1542. Inocotis papillosus.
The Black Ibis.
Ibis papulosa, Temm. Pl. Col. pl. 304 (1824). Geronticus papillosus, Gray, Cat. Mamm. etc. Coll. Hodgs. p. 137; Blyth, Cat. p. 275; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 769; Blyth,Ibis, 1867, p. 174 ; King, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, p. 217 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 275; Stoliczka, J. A.S. B. xli. pt, 2, p. 255; Hume, N. & E. p. 633 ; id. S. F. i, p. 257 ; Adam, ibid. p. 400; Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 158; Butler & Hume, S. F iv. p. 25; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 264; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 231. Inocotis papillosus, Bonap. Consp. ii, p. 154 ; Davids. & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 92; Hume, Cat, no. 942; Doig, S. F. viii, pp. 372, 377 ; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 435; Reid, S. F. x, p. 77 ; Davison, ibid. p. 417 ; McGregor, ibid, p. 442 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 228; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 390; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 152; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxvi, p. 12.
Buza, Kala Buza, Kardnkal, H.; Nella kankanum, Tel.; Black Curlew, King Curlew of Anglo-Indians.
Coloration. Neck and body above and below dark olive-brown, with slight greenish gloss on the back, a large white patch on the inner lesser and marginal coverts of each wing; rest of the wing above and below and tail black, glossed with purplish and green.
The young have the head feathered on the crown and throat, the feathered area above and below ending in a point, the forehead, area round the eye, and the chin bare. Feathers of the neck and body with rufous edges.
Crown of adults nearly covered with red papilla?, the area thus ornamented cut off transversely behind and pointed in front, remainder of naked skin of head black; bill greenish-leaden; irides dull orange-red; legs and feet brick-red.
Length 27 ; tail 7.5; wing 15.5 ; tarsus 3 ; bill from gape 5.5.
Distribution. The plains of Northern India (not the Himalayas) and the Peninsula as far south as Mysore, except on the Western coast. This bird is not found in Lower Bengal and is apparently wanting to the eastward, but Godwin-Austen got it at Mymen singh, and according to Blyth it has been obtained in Arrakan.
Habits, &c. The Black Ibis is far less of a marsh bird than the White Ibis, and is generally found on dry cultivation or open ground in pairs or small parties. It is said to feed partly on grain, but chiefly on insects, Crustacea, &c. It often perches on large trees and it has a peculiar harsh cry, not very frequently uttered except in the breeding-season. It breeds at various seasons; March and April, and again in August and September, in Northern India, about December in the Deccan. It makes nests of sticks on trees, and lays 3 or 4 sea-green eggs, unspotted as a rule, and measuring about 2.43 by 1.7. Occasionally the Black Ibis lays in a nest that has been used by a vulture, eagle, or owl. The flesh of this species is at times very good eating, far superior to that of Ibis melanocephala.