Totanus flavipes (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 659 (1788) ; Dresser, ix. p. 377, pl. 715 ; Sharpe. Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiv. p. 431 ; Ridgway, p. 166 ; Saunders, p. 613 ; Lilford, v. p. 116, pl. 50 ; Poynting, p. 215, pl. 45.
Male ad. (Wisconsin). Crown, nape, and hind-neck blackish brown, streaked with white ; upper parts blackish brown, clearly marked and spotted with white and buffy grey ; upper tail-coverts white, barred with blackish ; quills blackish brown, the shaft of the first white, of the lest brown ; middle tail-feathers dark ashy grey, the rest white, all barred with blackish ; under parts white, the sides of head, neck, and breast streaked with blackish, those on the lower neck and breast broader ; flanks barred with blackish ; the axillaries with ashy brown ; bill greenish black ; legs yellow ; iris dark brown. Culmen 1.6, wing 6.2, tail 2.6, tarsus 2.0 inch. Sexes alike. In winter the upper parts are darker and the markings reduced to a few whitish spots ; upper tail-coverts, chin, and upper throat nearly white ; flanks less marked with greyish brown.
Hab. North America, from the Hudson’s Bay Territory, and Alaska, where it breeds, to Patagonia in winter ; has occurred in South Greenland, and is a rare straggler to England, where two authentic examples have been obtained.
In habits it does not differ from its allies. It breeds in the high north of America, the nest being a mere depression in the ground scantily lined with grass-bents or dead leaves, or else quite unlined. The eggs, 4 in number, are usually deposited late in May or early in June, and vary a good deal, having the ground-colour from light drab to dark clay-ochre, the shell-markings pale purplish grey, and the surface spots and blotches black or blackish brown. In size they measure about 1.78 by 1.13.
1088. Totanus flavipes