Rhynchops albicollis, Sws.
995 :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 847 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 32 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 441 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 327.
THE INDIAN SKIMMER.
Length, 16.5 ; expanse, 44; wing, 16; tail, 4.75 ; tarsus, 1.25 ; bill, upper mandible, 2.9 ; lower mandible, 3.75.
Bill deep orange, yellowish at tip; irides brown ; legs bright vermilion-red.
Crown of the head, back and scapulars, rump and the two central tail-feathers, sooty-brown or black; the quills somewhat darker, edges of the secondaries and tertials white; forehead, face to the eyes, the back of the neck, and the whole lower parts, with the sides of the lower back and rump, and the lateral tail-feathers, white ; wing beneath glossy-cinereous.
The young bird has the feathers edged with creamy-white, and the bill and legs dusky-yellow.
The Scissors-bill or Skimmer is very common on the Indus, and occurs, but more rarely, in Guzerat, the Deccan and Central India.
It affects the larger rivers, rarely visiting tanks or jheels. The only one I obtained in Central India was hawking over the surface of a tank during the rains, but this is most exceptionable.