859. Melanocorypha bimaculata.
The Eastern Calandra Lark.
Alauda bimaculata, Menetr. Cat. Rais. Cauc. p. 37 (1832). Melanocorypha bimaculata (Menetr.), Blanf. S. F. v, p. 246; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 421; id. Cat. no. 761 ter; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 89 ; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 580; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 279 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 555. Melanocorypha torquata, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 476 (1847); Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 265, pl. xxvii; Scully, S. F. iv, p. 173.
Coloration. The upper plumage dark brown, each feather laterally margined with fulvous, the character of the upper plumage being streaky ; tail dark brown, margined with fulvous, the inner web of all the feathers, except the middle pair, with a terminal white spot; wing-coverts and quills dark brown, margined with fulvous ; no white whatever about the wing ; a dark line running through the lores and behind the eye; a broad pale fulvous supercilium ; cheeks and ear-coverts rufous, streaked with brown ; a patch of white under the black band through the lores and under the eye ; chin, throat, and a lateral band behind the ear-coverts white; a broad black band across the upper breast interrupted in the middle; remainder of breast fulvous streaked with brown; other parts of lower plumage white, the flanks tinged with fulvous.
The female has the black pectoral band reduced in size.
Legs and feet fleshy or yellowish fleshy, more or less dusky at joints; claws dusky; iris brown, in some light brown ; bill horny brown or blackish horny on upper mandible, lower mandible greenish horny changing to yellow at base and gape.
Length about 7.5; tail 2.3 ; wing 4.5 ; tarsus 1; bill from gape .8; the female is smaller than the male.
Distribution. A winter visitor to Sind, Rajputana, Bahawalpur, the Punjab, the N. W. Provinces and Oudh, passing through Kashmir on migration and summering in Central Asia. This Lark extends on the west to Afghanistan and Persia and ranges as far as North-eastern Africa.