1421. Dromas ardeola.
Dromas ardeola, Paykull, K. Svensk. Vet.-Ak. Handl. xxvi, pp. 182, 188, pl. 8 (1805); Blyth. Cat. p. 270; id. J. A. S. B. xxi, p. 352 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii. p. 658; Pelzeln, Novara Reise, Vog. p. 124; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 166 ; Beavan, ibid. p. 332; v. d. Hoev. Nova Acta Acad. C. L. xxxiii, no. 7 ; Ball, S. F. i, p. 85 ; Hume, S. F. ii, pp. 59, 293 ; Legge, S. F. iii, p. 220, iv, p. 246 ; Le Mess. S. F. iii, p. 378; Hume, S. F. iv, pp. 451, 464, 496; Butler, S. F. v, pp. 212, 232, 236 ; vii, p. 186 ; Hume, Cat. no. 861; id. S. F. viii, p. 381; Parker, S. F. ix, p 482 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 991 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 339; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 327 ; Finny, Jour, Bom. N. H. Soc. viii, 1893, p. 320; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 28.
Coloration. White, except the upper back and elongate interscapulars, the greater coverts, and the outer webs and ends of the inner webs of the primary and secondary quills, which are black ; shafts of quills white; a small speck in front of the eye and another behind also black.
Young birds have the upper parts grey, the back darker and brownish, the nape and hind neck streaked with black. After the back has become black the upper parts often retain a pearly-grey tint.
Bill black; irides deep brown; legs and feet pale glaucous blue (Hume).
Length 16; tail 2.8; wing 8.25 ; tarsus 3.7; bill from gape 2.75.
Distribution. Asiatic and African shores of the Indian Ocean west of the Malay Peninsula, including the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. Local throughout the shores of India and Ceylon and on the islands of the Bay of Bengal, the Laccadives, &c.
Habits, &c. The Crab-Plover keeps to the sea-shore or the margin of salt lakes, and is found as a rule in small or large flocks, sometimes much scattered. It feeds chiefly on crabs. It runs actively and flies well, occasionally uttering a low, rather musical call. This bird breeds in the Persian Gulf and in Ceylon , about May, and lays a single egg at the end of a hole in sand near the shore. The hole is dug by the bird obliquely in the form of a bow curving up towards the end, which is about 4 feet from the entrance ; there is no lining. The egg is pure white, much like that of a Shearwater, and remarkably large for the size of the bird, measuring 2.54 by 1.77.
* Bronn, Klass. Ordn. Thier-reichs, vi, pt. 4, p. 203. Review of Recent Attempts to Classify Birds, p. 72. Madagascar, vol. xii, Oiseaux, p. 614. § Untersuchungen, p. 1228.