1419. Esacus recurvirostris.
The Great Stone-Plover.
Oedicnemus recurvirostris, Cuv. Regne An. 2e ed. i, p. 500 (1829). Esacus recurvirostris, Lesson, Traite, p. 547; Blyth, Cat. p. 260; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 652 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 232: id. N. & E. p. 579; id. S. F. iii. p. 182; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 152 ; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 14; v, p. 232; vii, p. 186 ; ix, pp. 290, 427 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 458; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 227; Cripps, ibid. p. 301; Hume, Cat. no. 858; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 974; Reid, S. F. x, p. 67 ; Davidson, ibid. p. 319 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 367 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 336; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2) iv, p. 46 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 316; Oates in Hume's N. &; E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 335; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 20. Carvanaca grisea, Hodgson, J. A. S. B. v, p. 776 (1836).
Barra karwanak, H.; Abi of Falconers; Gang titai (Ganges lapwing), Bengal; Mien-zain, Burmese.
Coloration. Upper plumage light ashy brown with darker shaft-lines ; supercilia, orbits, forehead, lores, and a stripe on each side from them to the throat white; above the white supercilium is a blackish stripe joined by a dark line running in front of the orbit and then beneath it to a broad black band including the ear-coverts ; a dark stripe from below the gape ; smaller wing-coverts like the back, this colour limited by a blackish-brown band, followed by a narrow whitish one ; median and greater coverts pearly grey ; primary-coverts blackish brown ; edge of wing white; quills chiefly blackish, the first three primaries crossed more or less completely by a white band, 6th primary with basal half of inner web white ; later primaries white at base and tip; tail-feathers like back, all except middle pair blackish near the tip with a subterminal white band; lower parts white; fore neck and upper breast tinged isabelline ; under tail-coverts tinged rufous.
Base of bill and nostrils yellow, remainder of bill black ; irides yellow ; legs plumbeous white (Oates) ; legs and feet pale yellowish green (Legge).
Length 20; tail 4.5 : wing 10.5 ; tarsus 3.25 ; bill from gape 3.4.
Distribution. Plains of India, Ceylon, and Burma, on the banks of the larger rivers : resident. Pound in Sind and the Punjab, but not known farther west.
Habits, &c. This bird is usually solitary or in pairs, and is seldom seen, in India or Burma, away from the sandy, stony, or rocky banks of rivers. In Ceylon, according to Legge, it frequently haunts the sea-shore. It feeds on Crustacea, mollusks, and occasionally insects. It is partially nocturnal, and has a loud harsh croaking note. It lays two eggs between February and May in river-beds, on the sand or amongst stones; the eggs are stone- coloured, with dark blotches and secondary purplish markings, and measure about 2.15 by 1.6.