1051. Painted Snipe.
Rostratula capensis (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 246 (1766) ; (Layard), B. of S. Afr. p. 334 ; (David and Oust.), Ois. Chine, p. 480 ; (Milne-Edw. and Grandid.), Hist. Nat. Madag. pl. 261 and pl. 306, fig. 9 (eggs) ; (Seebohm), B. Jap. Emp. p. 340 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiv. p. 683 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. pp. 293 ; R. bengalensis, (Linn.), tom. cit. i. p. 263.
Ohari, Nepal. ; Tibud, Panlawa, Mahr. ; Tama-shigi, Jap.
Male ad. (India). Crown and nape olivaceous brown ; a broad median stripe, a narrow ring round, and a stripe behind the eye buff ; hind neck and fore back ashy brown narrowly dark barred ; upper parts black varied with rufous grey and yellow and washed with olivaceous ; a broad buff stripe on each side of the back ; wing-coverts and quills with ovate yellowish and rusty spots ; upper tail-coverts and tail blue-grey with yellowish ovate spots and bars ; chin nearly white ; throat and upper breast ashy brown with dull white stripes, bordered below with blackish ; sides of breast olive-brown and black ; rest of under parts white ; bill, legs, and iris olive-brown. Culmen 2.1, wing 5.0, tail 1.7, tarsus 1.7 inch. Female larger, much richer coloured ; sides of head rufous becoming chestnut-red on the throat down to the black band across the breast ; mantle dark lead-grey with narrow Mack bars ; a tuft of white lanceolate feathers under the scapulars in all ages. Young birds resemble the male adult.
Hab. Africa south of the Sahara, but ranging in the east to the Nile Delta ; Madagascar ; Asia Minor (?) ; Afghanistan, Kashmir, and the Indian Peninsulas, east to Japan and China, south in winter to Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and the Philippines.
Frequents moist or grassy localities often where there are bushes, is Rail-like in its general habits and flight, and hard to flush, affording poor sport. It feeds on insects and mollusca, and also to some extent on grain and grass seeds. The note of the female is a guttural croak, that of the male shriller. It is said to breed twice in the year, and in India its nest has been found at all seasons. The nest is a mere hollow in the ground, often with a pad of grass or rushes, and the eggs, 4 in number, which are very small for the size of the bird, only measuring about 1.40 by 0.99, are clear yellowish buff, boldly blotched with rich brownish black, here and there becoming rich raw sienna-brown.
1051. Rostratula capensis
1051. Painted Snipe.