1452. Recurvirostra avocetta.
Recurvirostra avocetta, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 256 (1766); Blyth, Cat. p. 265 ; Jerdon, B. 1. iii, p. 706; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 253 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 248 ; Adam, ibid. p. 397 ; ii, p. 339; Hayes Lloyd, Ibis, 1873, p. 417 ; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 18 ; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 489; id. Cat. no. 899; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 925; Reid, S. F. x, p. 453; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 362 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 326.
Kusya chaha, H. (Behar).
Coloration. The whole forehead and crown to below the eyes, nape and hind neck, inner scapulars, and a patch running outwards from their base, median wing-coverts, some of the tertiaries, and the tips and greater part of the first seven or eight primaries, black, or in winter dark brown ; ail other parts white, middle tail-feathers in winter tinged with brownish grey.
Bill black ; irides red-brown ; legs pale bluish grey.
Length 18; tail 33; wing 9; tarsus 3.5 ; bill from gape to point 3.25.
Distribution. Temperate Europe and Asia, the whole of Africa, South-western Asia, India, and Ceylon. A winter visitor to India, not uncommon in the north, rarer in the south, and in Ceylon ; not found in Assam or Burma.
Habits, &c. The Avocet is generally found in small flocks, haunting the borders of marshes, tanks, rivers, salt lagoons, and similar places ; it feeds on small Crustacea, worms, and molluscs,, and obtains its food by searching for it iu the mud and sand with its bill, which it moves backwards and forwards with a semicircular sweeping action. It swims well.