186. Scolopax rusticola.
Rusticola—a. little Heath-Cock in Pliny; rusticulus=a. little countryman in Cicero. Diminutive of rusticus = of or belonging to the country, rus.
Sim-titar, India; Kumattu, Chinjarol, Chamba; Kangtruk, Manipur; Wilate-chaha, Chittagong; Murgh-i-zerak, Persia.
Male 13" to 15"; 9 to 15 oz. Female 16". Legs livid. Bill 3", flesh-grey. Forehead ash-grey. Chin white. Four cross-bars on head. Plumage variegated brown, yellow, and grey, with rufous bars and black spots. Breast and abdomen buff, barred black. Remiges twenty-six. Nine primaries, blackish, with rufous notches on both webs; in old birds the notches on outer webs of first two primaries disappear; in females first primary is plain. Tail black, tipped grey above and silvery white below. Breeds in N. Europe and Asia, the Azores, Canaries, and Madeira. Also in Himalayas above 10,000 feet, and migrates in winter to the lower valleys, also to S. India and Burma. Bare in Ceylon. Four eggs (1.65 x 1.4), drab, spotted brown. Nestlings are believed to be carried between the thighs of the old bird and held there by the bill of the parent as it flies. Rises with a whirr and flies with bent wings and beak pointed down. Arrives in Darjeeling in October and leaves about the middle of March. Masson says they breed " in the hills close to the snows, for many a time, while out shooting in July and August near the snows at dusk, I have seen Woodcock flying in various directions." (J. 867. B. 1482. H. & M. iii. 309.)
Also 8. saturata. 10 1/2". With bill 3 1/4". Abdomen white, with dusky bars. Forehead rufous, barred black. Primaries almost uniform black. From Java and N. W. New Guinea.
Also the genus Neoscolopax. One species— N. rochusseni, 15", with bill 3 3/5"; a mountain Woodcock confined to the Moluccas.
Also the genus Philohela. One species— P. minor, 9", with bill 2 1/2", and three outer primaries attenuated ; from N. America.