Parra indica, Lath.
900. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 708 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 19; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 430 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 134.
THE BRONZE-WINGED JACANA.
Length, 10, 12 ; expanse, 20.5, 24 ; wing, 6, 7.5 ; tail, g, 1.6, 1.75 ; tarsus, 2.4, 3; bill, 1.12, 1.25 ; middle-toe, 3.6, 5.4; hind-toe, 3.25; claw alone, 2.5.
Bill greenish-yellow, tinged red at base ; frontal lappet livid ; irides brown ; legs dull green.
Head, neck, and all the under parts rich dark green, glossed on the head, neck, and breast, and with purple reflections on the back of the neck and upper back ; a broad white supercilium beginning just over the eye ; interscapulars, wing-coverts, (except the primary), scapulars, and tertiaries, pale shining bronze ; the lower back maroon, with a beautiful purple gloss ; tail dark cinereous, the lateral feathers bordered with black, tipped white, and with a white shaft ; primary-coverts and quills black, faintly glossed with green; lower abdomen and thigh-coverts dull blackish-green ; under tail-coverts deep chesnut.
The young bird has the crown chesnut, with a pale eyebrow ; the face white ; back of the head and hind neck purple, with a lake and coppery gloss; the back cupreous olive-green ; the upper tail-coverts and tail dull coppery; quills and primary-coverts black; tertials as the back, partly edged with white ; throat white; neck and breast pale buff with a median white stripe, and the belly white with the flanks blackish ; thigh-coverts mixed black and white.
Bill yellowish-green, darker on the upper mandible ; the front lappet is also wanting.
With the exception of Sind, the Bronze-winged Jacana occurs in suitable localities throughout our limits, but is nowhere common ; in fact it is only found on the larger reed-grown tanks, and never on rivers or the smaller tanks, which are generally free from weeds. It is a permanent resident, breeding at the commencement of the rains, or about July.
The nest is composed of rushes and weeds, and is a rather large circular pad, with a depression in the centre ; it is placed generally on a bed of lotus leaves, surrounded more or less by rushes. The eggs, four in number, are moderately broad ovals, a good deal pointed at one end ; they are highly glossy, of a rich warm stone or cafe-au-lait color, the whole surface of the egg being covered with a mass of finer or coarser brownish-black or almost black lines, intermingled and entangled in inextricable confusion ; sometimes these markings are paled down here and there to a rich red brown, with an occasional large spot or blotch of the same color as the markings.
They measure 1.47 inches in length by about 1.03 in breadth.