1531. Sula piscatrix.
The Red-legged Booby.
Pelecanus piscator, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 217 (1766). Dysporus piscator, Sundevall, Physiogr. Sallskapets Tidsk. i, p. 217; id. A. M. N. H. xix, p. 235; Dates, B. B. ii, p. 230. Sula piscator, Blyth, Cat. p. 297; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 852; Hume, Cat. no. 999. Sula piscatrix, Hume, S. F. iv, p. 483 ; v, p. 312.
The White Booby, Jerdon.
Coloration. Adults are white with the exception of the primaries, secondaries, and greater coverts, which are dark brown tinged with silvery grey; the head, neck, and back sometimes washed with buff.
Young birds are sepia-brown throughout, lower parts paler ; IN the next plumage the abdomen becomes whitish or white, then the head, neck, and body. The quills are always more or less tinged with hoary grey.
Bill, facial skin, legs and feet red (Sundevall); irides grey, bill in young bluish pink, orbital area plumbeous, pouch flesh-coloured (McGillivray). Tail-feathers 14.
Length about 26; tail 8.5; wing 15; tarsus 1.3; bill from gape 4.
Distribution. Tropical seas. Blyth states that this bird is common in the Bay of Bengal, and Jerdon that it is occasionally seen there; Sundevall says it is common in the Indian Ocean between 10° N. and 10° 8., and that he saw one bird in May on the coast of Bengal. It is, however, possible that S. cyanops, which was not recorded from Indian seas by Sundevall, Blyth, or Jerdon, has been at times mistaken for S. piscatrix. Hume saw a large flock, apparently of the present species, close to one of the Laccadive Islands ; and Blyth identified with S. piscatrix a young bird obtained by Layard from the Maldives. No other specimen has been obtained in the neighbourhood, and although, as the Red-legged Booby is common in the Malay Archipelago, it must, I think, inhabit Indian seas, its claim to a place in the list of Indian birds cannot be regarded as quite certain.