1424. Rhinoptilus bitorquatus.
Macrotarsius bitorquatus, Jerdon, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvii, pt. I, p. 254 (1848); id. Cat. p. 260. Rhinoptilus bitorquatus, Strickland, P. Z. S. 1850, p. 220; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 628 ; Blanford, Ibis, 1867, p. 462; id. J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 190; Hume, Cat. no. 841; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 50. Cursorius bitorquatus, Seebohm, Ibis, 1880, p. 119; id. Charadr: p. 247, pl. xiii.
The Double-banded Plover, Jerdon ; Adava-wuta-titti, Tel.
Coloration. Crown dark brown, with a buff median band; forehead, lores, and long broad supercilia, passing completely round the nape, white ; a brown band streaked with black beneath the eye, extending over the ear-coverts; upper parts brown; wing-coverts slightly paler; across the wing is a broad white band formed of the outer median and the greater coverts ; primary-coverts, primaries, and most of the secondaries black, a broad white band crossing obliquely the first two primaries near the end, a large white spot on the 3rd primary and a small round spot on the 4th ; inner webs of secondaries chiefly white, and white edgings to the outer webs of the brown tertiaries; upper tail-coverts white ; tail blackish brown, the feathers white at the base and with white spots at the tips, the amount of white increasing on the outer feathers; chin and throat buffy white, passing on the fore neck into pale chestnut, followed by two narrow white bands, both dark-edged behind, the posterior in front also; the two divided by a much broader brown gorget; remainder of lower parts creamy white.
Bill blackish at the tips of both mandibles, pale yellow at the base and as far as the nostrils ; gape yellow; iris umber-brown ; legs pale yellowish white with a fleshy tinge, soles flesh-coloured, nails horny.
Length 10.25; tail 2.5; wing 6.5; tarsus 2.7; bill from gape 1.05.
Distribution. Forest country from the Godavari valley to the neighbourhood of Madras. Jerdon discovered this species near Nellore and Cuddapah, and I met with it close to Sironcha on the Godavari and again near Bhadrachalam, where however it was very far from common. This bird must have a very restricted range, as no other observer is known to have met with it. Neither Jerdon nor Ball saw it in Bastar.
Habits, &c. I first saw three birds together in May 1867 ; afterwards, in March 1871, I twice found pairs, and I succeeded in each case in shooting one, a male. The birds did not appear on dissection to be breeding. They were in thin forest or high scrub, never in open ground, and I never saw any on hills. Their appearance on the ground is Courser-like, but the flight is more rapid, more like that of Sarciophorus. Jerdon states that this bird occasionally utters a plaintive cry. The eggs are unknown.