1482. Scolopax rusticula.
Scolopax rusticola, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 243 (1766); Blyth, Cat. p. 271; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 670; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 70; Beavan, Ibis, 1868, p. 391 ; Brooks, J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 253 ; Hume, S. B. ii, p. 482; A. Anderson, S. F. iii, p. 356 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xiv, pt, 2, p. 200; Fairbank, S. F. v, p. 409; Butler, ibid. p. 504 ; Hume & Bar. S. F. vi, p. 458 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 228; Laird, ibid. p. 470; Hume, ibid, p. 483; id, Cat. no. 867 ; Bingham, S. F. viii, p. 190 ; Scully, ibid. p. 353; Hume Marsh. Game B. iii, p. 309, pl.; Williamson, S. F. x, p. 517 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 343 ; Seebohm, Charadr. p. 502; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 318. Scolopax rusticula, Wharton, Ibis, 1879, p. 453; id. S. F. viii, p. 500 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl, p. 806; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 428; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 95; Scully, ibid. p. 588; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 424; Davison, S. F. x, p. 413; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 380; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 176; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 349; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxiv, p. 671.
Chinjarole (Chamba), Sim Fulcra (Kumaun), Simtitur, Tutitar, H.
Coloration. Upper plumage a mixture of brownish grey with imperfect bars of rufous and black blotches ; forehead and sinciput greyish, occiput and nape black with narrow cross-bands; dark loral and cheek bands; rest of sides of head and of neck buff, with black spots; some large black blotches on the scapulars ; on the wing-coverts and tertiaries the colour passes into dark brown with rufous cross-bands ; the primary-coverts, primaries, and secondaries are blackish brown, indented with rufous on both edges; rump and upper tail-coverts barred rufous and black; tail-feathers black, with their tips dark grey above, silvery white below, and with rufous spots on their edges; lower parts brownish white, with dark-brown cross-bars, which become black and coalesce to some extent on the throat; chin whitish or white.
Bill dusky brown, livid at base of lower mandible; iris blackish brown; feet greyish, plumbeous, or drab.
Length 14 ; tail 3.25; wing 7.75 ; tarsus 1.5 ; bill from gape 3. There is no constant difference in size between the sexes. Indian birds are smaller than those of Western Europe.
Distribution. Throughout Europe and Asia, breeding in the North, and wintering in the South. The Woodcock breeds throughout the Himalayas above 10,000 feet, and in winter migrates 1O the lower valleys, and also to the hills of Southern India and Burma, being occasionally met with on migration throughout the Empire, thus at intervals of years specimens are brought to the Calcutta bazaar. Woodcocks are of rare occurrence in Ceylon. On the Nilgiris Woodcock shooting is one of the principal sports.
Habits, &c. The Woodcock, as its name implies, is usually found in cover, often in forest, and as a rule in the Himalayas near running water; it is a solitary bird, resting in the day and feeding chiefly at night, on worms, grubs, and insects. The presence of the bird may often be inferred from the holes made by its bill in soft ground when it is searching for worms. It breeds in the Himalayas about June, and lays four eggs in a hollow in moss or dead leaves. The eggs vary from pale buff to reddish drab, speckled and spotted with rufous brown and purplish grey, and measure about 1.65 by 1.4. Woodcocks sometimes carry their young between their feet; Mr. Littledale recently saw this done in Chumba, and Mr. Davidson in Kashmir.