Hydrophasianus chirurgus

Hydrophasianus chirurgus, Scop.

901. :- Jerdon's birds of India, Vol. II, p. 709 ; Butler, Guzerat ; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 20; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 431; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 258 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 134.

THE PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA.

Length, 18, 20; expanse, 24, 30; wing, 8, 9.5 ; tail, 10, 11; tarsus, 2.12, 2.4 ; bill at front, 1.12, 1.25.

Bill pale leaden-blue, greenish at tip ; irides dark brown ; legs pale bluish-green.

In summer plumage, the forehead, top of the head, face, chin, throat, and neck white, a broad black mark on the top of the head; hind neck pale shining yellow, edged by a dark line; upper plumage, including the scapulars and tertiaries, shining dark olive-brown with purple reflections; wings with the coverts white, first primary black, the second nearly so, and the third black on the outer webs and a broad tip ; the rest white, all tipped with black, as are the greater wing-coverts; upper tail-coverts bronzed-black ; tail black; beneath from the breast deep brownish-black, dull on the thigh-coverts; the under tail-coverts deep chesnut.

In winter plumage, the upper parts, including the lesser wing-coverts and tertiaries, are pale hair-brown, the former more or less barred with white, and the greater-coverts pure white; the top of the head and back of the neck brown, with a white supercilium, and the feathers of the forehead white spotted; a pale golden-yellow line from behind the eye down the sides of the neck, bordered by the black line from the gape, which crosses the lower part of the breast, forming a more or less broad pectoral gorget; first primary (only) with an appendage, fourth attenuated and prolonged; tail with the central feathers as the back, pale brown, slightly lengthened.

Length, 12 to 13 ; tail, 3 to 4. In young birds the superciliary line is ferruginous, passing into a less marked yellow heck-stripe, and the brown band is also less distinct.

The Pheasant-tailed Jacana occurs commonly throughout the district. It is a permanent resident, breeding about the middle of the rains, or a little later.

The nest is a heap of weeds, placed in the water in the midst of grass or rushes. The eggs, invariably four in number, are peg-top shape; the shell is compact and hard and is highly glossy; the ground color varies from greenish-bronze to rufous-brown bronze ; they are unspotted.

They measure 1.46 in length by 1.12 in breadth.

BookTitle: 
Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Reference: 
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Hydrophasianus chirurgus
Spp Author: 
Scop.
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Year: 
1885
Page No: 
364
Common name: 
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
M_ID: 
4150
M_CN: 
Pheasant-tailed Jacana
M_SN: 
Hydrophasianus chirurgus
id: 
12053

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