Sterna saundersi, Hume.
988ter. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 325 ; Butler, Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 441.
SAUNDER'S LITTLE TERN.
Length, 9.12 ; expanse, 19.25 ; wing, 6.43 ; tail, 3 ; tarsus, 0.6 ; bill from gape, 1.5.
Bill yellow, tipped dusty; irides blackish brown ; legs and feet dusky yellowish-olive.
A triangular frontal patch, the angles reaching to within 0.12 of the eyes, white ; a very broad stripe through the lores to the eye black ; a narrow white line intervenes between this stripe and the upper mandible; the whole crown, occiput, short occipital crest and sides of occiput as low as the lower margin of the eye, velvet-black, the central two-thirds of the lower eyelid white, and no black below this ; all the rest of the sides of head and neck, chin, throat, entire under parts, wing-lining and exterior tail-feathers, pure white; the first three primaries black with black shafts and broad white margins on their inner webs ; their greater coverts dusky black ; the whole of the rest of the upper surface, including wings and tail, and excepting parts and feathers already described, a most delicate satin-grey, contrasting in the strongest manner with the early black primaries.
Saunder's Little Tern is very abundant at Kurrachee and along the adjacent coast. It is a permanent resident, breeding during April and May. The eggs, two in number, are deposited in a small depression in the sand. They are rather longish ovals pointed at one end ; the ground color is drab or stone, and the markings consist of spots, streaks, and blotches of a dark or reddish-brown color.
They measure 1.3 inches in length by 0.9 in breadth.