Ardetta flavicollis, Latham.
932. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 753; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 273.
THE BLACK BITTERN.
Kola Bagla, Hin.
Length, 23 to 24; expanse, 30 ; wing, 8.5 ; tail, 3 ; tarsus, 2.5 ; bill at front, 3.5.
Bill livid red-brown ; culmen dusky; cere livid purple;' irides yellow; legs pale brown, with a tinge of green in some, reddish-brown in others.
Plumage above (in breeding season) dull cinereous black; chin and throat with the feathers white, tipped with red-brown ; the large feathers of the neck mixed with white, red-brown, and dusky-black ; each feather having some black at the base and tip, and more or less red-brown on one web only; a stripe of golden-yellow down the side of the neck, widening inferiorly; feathers of the back lengthened, but not decomposed, forming a dorsal plume ; the feathers of the breast dark ashy, slightly lengthened ; abdomen dusky, mixed with whitish; inner wing-coverts dusky reddish.
The young bird has the feathers slightly edged with rufous, and the throat and neck less richly colored than in the adult.
The Black Bittern, within our limits, has only been recorded from Sind. Mr. Doig found them breeding on the Narra Canal in the month of May. He says the nests are formed of tamarisk twigs and occasionally a few aquatic weeds, and that the eggs, always four in number, are broad ovals, pointed at both ends, and are nearly white in color. They measure 1.7 by 1.22.