172. Pavoncella pugnax

172. Pavoncella pugnax.


Pugnax=fond, of fighting ; from pugnax a, fight.

Gehwala, India.

Male 12" to 13". Female 10". 6 oz. Legs yellow. Bill 1 1/3" to 1 1/2", brown.— In winter: Male has upper plumage brown, with black spots. Breast reddish. Axillaries white. Lower parts white. Female, known as the Reeve, is smaller, ashy plumage throughout, and has no ruff or occipital tufts.— In summer: Male: Plumage black, deep rufous, and ashy. After spring moulting the face-feathers are replaced by hard pimples and the ruff is developed. The two sexes are alike for part of the year, but differ in the pairing season. Among young males and females there is no difference in plumage during their first autumn, the only marked difference being the larger size of the male. Similarly size alone dis¬tinguishes adult males and females in winter. In the breeding plumage (May and June) the only alteration in the female from the winter state is a darker and richer colouration, but in the males there is a special growth of elongated feathers about the head and neck, constituting the " ruff." In addition to this peculiarity is another which is rare amongst animals in a wild condition (though so common among domesticated races), that of striking diversity of colour in different individuals. The range of variation appears to be restricted within certain limits, and the colour of each individual bird always continues the same throughout successive seasons. The pugnacity of the males at this time of the year is proverbial (N. H. M.). Breeds in N. Europe and Asia and migrates to Africa and S. Asia. Visitor in cold season to N. India. Four eggs (1.75 x 1.2), olive, spotted red and brown. (J. 880. B. 1468.)

Also the genus Bartramia. One species— B. longicauda, 11", a Sandpiper, with graduated tail, from N. to S. America.

Also the genus Ereunetes. One species— E. pusillus, 5 1/2", a Sandpiper, from N. E. Siberia and Arctic America to Brazil and Peru.

Also with tarsus longer than the culmen:—

The genus Tringites. One species— T. subruficollis male 8", female 7 1/2", with central tail-feathers produced beyond the others, a buff-breasted Sandpiper, nesting in N. America and migrating to S. America.

The genus Aechinorhynchus. One species— M. cancellatus, a barred Sandpiper with small hind toe and central tail not produced, confined to Oceania.

The genus Prosobonia. One species —P. leucoptera, 6.7", a white-winged Sandpiper, with long hind toe and central tail not produced, from the Society Islands.

(ii.) With anterior toes divided to base. With tarsus and culmen practically equal in length.

Game, Shore And Water Birds Of India
Le Messurier, Augustus. Game, Shore, and Water Birds of India Fourth Edition, 1904.
Title in Book: 
172. Pavoncella pugnax
Book Author: 
A Le Messurier
Page No: 
Common name: 
Ruff And Reeve
Philomachus pugnax
4th ed.
Term name: 

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