1395. Rallina superciliaris.
The Banded Crake.
Rallus nigrolineatus, G. R. Gray, List Grallae B. M. p. 117 (1844: descr. nulla.). Rallus superciliaris, Eyton, A. M. N. H. xvi, p. 230 (1845). Porzana ceylonica, apud Blyth, Cat. p. 285 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 725; Same, S. F. i, p. 440; Hume & Oates, S, F. iii, p. 188; Hume & Bourd. S. F. iv, p. 405; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 465; nec Rallus zeylanicus, Gm. Porzana superciliaris, Blyth, Cat. p. 339. Porzana zeylanica, apud Blyth, J. A. S. B. xxi, p. 353 ; id. Ibis, 1867, pp. 171, 309; nec Gm. Porzana amauroptera, Blyth, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 725. Rallina euryzonoides, apud Tweeddale, P. Z. S. 1877, p. 767 (partim); Hume, Cat. no. 912; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 772 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 237, pl.; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 340; Davidson, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. ix, p. 489 ; nec Lafresn. Rallina telmatophila, Hume, S. F. vii, pp. 142, 451. Rallina superciliaris, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiii, p. 76.
Coloration. Head and neck all round, with upper breast, chestnut.; chin and throat pale rufous to white; upper parts from the neck dark brownish olive ; quills dark brown; lower parts from breast, including wing-lining and lower tail-coverts, barred across with white and dusky black ; the dusky bars becoming narrow and partly disappearing in the middle.
Old females appear to resemble the male, but this is not quite certain; generally in females the chestnut is confined to the fore¬head, sides of face, fore neck, and breast, the crown and nape being brownish olive like the back. Young birds have the rufous on the head, neck, and breast entirely replaced by brown; the inner webs of the quills are barred with white, and there are occasionally a few white bars with dusky edges on the upper wing-coverts.
Base of upper mandible, and greater portion of the lower, green ; remainder of the bill dark brown; irides blood-red; legs black (Oates). Iris mottled closely on the exterior portion with red-brown on an olive ground; legs and feet plumbeous (Legge).
Length 10; tail 2.3; wing 5 ; tarsus 1.7 ; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. A winter visitor to Ceylon, arriving about the end of October and leaving about February. Isolated specimens have been obtained in the North-west Provinces and Oudh, Nepal, Sikhim, Bengal, Orissa, Gumsur, Canara, and Travancore, also at Thayet Myo in Pegu, at Malacca, and Singapore; but, except in Ceylon, the occurrence of this species appears to be occasional, and its summer quarters and breeding-haunts are unknown. The Philippine species, the true B. euryzonoides, is regarded by Dr. Sharpe as distinct.
Habits, &c. The Banded Crake arrives on the west coast of Ceylon when the north wind sets in ; it is then in an exhausted condition as if from a long flight, and often seeks shelter in houses. After a few days all the birds leave for the hills, where they frequent sedgy places near streams and paddy-fields; they are also found in drier ground. Nothing certain is known of the nidification.