Porzana bailloni, Vieill.
910. :- P. pygmoea, Naum. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 723; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. V, p. 215; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 432; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 264; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 135.
Length, 6.62 to 7.75 ; expanse, 10 to 11.75; wing, 3.12 to 3.7 ; tail, 1.75 to 2.2; tarsus, 1.05 to 1.25; bill from gape, 0.68 to 0.78 ; weight, 1.1 to 1.8 oz.
Bill green ; culmen and tip dusky ; irides vary from red to carmine, in some, probably young birds, they are reddish-brown ; legs and feet brownish-olive.
Crown and neck above wood-brown ; back, scapulars, and wing-coverts, yellow-brown, tinged with olive and with numerous white, black-edged, irregular-spots ; cheeks, throat, and neck, and under parts, bluish-grey ; the sides of the abdomen and under tail-coverts black with white cross bars.
The following remarks by Mr. Hume in his " Game Birds of India" may prove useful: :-
" This species and the Little Crake are so much alike that it may be well to point out how they may be distinguished.
" Baillon's Crake may be recognized by its smaller size, shorter, and in proportion, deeper bill, and by having the back, scapulars, and greater wing-coverts, all more or less profusely variegated, with a somewhat bluish-white; whereas in the Little Crake the corresponding markings, which are rather coarser and of a purer white, are confined, as a rule, to the centre of the back, though occasionally there is a trace of these on some of the longer scapulars. In Baillon's Crake the outer web of the first primary is nearly entirely white or yellowish-white ; in the Little Crake it is brown, only slightly yellower and paler than the inner web. Moreover, in the Little Crake there is much less barring on the flanks and under tail-coverts.
" Again, though possible, this is only seasonal (on this point I cannot speak with certainty); the Little Crake has the base of the bill bright red. Lastly the adult females of the Little Crake have the entire breast and upper abdomen uniform fulvous-fawn, while those of Baillon's Crake have these parts an albescent-grey, often only very slightly intermingled or fringed on the breast with brownish-fawn."
Baillon's Crake appears to be a not uncommon bird in most parts of the district, but appears to be very locally distributed, and most of the birds we meet with are merely seasonal visitants. Some few, however, remain to breed, notably so at Milana, near Deesa. The nest is not unlike that of the Water Hen. The eggs, five or six in number, are oval in shape, slightly pointed at one end; the ground color is a pale stone or slight greenish-drab, with faint dusky clouds and streaks, mostly at the larger end. They measure about 1.2 inches in length by 0.87 in breadth.