1422. Cursorius coromandelicus.
The Indian Courser.
Charadrius coromandelicus, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 692 (1788). Cursorius coromandelicus, Blyth, Cat. p. 259; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 626 ; Hayes-Lloyd, Ibis, 1873, p. 415; Adam. S. F. i, p. 393 ; James,ibid. p. 421; Parker, S. F. iii. p. 267; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 10; v, pp. 232,327 ; ix, p. 425; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 226; Hume, Cat. no. 840; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 977 ; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 77 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 64; Hume, ibid. p. 412; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 324 ; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. i. p. 57 ; vi, p. 15, fig. 840 ; Seebohm, Charadr. p. 241 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 323; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 39.
The Indian Courier Plover, Jerdon; Nukri, H.; Yerra chitawa, Durawayi, Tel.
Coloration. Crown chestnut, darker behind, the long occipital feathers concealing a black nuchal spot; long white supercilia meeting at the nape, bordered below by a black band that includes lores, orbits, and ear-coverts, and also extends round the nape; behind the black there is a rufous collar; upper plumage sandy brown; primary-coverts, primaries, and secondaries black, secondaries grey towards the ends, with white tips, passing gradually into the colour of the tertiaries and back; upper tail-coverts white; middle tail-feathers like the back, the others grayish brown at the base, then black and tipped white, the white tips increasing on the outer feathers till the outermost pair are white throughout; chin white ; throat passing into the rufous of the neck and breast, which deepens gradually into chestnut on the lower breast and into a black patch on the upper abdomen ; sides of breast and axillaries coloured like back; lower abdomen with flanks and lower tail-coverts white.
Young birds are buff above, irregularly barred with black, having a pale supercilium ; quills black ; breast dull rufous with black markings ; chin and abdomen white.
Bill black; irides dark brown; tarsus creamy white (Jerdon). The legs and feet have an enamelled or china-white aspect.
Length 9 ; tail 2.25 ; wing 6 ; tarsus 2.1 ; bill from gape 1.1.
Distribution. The Indian Peninsula from the base of the Himalayas, also the extreme north of Ceylon, on open dry plains away from forest. Bare on the Malabar coast and in Lower Bengal, and replaced in most parts of Cutch and Sind, and in the northwest Punjab by the next species.
Habits, &c. This bird is generally seen running about quickly, singly or in small parties, on open sandy or stony ground ; its movements being much like, those of the Stone-Curlew or of Bustards, and it lives on insects. It breeds from March to July, and lays, on the bare ground, usually two, sometimes three eggs, broadly oval, stone-coloured, thickly spotted and blotched with black, and measuring about 1.19 by .97.