1571. Ardetta sinensis.
The Yellow Bittern.
Ardea sinensis, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 642 (1788); Hume, N. & E. p. 623. Ardetta sinensis, Blyth, Cat. p. 282; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 755; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 274; Hume, S. F. i, pp. 308, 422 ; ii, p. 311; Butler, S. F. v, p. 216; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 484; Oates, S. F. vii, p. 52 ; Butler, ibid. p. 177; Cripps, ibid. p. 308 ; Hume, Cat. no. 934; Doig, S. F. viii, p. 378; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 1156 ; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 434; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 257 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 384; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 336; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 255 ; Barnes, Journ. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 148; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxvi, p. 227. Ardetta pulchra, Hume, S. F. i, pp. 305, 309, 422.
Jun-bagla, H.; Kat-bogla, Beng.; Mannal Nari, Tam. (Ceylon); Metti korowaka, Cing.
Coloration. Male. Crown and nape black, the grey edges of the feathers often showing and forming streaks; sides of head and neck vinous, becoming deeper rufous near the back of the neck, and sometimes grey beside the crown; back, scapulars, and tertiaries yellowish to greyish brown; wing-coverts yellowish tawny to isabelline; primary-coverts, primaries, secondaries, and tail slaty black; rump ashy grey ; chin, throat, and fore neck pale yellowish buff, sides of throat white ; upper breast and abdomen buff, lower breast-feathers blackish with buff edges, but concealed by the long pectoral plumes.
Female more rufous above, crown streaked with dull rufous; beak and scapulars brown or rufous brown with buff edges; a dark ochreous-buff band down middle of chin and throat, breaking up into streaks on the fore neck ; flanks streaked with brown.
Young birds are even more streaked above and below, the pale margins to the upper plumage are broader, and the streaks on the lower plumage browner and darker; the crown is brown, streaked" with buff.
Bill dark brown on culmen, pinkish brown below; facial skin green; irides yellow; tarsus dull flesh-colour; toes and tibio-tarsal joint pale yellow.
Length 15 ; tail 1.7; wing 5.25; tarsus 1.8 ; bill from gape 2.75.
Distribution. Throughout South-eastern Asia and the Malay Archipelago to Japan, New Guinea, and North Australia, also in the Seychelles. Found throughout India, Ceylon, and Burma, from Sind, where this species breads, to Tenasserim and the Andaman Islands, but rare in most parts of India and only recorded from a few localities.
Habits, &c. Those of the genus. Nests have been taken from May to August in various parts of Northern India and in Pegu. The nest is a pad of reeds in the middle of a tussock of grass or a clump of rushes in a swamp; the eggs, 3 to 5 in number, are pale greenish white, and measure about 1.3 to .95.