Sterna seena, Sykes.
985. :- Seena aurantia, Gray. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 838 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 32 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 440 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 323 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 135.
THE LARGE RIVER TERN.
Length, 15 to 16 ; expanse, 34 ; wing, 11; tail, 7.5 ; tarsus, 1 ; bill at front, 1.5.
Bill bright deep yellow; irides brown ; legs red.
Whole head above glossy-black; upper plumage pale grey; tail with the lateral feathers white ; whole lower plumage white, the flanks tinged with ashy.
The Large River Tern (with the exception perhaps of the Deccan, where its occurrence appears doubtful), occurs more or less commonly in the cold season throughout the district. A few at all events remain to breed, as I have found eggs, both in Sind and Central India, during April and May. They are deposited in slight depressions in the sandy bed or banks of rivers ; there is no nest. The eggs, four in number, are broadish ovals in shape, and are of a buffy or greenish stone color, spotted and streaked, more especially at the larger end, with deep brown and underlying spots of pale inky-purple.
They measure 1.65 inches in length by about 1.25 in breadth.