809. Cotile sinensis.
The Indian Sand-Martin.
.Hirundo chinensis, J. E. Gray in Hardw. Ill. Ind. Orn. i, pl. 35, f. 3 (1830-2). Hirundo subsoccata, Hodgs, in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 82 (1844, desc. null.). Hirundo sinensis (J. E. Gr.), Blyth, Cat. p. 199. Cotyle sinensis (J. E. Gr.), Horsf. § M. Cat. i, p. 96; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 164; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 651; Hume, Cat. no. 89 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 82. Cotyle subsoccata (Hodgs.), Jerd. B. I. i, p. 163; Hume, Cat. no. 88. Cotile subsoccata (Hodgs.), Hume, N. & E. p. 82. Cotile sinensis (J. E. Gr.), Hume, N. E. p. 82 ; Oates B. B. i, p. 309 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 104; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 178.
The Dusky Martin, The Indian Bank Martin, Jerd.; Abali, Hind.; Nakuti, Beng.
Coloration. Upper plumage greyish brown, most of the feathers margined with paler brown; wings and tail darker brown ; chin, throat, breast, sides of the head and neck pale grey; abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts white.
The young bird has all the feathers of the upper plumage and wings broadly margined with rufous, and the chin, throat, and breast are pale rufous.
Iris brown; bill black ; legs dark brown.
Length about 4; tail 1.8 ; wing 3.4 ; tarsus .35; bill from gape .45 ; bifurcation of tail about .2.
Distribution. A resident species over the whole of the northern half of India down to about the latitude of Bombay, and probably further south. This Martin ascends the Himalayas wherever the streams are suitable to its habits. In the eastern part of the Empire it extends from Assam to Northern Tenasserim. It is found in Southern China, Siam, and the Philippine Islands.
Habits, &c. Breeds in large societies in the sandy banks of rivers, constructing its nest, which consists of a few feathers and a little grass, in a roundish chamber at the end of a narrow tunnel, frequently three feet in length. The breeding-season lasts from November to February in the greater part of India, but in some parts these Martins breed in April and May. The eggs, either four or five in number, are pure white, and measure about .68 by .48.