by some natives, who had captured it. 

Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at Murree. 34'9 

j)revious record, such as Pteruthius efyth'opterus, Pericrocotiis 
roseus, Cejjlialopyns flammiceps. We liave noted the total result 
of our researches, not omitting' the commoner species, thinking" 
the record might be interesting on account of locality, as the list 
shews several birds which breed in the hills and the plains. We 
have in most instances followed Jerdon's numbers and nomen- 
clature, any deviation has been duly noted. The measurements 
of the eggs are noted in inches and decimals of inches. In addi- 
tion to the egg's named below, we were fortunate enough to get 
those oiFerdix Hodgsonioe, from Captain Barnes of the lOth Bengal 
Lancers. He obtained them at an elevation of 18,000 feet in 
Thibet. He got nine eggs but eat seven and only preserved the 
shells of two, which are now in our collection. They were found 
on the 13th of July, and were fresh. They are paler than the eggs 
of Perdix cinerea, and a more regular oval in shape. 

No. 6 —Neophron Ginginianus. 

Found a nest in a cliff in May, with two fresh eggs, at an ele- 
vation of about 4,000 feet. 

No. 17.— Tinnuncnlus alaiidarius. 

The kestrel usually builds in rocks, but we found a nest about 
sixty feet up a pine tree, with five hard set eggs in it, of a much 
duller dirtier brown than usual. This was on the 14th of June. The 
nest was apparently one originally belonging to Corvus cuhninatus. 

No. 23.— Micronisns badius. 

On May 18th, took a nest belonging to this species, containing 
two bluish-white eggs, from the top of a high pine tree. 

No. 75.— EpMaltes gymnopodus. 

We found a nest containing" two eggs, in a dead tree, about 
fifteen feet from the ground, on the 1st of June, low down the 
hill side. The bird"^ shot off the nest answers exactly to Hume^s 
description of gymnopodus ; the elevation at which the nest was 
found was about 6,000 feet. The eggs are white and 1*3 in length 
by I'l breadth. We also shot an undoiihted U. plumiijes, but 
could not find a nest of this species. 

No. 80 — Glaucidium brodei. 

We were unable to find the eggs of this species, but on the 
SSnd of June, we secured three full fledged young ones in a hole 
in a dead tree. We managed to rear these until about the mid- 

* I have examined this specimen, it is clearly spilocephalus, Blyth, which ppo- 
bably eciw^ih gymnopodus. Gray. Ed., S. F. 

350 Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at Murree. 

die of October when they died suddenly;, I fear from too liig-h feed- 
ing. The nest was at an elevation of between 5 and 6^000 feet. 

No. 85.— Hirundo erythropygia. 

This is the house swallow of Murree — breeds under all the 
eaves. Lays pure white egg-s in June. 

No. 114 &^■s.— Oaprimulgus Unwini. Hume. 

"We found three nests of this bird on the bare ground in the 
valleysj the eggs are perfect ovals^ greyish white^ covered with 
differently shaded blackish blotches^ being 1"15 long and "8 broad. 
Breeds in May^, about 5;, 000 feet up. 

No. 150.— PalBBorDis scMsticeps. 

These nests were invariably very high up in tall trees^ most of 
them in newly made holes. All that we found this year con- 
tained young birds. We got the egg last year. It is 1" 15 long by 
•95 broad. This species breeds at the latter end of April. Eleva- 
tion, 6 to 7,000 feet. 

No. 154. — Picus Mmalayanns. 

This breeds early and very high up in the trees. All the nests 
we found at the end of May had nearly full fledged young in 
them. Elevation, about 7,000 to 7,500 feet. 

No. 157.— Picus Macii. 

■ One nest taken on June 2nd, in a hole in an oak tree ; three 
eggs somewhat hard sat. Length, '9 by '65. 6,500 elevation. 

No. 170.— Gecinus squamatns. 

Several nests in the month of June, all with young. We got 
the eggs last year in May. They are somewhat smaller than those 
of the next species. The holes are always about forty or fifty 
feet up the trees, at all elevations, from 5 to 7,000 feet. 

No. 172 —Gecinus occipitalis. 

This species breeds very low down in trees, the hole in which 
the nest was, that we found on the £8th of May, being only 
three feet from the ground : it contained five fresh glossy white 
eggs, long, and pointed at the thinner end. They measured 1'25 
in length and "SS in breadth. Elevation, 7,000 feet. 

No. 191. — Megalaima Marshallorum. Sivinhoe. 

Lays in the latter end of June and beginning of July, the eggs 
are four in number, pure white, and 1*4 by 1. Most of the nests 
were in newly made holes, in horse chesnut trees, some twenty 
or thirty feet from the ground. Elevation, averaging 6,000 feet. 

Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at Miirrec 351 

No. 199.— Cuculus canorus. 

We found the eg-g-s of tliis bird in the nests of Pratincola 
ferrea, and Agrodroma griseo-ritfescens. {Jerdoni Finsch.) 

No. 234.— Araclinectlira asiatica. 

Found several nests of this species in May and June_, in the 
lower valley s_, about 4^000 feet up. 

No. 243— Certhia himalayana. 

This is a most difficult nest to find, as the little bird always 
chooses crevices where the bark has been broken or bulg-ed out, 
some forty or fifty feet from the ground^ and generally on tall oak 
trees which have no branches within forty feet of their roots. 
There were young in the few nests we found. Captain Cock 
secured the eggs in Kashmir : they are very small;, being -6 by '^S ; 
round, white, with numerous red spots. The nests we found 
were in the highest part of Murree, about 7,200 feet. 

No. 254— Upupa epops. 

Two nests in holes in trees. In one instance we watched the 
cock bringing food to the hen, whom we afterwards caught on 
the nest. This would go to prove the theory advanced that the 
hoopoe, like the hornbill, remains on her nest all the time until 
the eggs are hatched. Elevation, 7,000 feet. 

No. 257. — Lanius erythronotus. 

Found numerous nests in the valleys in May and June, be- 
tween 4 and 5,000 feet up. 

No. 258 —Lanius tephronotus. 

This species much resembles L. eri/thronotits, but the eggs dif- 
fer considerably, being more creamy-white, blotched and spotted 
(more particularly at the larger end) with pale red and grey. They 
are the same size as those of the preceding species. Lays 
in the beginning of July, at the same elevation as L. erythronotus. 

No. 260.— Lanius Hardwickii. 

These little shrikes breed in the hills as well as the plains up 
to 5,000 feet high. 

No. 275.— Pericrocotus roseus. 

The rosy minivet builds a beautifully little shallow cup-shaped 
nest, the outer edge being quite narrow and pointed. The ex- 
ternal covering of the nest is fine pieces of lichen fastened on with 
cobwebs. It was fouiad on the l"2th of June and contained three 
fresh eggs, white with greyish brown spots and blotches sparse- 

353 Notes on a GoUecUon of Eggs made at Munee. 

ly scattered about the larger end;, the length is '8 by "55 j 5^000 
feet up. 

No. 280.— Dicrurns longicaudatus. 

Breeds in May^ in almost inaccessible places^ about 7,000 feet 
up, choosing a thin fork at the outermost end of a bough about fifty 
or sixty feet from the ground and always on trees that have no lower 
branches. The nest is almost invisible from below, as it is very 
neatly built on the top of the fork ; and when the female sits on 
it, she places her tail down the bough so as entirely to hide her- 
self. The eggs are only to be obtained either by climbing higher 
up the tree than the nest is and extracting the eggs by means 
of a small muslin bag at the end of a long stick, or else by lash- 
ing the bough on which the nest is to an uj)per bough as the 
climber goes along so as to make it strong enough to support 
him. The nest is much neater than that of D. macrocercus ; the 
eggs are light salmon coloured, with brick red blotches sparsely 
scattered over them, and are "95 by "7. 

No. 288.— TcMtreaparadisea. 

Ten nests in May, June, and July. The female was in all 
instances cJiesnut, with a white breast and short tail. This is 
one of the commonest nests to be got about Murree. Average ele- 
vation, 5,000 feet. 

No. 291.— Leucocerca fuscoventris. 

The nest of this species differs from that of L. aureola, being 
the shape of an inverted cone, beautifully made, lined with the 
finest grass, and covered with cobwebs, situated in a clump of thin 
branches. Eggs like those of L. aureola, only smaller and 
rounder. These nests are found in the lower ranges, at about 
5,000 feet up. 

No. 292.— Leucocerca aureola. 

The nest of the fantail is very neatly made, shallow cup-shaped ; 
carefully covered outside with cobwebs. It is built on a thin 
branch about ten feet up a tree. The eggs much resemble dimi- 
nutive shrike^s eggs. Breeds in June. 

No. 295.— Oryptolopha cinereocapilla. 

Several nests answering to Jerdon's description, like watch 
pockets fastened up on the trees, 6 to 7,000 feet up. 

No. 301— Eumyias melanops. 

The verditer fly-catcher always builds under the small wooden 
bridges that cross the hill paths. We found more than half a dozen 

Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at Murree, oho 

nests all situated under these bridges. The eggs are pale pink 
and sonaetimes have a few fine speckles on them. Breeds in June^ 
at all elevations^ from 4 to 7^000 feet. 

I^o. 310.— Miiscicapula superciliaris. 

Sixteen or eighteen nests between the beginning of May and 
the end of June^ in small holes in rotten branches, or trunks of 
trees, sometimes close to the ground, sometimes very high up. 
Eg'gs, five in number, of a yellowish brown colour, almost round, 
about "6 long and "45 broad. The general elevation averages 
6,500 feet; they do not build in the lower hills. 

No. 348— Myiophonus Temminckii. 

Several nests found in June, near running streams, about 
4,000 feet up. Full description will be found in Jerdon. 

No. 351.— Petrocossypliiis cyanens. 

Thes- eggs have not, we think, been recorded before from 
India. There is a description of them in Sharpens and Dresser^s 
Birds of Europe. We found these in a low stone wall at no 
great elevation, four eggs,'very pale blue, with a few small brown 
specks; they are I'l in length and '75 in breadth. These eggs 
were taken early in June. 

No. 353.— Orocoetes cinclorhynchus. 

Builds in banks under roots or tufts of grass, a neat cu]5- 
shaped nest. The eggs are salmon coloured, with a few darker 
red specks and spots. The nests we foimd were made entirely 
of dead pine leaves, beautifully woven together. Elevation, 6,000 

No. 355.— Geocichla citrina. 

Builds about the beg-inning of June in the fork of a low tree 
about six feet up. Lays three eggs, pale greenish white, finely 
speckled with rufous brown, forming a patch at the larger end. 1 
inch in length, "8 in breadth. 

No. 356.— Geocichla unicolor. 

Several nests in June made of moss and fern stalks, lined with 
root fibres. Eggs somewhat resembling those of 31. bulbul. Only 
smaller, rounder, and more lightly speckled. They are the same 
size as those of P. cyaneus. 

No. 361.— Morula bulbul. 

Breeds all over the Murree hills, from middle of April till 

o54 Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at Mitrree. 

No. 363.— Morula castanea. 

Two nests in bankS;, in the beg-inning" of June ; egg-s veiy simi- 
lar to M. bidbul, but somewhat larger^ being 1'25 by 'S. Captain 
Cock got two nests in the Sindh valley^ Kashmir. It is peculiar 
that this species always breeds in banks. All the meruliue 
birds breed about 5_,000 to 7,000 feet up. 

No. 392— Stachyris pyrrhops. 

Nest found in low ground, about 100 yards from the river 
Jhelum, situated in a low bush externally composed of broad dry 
reed leaves, and interiorly of fine grass, cup-shaped. Eggs four in 
number, long, oval, white, with a few reddish specks at the larger 
end. Length "7, breadth '5. Lays in the latter end of June, 4,000 
feet up. 

No. 411.— Garrulax allbogularis. 

This was the most beautiful eg^ taken this season, being of a 
rich deep glossy greenish blue colour. The nest is composed of 
fresh ivy twigs with the leaves on, tightly woven together. The 
birds breed on small trees not high up at the end of a branch. 
While their nests were being' examined, they came round in flocks 
to see what was happening, chattering and making that peculiar 
laughing note from which this genus takes its name. They 
are even gregarious in the breeding season, and all the nests were 
found pretty near each other, about 6,000 feet up. 

No. 418.— Trochalopteron variegatum. 

The nidification of this I'roc/iafojfjiferojz was apparently miknowii 
before. We found one nest on the 15th of June, about twenty 
feet up a spruce fir at the extremity of the bough. Nest, deep 
cup-shaped, solidly built of grass roots and twigs, the bird sits 
close. Eggs, light greenish blue, sparingly spotted with pale 
purple, the same size as those of M. castanea. 

No. 425.— Trochalopteron lineatum. 

One of the commonest nests about Murree. Breeds from May 
to end of July. 

No. 429.— Sibia capistrata. 

The egg of this bird was we believe previously unknown, and 
it was a mere chance that we found the whereabouts of their 
nests, as they breed high up in the spruce firs at the outer end of 
a bough. The nest is neatly made of moss, lined with stalks of 
the maiden hair fern. The eggs are pale blue, spotted and blotched 
with pale and reddish brown. They are "95 in length and "7 in 
breadth. This species breeds in June, about 7,000 feet up. 

Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at 3Iurree. 355 

No. 444.— Hypsipetes psaroides. 

Numerous nests of this species were found agreeing- well with 
Jerdon's description. They breed in May and June, never 
above 6,000 feet. 

No. 458.— Otocompsa lencogenys. 

Breeds in tke valleys at about 4,000 or 5,000 feet up in the 
end of June. Lays four eggs with a white ground, very thickly 
blotched with claret red. Nest, roughly made of grass and roots, 
in low bushes. 

No. 461.— Pycnonotns pygm^us. Bodg, 

This bulbul breeds in large numbers in the lower hills. 

No. 470— Oriolns kundoo. 

Several nests of the common oriole were found about Murree, 
at low elevations. 

No. 475.— Copsychus saiilaris. 

Breeds freely at low elevations all round Murree. 

No, 483.— Pratincola indica. 

This bird breeds i-n the valleys. We obtained a large series of 
eggs. Vide P.ferrea. 

No. 486.— Pratincola ferrea. 

We took numerous nests of this species between the 1st of 
May and the end of July. They breed in banks. Their eggs re- 
semble those of P. indica, pale blue, with a few russet spots at the 
larger end. We twice found the egg of cuculus canorus in this 
bird's nest. Elevation, 7,000 feet. 

No. 547.— Suya criniger. 

Nest built in high jungle grass loosely, but neatly made of 
very fine grass and cobwebs, opening at one side near the top. 
Five eggs, white, with fine red spots at the larger end, forming a 
ring. Breeds late in June, at about 4,000 feet elevation. 

No. 563.— Eeguloides occipitalis. 

The nest of these little warblers are very difficult to find, and 
the only chance is to sit down and watch the bird to its hole. It 
generally breeds at the roots of large trees or in stone walls, 
building far in, a dome-shaped nest, and laying five pure white 
eggs similar in size to those of Mtiscicapula snperciliaris. We 
obtained about a dozen nests. Breeds at hig-h elevations. 

356 Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at Murree. 

No. 604.— Agrodroma griseorufescens — 

Hume. Jerdoni, Finscli. 

Eougli made nest of grass. Breeds from May till middle of July^ 
low down the hill side. Lays four eggs, much resembling the eggs 
of other species of this family. We took six nests, and twice found 
the common cuckooes eggs in them. They do not breed above 
6,000 feet iip. 

No. 609.— Pteruthius erythropterns. 

There is no record about the breeding habits of this species. It 
is an exceedingly difficult nest to find, and it was only by long 
and careful watching, through field glasses, that Captain Cock 
was able to find that there was a nest at the top of a very high 
chesnut tree as the birds kept flying to and fro with building 
materials in their beaks. The nest is most skilfully concealed 
being at the top of the tree, with bunches of leaves both above 
and below. The nest, like the orioles, is built pendant in a fork. 
It is somewhat roughly made of moss and hair. The eggs are 
pinky white, blotched with red, forming in some a ring round the 
larger end. They average "9 in length and '65 in breadth. We 
were fortunate enough to secure two nests, both were more than 
sixty feet from the ground. Breeds in the end of May, at an 
elevation of 7,000 feet. 

No. 631— Zosterops palpebrosns. 

The nest is figured in Gould^'s Birds of Asia. The eggs are pale 
blue, laid in June, at about 6,000 feet up. 

No. 633— Cephalopyrus fiammiceps. 

On the 25th May we found the nest of this sj)ecies in a hole 
in a rotten sycamore tree, about fifteen feet from the ground. 
The nest was a neatly made cup-shaped one, formed principally 
of fine grass. We were unfortunately too late for the eggs as we 
found four nearly fledged young ones, shewing that these birds 
lay about the 15th of April. Elevation, 7,000 feet. 

No. 634.— CEgithaliscns erythrocephalus. 

Builds a globular nest, of moss and hair and feathers, in thorny 
bushes. The eggs we found were pinkish white, with a ring of 
obsolete brown spots at the larger end. Size, '55 by "o. Lays in 

No. 644.— Parus monticolus. 

Breeds early in May in holes, in walls, and trees, laying white 
eggs, covered with red spots. 

Notes on a Collection of Eggs made at Murree, 357 

No. 669— Garrulus bispecularis. 

This species is an early breeder^ for all the nests we found 
about the end of May had young- ones. 

No. 670.— Garrulus ianceolatus. 

This species breeds in great numbers all over the Murree 

No. 671 &^s.— Uroccissa flavirostris. 

Breeds \\\ trees about twenty feet up^ generally near the top 
of a \\i\\, in May and June. 

No. 686.— Acridotheres fuscus. 

This myna which takes the place of A. tristris in the higher 
hillsj breeds always in holes in trees. We found five or six nests in 
June and early in July. 

No. 708— Passer cinnamomeus. 

Lays in deserted swallows^ nests and about houses. At Dhurm- 
sala this sparrow always builds in trees out in the forests. 

No. 711.— Passer flavicoUis. 

This species breeds in the Hills, about Murree, in July. 

No. 713 — Emberiza cia. 

Several nests in the middle of June in low bushes or banks. 
Eggs resembling E. citrinella. Sharpe and Dresser say, E. cia 
does not breed in India. Next season I shall send home a series of 
birds and their eggs to decide the question, as I believe our bird 
at Murree is E. cia. 

No. 718.— Emberiza Stewarti. 

The nest is roughly made of roots and fibres situated in a low 
bush near the ground ; the eggs four in number are dusky white, 
spotted and blotched with different shades of black and grey. 
Size '8 by '6. Breeds in the latter end of June, from 5 to 7,000 
feet up. 

No. 724.— Melophus melanicterus. 

Breeds in June in banks — nest made of grass. Eggs white, 
thickly mottled with brown. 

358 Notes on some of the Indian Pifits. 

No. 725.— Hesperiphona icteroides. 

We were unlucky with this bird^s nest. As the first one we 
found was a new one and the climber stupidly destroyed it, the 
next one had young- ones. They breed very hig-h up in the 
Himalayan spruce fir. Captain Cock g-ot three eg-g-s last year in 
Kashmir : they are white, beautifully marked with broad 
long-itudinal dashes of lig'ht and deep rufous brown at the larger 
end. They are 1'05 long- and '8 broad. These birds breed at high 
elevations, never under 7,000 feet. 

No. 778.— Sphenocerctis sphenuriis. 

The kokla breeds in spruce firs about Murree. The nest is 
usually about twenty feeit up built by the trunk of the tfee^ It 
lays in June. 

No^ 784.— Palumbus casiotis. 

Two nests taken about the middle of June ; they breed in the 
valley of the Jhelum at a low elevation in dense thorny jungles. 
The egg resembles that of the English wood-pigeon size^ 1'65 by 

No. 792 — Turtur rupicola^ 

This species breeds in June in the pine forests. 

No. 795 —Turtur suratensis. 

Breeds in the hills as well as in the plains. 

No. 820— Gaccabis chukor. 

Several nests. This bird is found in great numbers all round 

'^nim mx $mt d \\t %\\lm limits. 

By W. E. Brooks, Esq., G, E. 

Last January, in walking over the barren treeless country 
south of Assensole, which is undulating, having the slack places 
terraced for paddy cultivation, I met in one of these small pad- 
dy fields a single example of Corydalla Bichardi. I was struck 
with the unusual note which it uttered as it rose, and I therefore 
followed it and shot it. 

Notes on some of the Indian Pipits. 359 

Tlie usual note of this species is not a loud^ harsh, discordant 
one, as described by some author or other, I forg-et whom now, 
but is a soft double chirp, reminding: one strongly of the note of 
a bunting. The flight is very undulating and strong. Of all 
small birds this one is the rdost difficult to shoot, from its exces- 
sive shyness ; and unless the ground permits of a successful 
stalk, an approach within shot of a small bird gun, such as I use, 
is almost impossible. There the large wary pipit stands, with 
his head as high as possible, and his neck stretched to the utter- 
most to enable him to keep the best of all look-outs, and the 
moment forty yards is passed, that moment he flies, accompa- 
nied by any others within hearing of his note of alarm. How- 
ever, by dint of extra heavy charges, and by creeping along 
uiider the edge bunds of the paddy fields, I managed to secure a 
few of this very fine pipit. The places frequented were low 
grounds occurring below jheels or talaos, the water constantly 
percolating- through the reservoir bank kept the low grounds 
adjacent rather damp and in many places quite wet. Over a 
greater part of this low ground, the rice crop having been 
gathered, there now grew a small vetch with blue flower, entire- 
ly covering what had been the paddy field a couple of months 
before ; and in these vetch fields, the large pipit of which I am 
speaking, delighted. Before retiring among the vetches to feed, 
they sat for some time as a rule, upon the little bunds which 
divided the fields, and when they did this, 1 found the best plan 
was to wait till the look-out was over and the birds had retired 
among the crops to feed. It was then possible to creep up 
within shot. Tn the same vetch fields, and also in the higher 
paddy fields all aroitnd were numbers of Corydalla striolata, and 
a few Corydalla rufula. Both these latter species are much more 
numerous all over this part of Bengal than C. Bichardi. It is 
C. itriolata which rises with the loud discordant note ; and by 
the note alone it is easy to distinguish this species, so utterly 
unlike is it to that of any other pipit. C. Richardi and C. 
striolata are two pipits of wonderfully the same coloration, and 
of almost the same linear dimensions. After all, it is only by 
the long stout tarsus, and large foot with long straight hind 
claw, that the bird can be readily distinguished from its close 
ally, save, as I have before remarked, by the utterly different 
kind of note. In the shape of the foot and proportionate length 
of tarsus and hind claw, to the size of the bird, C. rufula 
strongly resembles C. Richardi. As Blyth justly remarks, one 
bird is an exact miniature of the other. But C. striolata has a 
shorter tarsus in proportion, more slender, and the foot is of 
much less proportionate spread : the hind claw too is shorter. 


Notes on some of the Indian Pipits. 

and much more curved and slender. A few dimensions here 
will not be out of place. 





Spread of 



C. Richardi 









3 6 


















C, Striolata 







» » 







» « 






» j> 






The above measurements will give a good idea of the great 
difference in tarsus and hind claw between the two species. C. 
rufula is so much smaller than either of the others, that 
measurements of it are not necessary here. It generally measures 
about six inches in total length, and for its size has a large bill, 
and a singularly long strong tarsus, large foot, and hind 
claw for so small a pipit. It is a permanent resident from the 
south to the north of India and not, as far as I know, at all 
migratory like the other Indian pipits. I omitted noticing in 
the proper place, that the legs and feet of C. RicJiardi are not 
so fleshy in color as those of C. striolata and C. nifula ; but are 
more yellowish, particularly the soles of the feet. The color of 
the inside of the mouth varies. This is generally a moderately 
bright yellow, but in some examples is pale flesh-colored. The 
latter are probably young birds. 









1 P^ 

§ P 









Sates ait tlje ilrbs af tlje SamMjur f iike ^ its bldiiitir. 

By R. M. Adam. 

As the study of local avifaunas is of considerable importance 
to ornitholog-ists, I purpose to record the birds which I have 
obtained^ or observed^ during- my residence at Sambhur_, extend- 
ing- over a period of three years. 

My very limited knowledge of ornithology prevents me from 
attempting to add any information of importance to that science : 
all that I attempt is to note the birds which I have seen or 
obtained here, and in a few cases to record something as to their 
habits and nidification. 

Altogether I have noted the occurrence of 244 species; the 
number belonging to each order being as follows : 

Eaptores ,.. ... ... ... 2G 

Insessores ... 

Eissirostres ... ... .. 15 

Scansores ... ... ... 13 

Tenuirostres ... ... ... 4 

Dentirostres ... ... ... 69 

Couirostres ... -... ... 28 

— 129 
Gemitores ... ... ... ... 8 

Rasores ... ... ... ... 8 

Grallatores ... ... ... ... 51 

Natatores ... ... ... .... 22 

Until quite recently, little was known, and much less recorded, 
concerning this famous salt source. To illustrate this statement, 
I may mention that a member of Dr. Fawcett's committee, 
who lately made a hurried visit to the lake, remarked at dinner : 
" Well, it is strange how things will happen. About six weeks 
ago I was examining* an old Indian, of some forty years^ service, 
and amongst other questions I asked if a large salt lake did 
not exist somewhere in Central India, and he replied, ' very 
possibly there may be such a lake, but I have never heard 
of it,^ " and now/' said the M. P., " here I am drinking simkin 
on its edge.'' 

The Sambhur Lake is situated in N. lat. 26° 58 ' and E. long. 
75" 5'. Ali around, but principally to the west, are low-lying hills, 
which form a part of the Aravalli range, which runs in a north- 
westerly direction through Rajputana. To the north-west is a 
sandy tract called the Great Desert, with Sinde on its western, 
and the Punjab on its northern and western boundary. 
Taking the village of Dodo, 42 ndles from Jeypur, in the 

362 Notes on the Birds of the Sambhiir Lake 8f its vicimti/. 

direction of Ajmere^ the lake is 16 miles distant in a nexvly 
northern direction. The surrounding country is arid and sterile 
to a degree. 

Approaching Sambhur from the south, the country is sparsely 
cultivated, owing to the scarcity of water, while close to Sam- 
bhur there are a series of sand dunes covered with a stunted 
vegetation, and beyond, close to the lake edge and parallel to 
the town, is a fine belt of trees, with here and there a mass of 
green foliage belonging to a tope, or garden, or one of the 
numerous wells. 

The soil in this neighbourhood is exceedingly fertile, and 
when favorable rainfalls occur, or when water can be had for 
irrigation, splendid crops are obtained ; but an adequate supply 
of water is rarely obtained, the average rainfall here being 
about 12 inches, while further west, in Marwar, or the region of 
death, little or no rain ever falls, and water for irrigation is some- 
times only obtained at a depth of over 800 feet from the sur- 

The open wells in use about Sambhur for irrigation are ex- 
cavations made in the fields about 30 or 40 feet in diameter and 
20 feet deep. The sides of these are densely clothed with a 
species of willow, tiger and sarpat grass, %cq., and are the 
favorite haunts of numerous birds. 

In the hot season, as a rule, the lake contains no water, but 
presents a mass of dazzling I'oseate white efilorescence caused 
by the crystallization of the salt ; here and there this monotony 
is relieved by patches of brine in course of evaporation. Leav- 
ing out the icebergs, and adding the fact of the thermometer 
being well over 130° in the sun^s rays, and a fairly respectable 
hot west wind blowing, its appearance always reminds me of 
the pictures in Dr. Hay's " Open Polar Seas.'"' 

In the rains all this is changed, and the scene of utter deso- 
lation is transformed into one of great beauty. The clear 
atmosphere lights up and tints with purple and violet the 
distant low-lying ranges of hills, the sandy wastes are covered 
wjth verdure, and the lake-bed is converted into a wide expanse of 
water 20 miles in length by about 5 in breadth. To enhance 
all this, there are the riny-crested waves rippling along, and the 
whole surface teeming with bird-life. 

Dense masses of flamingoes are to be seen everywhere swim- 
ming or wading in the lake-bed, flying overhead, bearing 
'^tlie rich hues of all glorious things,"' or stalking sedately along 
the edge in search of food. This latter process is a wonderful 
sight. Long lines of big and little birds, of all shades of plum- 
age, from the gorgeous rose-colored adult to the dingy brown- 

Notes on the Birds of the Sambhur Lake 8f its viciuity. 363 

and-wliite youug, march along, and invariably here from west to 
east, all wag-g-ing- their down-bent heads in search of the animal- 
cules with which the brackish water abounds. If " Alice in 
Wonderland-'^ after her game of croquet with the flamingo for a 
mallet could have seen such a sight, she would have been sorely 
puzzled to account for the gigantic game which was apparently 
going on amongst the mallets on their own account. 

A peculiar form of animalcule, about half an inch in length, 
is the only form of animal life which has yet been observed in 
the lake. These die off" as the brine approaches saturation, and 
their dying off was formerly looked for by the practical salt- 
makers as a sign that salt would soon form. Before dying off, 
they deposit immense layers of eggs, in some places over an 
inch in thickness, and these are hatched at the commencement 
of the annual rains. 

The length of time during which birds frequent the lake 
much depends on the depth of water and the heat required for 
its evaporation. When the animalcules disappeai', many of the 
swimmers and waders go off or frequent, for a time, the fresh 
or brackish ponds in the neighbourhood ; still many flamingoes 
remain, but what they manage to subsist on up till March or 
the middle of April — when the lake contains only a concentrated 
solution of brine, or masses of salt — I am quite unable to say. 

Immediately after such rainfalls as I have above referred to, 
the specific gravity of the lake-brine is slightly less or just 
equal to that of sea-water, viz., 1'03, and this goes on increasing 
in density until it reaches the specific gravity of a saturated 
solution of salt, viz., 1*2046, about the end of February. 

When the brine has reached a specific gravity of I'OS, a por- 
tion of it is cut off from the main body by low walls of mud 
and grass, and from these enclosures our salt supply is obtained. 
About the middle of March the salt extraction commences and 
continues until the rains set in. The salt forms, in a crust over 
two inches thick, on the fcetid lake mud, which is about a foot 
in depth. The laborers place their open hands between the 
layer of salt and the mud, and toss the salt into small heaps, 
and this is carried to the stores which are situated above the 
high-water level. There is generally a good deal of moisture 
in the crust, and the instant it falls from the laborers' 
hands, each crystal becomes detached, and shows the truncated 
pyramidal form which is so peculiar to the Sambhur Salt. 

This work has to be done in the early morning, as the salt and 
the mud become so hot about 8 a. m. as to be quite unbearable. 

A walk barefoot through one of these salt fields is somewhat 
novel and exciting ; I have tried snow shoes, long boots, and 
long stockings, but have found none of them equal to the bare 

364 Notei on ilie Birds of the Samhhnr Lake 8j' Us vicinUy. 

skin. When you have taken the first few steps in the soft warm 
mud^ the feeling- is pleasant, but when you come to place your 
feet on the sharp-pointed crystals and feel them pricking- and 
scratching as you go down in some very soft place over the 
knees, and experience the sensation of withdrawing each leg- 
carefully, the crystals scratching even worse with the upward 
pull, and the bi-ine causing the fresh cuts to smart all the while, 
you cannot avoid thinking that a mile of it would be a very fair 
penance even for an extraordinary sin. Any pilgrim with 
unboiled peas in his shoes mig-ht handicap you to any extent and 
win without an effort. The cutting- of the crystals and the con- 
tinued irritation of the brine produce ulcers on the legs of the 
laborers, which, if not properly attended to, often lay them up for 

The average out-turn of salt from the Lake at Sambhur 
and Nawa Goodha is about 1,4.00,000* maunds, or 51,429 tons. 
At Sambhur alone the average out-turn for the last 17 years 
was 690,000 maunds. The greatest out-turn during the above 
period, viz., 1,360,000 maunds, was in 1569, and was due to the 
scant rainfall of 1868 and the abundant supply of labor which 
the famine forced to the works ; while in 1 863 the least out-turn, 
viz., 1,504 maunds, was due to the excessive rainfall of the 
previous year, which raised the lake so high that it even flooded 
some of the lower parts of the town. 

The supply of salt seems inexhaustible, and in a favorable 
season, with sufficient labor to construct the necessary works and 
collect the salt, double, or treble the quantity we now obtain 
could be collected. 

The salt is of three colors, inz., blue, white, and red. 
The blue color is due to the lake silt being- enclosed within the 
crystals or covering them, while the red color is due to some form 
of microscopic animal or vegetable matter, which is abundantly 
propagated when the sun^s rays are most intense. As people do 
not care for this red salt, it is seldom collected. New salt is 
greatly in demand, and the uniform size of the crystals, as well 
as the shade of blue or white which they possess, regulate the 
selling- price. The price varies from 8 annas to Re. 1-1 per 
maund, but the averag-e price obtained is about 10" 75 annas per 

The earriag-e required for exporting the yearns sales amounted to 
300,000 bullocks, 66,000 camels, 18,000 carts, and 5,000 asses. 

So far as I am aware, no practical geolog-ist has as yet examined 
the lake, but the general belief is that the salt has been washed 

* A maund is about 82 lbs> uvoirdupois. 

Notes on the Birds of the Sanibhtir Lake &' its vicinity. 365 

from the surrounding- Permian rocks and carried by the exten- 
sive surface drainage into the lake. 

The Sambhur Lake has a leg-end to account for the formation 
of the salt^ and as this tradition has only appeared officially^ it 
may not be out of place to give a brief sketch of it here. 

On a promontory near the middle of the lake stands a temple 
dedicated to Sumbra or Sacumbree Devee, the tutelary goddess 
of the Chouhan Rajputs. In this temple about the year 608 
Sumvat;, or about 500 A. D., lived a rehgious ascetic, who was so 
absorbed in the contemplation of God, that he could not look for 
his food like an ordinary mortal, so it had to be supplied in an 
extraordinary fashion, and every day a cow came and milked 
itself into a lotah which stood by his side. One day Manik 
Rai, the cowherd in charge, saw this wonderful sight, and 
when the holy man took an amulet from his mouth and laid it on 
his carpet to enable him to drink the milk thus provided by the 
gods, he (Manik Rai) took it up and put it into his mouth, and 
such was the power of this charm that in the space of a moment 
he was enabled in spirit to visit all the holy shrines of 

Having experienced its power, he replaced it, and the fakir was 
so pleased with his honesty that he directed him to go to the 
goddess Devee, who would be kind to him. 

He accordingly went, and the goddess created a horse which 
she told him to mount and ride onwards without looking back ; 
he did so, and got some distance, when his pugree having caught 
in the branch of a tree, he did look back, so the horse stopped, 
and as it would go no further, he returned to his home and told his 
adventure. Next morning the people of the neighbourhood 
were astounded at seeing that the dense forest through which 
Manik Rai had ridden had disappeared, and in its place was a 
shining plain of gold and silver. There was a council held, and 
the unanimous opinion of the grey beards was, that this gift 
would convert the scene of peace into one of turmoil, so Manik 
Rai was despatched to the goddess with a request that she would 
retract her gift. The goddess however would not consent to 
this, but she transformed the plain of gold and silver into a plain 
of salt, which the natives looked upon as kutcha chandi or 
chloride of silver. 

As the above legend is of salt, I suppose it may be taken, 
cum grano, or with several, still let no one read 

" with a disdainful smile 
The short but simple annals of the poor." 

Strange as it may seem in the nineteenth century, this legend 
to the minds of the ignorant inhabitants of these parts met with 

366 Notes on the Birds of the Samhhur Lake Sf its vicinity, 

an apparently wonderful verification when the British Govern- 
ment assumed charge of the lake. Our chemical analyst wish- 
ing" to obtain some pure silver, converted some rupees into 
chloride of silver. This was mixed witli some pounded borax 
to act as a flux, and I made the white mass over to a village 
goldsmith with instructions to heat it as much as ever he could. 
When the fire had reached a sufficient heat, the goldsmith 
and the onlookers were dumbfounded at seeing a mass of molten 
silver in the crucible, and from the nature of the legend the 
news spread like wild-fire that the British had discovered a method 
of reconverting the salt into the original gift of the goddess. 

As regards the physical features of the surrounding neighbour- 
hood, little requires to be said. Cultivation is everywhere sparse, 
and the extensive sand plains contain few trees, but here and there 
they are covered with low scrub jungle. The trees generally met 
with are Acacia arahica, A . leuco'phlaea, A . speciosa, Azadirachta 
indica, Tamarix orientalis, Cordia myxa and Ha7niUo7iia suaveo- 
lens, while close to villages which are few and far between, a few 
Ficus religiosa and indica with some straggling specimens of 
Phcenix sylvestris occur. On the sand dunes a small species of 
acacia, A. Jacquemonti, is very common, and on the plains the 
following are a few of the commonest plants, viz., Saccharum sara 
Calotropis Hamiltoni and gigantea, Alhagi mauronim, Capparis 
spinosa, Galligonum polizonoides , Grotolaria burhia, Zizi/phus num- 
mularia, and FJdwardsia mollis. Everywhere the jerboa-rat, Ger- 
hillus indicus,^ is so abundant that the Kajputs call it the Zamin- 
ka-raja, or king of th<; soil. Ponds or jheels are of very rare 
occurrence, and these are generally dried up completely by the 
end of April or middle of May. Some of the low hill ranges are 
all but destitute of vegetation, whilst others are densely covered 
with EupJiorbia Royleana, Cactus indicus, Lagerstramia parvi- 
flora (dhan),. and a small tree with re-curved thorns called khiri, 
which considerably impedes rapid progress. In this cover the 
Indian wild boar is very common, while small herds of the 
Sambhur {Rusa Aristotelis) and the Nilghau [Fortax pictus) 
are sparingly met with. Wolves, hysenas, and very rarely a 
tiger or leopard are found, but as these are all enemies to cattle, 
they are soon shot or trapped by the thakoors. 

On the eastern side of some of these hills are vast deposits 
of sand thrown over by the prevailing west winds, but these are 
all but destitute of vegetation, as the surface soil is scattered 
about by every storm. In one of those hill ranges, about thirty 
miles west from Sambhur, are situated the marble quarries of 
Mokrana, which supplied most of the white marble for the 

* ? O. eriitkrourus ? Ed., Steat Feathers. 

Notes on the Birds of the Samhhur Lake Sf its vic'mity. 367 

Taj and other biiildingsin Agra. The quarries are very extensive^ 
and are still worked to supply the demaud in Agra. There 
is also a brisk local trade in the manufactui'e of Hindu gods, and 
dishes of Indian pattern, and it is very interesting to see whole 
families, with children seven, or eight years of age, turning out 
vessels of the most elegant designs with the rudest tools. The 
walls of the houses are chiefly built of marble chips, and the 
town presents a weird appearance when seen from a distance, 
but the most curious thing which I observed during my visit 
was a group of boys winnowing the sandy soil to obtain pure 
grains of silica for polishing the marble^ and the result of a 
day^s work for each was only about six pounds in weight. 

I now append a list of the birds which I have observed at 
the lake and in its neighbourhood. 

The accompanying sketch map shows the outline of the 
lake and the position of the places referred to. 

The numbers'^ given are those used in Dr. Jerdon's Birds of 
India and Mr. Hume^s Catalogue. 

1. — Vultur monachus, Lin. 

Met with in the cold weather. 

-2.— Vultur calvus, >S'cop. 

Common. In March I saw this bird sitting on its nest, which 
was in the face of a rock in the hills near the town of Nawa. 

3 6*s.— Gyps fulvescens, Hume. 


4. — Gyps Indicus, Scop. 

Very common.* This species breeds oil the Taragurh Hill near 
Ajmere, about 50 miles from Sambhur, from December to 
February; vide page 21 of Mr. Hume^s " Rough Notes.'''' 

5. — Gyps Bengalensis, Gmel. 

Very common. The great number of camels and bullocks 
which die here attract these birds in great numbers. 

6. — Neophron ginginianus, I>aud. 

This species, in every stage of plumage, is very common all 
round the lake. I have taken the nests from the walls of the 
Sambhur Fort, from the tops of temples, and from peepul 
trees. It breeds here during March. 

8.— Falco peregrinus, L. 

All through the cold weather, and until about the end of 
March^ a few pairs of this species are to be found frequenting 

* Mr. Hume has kindly revised the nomenclature and identified all doubtful birds. 

368 Notes on the Birds of the Samlhur Lake ^' its vicinity. 

tbe lake bed. Tbey sit on the stakes which are required to 
form a low retaining wall to separate a portion of the lake 
water for the formation of salt, and from these perches they 
pounce on the numerous waders which feed along- this wall. 
They are very difficult to get near^ and I have often followed 
them up for miles through the slush of tlie lake without being 
able to risk a shot at them. 

1 1 . — Falco j ugger, Gray . 

The jugger in all phases of plumage is very common about 
this lake. Many an old bird have I taken a long pot shot at^ 
in hopes of its turning out to be a bhyree {^P. perigrimis) on 
closer examination. It breeds, here during February. On the End 
February I saw a nest high up on a peepul tree^ all but finished. 

16.— Chiquera typus, Bp. 

Not common. I have only seen a few pairs of this bird al:)out 
the lake. 

17.— Tinnunculus alaudarius, Gmel. 

Of this species, both the pale and dark varieties are very 
common during the cold season. 

23.— Micronisus badius, Gmel. 

Not common, but I have obtained a few good specimens of the 
adult and young. 

24.— Accipiter nisus, L. 

This bird is rare. I have only seen it once or twice at the lake. 

25.— Accipiter virgatus, Tem. 

Very rare. I have obtained only two specimens of the j^ouug 
of this bird. 

29.— Aquila fulvescens, Gray. 

The tawny eagle is very common. During the cold weather 
I have observed its nests in large babool and keggera trees. 

42.— Haliseetus Macei, Cuv. 

Now and again I have seen this species perching on the stakes 
in the lake bed. It seems to feed on the small waders, which 
are so plentiful. 

48. — Poliornis teesa, Franld. 

The white-eyed buzzard is pretty common here. I took a 
nest with two eggs on the '29th April 1870^ but they must lay 
much earlier than this, as I saw a pair in coitv, on the top of 
one of the salt heaps on the 36th September, 1870. 

Notes on the Birds of the Samhhtir Lake ^' Us vicinity, 3G9 

51.— Circus Swainsoni, Smith. 

The pale harrier is very common all round the lake during 
the cold weather. 

54. — Circus seruginosus, L. 

Young" birds of this species are very common during* the 
cold season. I saw one of these birds swoop at a myna, A. 
tristis, and carry it off under a madur bush. During- some 
of my marches I have observed a fair number of adult birds. 

56. — Milvus govinda, Sykes. 

This kite is very common. I have taken its eggs from mango 
and peepul trees during March and April. 

57.— Pernis cristata, Cuv. 

This species is very rare. I have only noticed it on two 
occasions about the lake. 

59. — Elanus melanopterus, Baud. 

Not common. I found it breeding near to Sambhur. For a 
description of the eggs and nest;, vide page 23 ante of " Stray 

60. — Strix indica, Blyth. 

Very rare. I have never shot this bird here, but a bird- 
catcher brought me two live birds which he caught in the hills 
near to Mata Pahar. 

65.— Bulaca ocellata, Less. 

Very rare. I have only met with the mottled w^ood-owl twice 
during my residence here. 

68. — Otus brachyotus, Gmel. 

The short-eared owl is not very common ; still, when beatino- 
for game in the long grass or scrub jungle, one or two are sure 
to be flushed. One specimen I have is very ferruginous on the 
breast and abdomen. 

70. — Bubo coromanda, Lath. 

Not common, but a pair are generally to be found in some of 
the topes of trees. 

76.— Athene brama, Tem. 

This bird is very common. A pair have their nest in the thatch 
of my house. 

On one or two occasions I have shot one of the pair, and found 
a mate occupying its place within the next two or three days. 

370 NuU's on the Birds of the SamLhur LaJce ^' its rieiniff. 

Young birds have not the spotting above, and the breast has 
longitudinal dashes of faint dusky. 

82.— Hirundo rustica, L. 

The common swallow is \Qry plentiful during the cold weather. 

Length. Expanse. Wing. Tail from Tarsus. liill at 

^ vent. frtnt. 

Male ... 7-0 13-6 47 3-7 0-4 0.3 

Female .„ 6'8 13-6 4-7 3-5 04 0'3 

84.— Hirundo filifera, Steph. 

Not common, but a few birds are always to be seen in the 
mornings, working over tlie fields. 1 obtained a nest on the 
I'ith July. It contained two eggs. 

85.— Hinindo erythropygia, 

This species is not veiy common. It breeds here. 

86.— Hirundo fluvicola, Jerdon. 

Very common about a fresh-water pond to the west of Sam- 

98.— Cotile sinensis, Gray, 

The little bank martin is very common about this. I obtained 
a nest on the 15th April with two very bard-set eggs. The 
nest was found in a hole in a bank, and was a compactly built 
cup-shaped structure : outer diameter, 4 inches; ^^-g receptacle, a 
little over 2 inches. The nest was made of grass and fibres 
well rounded together ; the outer portion of the nest was of a 
coarser quality than the lining-, but made of the same material; 
depth of li^^ cavity, | inch. 

90. — Ptionoprogne concolor, Syhea. 

Not common. I have only obtained this species near Mata 
Pahar and the extreme western portion of the lake. Mr. Hume, 
during one of his visits to Mata Pahar, found a nest with three 

100.— Cypselus afl&nis, /. B. Gray. 

This swift is very common, and builds in the old tombs and 
mosques. I found a congeries of about thirty nests in a small 
tomb, and these were all closely packed together ; some had 
openings at the sides, while others had tubular-shaped necks, 
about 2 inches long, projecting from the side of the nest. 
The nests were composed of pieces of straw, fine twigs, cobwebs, 
and fluffy feathers, all agglutinated together, with here and 
there some bright-colored feather of a parrot or roller stuck 
carelessly on the outside. A nest which I detached measured from 

Notes oil the Birds of the Samhhiir Lake ^' Us vlclnlt//. 371 

opening to end, 7^ inches, in breadth it was 4 inches, and tlie 
opening- wiis 2 inches in diameter. The nest was oval in form, 
coarse, and lumpy in texture externally, but comparatively smooth 
inside. The egg cavity had a lining- of fine feathers, and the 
entrance was lined with fluffy feathers. Nearly every nest 
contained a bird, and in some cases I found two birds. 

112.-— Caprimulgus asiaticus, Lath. 

Not common. I had the eggs of what I suppose to belong to 
this bird, from Dr. Jerdon^s description, sent to me from 
Koochamun at the end of April. In ground color and marking 
they much resemble the eggs of Pterocles fasciatus, but are 
much smaller. 

114. — Caprimulgus monticolus, Franld. 

Not common. Generally found in the low-lying hills towards 

117.— Merops viridis, X. 

This species is very common. A young bird in my collection 
has the central tail feathers shorter than the others ; above, the 
color is pale green, a shade darker on the head, with no tinge 
of golden about the feathers; the outer primary coverts are 
tipped white. Beneath, from the throat to the vent, the color 
is pale fawn mixed with green ; the collar is faintly marked 
by a narrow line, and dots of green ; under tail covers, pale blue. 
This bird commences to build here towards the end of March. 
Although, as a rule, it prefers to build in a bank, I have taken 
its nest on level ground. The nest is generally about three 
feet deep, but I have seen them nearly six feet, and the egg 
cavity is a long oval with the major axis about 5 or 6 mches ; 
it is without any lining; the angle of the decline from the 
opening to the nest is about 30°. In some nests which I have 
dug out, a piece of kunkur or stone has caused the bird to 
diverge at right angles from the straight line, and then follow 
the same angle until a sufficient depth has been reached, I 
have found as many as seven eggs in one nest, although four 
or five is the normal number, and I have repeatedly found 
the young birds in the most various stages of plumage, i. e., 
one all but fledged, and the youngest covered with down. On 
several occasions I have found frogs occupying the egg cavity 
of this bird. 

120. — Merops segyptius, Forsk. 

This bird is rarely seen about Sambhur, but about the tree 
and scrub jungle at Mata Pahar and the Marot hills it is very 

373 Notes on the Birds of the Sambhur Lake Sj' its viciuitf. 

common. In the Marot hills the natives showed me the holes in 
which it breeds about the beginning of the rains. The females 
are, as a rule, a trifle smaller than the males, but the sexes vary 
very little indeed in dimensions. Four males and three females, 
measured in the flesh, varied in length from VZ'l to 12-2; 
expanse, 17-2 to 17"6; wing, 6 to 6-i ; tarsus, 0*4 to 0-5; bill 
at front, 1-8 to 1-9. 

123. — Coracias indicus, JO. 

Very common. I have taken its eggs during March, April, 
and May. On the 24th April I saw a pair making love near the 
Sambhur Fort, and on the 1st May 1 obtained the eggs of the 
same birds from a cavity in a neem tree ; one of the eggs was 
a little set. 

129. — Halcyon smyrnensis, i. 

The white- breasted kingfisher is very common, and breeds 
in the banks of the open wells from March till June. On the 
15th April I took a nest four feet below the ground level, and 
three feet deep, in which I found two fresh eggs. On the 13th 
June I took another nest in which I found five eggs, all hard- 
set; the nest was about 18 inches deep. On the 27th June 
I took a nest with four fresh eggs. The unblown eggs were 
pinkish with whitish streaks. In no case had the egg cavity 
any lining. 

134, — Alcedo bengalensis, Gm. 

Very rare. I have only observed it once here. 

136. — Oeryle rudis, i^. 

Very rare. 1 have only obtained two specimens of this bird 
here. Both were males and had the black bands right across the 

148.— Palseonris torquatus, Bodd. 

This species is very common. I have, on several occasions, 
taken the eggs from holes in neem trees during March. During 
courtship the manner in which the male j^ersists in kissing the 
female, and between each kiss keeps letting go one foot, generally 
the right, from the branch on which he is sitting so as to raise 
his body up and down, is highly amusing. 

149.— Palaeonris purpureus, Miill. 

This species is common about Sambhur and the hills towards 
the village of Marot. It breeds here, but I have never taken 

Nofes^n the Birds of the Samhhur LaJce ^- its vicinity. 373 

160. — Picus mahrattensis, Latham. 

This is the only woodpecker which I Lave seen in the imme- 
diate neig-hbcurhood of the lake. Although not common^ it 
is occasionally seen working- over the kheggera and babool 

I lately shot two males and a female which were working 
over a babool tree They were all young birds, and the crimson 
tippings on the occiput of the males were just appearing. This 
was on the 10th of May. 

-j- 167. — Chrysocolaptes festivus, Bodd. 

I obtained only one specimen of this from the Koochamun 
jungles. Male, length, Vlt ; expanse, 19'5 ; wing, 6; tail 
from vent, 3*4; bill at front, 2; tarsus, 1. 

180.— Brachypternus aurantius, L. 

I have only seen one bird of this species in the Koochamun 
jungles, and as I was after large game, I could not afford to 
shoot it, 

188. — Yunx torquilla, L. 

The common wryneck is very rare ; I have shot it on two 
occasions in the scrub jungle near the foot of the hills, and once 
close to Sambhur. 

■A 197. — Xantholsema hsemacephala, Mull. 

The crimson-throated barbet is very common about all the 
gardens here. It breeds about April and May. The young 
birds have the yellow on the throat, and about the eyes very 
l^ale ; there is no red on the breast, and the whole of the head 
and neck is a dull green. 

199.— Cuculus canorus, L. 

Very rare. I have only observed this species twice here. 
Obtained in May, 

205. — Hierococcyx varius, Valil. 

Very rare. Seen in July. 

1^212.— Coccystes jacobinus, -Bo(i<i. 

Very rare. Obtained in July. 

>< 214. — Eudynamis horonata, L. 

Rare. I possess a young male with most of the feathers 
glossy green, but some of the primaries and secondaries are light- 
brown, mottled with white, and one of the tail feathers is 

374 Notes on the Birds of the Samhhur Lake 8f its viciniti/. 

brown with white bands. About the vent there are a number of 
white feathers. The koel has visited Sambhur during ray re- 
sidence only once or twice, and that during the rains. 

217. — Centropus rufipennis, IlUger. 

Very rare. I have never seen the common coucal anywhere 
about this, but last December a specimen was shot in ray garden. 

Female, length, 31 "3; expanse 23"3,- wing, 8; tail from vent, 
12*4; tarsus, 2*1 ; bill at front, along curve, 1*7 > irides, red. 

220. — Taccocua sirkee, Gray. 

Very rare. I have only once seen a pair in a patch of jungle 
near Marot. Both were feeding on the ground when I shot 

Male, length, 17'5 ; wing, 6*5; tarsus, 1'7; tail from vent, 
10"4: bill at front, along curve, 1*3. 

Female, length, 17"25j expanse, 19; wing, 6*4; tail, ]0'5; 
tarsus 1"5; bill at front, along curve, 1*5 ; bill, blood red; the 
tip of the upper and lower mandible, horny white. The whole 
of the tail feathers obsoletely barred. 

234.— Arachnechthra asiatica, L. 

The purple honey-sucker is very common about Sambhur; it 
breeds during the month of April and np to June. On tlie 
morning of the 18th April, I saw a female apparently in a great 
state of excitement over a piece of cobweb in a tree, and 1 
succeeded in lining it like a bee, until I found the beginning 
of a new nest on a babool tree, about 15 feet from the iiiound. 
On the 19th it had the upper portion of the nest well formed, 
on the 20th the nest was well blocked out, but had no inner 
lining. From the 21st to the 24th the bird was occupied in. 
ornamenting the outside of the nest with all sorts of stray feathers 
and other odds and ends. 

During these days it also filled in the inner lining. It is curious 
how fond these birds are of tacking on pieces of paper, and here 
and there a bright-colored feather from a parrot, or a roller 
on the outside of their nests. When in Agra a bird of this 
species built a nest on a loose piece of thatch cord in ray 
verandah, and on the side of the nest, stuck on like a signboard, 
was a piece of a torn up letter with " My dear Adam" on it. 

On the 26th I found the bird sitting on the nest, and I 
presume it had eggs, but I did not care to disturb it, and on the 
27th for the first time I saw the male bird near the nest. All 
through the time of construction, so far as ray observation went, 
he never assisted the female in the slightest degree. Now he 
seemed exceedingly happy, fluttered every now and then about 
the nest, and after each careful inspection he was so seemingly 

Notes on the Birds of the ^anihhir Ijalce Sj- its vicivity. 375 

pleased with the handiwork of his mate, that he perched on an 
adjoining branch and poured forth a joyous strain, flapping- his 
wing's, and making his axillary feathers rotate in the most 
extraordinary manner. On the 13th of May the young were 
hatched, and 1 never once observed the male coming near the 
nest to feed them; about the 24th the birds were well fledged. 
It does seem strange that the male of this species should not 
take any part in the construction of the nest, the hatcliing or the 
rearing of the young, but I presume that the reason of this is 
that his conspicuous plumage about the nest would attract the 
attention of birds that might destroy it. 

When in Oudh I have seen the village boys with tame honey- 
suckers which they carried about on their hands, having a horse- 
hair attached to the bird's leg. The birds were fed with sugar 
and water, which was kept in the hollow of a slender reed, and 
they seemed veiy much pleased when they were allowed to sip it. 

246.— Salpornis spilonota, FranM. 

I have lately had two specimens of this rare bird shot for me in 
the jungle near Knochamun. This is the second time that I liave 
obtained it. In 1868, when at the village of the Moteepur — in 
the Baraitch district — on tlie outskiits of the forest, I saw a 
small party of six of these birds fly into a tree, and I then 
obtained two. 

Male, length of dried skin, 5-75 ; wing, 3'5 ; tail, from vent, 
1"7 ; bill at front, I'O ; tarsus, 0'6. 

254.— Upupa epops, L. 

The European hoopoe is very common about this lake during 
the cold weather, but it disappears entirely during the breeding 
season, and returns about the end of August. Six specimens, 
with bills measuring 2 "2, have the amount of white on the crest 
feathers varying very much. 

255. — Upupa nigripennis, Gould. 

This species is not common. I have only obtained one female, 
and there is hardly a trace of white on its ciest. 

Length, 11"1 ; expanse, ]6'9; wing 5"5 ; tail from vent, 3-8 ; 
tarsus, 0*8; bill at front, 1-9 j mid toe and claw, 0*8; irides, 
dark brown. 

256.— CoUyrio lahtora, Sykes. 

The pallid shrike is very common and breeds here from March 
till July. I have on several occasions witnessed this bird attack 
and capture young birds, and I once rescued a young Temetmchns 
pagodaraiu which was in a fair way of being killed. 

376 Notes on the Birds of the Samlhur Lake S)' its vicinity. 

257. — Collyrio erythronotus, Vigors. 

This shrike is not very plentiful. It breeds here, but I have 
never taken its eg-gs. 

260 —Collyrio vittatus, I>um. 

The bay-backed shrike is very common about Sambhur. It 
breeds here, but I have never taken its eg-o-s. On the 1st August 
1873, I saw numbers of nests and fledglings of this bird in the 
Marot jungle. 

262. — Lanius arenarius, Blyth. 

This shrike is frequently met with about the sandy plains. 
I have an adult male showing the white wing spot on the fourth, 
fifth, and sixth primaries only. 

265. — Tephrodornis pondiceriana, Gmel. 

Not very common. The young birds are pale rufescent brown 
above, with pale reddish-white spots and streaks about the head, 
and spots as tippings to the feathers of the back ; the tertiaries 
have one or two bars near the tips, and along- che edge of the 
feathers, dark brown. ' It breeds here, as I saw one carrying a 
twig in its bill, but I failed to discover the nest. 

268. — Volvocivora Sykesii, StHekl. 

Two specimens of the young of this species I obtained in 
June 1871, and I have never seen any others since. The 
centre tail feathers are dark blackish grey. In the male the 
head neck, and breast are nearly all black, and on the breast 
(below the black) and flanks are numerous black crescentic 
markino-s. In the female some of the head feathers are black, 
and fi'om the throat to the middle of the abdomen, and on the 
upper tail coverts, are blackish wavy lines. 

273.— Pericrocotus brevirostris, Vigors. 

Small parties of this minivet visit Sambhur during the cold 

276.— Pericrocotus peregrinus, L. 

The small minivet is very common during the whole year. 
It seems to prefer patches of jungle trees, to trees near to 
villages. Tarsus, 0-6. Jerdon gives this as 0-9. 

227.— Pericrocotus erythropygius, Jerdon. 

I have on two or three occasions 'shot this bird in the tree 
iuno-les near to Marot and Koochamun, but I have never obtained 
It at Sambhur. Irides, dark brown. 

Notas on the Birch of the Samhhir Lake Sj- its vicinity. 377 

278.— Buchanga albirictus, Sodgs. 

Very common. The king-crow breeds here in June and July, 
The eg-g-s vary much with regard to coloring; some are pure 
white without spots, some have dark-brown spots on the white 
ground, whilst others hqve a pale rufous ground darker at 
the broader end, with spots of deep rust color and lilac. Irides, 
deep lake -red, 

288. — Tchitrea paradisi, L. 

Not very common. I possess a male, in the chestnut plumage, 
with all the outer webs of the wing feathers white, some with a 
chestnut edging. The tail feathers have also a good deal of white 
mingled with the chestnut. 

292. — Leucocirca aureola, Vieillot. 

Very rare about Sambhur, but I have seen a few pairs about. 
Nawa and Marot. In some specimens the extent of white on 
the outer tail feathers is very considerable. 

295.— Cryptolopha cinereocapilla, Vieillot. 

This fly-catcher is very rare here; I have only obtained one 
specimen, shot 1 5th December 1870. 

-/— 297 Us. — Musicapa grisola, L. 

Only one specimen of this bird has been obtained. 

^ 323 Us. — Erythrosterna parva, Bechst. 

This species is somewhat rare; I have specimens shot in 
November, December, and the end of March, and all have the 
bright rufous throat patch, 

351. — Petrocossyphus cyanus, L., or, if distinct, P. 
Pandoo, Sykes. 

Very rare. I have only met with it on two occasions at 

353. — Petrophila cinclorhynchus, Vigors. 

Very rare. I shot a young female 18th September 1870. 

355.— Geocichla citrina, Lath. 

Very rare. I have only once seen this bird here. I shot a 
female as she was hunting for insects in a large burgot tree 
on the 10th March. 

356.— Geocichla unicolor, TlckelL 

Very rare. I have only obtained one specimen in this neigh- 


"378 Notes on the Birds of the SambJinr Lake Sf its vicinity. 

385. — Pyctoris sinensis, Gmel. 

I have obtained specimens of this bird from the hills near 
Koochamunj but during my numerous excursions in the neigh- 
bourhood I have never myself seen it. 

436. — Malacocircus Malcomi, Syhes. 

Very common. This species commences to breed about the 
end of March. 

438.— Chatarrhaea caudata, Bum. 

This bush -babbler is veiy common about the lake. I have 
noted it breeding from the beginning of March till the 
beginning of July. The first nest which I discovered here was 
deserted by the birds, but it was at once taken possession of 
by a pair of munias, Munia rtialabarica, who built a very neat 
roof over it. Although this species generally prefers building 
in the hedges of prickly pear, I have taken the nests in orange 
trees, the karounda, the babool, &c. 

459. — Otocompsa leucotis, Gould. 

This s'oeeies is seldom seen about Sambhur, but towards Nawa 
and Mata Pahar it is very abundant. It seems to prefer low 
, scrub jungle. I am told that it breeds here, but I have never 
seen its nest. Irides, dark brown. 

452. — Molpastes* chrysorrhoides, Lafr. 

This species is very common. It breeds during June and July. 

468.— ^githeria flora) tiphia, L. 

This species is very rare. I have only shot it on two occasions 
here. I do not know whether zeylonica, Gm., and tiphia, L., are 
really distinct, but both my specimens are of the tiphia type. 
From the hills near Koochamun, I have obtained a male of 
the zeylonica type. 

470.— Oriolus kundoo, Sykes. 

The Indian oriole is common here. During the cold season 
it keeps very quiet, but as the breeding season approaches, the 
birds are incessantly calling to each other. It breeds in June 
and July, and generally builds on the neem, siris, or sisoo. It 
selects a fork on a slender branch difficult of access, and on this, 

* I propose the subgeneiic name Molpastes for the small group of bulbuls 
comprising chrysorrhoides, Lafr. (=pusilliis, Bly.) type ; py^H?«M«, Hodgs, 
erocorrhous, Stricldaud ; and, if distinct, intermedius, Hay ; and nigropileus, 
3o,.c1._Ed., Stray Feathers. 

Notes on the Birds of the Samhhur Lake Sj- Us vicinit//. 379 

somewhat in the shape o£ an equilateral triangle, the bird first 
binds very securely pieces of tow, twine, or longish strips of 
cloth, fastening them round the twigs and leaving a depression, 
into which is placed a cup-shaped structure composed of fine 
grass or twigs firmly rounded together. There is no lining in 
the nest. The egg cavity is 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches 
deep. I have usually found two or three eggs in a nest. The 
eggs are white with largish sepia-brown spots at the broad end. 

475.— Copsychus saularis, L. 

This bird is not common, but pairs are now and then seen 
about gardens and topes of trees. A pair nested in my garden, 
bat I could never succeed in finding the nest. 

480.— Thamnobia cambaiensis, Latham. 

The Indian robin is very plentiful here, and breeds from 
March to June. A pair which built in my verandah' in April 
had two eggs in the same nest on the 8th May, or about ten 
days after the first brood left the nest. 

The nest is made in holes in trees, stone or mud walls, the 
thatch of houses, or in prickly pear bushes. Sometimes it is 
very carelessly made ; at other times the bird bestows a good 
deal of labor on it. When carelessly made, a few tags of 
sheep''s wool and some human hair rounded into a cup-shape suffice, 
but when carefully made, it is constructed of fibres, grass, and 
grass roots, all firmly matted together, and the agg cavity is 
lined with difiPerent kinds of hair. The outer diameter of the 
nest measures 4 inches ; the inner, 2:| inches, with a depth of 
1^ inch. In each of the numerous nests which I have taken, 
there were either one or two pieces of snake''s skin or a few 
pieces of mica, which is rather common about the roads when the 
mohurrum tazzeas are being carried about. Two seem to be 
the normal number of the eggs, but I have sometimes found 
three ; they are of a pale-greenish color, some with spots, and 
others with only freckles of various shades of reddish-brown: one 
egg I possess has a few very fine spots, while at the thick end 
there is a lovely zone of lilac and reddish-brown. 

48i. — Pratincola caprata, L. 

This bird is not very plentiful here. I once saw a nest, taken 
close to Sambhur, which contained four eggs. The young birds 
are dark-brown with rufous lines on the head ; the back feathers 
are tipped rufous, with a dark-brown edging ; the tertiaries are 
edged bright-rufous, and in the young male the wing spot is 
also this color. A young male in a more advanced stage of 

380 Notes on the Birds of the Sambhiir Lake Sf its vicinity. 

plumag-G is a dark-brown, with the head and throat soriiewhat 
darker colored; wing spot, white, 

I found a nest of this bird on the 23rd June 1873. The nest 
was in a hole in the bank of an open well. The hole appeared 
to have been made in the loose sand by the bird and measured 
about 3 "5 in diameter. The outer lining of the nest consisted 
of a few pieces of coarse grass, while in the egg cavity there 
were a few pieces of fine roots carelessly placed together and not 
rounded. The nest contained three eggs of a pale greenish 
color, with a zone of rust-colored spots at the broad end, and 
a few spots and freckles of the same color on the body of the 
egg. Length, '62 ; breadth, 0-5. ^ , 

483.— Pratincola rubicola, I>. t>i^C4^ c^ 

This bird is not very common. 

488.— Dromolsea opistholeuca, SfricM. 

This species is not common. The black on the middle tail 
feathers measures 1'6, and not, as Jerdon mentions, about half an 

489. — Dromolsea picata, £li/th. 

Common during the cold weather. Mr. Hume considers this 
species aad Saxicola capistrata (490) to be diflFerent stages of 
the same bird. I cannot pretend to oifer any opinion on the 
subject, for capistrata is not common here. I have, however, 
obtained five specimens of it, with the head varying in color 
from white to dark-brown black. Irides, dark-brown. 

491 « — Saxicola isabellina, Buppell. 

Very common on the sandy plains during the cold weather. 

492. — Saxicola deserti, Buppell. 

This species is more plentiful, if anything, than the preceding. 

494.— Cercomela fusca, Blt/th. 

The brown rock-chat is very common, and is generallj? seen 
in pairs about old buildings, near villages, or the loose stony 
portions of the hills. On the 23rd March I found a nest in the 
Sambhur Fort in a wall of an inner roona. It was about 5 feet 
from the ground. It was cup-shaped, the outside measuring 
4^ inches in diameter, and the egg receptacle about 2^. The 
nest was composed of fine grass, loosely rounded together, and 
had for a lining a layer of goat^s hair worked carelessly round 
into the shape of the nest. The eggs are blue with pale, or 
sometimes dark, reddish-brown spots near the thick end. 

Notes on the Birds of the Samhhuf Lake ^' Us vicinitu. 381 

To show how fearless this little bird is, I may mention that 
in April last one of them built in a hole in a bath-room wallj 
and did not appear to be frightened by the people going out 
and in. About three weeks after^ the young had left the nest, the 
birds laid three eggs in the same nest^ and these I took on 
10th April 1873. 

497. — Ruticilla rufiventris, Vieill. 

This species is not very common. From the series of birds 
now before me, it would seem that the grey of the head and 
back becomes deep black. In a male, shot in September, the 
feathers of the head and back are deep black, with only a few 
grey tippings to some of the feathers. The female is pale 
brown above, with the rump and tail feathers like the male, but 
paler. There is also a pale rufous frontal band. 

514. — Cyanecula cserulecula, Pall. C duQ.x.j^' 

The Indian blue-throat is common about this. It freqxients 
the long grass about the open wells and the fields adjoining the 
wells. I feel certain that it breeds here, but I have never 
obtained a nest. 

515.— Calamodyta brunnescens, Jerdon. 

I have three specimens of this reed warbler. Male, shot 
11th April 1873. Length, 8*2 ; expanse, 11 -1 ; wing, 3-6 ; tail 
from vent, 3" 1 ; tarsus, 1*3; bill at front, 1*1. Irides, greyish 
brown. The last I shot was in the niiddle of May. It was a 
female, and the eggs in the ovary were very minute. 

516. — Acrocephalus dumetorum, Blyth. 

The lesser reed warbler is not often met with here. I have 
seen it once or twice hunting for insects amongst the reeds in a 
tank close to my house. After each hunt it perched well up on a 
reed and uttered its peculiar loud call. 

Male, length, 5'6 ; expanse, 7*8 j tail from vent, 2-3. 

Female, length, 5-3; expanse, 7*3; tail from vent, 2; bill 
at front, 0'7 ; wing, 2*3 ; tarsus, 0"9. 

530.— Orthotomus longicaudus, Gmel. 

The tailor bird is very common about this. It breeds from 
June to August. Male, length, 7*6 ; wing, 2 ; tail from vent, 
4*3 j bill at front, 6 ; tarsus, 0'8. 

538. — Prinia Hodgsoni, Blyth. 

The Malabar wren warbler appears to be pretty common in 
the hills towards Koochamun. I have never shot it, but a batch 

382 Notes on the Birds of the Samhhur Lake Sj- its viciniti/. 

of forty birds lately received from my