818. GLOSSY IBIS.
Plegadis falcinellus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 241 (1766) ; (Naum.), viii. p. 539, Taf. 219 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 321, pl. lxxxvi. ; Gould. B. of E. iv. pl. 301 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 47 ; Dresser, vi. p. 335, pl. 409 ; Audub. B. of Am. pl. 387 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvi. p. 29 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 364 ; Saunders, p. 391 ; Lilford, vii. p. 47, pl. 17 ; P. autumnalis, Ridgw, p. 124.
Ibis falcinelle, French ; Macarico preto, Portug. ; Morito, Span. ; Mignattaio, Ital. ; Dunkelfarbige, Sichler, German ; Sort-Ibis, Dan. and Norweg. ; Svart-Ibis, Swed. ; Koravaika, Russ. ; Maazet el Ma, Arab ; Maiza, Moor. ; Kawdri, Chota-buza Hindu.
Male ad. (Spain). Forepart of head metallic greenish black, rest of head, neck, upper back, edge of shoulder and under parts rich deep copper- brown ; back glossed with purple ; rest of upper parts, wings and tail blackish, glossed with purple and green ; under tail-coverts purplish black ; bill blackish slate, at the base slate-grey ; legs blackish grey ; iris brown, Culmen 5.2, wing 11.5, tail 4.7, tarsus 4.0 inch. Female similar but a trifle smaller. In the winter the head and neck are blackish brown, finely streaked with white, and the young resemble the adult in winter dress, but are duller in colour, the copper-brown replaced by dull dark brown.
Hab. Central and southern Europe, straying rarely to southern Scandinavia and Great Britain, but has occurred in Iceland and the Faeroes ; Africa south to Natal ; Central Asia and India east to Burma and probably China, south to Ceylon, Borneo, Java, Celebes, New Guinea, and Australia ; eastern United States south to Florida and Mexico.
Generally found in marshes or near water. It is as a rule a silent bird, only uttering a harsh note when flushed. Its food consists of aquatic insects, worms, crustacea, small frogs, etc. It breeds in large marshes in societies, making a flat nest of sticks, flags, etc., which is placed on the ground, on the dense aquatic plants, or on a tree, and deposits 3 or 4 rich greenish blue eggs, which measure about 1.95 by 1.41. In Europe the breeding season is in May, whereas in northern India it is in June, and in Ceylon between November and February.
818. Plegadis falcinellus
818. GLOSSY IBIS.