(2018) Amaurornis fuscus zeylonicus.
THE CEYLON RUDDY CRAKE,
Amaurornis fuscus zeylonicus Stuart Baker, Bull. B, O. C, xlvii, p. 73 (1827) (Ceylon). Amaurornis fuscus. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 170 (part,).
Vernacular names. Punchi korowaka(Cing.); Kanan-koli(Tam.).
Description. Very close to the typical form but never so dark and with a faint olive-yellow tinge on the upper plumage.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 87 to 96 mm.; culmen 19 to 20 mm.
Distribution. Ceylon and South-West India to Kanara and Belgaum.
Nidification. In Ceylon Phillips obtained eggs in September and August, in Travancore Stewart took nests with eggs in June, whilst in Kanara Davidson found them from the middle of May to the end of September. In every case the nest was just a little pad of grass or rice-straw hidden among the rank weeds and grass growing on the small boundary banks between rice-fields. The birds were very shy, sneaking off before they could be seen and refusing to fly even when the fields were beaten through. The eggs, from four to seven in number, have the ground-colour a pale cream, rarely a deeper buff or salmon-red, well covered with small blotches of rufous-brown or deep reddish-brown and secondary markings of pale neutral tint or lilac. Thirty-four eggs average 30.0 x 22.5 mm.: maxima 33.0 x 23.0 and 30.4 x 23.2 mm.; minima 27.8 x 22.3 and 28.4 x 21.5 mm.
Habits. The Southern form of this Crake is said to haunt rice-fields and swamps, whilst, in Ceylon, it may also be found in some of the huge forest tanks. In other respects it does not differ from the next bird.