1515. Anous stolidus.
Sterna stolida, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 227 (1766). Anous stolidus, Blyth, Cat. p. 293; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 845; Ball, S. F. i, p. 90 ; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 320; iv, pp. 429, 478; Legge, S. F. iv, p. 247 ; Butter, S. F. v, p. 301; Hume &Dav. S. F. vi, p. 493; Hume, Cat. no. 993 ; Ley ye, Birds Ceyl. p. 1043 ; Hume, S. F. x, p. 247; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 434; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 315; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 433; Saunders, Cat. B. M. xxv, p. 136.
Coloration. Forehead and crown pale grey, passing on the nape into greyish brown, and this again into the dark smoky or chocolate-brown of the upper and lower surface generally ; lores black above, passing into the dark leaden brown of the cheeks and throat; primaries and secondaries blackish; tail-feathers very dark; wing-lining slaty grey.
Young birds are browner and paler, and have the forehead and crown greyish brown.
Bill black, orange at the angle of the gape; irides deep brown ; legs and feet dusky vinous purple (Hume).
Length 16 ; tail 6 ; wing 10-5 : tarsus 1; bill from gape 2.3.
Distribution. Tropical and subtropical seas. This bird is found occasionally on the Indian coasts, and has been recorded from Makran, the Laccadives (where if breeds), Ceylon, and several parts of the Bay of Bengal, especially the Nicobar Islands.
Habits, &c. Those of the genus. Hume found Noddies of this species in large numbers breeding on Cherbaniani Beef, one of the Laccadives, and just beginning to lay in the second week in February. Only one egg is laid by each bird ; it is whitish as a rule, very sparingly spotted with dark brown and pale purple, and measures about 2.08 by 1.38.