Ibidorhynchus struthersi, Vigors, P.Z.S. 1831, p. 174 : Gould, Cent. B. Himal. Mts. pl. 79 ; id. B. of As. vii. pl. 61 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 456, pl. 118 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiv. p. 335 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 249 ; Falcirostra kaufmanni and longipes, Severtz. Turk. Jevotn. pp. 69, 146, 147, pl. x. (1873).
Male ad. (Kan-su). Crown, nape, face to the hind part of the eye, fore neck, and a broad band across the breast black ; rest of the head and neck blue-grey becoming white where it meets the black ; upper parts generally buffy French-grey, becoming bluish on the outer primaries, outer wing-coverts, and rump ; upper tail-coverts blackish terminated with blue- grey ; tail ashy blue-grey narrowly barred with blackish, and tipped with black, the outer web of the outermost feathers white broadly barred with black primaries with a white spot near the end of the inner web, largely increasing on the inner quills ; under parts, with under wing-coverts and axillaries, pure white ; bill curved, deep crimson ; legs blood-red ; iris, crimson. Culmen 3.0, wing 9.3, tail 4.7, tarsus 1.8 inch. Female similar, but with the black portions of the plumage slightly tinged with brown. Young birds lack the blackish on the head and breast.
Hab. Central Asia, from Western Turkestan east to Tibet, Mongolia, and China ; the Afridi country, Afghanistan, and the Himalayas from Kashmir to Upper Assam.
Is chiefly to be met with singly or in pairs or small parties on the mountain streams, as high as 12,000 feet, and winters in the mountains in spite of the cold. It is said to be rather shy, and when taking wing utters a loud note, and flies very low, close to the water, following the curves of the stream. It certainly breeds in the Himalayas, but its nesting habits and eggs are as yet unknown.
1109. Ibidorhynchus struthersi