612. Pratincola macrorhyncha.
Saxicola rubetroides, Jameson, Jerd. B. I. ii, App. p. 872 (1864, descr. null.). Pratincola macrorhyncha, Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. ii, p. 238 (1872); Hume, S. F. iv, p. 40, vii, p. 55; id. Cat. no. 485 bis; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, pp. 182, 473; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 201. Pratincola jamesoni, Hume, S. F. v, p. 239 (1877).
Coloration. Upper plumage sandy buff streaked with dark brown ; upper tail-coverts pale rufous ; middle pair of tail-feathers dark brown, narrowly margined with fulvous-white ; the next pair with the basal third of the outer, and three quarters of the inner, web white, the remainder black; the others progressively more white and less black ; the outermost almost entirely white ; wing-coverts blackish with broad sandy margins, the last of each series next the body almost entirely white ; the earlier primary-coverts chiefly white on the outer webs, dark brown edged with sandy elsewhere; quills dark brown edged with sandy; lores and a broad supercilium pale buff; ear-coverts rufous; remainder of the sides of the head mixed brown and buff; chin and throat white ; remainder of the lower plumage very pale buff, somewhat deeper on the breast; under wing-coverts white mottled with black ; axillaries white, with blackish bases.
The sexes appear to be alike in the winter, but may probably differ in the summer.
The above is the plumage of adults of both sexes during the winter. I have not been able to examine birds in summer plumage ; but the skins most advanced towards this plumage in the Hume Collection have a dark blackish streak from the bill down the sides of the throat and breast, expanding in width gradually and leaving the throat narrowly white. The sandy margins of the upper plumage are probably at this season much reduced in extent, leaving the upper plumage blacker.
The young resemble the adults in winter plumage, but there is no white on the tail, which is brown with fulvous margins, and the white on the wing-coverts is either absent or very much reduced.
Legs and feet black : iris brown ; bill black (Hume).
Length nearly 6; tail 2.2; wing 3; tarsus 1; bill from gape .7.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the Punjab, Rajputana, Northern Guzerat, Cutch, and Sind. The summer-quarters of this species are unknown. No one has met with it in Central Asia, and Hume's conjecture that it may be a resident in the above provinces of India may prove to be correct. Natives of Jodhpur assured him that these birds remained in this State and bred there during the rainy season.
Habits, &c. Hume states that this species was extremely abun¬dant in the thin, stunted, scrub-jungle that here and there studs the sandy, semi-desert, waterless tracts which occur all round Jodhpur. It has the ordinary habits of P. maura.