(2014) Rallina superciliaris superciliaris.
THE BANDED CRAKE.
Rallus superciliaris Eyton, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vi, p. 230 (1834) (Malay Peninsula). Rallina superciliaris. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 167.
Vernacular names. Daohui-lai (Cachari).
Description. Chin and throat pure white, in younger birds more or less tinged with rufous; head, neck and breast chestnut; remaining upper parts and wing-coverts dark brown, slightly washed with olive; wing-quills dark brown; lower breast, abdomen and underparts barred black and white, the centre of the abdomen practically unmarked with black.
Colours of soft parts. Iris crimson-red or blood-red ; bill green., the terminal half of the upper mandible and tip of lower dark brown; legs dull greenish-plumbeous, plumbeous or black.
Measurements. Total length about 250 mm.; wing 122 to 132 mm.; tail 55 to 64 mm.; tarsus 39 to 46 mm.; culmen 27 to 28 mm.
Young birds have the upper parts of the head and neck con-colorous with the back; sides of the head and neck more ashy-brown : breast brown; inner webs of quills more or less barred with dull white, a few white and black bars on scapulars and wing-coverts.
Irides dull brown; legs greenish-plumbeous.
Distribution. Ceylon and the sub-Himalayas from the North-Vest frontier to E. Assam. Thence in small numbers here and there throughout the well-wooded, wetter parts of India. It also occurs in South Burma, the Malay States and Annam.
In the Philippines its place is taken by It. s. eurizonoides, a race with deeper rufous colour and either no white or very little on the chin and throat.
Nidification. Betham, Bell and Harvey took numerous nests of this species during the Rains, June to September, at Khandalla and in Kanara. The nests were made of grass, roots, leaves etc. and were placed in bamboo-clumps, tangles of creepers, thick bushes etc. up to some six feet from the ground or, sometimes, on the ground. They were always built in dense scrub or deep forest and very hard to find. The eggs number four to seven and when newly laid are pure white but the texture is soft and porous with a thick exterior layer of calcium, very like the eggs of the Crow-Pheasants, so that they soon get stained and discoloured. Ninety eggs average 33.7 x 26.0 mm.: maxima 35.8 x 25.4 and 35.1 x 28.1 mm.; minima 30.9 x 25.0 mm.
Habits. Bell says that these little Bails are extremely shy and retiring and almost impossible to put up without dogs. When flushed they take to the nearest thickly-foliaged tree and seem quite at home there. They call mornings and evenings and when it is wet or misty during the day also. The cry is described as like that of a hen after laying an egg, whilst if suspicious of danger the bird utters a sound like " k-r-r-r-r " in a subdued tone. They feed on insects.