1107. Common Curlew.
Numenius arquatus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 242 (1766) ; Naum. viii. p. 478, Taf. 216 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 322, pl. lxxxvii. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 302 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 48 ; Dresser, viii. p. 243, pl. 578 ; Seebohm, B. Jap. Emp. p. 314 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiv. p. 341 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 938 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 252 ; Saunders, p. 629 ; Lilford, v. p. 131, pl. 57 ; Poynting, p. 243, pls. 51, 52 ; N. lineatum, Cuv. Regne Anim. i. p. 521 (1829) ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 457.
Courlis, French ; Macarico real, Portug. ; Zarapito real, Span. ; Chiurlo, Ital. ; Grosser Brachvogel, German ; Wulp, Dutch ; Stor-Regnspove, Dan. ; Stor-Spove, Norweg. ; Storspof, Swed. ; Iso-kuovi, Finn. ; Kulik-kotrous, Bolschoi-Kronschnep, Russ. ; Goar-Goungh, Hindu.
Male ad. (Sweden). Upper parts, head, and neck blackish brown with dirty white and pale fulvous margins to the feathers, some tinged with rufous ; lower back and rump white with a few scattered drop-shaped spots ; upper tail-coverts white slightly barred with brown and marked with rufous ; tail white barred with blackish brown, the middle feathers tinged with ashy grey ; quills blackish brown ; shafts of outer ones white ; chin, upper throat, and region round the eye white ; rest of under parts white, the neck, breast, abdomen, and under tail-coverts narrowly, the flanks boldly striped with blackish brown ; under wing-coverts and axillaries mottled or more or less barred with brown ; bill dull fleshy at base, otherwise dark brown ; legs plumbeous grey ; iris brown. Culmen 5.0, wing 11.6, tail 4.9, tarsus 3.0 inch. Female similar.
Hab. Europe generally, north nearly to the Arctic Circle in summer ; on migration and in winter south to the Cape Colony in South Africa ; Madagascar ; Asia, east to Dauria, and has occurred in Japan ; Mongolia ; China ; Burma, India, Ceylon, the Andamans, Nicobars, and Laccadives in winter.
Frequents moors and open plains during the summer and open flats on the coasts in winter, and is one of the most cautious and wary birds. It feeds on worms, snails, insects of various kinds, and berries, and in winter on marine animals and crustaceans. Its note is a loud, weird, uncanny cry, which it utters directly it takes flight on the approach of an intruder. It breeds on the moors or in marshy places, the nest being a mere depression on a tussock, scantily lined, and the eggs, 4 in number, are usually deposited from early in April to late in May, and vary from light greenish to dark olivaceous in ground¬colour, and are marked with purplish brown shell-markings and dark umber-brown surface spots and blotches ; in size they measure about 2.72 by 1.84.
1107. Numenius arquatus
1107. Common Curlew.