Limosa aegocephala, Lin.
875. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol II, p. 681; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 16; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 243; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 133.
THE BLACK-TAILED GODWIT.
Length, 16.0 to 18.1; expanse, 25.0 to 29.8; wing, 7.5 to 8.81; tail, 3.12 to 3.5; tarsus, 2.85 to 3.35 ; bill, 3.65 to 4.5 ; weight, 7 1/2 to 12 oz.
Length, 18.3 to 20.2; expanse, 28.0 to 31.3 ; wing, 8.4 to 9.25; tail, 3.25 to 3.94; tarsus, 3.3 to 3.7; bill, 4.5 to 5.1; weight, 9 to 15 oz.
Bill livid-fleshy, gradually passing to blackish-brown at tip; irides dark-brown ; legs and feet blackish-green to dull greyish-brown.
Winter plumage ; all the upper parts uniform ashy-brown, with the shafts of the feathers of a somewhat deeper tint; superciliary stripe and rump white; quills dusky; the basal part of some of the primaries white; greater wing-coverts ashy-grey, broadly edged with white; tail white at the base, the terminal two-thirds black ; the two middle feathers tipped with white; beneath, the throat, neck, breast, and flanks greyish-white ; the abdomen and under tail-coverts white.
In summer the head becomes black, the back and scapulars black, edged and tipped with ferruginous, and the lower parts bright ferruginous, the middle of the abdomen alone being white.
Young birds have the feathers edged with reddish, and the tail tipped with white.
The Black-tailed Godwit is a common cold weather visitant to Sind and Northern Guzerat; it occurs also in Central India. I have myself shot it near Mhow, and Mr. Hume obtained it at the Kunkrowli Lake, Oodeypore, but it is not common there. It does not appear to have been recorded from the Deccan. They are excellent birds for the table at all times, but when fat and in good condition, they are simply delicious.