(2138) Limosa limosa melanuroides.
THE EASTERN BLACK-TAILED GODWIT,
Limosa melanuroides Gould, Birds of Australia, pt. xxxiv (vol. vi, pl. 38) (1846) (Port Essington, Australia).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Resembles the preceding race but differs in being rather smaller with a shorter bill. In the breeding plumage the colouring is perhaps a trifle richer, the rufous deeper and the dark bars more black, less brown.
Colours of soft parts as in the typical form.
Measurements. Wing, 376 to 197 mm., 182 to 207 mm. ; tail 68 to 86 mm.; tarsus 66 to 73 mm.; culmen, 77 to 95 mm., 78 to 87 mm.
Distribution. Eastern Siberia to Japan. In Winter South to Eastern India, Burma, China, the Malay Archapelago and Australia. Exactly where the two races merge into one another is not known but probably somewhere about Lake Baikal. In Burma it is not rare in Winter and it occurs in Calcutta and Eastern Bengal, whilst numbers visit Assam yearly.
Nidification. Nothing recorded.
Habits. Quite similar to those of the preceding bird. It is a common bird both in Eastern Bengal and Assam, where I have shot great numbers for the pot, as it is excellent eating, flies with great speed and many twists and takes some stalking. It is found most often in quite small flocks but I have seen some of over 200 and once one of probably twice that number. This was in early April in Assam as the birds were migrating North. Those shot in Assam seemed to have fed more on grass-seeds and small black water-plant seeds than on insects. Their cry is a decidedly musical " tir-ree-wee," twice repeated as the birds rise and wheel in the air.