1012. Little Bustard.
Tetrax. campestris, Leach, Syst. Cat. Mamm. &c. Brit. Mus. p. 28 (1816) ; Otis tetrax, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 264 (1766) ; Naum. vii. p. 52, Taf. 169 ; Hewitson, i. p. 287, pl. lxxiii. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 269 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 18 ; Dresser, vii. p. 383, pl. 509 ; (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiii. p. 287 ; Blanford, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 193 ; Saunders, p. 525 ; Lilford, v. p. 5, pl. 2.
Canepetiere, French ; Cizao, Portug. ; Sison, Span. ; Gallina-pratajola, Ital. ; Zwergtrappe, German ; Dvergtrappe, Dan. Strepet, Russ. ; Maesgaek, Tartar ; Chota-ti lur, Punjab.
Male ad. (Spain). Crown sandy brown marked with black ; sides of head and throat plumbeous, marked with black, this colour extending in a V-shape down the neck ; below this a white collar, then glossy black all round lower neck and on fore breast, and then another white collar ; upper parts sandy brown barred and blotched with black ; primaries black, but white at base, the inner ones tipped with whits ; secondaries white, the inner ones like the back ; larger wing-coverts white marked with black, the lesser like the back ; middle tail-feathers like the back, the outermost white barred with black ; under parts white ; bill horn becoming black at tip, base of lower mandible yellowish ; legs ochreous ; iris reddish brown Culmen 0.70, wing 9.50, tail 4.50, tarsus 2.20 inch. In the winter the sides of the head, neck and fore neck are streaked and mixed black and buff, the breast thin and throat white. The female in spring has the upper part paler, the sides of the head and neck sandy brown striped with black, the chin and under parts white, the breast tinged with ochre and marked with black.
Hab. Central and Southern Europe, but as a straggler as far north as Sweden and Great Britain ; North Africa ; Asia Minor, and Central Asia, east to Afghanistan and N.W. India. Like its larger ally this Bustard inhabits open plains, more especially where the soil is under cultivation, and is extremely wary and difficult of approach, but it is said to squat down to escape observation. It feeds on vegetable substances and insects. During the pairing season the male utters a harsh cry, trec, trec, which may be heard at a considerable distance. Its nest is a mere depression in the soil, and the number of eggs, so far as my experience goes, is 3 to 4, but Mr. Aksakoff states that as many as 8 to 12 are deposited. These are usually laid in May, and vary from light greenish olive with indistinct brown blotches, to rich dark uniform olive brown, and are glossy in texture of shell ; in size they average about 1.95 by 1.45.
Eupodotis arabs (Linn.), which inhabits Northern Africa, is said to occasionally occur just within the limits of the Palaearctic area but cannot well be included as a true Palaearctic species.
1012. Tetrax campestris
1012. Little Bustard.