1572. Ardetta cinnamomea.
The Chestnut Bittern.
Ardea cinnamomea, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 643 (1788); Hume, N. & E. p. 622. Ardetta cinnamomea, Blyth, Cat. p. 282 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii. p. 755; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 274; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 311; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 263; Hume Inglis, S. F. v, p. 47; Oates, ibid. p. 168 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 483 ; St. John, S. F. vii, p. 171; Butler, ibid. p. 177 ; Ball, ibid. p. 231; Cripps, ibid. p. 308; Hume, ibid. p. 490; id. Cat. no. 933; Doig, S. F. viii, p. 372; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 91 ; Butler, ibid. p. 434 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 76; Hume, ibid. p. 417 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 250; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 384; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 335 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 252; Barnes, Journ. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 148; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxvi, p. 236. Ardeiralla cinnamomea, Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 1162.
Lal-bagla, H.; Khyri-bogla, Beng.; Kuruttu-koku, Tam. (Ceylon); Metti korowaka, Cing.
Coloration. Male. Whole upper surface, with sides of head, wings, and tail, chestnut; wing-coverts slightly paler; chin, throat, and lower parts tawny ochreous, with a white stripe on each side of the throat; a more or less distinct broken brown stripe down middle of fore neck; lower breast-feathers, concealed by long breast-plumes, blackish brown with buff edges. Some birds have a wash of ashy grey on the crown, and the tint of chestnut on the upper parts varies.
Females are dull chestnut or brown above; crown blackish; wing-coverts and scapulars paler, and with traces of buff margins, spotted with brown; quills chestnut, with some brown towards the base; tail-feathers dull chestnut; sides of head dull rufous;. lower parts yellowish tawny, streaked with dark brown; a conspicuous dark broken band down the chin, throat, and fore neck.
Young birds resemble the female, except in having the back-feathers, scapulars, and wing-coverts dark brown, with margins of alternating buff and brown spots.
Bill yellow; culmen dark brown to black; facial skin reddish purple in males, yellow in females ; irides yellow to pale red; legs and feet yellowish green, soles yellow.
Length 15 ; tail 1.7; wing 6; tarsus 2; bill from gape 2.6.
Distribution. China as far as the Amur, but not Japan; thence to Sind in one direction, and the Philippines and Celebes in another. This Bittern, though local, is more generally distributed in India and Ceylon than A. sinensis, but is only known to be found in Sind, Rajputana, and the North-west Provinces during the monsoon. It is common in Lower Bengal, Assam, and Burma, and has been obtained in both the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Habits, &C. The Chestnut Bittern breeds in Bengal, Pegu, and Ceylon, and probably in Sind, in June, July, and August. The eggs, 5 or 6 in number, are dull white, sometimes with a faint-bluish tinge, and measure about T28 by 1.