Andamanese Banded Crake.
In many cases the Andamanese representatives of Continental, Indian and Burmese birds can hardly be called more than local races, but some, like the present bird, are very distinct. Although its black-and-white barred sides and brown general colour show its relationships at once, it is far bigger than our other two banded crakes, being about as large as the common grey partridge. It stands high on its legs, and has the bill and toes comparatively short, and the tail over three inches long, so that its proportions are less typically rail-like than usual. The brown of its body is deep rich mahogany-red, and the black-and-white bars of the sides and under-parts are very clear and striking; moreover, although the feet are only olive-green, the bill is of the clearest apple-green, and looks like jade. Thus, even if occurring on the mainland, this handsome crake would be noticeable not only among other members of the rail family, but among birds in general.
In its native islands the crake frequents forests, and is not to be seen in the day-time unless driven out of its cover, when it flies slowly and heavily. Like rails in general, it keeps near water, or at least on moist ground. It feeds on insects, and can be taken in snares baited with shrimps. The nest is on the ground, and the eggs are spotted with purple and maroon markings on a ground of white or stone-colour with a pinkish tinge.