1394. Porzana maruetta.
The Spotted Crake.
Rallus porzana, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 262 (1766). Ortygometra maruetta, Leach, Syst. Cat. B. M. p. 34 (1816). Porzana maruetta, Blyth, Cat. p. 284; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 722 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 251 ; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 293 ; Butler, S. F. v, p. 215; vii, p. 187; ix, p. 432; Hume, Cat. no. 909 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 213, pl.; Biddulph, Ibis, ;1881, p. 98; Scully, ibid. p. 590; Reid, S. F. x, p. 73; Davidson, ibid. p. 322 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 345 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 370; Sharpe, Yark. Miss., Aves, p. 147. Porzana porzana, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiii, p. 93.
Gurguri-khairi, Beng.; Venna mudi-kodi, Tel.
Coloration. Upper plumage and tail rufescent olive-brown with white spots and streaks ; all the feathers, except the wing-coverts, with more or less concealed broad black central stripes; inner borders of tertiaries pale brown ; the white markings on the back are longitudinal streaks, those on the tertiaries zigzag, on wing-coverts fewer and V-shaped, all black-edged; border of wing white; quills dark brown, olive-brown on exposed margins: outer edge of first primary white; broad and long supercilia, cheeks, chin, and throat dark grey, all speckled with white posteriorly; lores black with a whitish streak above; a brown band from behind each eye, including the ear-coverts and extending to the side of the neck, which is of the same colour and sprinkled throughout with white spots, more or less dark-edged; breast grey, washed with brown and similarly spotted ; abdomen white, passing into buff on the vent and under tail-coverts; flanks and wing-lining, except near the edge of the wing, brown barred with white. Sexes alike.
Young birds have a white throat and brown breast, and are much speckled with white. Nestling black.
Bill yellow, orange at the base and shading into dusky olive at the tip and on the culmen; irides red-brown ; legs and feet bright olive-green.
Length 9 ; tail 1.9 ; wing 4.75 ; tarsus 1.3 ; bill from gape .8.
Distribution. A migratory bird, found in summer in Europe and in Western and Central Asia, and visiting Northern Africa and India in the winter. At this season it is found not uncommonly throughout Northern India from Sind to Arrakan. It has been recorded from the Deccan as far south as Belgaum, and Jerdon states that it is found all over India, though of late years it has not been observed to the southward nor in the Central Provinces, Chutia Nagpur, or Orissa, and it is not known to occur in Ceylon, in Assam, nor in Burma east of Arrakan.
Habits, &c. The Spotted Crake arrives in .Northern India in September and leaves about April. It keeps to thick reeds and cultivation in swampy ground and is rarefy seen. It is not known to breed in India.