Goisakius melanolophus, Raffl.
936bis. :- Butler. Deccan; Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 435.
THE MALAYAN TIGER BITTERN.
Length, 17 to 19.62 ; expanse, 29.5 to 37 ; wing, 9.12 to 10.37 ; tarsus, 2.3 to 2.69 ; bill at front, 1.8 ; bill from gape, 2.4.
Bare skin at base of bill green; bill horny-brown, greenish-horny beneath; irides greenish-yellow; legs and feet greenish-olive.
Crown of head and nape black ; the feathers of the occiput lengthened into a full crest, and each irregularly marked with a white spot across its centre, and a smaller white tip ; the feathers of the forehead and above the eyes black, with ochreous instead of white spots, forming an obscure bar above the eye ; cheeks and sides of throat pale ochreous, with narrow zigzag lines of black across the feathers; the mantle chesnut, freckled and irregularly barred with narrow zigzag lines of black ; upper tail-coverts dull black, with white dots.
Tail, above, dark slaty or bluish-black ; quills black, tipped with white; the base of the white tinged with chesnut and mottled with black ; greater-coverts of first three primaries black, broadly tipped white ; the base of the white on the outer webs tinged with chesnut, which is closely freckled with black blotches and spots, and replaced at the extreme tip by white less densely freckled; two or three small feathers at the angle of the wing pure white.
Under primary-coverts pale ochreous, closely barred with black, and the larger feathers broadly tipped white ; rest of under wing-coverts barred black and white.
Chin and throat white, faintly tinged with ochreous, and with an obscure central streak of black dots; throat rich chesnut, minutely banded with black bars; centre of the breast like the throat, with two lateral streaks of ochreous (one on either side) formed by some of the feathers continuously being paler chesnut and free from all black but a few dots.
Abdominal feathers pale ochreous-chesnut, with small dots and obscure bars of black, but mostly with a white central streak; elongated feathers of the abdominal train paler ochreous, very faintly and sparsely dotted with black, and with the central streak of white more apparent; coverts of tibia ochreous, mottled with dull black ; under tail-coverts white, tinged on their outer margins with ochreous and speckled with black dots. :- T. W. Bourdillon, Stray Feathers, Vol. VII, p. 525.
The Malayan Tiger Bittern is extremely rare; the only specimen recorded from our district was obtained by Mr. Laird in the forests west of Belgaum.