114. Anthropoides virgo.
THE DEMOISELLE CRANE.
Virgo=a maiden, from the bird's elegant appearance and dancing propensity.
Karkarra, N. W. P.; Ghanto, Nepal; Kurkurchi, Sattara; Parouthakee, Mysore; Wadakoraka (Telugu); Shuck duruck, Cabul.
Male 31" to 36"; 5 to 6 3/4 lbs. Legs black. Bill green, tip pink. Face, neck, and breast-plumes black. Eye-tuft of white decomposed feathers.— Young birds have no black and want ear-tuft. Migratory. Breeds in S. & E. Europe, S. Siberia, C. & W. Asia. Winters in N.E. Africa, India and China. One was shot at Deerness, Orkney, in 1863, and one (female) at Brancaster, Norfolk, in 1899, feeding in a cornfield. (J. 866. B. 1411. H. & M. iii. 31.)
Also the genus Balearica, with tuft of straw-like bristles on nape, and nostrils oblique. Three species from Africa— B. pavonina, 37", the Crowned Crane ; B. chrysopelargus, 34", mid toe and claw 4.4"; and B. abbericeps, 37", mid toe and claw 4.1".
Also the fossil genera Geranopsis, two species (one from Hampshire, one from S. France) 5 and Aletornis, five species (from Wyoming).
Also the following families of Wading Birds, with hind toe raised:—
(i.) ARAMIDAE. The family of Limpkins, or Conrlans, intermediate between Rails and Cranes. Rectrices twelve. Sternum as in Cranes, with no posterior notches. Bill longer than head, curved, and Rail-like. Nostrils in deep groove. Secondaries as long as primaries. First primary sickle-shaped, and spatulate at tip. Four bare tracts on body, extending up neck. Ten to twelve eggs, large as a Turkey's, white, blotched purple, having a powdered appearance. One genus, Aramus, with two species—A scolopaceus, 22", mid toe and claw 3.8", from S. America ; and A. pictus, 27", mid toe and claw 4.2", from Florida to Panama.
(ii.) Eurypygidae. Sun Bitterns. Rectrices twelve. Primaries ten. Sternum with posterior notches on each side. Bare tracts on body, not extending beyond base of neck. Bill Rail-like, longer than head. Nostrils horizontal. Inner secondaries nearly reaching tips of primaries. Young fed by parents for some weeks. One genus, Eurypyga, with two species— E. helias, 18", mid toe and claw 1.75", the Sun-Bittern of S. America; and E. major, 17", mid toe and claw 1.9", from C. America to Ecuador.
(iii.) Rhinochetidae. Kagus. Rectrices twelve. Primaries ten. Sternum with no posterior notch. After-shaft. One pair of powder-down patches on side of rump. Four bare body tracts, extending up neck. Bill as long as head. Nostril basal, in broad depression, entirely hidden. No lateral groove in mandible. Inner secondaries longer than primaries. One genus, Rhinochetus, one species— B. jubata, the Kagu, with large drooping crest, 22", mid toe and claw 2-3", from New Caledonia.
(iv.) Psophiidae, Trumpeters. Rectrices ten. Sternum with no notch on posterior margin. No after-shaft. Long tract on the neck bare. Plumage soft. Under tail-coverts long and lax. Bill shorter than head. Nostrils ovate and pervious with posterior membrane. Nest on the ground. Two eggs, light ash colour. One genus, Psophia, five species, confined to S. America— P. crepitans, 21", mid toe and claw 2.8", the Gold-breasted Trumpeter; P. napensis, 19", mid toe and claw 2.5"; P. leucoptera, 20", mid toe and claw 2.8"; P. ochroptera, 19", mid toe and claw 2.8"; P. viridis, 17", mid toe and claw 2.5". (B. M. Cat., xxiii. 236-281.)