1418. Oedicnemus scolopax.
Charadrius oedicnemus, Linn. Syst. Nat.i, p. 255 (1766). Charadrius scolopax, S. G. Gmel. Reis. Russl. iii, p. 87, pi. 16 (1774). Oedicnemus crepitans, Temm. Man. d'Orn. p. 322 (1815); Blyth, Cat. p. 260 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 654; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 190; id. Ibis, 1870, p. 470; Hume, S. F. i, p. 232 ; Adam, ibid. p. 395; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 14. Oedicnemus indicus, Salvadori, Atti Soc. Ital. Sc. Nat. viii, p. 380 (1865); Hume, N. & E. p. 581; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 251 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 227. Oedicnemus scolopax, Dresser, Birds Eur. vii, p. 401, pl. 512 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 458; Hume, Cat. no. 859 ; Doig, S. F. viii, p. 371; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 969 ; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 82 ; Butler, ibid. p. 427 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 67; Davison, ibid. p. 413 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 356: Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 337; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 331. Oedicnemus oedicnemus, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 4.
The Stone-Plover, Jerdon ; Karwanak, Barsiri, H.; Lambi of Falconers ; Kharma, Beng.; Kaledu, Tel.; Kana mosul, Tam.; Bastard Florican of some Anglo-Indians.
Coloration. Upper parts ashy brown, varying to sandy buff, more or less rufescent towards the edges of the feathers, and with black shaft-stripes that are broadest on the back, narrow on the rump and upper tail-coverts ; hind neck often paler than crown ; lores and a streak from thence below the eye, with a superciliary stripe, creamy white; remainder of sides of head pale brown with blackish streaks; smaller wing-coverts rufous brown, streaked blackish, a white or whitish bar across them; median coverts ashy brown with whitish ends, blackish fusiform shaft-stripes, and brown patches near the tips; larger coverts white, each with an oblique subterminal blackish bar ; primary-coverts and quills blackish brown, first two or three primaries with a white patch, by far largest on the first, later primaries with their tips and bases white, earlier secondaries white on basal portion of inner web; tail ashy brown, all the feathers except the middle pair with blackish tips, each crossed by a subterminal white bar; lower parts white, fore neck rufous, and, together with the upper breast, streaked with dark brown shaft-stripes ; under tail-coverts pale rufous. Birds from dry sandy tracts are very pale-coloured.
The. young have the wing-coverts and tail-feathers irregularly banded darker. The nestling is clad in dark sandy-grey down with a few black stripes, especially two down the back.
The Indian bird is on an average smaller than the European, and has generally a white patch on the third primary ; this patch is usually wanting in skins from Europe, but neither distinction is constant.
Bill black at the end, yellow at the base ; irides bright yellow, orbits duller ; legs and feet yellow.
Length about 16; tail 4.25; wing 8.7 (from 8.25 to 9.5); tarsus 3 ; bill from gape 2.
Distribution. Central and Southern Europe, with North Africa, Central and South-western Asia, and throughout India, Ceylon, and Burma in suitable localities ; resident or nearly so.
Habits, &c. This well-known species is chiefly found on dry stony plains, or undulating ground, bare or with scattered bush or scrub jungle, not as a rule on hills, rarely, if ever, in forest. It is a wary bird, and in many respects resembles a Bustard in its habits, having the same trick of hiding by lying down on the bare ground, when it becomes very difficult to detect. It has a peculiar long wild Curlew-like cry, and is somewhat nocturnal; its food consists of insects, worms, snails, &c. The flesh is said to be excellent. It breeds from February to August in India, chiefly about April, and lavs generally two, sometimes three eggs, pale buff to olive-green in colour, blotched with black, sometimes with purplish clouds and spots. The average size of Indian eggs is 1.9 by 1.39. There is no nest.