1428. Metopidius indicus.
The Bronze-winged Jacana.
Parra indica, Bath. Ind. Orn. ii, p. 765 (1790) ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 464 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 229; Cripps, ibid. p. 304 ; Hume, Cat. no. 900; Bingham, S. F. ix, p. 197; Butler, ibid. p. 430: Reid, S. F. x, p. 72 ; Davison, ibid. p. 415 ; Macgregor, ibid. p. 441; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 326 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 363; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. i, p. 221, vi, p. 133, fig. 900 (eggs, 2 figs.). Metopidius indicus, Blyth, Cat. p. 273 ; Jerdon. B. I. iii, p. 708 ; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 170; Hume & Oates, S. F. iii, p. 183; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 157 ; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 19 ; Armstrong, ibid. p. 348 ; Anderson, Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 683 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 358 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 356; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 72.
Dal-pipi, Jal-pipi, Karatiya, Beng.; Kattoi, Purneah; Bi, Burmese.
Coloration. In adults the head, neck, and lower parts to the abdomen, including the wing-lining, are black glossed with dark green, the lower hind neck with a purple gloss ; superciliary band commencing above the eye and running back to the nape, with a spot beneath the eye, white ; back, scapulars, tertiaries, and wing-coverts olive-bronze ; primary-coverts and primary and secondary quills black, glossed with dark green; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts dark chestnut; tail and under tail-coverts brighter chestnut; lower abdomen and thigh-coverts dull blackish brown.
Young birds have the crown dull rufous, with a short pale supercilium from above the lores; hind neck black glossed with dark green ; back and wings as in adults, but rather paler, and the feathers in very young birds fringed with rufous ; lower back and rump dull rufous barred with dusky ; tail concentrically barred with black and buff; sides of face, chin, throat, breast, abdomen, and lower tail-coverts white ; sides of neck, lower neck, and upper breast dull rufous; ear-coverts grey.
Bill greenish yellow, tinged with red at the base, and the frontal lappet livid ; irides brown ; legs dull green (Jerdon).
Length of male 11; tail 1.75; wing 6.25 ; tarsus 2.6 ; bill from gape 1.2. Length of female 12 ; tail 1.85 ; wing 7 ; tarsus 2.7.
Distribution. The greater part of the Indian Peninsula and east through Assam, Sylhet, Manipur, and Burma to the Malay Peninsula, Siam, Sumatra, Java, and Celebes.
This Jacana is wanting in Ceylon, though recorded from Travancore ; it is rare in the North-West Provinces, not known to occur in Kashmir, the Punjab, Sind, or Western Rajputana, and chiefly found in the clamper parts of India, where there are permanent marshes or tanks overgrown with floating leaves of water-plants.
Habits, &c. A familiar bird, often seen on ponds close to houses, hiding amongst the weeds, or running actively over the leaves of water-lilies or Singhara, and feeding on insects, Crustacea, and, according to Jerdon, largely on vegetable matter, seeds, roots, &c. The cry is peculiar and harsh. This species breeds from June to September, and lays, as a rule, four eggs in a nest of weeds, roughly put together, placed on floating leaves or amongst rushes. The eggs are very glossy, buff or olive, marked with numerous black or dark brown lines, irregularly distributed in a confused network, and the average measurement is 1.47 by 1.03.