1483. Gallinago nemoricola

1483. Gallinago nemoricola.

The Wood-Snipe.

Scolopax gallinago, Hodgs. Gleanings in Science, iii, p. 240 (1831) ; nec Linn. Gallinago nemoricola. Hodgs. P. Z. S. 1836, p. 8; id. J. A. S. B. vi, p. 490; Blyth, Cat. p. 272; Adams, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 506; Irbv, Ibis, 1861, p. 241; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 672 ; Blyth, Ibis. 1867, p. 166; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 459; Hume, Cat. no. 868 ; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 353; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 814; Hume & Marshall, Game B. iii, p. 325, pl.; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 428; Reid, S. F. x, p. 68 ; Ditmas, ibid. p. 173 ; Davison, ibid, p. 413 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 385 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 344 ; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 424; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 318; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 350; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 657. Scolopax nemoricola, Jerdon, Ill. Ind. Orn. pl. ix ; Nevill, J. A. S. B. Ceylon, 1867-70, p. 138; Seebohm, Charadr. p. 474.

Coloration generally much duller than that of G. coelestis. Upper parts black; a narrow median cororal stripe and superciliary bands, broad edges of scapulars, and bars and spots on wing-coverts dull tawny buff; a dark loral band to the eye and a second band on the cheek below the eye; sides of head, and the neck all round dull brownish buff, with broad blackish shaft-stripes ; primary-coverts, primaries, and secondaries dark brown ; lower back and rump irregularly barred, whitish in front, then brownish buff, the bars becoming rufous on the upper tail-coverts ; tail black, with a broad subterminal rufous bar and buff tips to the broader median feathers ; outer rectrices brown with whitish tips ; breast and abdomen white with dark brown cross-bars, less distinct in the middle ; lower wing-coverts' and axillaries banded dark: brown and white, the dark bars on the axillaries oblique, broader than the white.

Length 12; tail 2.2; wing 5.5; tarsus 1.4; bill from gape 2.5. Bill reddish brown, paler at the base beneath ; irides dusky brown ; legs plumbeous green (Jerdon). Tail-feathers 18 normally, 4 on each side very narrow, the next two intermediate, the six in the middle broad; quills broad and soft, the longest primary exceeding the shortest secondary by less than 2 inches.

Distribution. In the Himalayas as far as Dalhousie to the westward and Sikhim to the east, probably farther in the latter direction; also in the hills south of Assam and in Manipur, occasionally in Burma, even as far south as Tenasserim, and, as a winter visitor only, in the hills of Southern India—Coorg, Wynaad, Nilgiris, Anaimalais, Shevroys, and probably others. In one case this species is said to have been recognized in Ceylon. A very few specimens have been obtained whilst migrating, one at Calcutta by Blyth, two at Bussellkonda by McMaster, one in Sirguja by Ball, and probable occurrences have been recorded at Nasik and Dharwar.

Habits, &c. In the Himalayas the Wood-Snipe is found throughout the year, breeding at 7000 to 12,000 feet, and descending to the lower hills and the Tarai in winter. It is a shy, solitary bird, seldom seen, lying very close, usually in small isolated swampy spots on the outskirts of forests, and flying slowly and heavily, like a woodcock, when flushed. Grubs and insects have been found in its stomach. The eggs have been taken by Mr. Mandelli's men in Sikhim at about 11,000 feet; they resemble those of other Snipes in colour, and measure about 1.7 by 1.25.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1483. Gallinago nemoricola
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Wood Snipe
Wood Snipe
Gallinago nemoricola
Vol. 4

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