family THINOCORYTHIDAE. SEED-SNIPES* (Latreille's).
Seed-Snipes or Quail Snipes are small, short-billed birds, with general habits and appearance of the Quails. According to Darwin, these birds partake both of the character of Snipe and Quail. Their character and mode of flight show them to be modified Grallae. Blyth thinks they approach Pteroclidae in appearance and habit. Called " Shore Larks" by some writers, but the term is here omitted to save confusion with Otocorys alpestris, which belongs to Alaudinae, one of the subfamilies of Passeridae, Vomer broad and rounded in front similar to that of Aegithognathae. Bill like that of game birds, without any sheath. Feet not webbed, with scarcely perceptible membrane between fourth and third toes. Hind toe present. Tarsus reticulated in front and behind. Plumage like the game birds, in flight like the Plovers. Eggs drab, thickly speckled chocolate. Nestling covered with light and dark down.
Not represented in India. Two genera—one, Attagis, in Falkland Isles and on lofty mountains of southern portion of S. America, within the boundary of Alpine plants, or even in places entirely destitute of vegetation ; the second, Thinocorus, inhabiting the desolate valleys of southern parts of S. America.
The genus Attagis, with tail rounded. Three species, viz.— A. grayii 11 1/2", with breast and abdomen cinnamon, from Chili and Peru; A. chimborazensis, 11", from Ecuador, and A. maloninus, 11", with breast and abdomen white, from the Falkland Islands.
The genus Thinocorus, with tail more wedge-shaped. Two species— T. orbignianus, 9", throat white, with black border, from Chili and Peru; T. rumicivorus, 6 1/2", foreneck with black mesial line, from S. America.