1458. Macrorhamphus semipalmatus.
The Snipe-billed Godwit.
Macrorhamphus semipalmatus, Jerdon, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvii, p. 252 (1848) ; id. Cat. p. 271 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 679 ; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 484. Pseudoscolopax semipalmatus, Blyth, J. A, 8. B. xxviii, p. 280; id. Ibis, 1867, p. 167; Hume, Cat. no. 874; id. is? Marsh. Game B. iii, p. 395, pl. ; Oates, S. F. x, p. 239 ; id. B. B. ii, p. 408. Micropalama tackzanowskia, Verreaux, Rev. et Mag. Zool.. 1860, p. 206, pl. xiv. Macrorhamphus taczanowskii, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 400.
Coloration. in winter. Upper plumage brown, with whitish edges to feathers ; broad whitish supercilia ; forehead and lores dark; quills dark brown, mottled with white on inner margin ; inner primaries and all secondaries more or less bordered with white ; rump and upper tail-coverts white, with irregular arrowhead-shaped bars of brown; tail-feathers more regularly barred brown and white ; lower parts white; sides of head, chin, throat, fore neck, and upper breast streaked with brown, sometimes forming wavy bands ; axillaries, flanks, and under tail-coverts irregularly spotted and barred with brown.
In summer the upper parts are described as bright rufous with brown streaks and spots and the lower parts uniform rufous.
Bill black, plumbeous at the base; irides dark brown ; legs and feet dark plumbeous (Oates).
Length 13.25 ; tail 2.5 ; wing 7; tarsus 2 ; bill from gape 2.9 to 3.25.
Distribution. This rare bird breeds somewhere in Siberia, its breeding-haunts being, however, unknown, and a very few individuals have been obtained in Mongolia, China, and Japan. One specimen was procured by Jerdon in Madras, one by Blyth and three by Hume in Calcutta, brought from the neighbourhood, two were shot by Oates at Kyeikpadein in Pegu, and one by Colonel McMaster at Rangoon, all in the cold season. Lately Captain P.
St. Leger Wood (Asian, 22nd Feb. 1895, p. 377) writes that he has killed an individual at Raipur.
Habits, &c. Not known, but the bird is doubtless a feeder on worms or small Crustacea burrowing in mud. So far as is known no Indian specimen, except perhaps Jerdon's, has been obtained on the sea-coast.