Fulica atra, Lin.
903. :- Jerdon's Birds of India Vol. II, p. 715 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 20 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 431; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 261; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 135.
THE BALD COOT.
Length, 15 to 16 ; wing, 7.75 ; tail, 2 ; bill at gape, 1.4.
Bill dead white in winter, tinged slightly with rosy in the breeding season ; frontal disc white ; irides blood red; feet dull green, with a garter of yellow green and red above the joint in summer.
Head and neck deep black ; upper plumage greyish-black; below the same, with an ashy tinge.
The Common Coot occurs abundantly throughout the region.
It is a permanent resident, making a large nest of reeds and rushes, in water a foot or so deep; the nest is based upon the ground, but rises several inches above the water level. Occasionally they are built upon the ground close to the waters edge, and occasionally they are more or less floating. The eggs, seven to ten in number, are broadish ovals, slightly compressed towards one end ; they have no gloss and are of a pale buffy-stone color, closely and evenly stippled with black or blackish-brown specks with an occasional spot of somewhat larger size scattered sparingly about the surface.
The eggs average 1.98 in length by 1.4 in breadth.