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A KEY TO THE COMMON BIRDS
OF THE PLAINS OF INDIA

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INDIAN BIRDS .

BIRDS OF THE THE MAKING OF With 15 Illustrations. I. With numerous Illustrations reproduced from Photographs by Captain Fayrer. SPECIES.AUTHOR BOMBAY DUCKS An some of the Account of Everyday Birds and Beasts found in a Naturalist's El Dorado.Sr 7HE SAME : . Demy 8vo. IN COLLABORATION WITH FRANK FINN numerous Illustrations. . Demy 8vo.M. PLAINS. With Demy 8vo.S.

INDIAN THE COMMON BIRDS BEING A KEY TO BIRDS OF THE PLAINS OF INDIA BY DOUGLAS DEWAR ffi fig fig v4 COMPANION VOLUME TO THE BIRD VOLUMES OF « THE FAVNA OF BRITISH INDIA" & JERDON'S "BIRDS OF INDIA" LONDON JOHN LANE THE BODLET HEAD NEW rORK JOHN LANE COMPANY MCMX : : .

PRINTERS . LTD.. BRENDON AND SON.X 4 PLYMOUTH : WM.

TREFACE who have been book must be weUnigh exhausted. but the descriptions in are several There these presuppose in his that the reader has the specimen it it is leisurely.. on account of the heavy work the threatening famine entailed and when one is on furlough one only works at the rare times when there is nothing better to do! The object of this book is to enable people interested in our Indian birds to identify at sight those they are likely to meet with in their compounds and during their excursions I FEAR that the patience of those little awaiting this into the jungle. so long has it been in appearing. I began it two years ago. good systematic works on Indian ornithology. hand and is able to examine feather by feather. To do this 5 necessary to kiU the bird in question . but had to put it aside during the last few months spent in India prior to taking furlough.

the first kind that has been attempted. of its This book I believe. I have adopted is to classify birds according to their habits and outward Every bird has a colour. But even to not enable observer identify it is in a few seconds any bird he sees. for not written in the form of a key. he will find that seeking British India series out in the four bird volumes of the Fauna of is a task almost as hopeless as that of looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. bird in a few minutes. notion the order to which the bird he it has shot belongs. a dictionary of birds so arranged that the budding ornithologist is able to turn up any particular is. gives the reader a vivid description of our common Indian birds as they appear to the field naturalist and I . The present book is an attempt at a key to the everyday birds of the plains of India. entitled The of Bombay. the seeker after knowledge has some as to Moreover. Common Birds heartily commend the this little masterpiece to this does every Anglo-Indian. The method appearance. Eha's truly admirable book. and 6 .Prefam —A and procedure which gives causes pain to many unless pleasure to very few.

Thus most of birds will appear in at least two my classes. Thus. the observer while out walking sees a white bird with a long tail. No. he will find that the Paradise Flycatcher all is the only bird that appears in Its three lists. Not a few have some easily recognisable habit.Preface most birds such as possess some anatomical tail. number in the descriptive list is (57). and this will serve to confirm or correct him in his identification. a crest. and so should be easily identified by a process of elimination. the reader thinks that he has located a bird turn it up in the descriptive he should which com- poses Part II of this book. Looking through the lists of birds under (i) those having long tails . to take a very easy example. (3) those mainly white. and a black crested head. little illustrations of the bird are to venture to hope that this all book will enable any person to learn in a few weeks to identify nearly station. A perusal of entry confirm I the diagnosis. When list. such as a peculiar call or manner of flight. a long long etc. peculiarity. legs. 57 will and indicate where be found. (2) those having a crest . the common birds of his The descriptions given in Part II of the 7 .

Sometimes the description given may appear to differ from book are short ones.. These are usually shot at sight therefore not necessary for me to burden this book with them. or in Jerdon's Birds of India. greatest of the difficulties I have experienced is to know what birds to insert It is and what to leave out of this book. and sometimes my memory may have played me false. I shall be most grateful to anyone who Will be kind enough to One of the point out to me any errors. a key only to the common birds of the plains. may mention . I have purposely omitted the game birds from it is my list. while mine are attempts to depict the bird as he appears in the flesh. Preface an attempt to depict the bird as it looks when perched in a tree or during flight. and each is those given in The Fauna is of British India. The reason of the apparent discrepancy that the descriptions of the birds in these latter books are those of the skins of dead birds. There I 8 is no lack of good Marshall books that enable the sportsman to identify the birds he has shot. In a few cases I have described birds from memory. and deals with about one-fifth of the feathered inhabitants.

I fear. which contains excellent coloured plates of all Indian Those who cannot afford to purchase sumptuous work have in Finn's How to know the Indian Ducks. Shore. Burmah. enables the tyro to identify any dead wader. ciently clearly I be found rather technical think I have stated suffi- my reasons for excluding the majority of It game birds from the present work. and Ceylon. Lastly.Preface and Hume's Game Birds of India. and the only way of securing this desideratum is to exclude aU the birds that are not frequently met with. This valuable work is out of print almost every Indian a copy is to be found in . it is necessary that the various classes shaU not be too large. Some may think that I have omitted certain 9 . this Indian Waders. with its large number of coloured but plates. but this. Then there is Stuart Baker's recently published Indian Ducks and their Allies. and Water Birds of India. In order to render it comparatively easy to identify any given bird. a safe and inexpensive The same author's How to know the guide. library. to justify the other now remains for me omissions. ducks. will for most people. there is Le Messurier's Game.

I would emphasise the fact that this book is may be a mere key. viz.Preface species that should have been included. Madras. to which the in bird are made the case present of every is mentioned. and have spent a little time feathered friends. the United Provinces. It is. such as Jerdon's of India. my on the Bombay side. quite Ukely that some of the birds I have omitted very common in certain localities. The book will lose be used in con- much Birds of its value unless or it junction with other books. In anticipation o£ such criticism I I may say that have done my best to deal impartially with I have served in three provinces. I be glad to hear of any such with a view shall to adding them to a second edition should that be called for. of the Fauna references species volumes of British India series. I admit. once the it common lO birds have been becomes comparative^ easy to . and have been largely guided by my experience. When learned. and the Punjab. The work primarily a companion to either of the above' volumes. and as such is of necessity a col- lection of the dry bones of ornithology and devoid of any literary merit.

of Bombay. in the present work. in- dicated the distribution of the various birds dealt with. a local list (where it exists) will lists be of great assistance.. 149 South Gujerat North Cachar. I IX-XIII — X-XITI ) . Cachar Gwalior North Canara . have been compiled : The following LOCAL LISTS OF BIRDS WHICH HAVE APPEARED IN THE JOURNAL OF THE BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY Name of Locality Volume of Journal /. Hylakandy District. Most of the all species dealt with therein are common over the Those who live in Calcutta will find Cunningham's Some Indian Friends and Acquaintances.. and Finn's Birds of Calcutta very helpful. Although I have.•. let me advise every one who wishes to " learn his birds " to procure Eha's identify the its Common Birds plains. . ... In conclusion. XI XI & XII 136 652 & 43 ..) Preface uncommon ones and to assign to proper family an uncommon bird. .

. Upper Burma & 432 XIX f Volume of Stray Feathers . XV & XVI XVI XVI XVIII 1 Madras Seistan 484 686 78 Chindwin. Upper Burma Bhamo District. of Journal of page Andaman and Nicobar j XII & XIII Madhubani Subdivision of the Darbhanga District XIII-XVI Travancore ..' ) Preface Name Islands of Locality Volume No..

Preface .

.

Blue 42 III. 53 54 56 57 15 Red . Classification I. Legs 24 IV. 23 III.. Tail V. Coffee or Fawn Colour ... 44 52 V. Classification I Names of Common Birds . Pink VIII. 25 29 31 According to Colour Black 32 II. . 19 According to Structural 22 Peculiarities I..CONTENTS PAGE Preface 5 PART A. BUI Crest 22 II. Sexual Dimorphism C. . Hindustani B. Brown IV. Green VI. Grey VII.

79 81 82 VII.. Birds having remarkable cries Birds 6^ 70 75 II. Classification According to Habits I.. . Birds of 89 16 . Yellow XI. sit on ex- 78 in flocks . any garden in the plains habitually Birds that posed perches IV. Classification continued According to Colour — p^gb IX. tail 85 PART Descriptive List of the the Plains of India II Common ... whose in nests are likely to be found III. 6$ 68 D. White 6l X.. Birds of Many Colours .Contents C... Flight VI.. . . Feeding habits . ..... . Birds that go about V. Birds which habitually carry the almost vertically ..

Hindustani Names of Common Birds Classification according to Structural Peculiarities Classification according to Colour D. Classification according to Habits . C.PART B. I A.

.

(54). HINDUSTANI NAMES OF COMMON BIRDS Ababil. »9 . Chaha. Bater.* Ablak Maina. Peregrine Falcon. Buchanga. CM.A. Quail (171). Bulbul (15-21). Eagle (146) .tailed Drongo (27). Lark (97-103). Brahmini Chil. Chandnl. Pied Myna Bagla. Chota Chaha. Bdz. Brahminy Duck (229). Paddy bird (224). Racket. Brahminy Kite (151). BhlmrSj. Bara Kowa. King Crow (25). * In all cases the is number in brackets which follows the name of a bird the number of the bird in the Descriptive List that composes Part II of this book. Martin. Swallow. Baya or Weaver bird (70). Corby (i). Kite (152). Balbal. Smpe. Chakwd. B3ya. Bhairi. also Goshawk. Swift (80-90. Jack Snipe. 124 and 125).

Maind. Dove (166-169). Green Pigeon (163 and 164). Ldl Mttnia. Bank Myna (53). Crow-pheasant 30 (131). Laggar. Rose-coloured Starling (48). Pigeon (165). \ ) Amadavat (77). Gldh. Magpie Robin (68). Goldbi Mai««. Kotwdl. Hdns. Harridl. r^'. Black Partridge (172). Barred-headed Goose (228). Daydl. House Crow (3). Kdld TJtar. Desi Shdma. Pied Bush Chat (61 and 62). . Koil. Koel (130). Brown Rock-chat (64). Harre Ldl. Vulture (141-145). Mohok. Shrike (34-37). Lugger Falcon (160). Gaga. Dove (166-169). Kulang. Gonriya." Indian Birds Darya Maind. Kabatdr. . Lahtora. Osprey (140). Kdld Pidhd. Wagtail (91-94). King Crow (25). ^' Machlimdr. Demoiselle Crane (179). Kowd. Fakhtd. Common Crane (177). Myna (52). Dhobin.. Green Munia (78). Sparrow (82). Kdrkarra.

(57). Seven Sisters (7-9). Tstd. Tlsa. Turamti. Sarus Crane (178). Tniri. Cormorant (209-211). Tailor-bird. King Crow (25). Lapwing (183 and 184). Red-headed Merlin (161). Tilyer. Oriole (44 and 45). Tawny Eagle (146). Thampdl. Paroquet (132-134). Tnar. Peafowl (170). Nllkant. Poplyd.Hindustani Names of Msr. Rose-coloured Starling (48). Pan-kowa. Pllak. Brain-fever bird (128). warbler (28-33). Grey-lag Goose (227). Safsd Gldh. Scavenger Vulture (144 and 145). Plover. Roller (115). White-eyed Buzzard (147). Shikra (158). Raj Hans. Sards. Shah Bulbal. . Common Birds Pahdri Maind. Wdk. Surkid Bagld. Phutki. Sdth Bhai. Grackle (46 and 47). Rose Finch (80). Ulln. Red-whiskered Bulbul (20 and 21). Paradise Flycatcher Shikrd. Owl (135-139)(225). Tati. Night Heron Wokdb. Siphdhi Bulbul. Grey Partridge (173). Cattle Egret (223).

I. The Avocet (188). Crest. BiU. The Hoopoe (123). The The Kingfishers (i 18-120).) 6.) Hornbills (121 and 122). II.) 5. very slender. Sexual Dimorphism.) birds with long curved 2. straight. III. I. (Bill very long and (187).CLASSIFICATION ACCORDING TO STRUCTURAL PECULIARITIES B. Tail. Legs. IV. slender.) (Big birds with long 4.) 22 (Fairly long. slightly curved. . BILLS (Very small (Fairly long Birds with Long Bills 1. V. bills. The Black-winged Stilt (Fairly long. tails. with an upward curve. The Sunbirds (106-108). and 3.

12. The Whimbrel The The The The Black-tailed Snipes. 8. (Long (191). slightly curved. White-eared Bulbul (19). 7. The Herons (222-225). Pelicans (207 208). : Crest (Very long The Curlew (189). a ladle-like tip. 6.Classification 7. The Spoonbill (215). The The The The The The The Madras Red-vented Bulbul (15). curved. and flattened with 14. 11.) 8. (Fairly long and dagger-shaped. (190). Burmese Red-vented Bulbul (16). The Large Drongo (27). Bengal Red-vented Bulbul (17).) 9. straight. Southern Red -whiskered Bulbul Racket-tailed 23 (21). Godwit and 10. .) 13. 5. and and curved.) The Storks (216-221).) IL CREST Crested birds 1. Punjab Red-vented Bulbul (18). 2. 4. 3. (Very long and (Long. Bengal Red-whiskered Bulbul (20). Ibises (212-214). 15.

) 2. The Paradise Flycatcher (57). Lapwings (183 and Black-winged 184).Indian Birds 9. 13. 16. 15. 3. Sykes's 14. The Pied Kingfisher (small The Indian Hoopoe (123). crest) (118). The Rose-coloured Starling (48). (no). 5. Stilt (187). The Common Peafowl (170). 20. 17. 11. The Large Cormorant (small Crested Lark (102). Avocet (188). Stone Curlew (180). Malabar Crested Lark (103). 21. 18. The Brahminy Myna (51). (Moderately long. crest) in. (209). The The Yellow-fronted Woodpecker The Golden Woodpecker (in). The The The The The Cranes (177-179). 6. The Crested Lark (loi). 19. The Purple Coot (175). 7. 4. 24 . The Pied-crested Cuckoo (129). 12. 10. LEGS Birds with very long legs I The White-breasted Water-hen (174).

2. long in -propor- 2.) 2.e. The Spoonbill (215). The Storks (216-221). The Whimbrel (190). to the toe 1.Classification 8. 5. Swallows (88-90). 2. TAIL tail deeply Birds with the forked 1. 12. tails (i. 11. 3. The King Crow (25). square. 10. forked. I. Common Kite (152). or wedge-shaped tails. The Curlew (189). The Sandgrouse. The Owls (135-139). The Terns (200-206). 3. : Tail 9. 25 . IV. Birds with long tion to rest of body) 1. The Indian Tree-pie (5). The The The The Drongos (25-27). (TaU sHghtly 4. This distinguishes the Kite from all other raptorial birds which have round. The True Eagles (146). Palm Swift (125). The Common Flamingo Birds with legs feathered (226).

Western Blossom-headed Paroquet (134)17. off) (89). longed 6. The tail Blue-tailed Bee-eater two median ("7)11. The Larger Racket-tailed Drongo (27). The Peacock tail.Indian Birds 3. 5. (170). The Paradise Flycatcher (cock only) (57). 4. 16. 8. 13. Cuckoos (128-130). . Large Indian Paroquet (132). Crow-pheasant (131). 9. feathers are prolonged as bristles) 12. Rose-ringed Paroquet (133). The White-bellied Drongo (26). The Shama (69). The Wire-tailed Swallow (two o£ the tail beyond the others and These frequently get broken Indian Bee-eater (the as feathers are prolonged look like wires. 14. The Common tail two median bristles) (116). In this species it is not the but the upper 26 tail cbverts which are elongated. The The The The The The Hornbills (121 and 122). The Tailor Bird (cock in breeding plumfeathers are proas age when the two middle two bristles) (28). 7. feathers are prolonged (the 10. 15.

27 . The Kingfishers (i 18-120). The Nuthatches (23 and 24). The Spotted Owlet (135). 3. (Fairly short. 9. The Indian Pitta (109). The Purple Coot (175).) The Common Quail (171). The White-breasted Water-hen (174). Terns (202-204). : Tail The Pheasant-tailed Jagana (in breeding plumage) (182). 3. 5. 12. The Plovers (185 and 186). 16. Birds with a very short tail 2. 13. The Little Stint (195). 18. 10. 14. The Avocet (188). The Coot (176). The Partridges (172 and 173).Clasdfication 1 8. 19. 21. The Woodpeckers (i 10 and 1 1 1).) The Ashy-crowned Finch-Lark (105). 15. 19. 11. The Munias (74-79). The Barbets (113 and 114).) 6. 20. 8. 4. 7. The Vultures (140-142). (Fairly short. 17. The Black-tailed Godwit (191). (Fairly short. The Sandpipers (192-194). The Scops Owl (138). The Common Indian Swift (124). 1.

27. 24. form a .tailed Swallow. Geese (227 and 228). tip. 25.Indian Bwd& 22. 1. 28 . (i) Outer -pair -prolonged. 29. (No tail at all.) 4. 30. 23. Cormorants (209-211). Egrets (223). The Bee-eaters (116 and 117). 32. so as to Drongo (27). Ducks (229 and 230).) The Wire. 28. Common Flamingo (226). 31. Spoonbill (215). Little Grebe (231). Birds in which a fart of the tail feathers are prolonged. Night Heron (225). 2. Ibises (212-214). Median fair prolonged (Cock) Tailor Bird (in hot weather). disc at the terminal part of the feather. The Larger Racket-tailed (The web reappears at the 2. Paddy Bird (224). 26. beyond the rest as bristles (a) 1. The The The The The The The The The The The PeKcans (207 and 208).

SEXUAL DIMORPHISM appearance Birds in which the sexes differ greatly in 1. Buntings (84 and 85). The Pied Bush Chats (61 and 62). 8. 2. 20. 11. The Minivets (39-41). 4. The Common lora (13). 13. 5. The Black-headed Cuckoo-Shrike (42). 3. Koel (130). The Rose-coloured Starling (48). 9. The Orioles (44 and 45). 17. 10. 18. (Inbreeding The Indian season only. The Indian Redstart (65). (Particu- larly in 15. The Shama (69).) Common Rose-Finch (180). Sparrow (82). 7. 29 . 6. The Indian Paradise Flycatcher (57). The Indian Bush Chat (63). Common (105). 12. Red Munia (79). 16.Classification : Sexual Di/marphism V. Ashy-crowned Finch-Lark Sunbirds (106-108). The Weaver Birds (70-73).) 14. The Magpie Robin (68). 19. The Indian Robins (66 and 6j). The The The The The The breeding season.

26. 23. breeding plumage.Indian Birds 21. The Common Peafowl (170). The Black Partridge (172). 24. The Blossom-headed Paroquet The Harriers (153-157).) 30 . The Red Turtle Dove (169). 22. 25. (In (134). The Shoveller (230).

Pink. II. VIII. IV. Take. Brown. Green. the blues classification. —various species display slaty grey to almost every turquoise. III. many con- although spicuous and easily recognised. Yellow.C. indigo. IX. Grey. Black. VII. Blue. CLASSIFICAriON ACCORDING ro COLOUR I. lists known shade from from purple to ultramarine and To attempt to distinguish in the between the many shades of blue would 31 . V. Red. but in the colours displayed. White. are not of a nature to admit of strict for example. X. Colour affords the cases easiest means of identify- ing the great majority of birds. VI. Coffee or fawn colour.

2. I. individuals vary greatly in colouration at different stages of their existence. therefore. of the clues which have to be fol- lowed up before the identity of the species can be established. great majority of them are of the same colour.Indian Birds have led to inevitable confusion. tate the task of identification. in the case of others at the best a colour rough guide —one. 32 . but since the only one. My I method is probably inartistic. The by is reader should bear in is mind that. but it will. moreover. All Black (i). facili- Again. The Indian Corby The Raven (2). Birds zoith a quantity plumage (a) 1. hope. In the case of Raptorial birds colour is of very little assistance. BLACK of black in their I. while nothing birds easier than to identify some their colour. divided I have. hence I have included some species under both heads. my blues into bright blue. it is no easy matter to draw the line between greyish and brownish birds. and slaty blue. dark blue.

(Cock) Sunbirds (106 and 107). {b) Mainly Black The Indian House \ These have grey Crow (3). 3. 7. Malabar Whistling Thrush (11). Coot (176). Crow (4). but sometimes look black 6. (These 5.) The Indian Starling (49). (Young) Scavenger Vultures (144 and shield 145)8. eyes red) (130). Grackles (46 and 47).Classification 3. The Common The Palm Swift (125).) 4. (Smoky brown. (With small yellow or whitish spots. (Patches of cobalt-blue. 7. from a distance. (White bill and on forehead. The Burmese House latter. necks.) (bill (Cock) Koel green. darker in the 2. (Brownish black.) 9. with white bar across rump.) 6.) Indian Swift (124). According to Cohur 4. (Yellow and white bar in wing. The Large Racket-tailed Drongo (27). The wattles 5. The King Crow (25). The Indian Shag (210).) c 33 . . are really dark purple. The 1.

The Indian Tree-Pie 2. (Large pointed 5. narrow white bars and broad chestnut collar. (Very dark grey. The The The The Minivets (39 and 40). Black-headed Oriole (45). 34 .Indian Birds 8. 6. 1. The White-backed Vulture (143). The Black Vulture (141). 3.) (With 11.) 13. 14. with white face. Rose-coloured Starling (48). Black-headed birds (5). with white back. and chest. The Large and Little Cormorants (209 and 211). white patch on wing. and red under tail. White-breasted Water-hen (174).) 12. Black Ibis (213). (Cock) lora (13).) 2. 9.) 4. The Red-whiskered crest.) (Top of head red.) (Small crest.) (Red head. throat. (Cock) Black Partridge (172). white breast and patch on each thigh.) 10. §. (Very dark grey. 7. Black-headed Cuckoo-Shrike (42). The Red-vented Bulbuls (15-19). The Crow-Pheasant (131). Bulbuls (20 and 21). (Wings chestnut brown. (White throat.

winged Ja^ana (181). Accordmg to Colour 10. (Red wattle and sides of neck white. The Bronze. 20. The Chestnut-bellied Munia (75). Paradise Flycatcher (57). 25.) . 12. back of neck white. 15. The Common Myna (52). The YeUow-wattled Lapwing wattle.) (especially in (184). 22. 21. The Shama (69). The Black-headed Myna (51). 14.Classification 9. The White-necked Stork 35 (217). The Red-wattled Lapwing (183). (With The The yellow patch of skin behind eye. 17. (The head and breast are not black in this species. but look black from a distance. 18. The Black-headed Munia (74).) 23. (65). (Neck white. 16. (84). The White Ibis (212). 26.) 19.) 11. Indian Redstart (cock in spring) 13. The Black-headed Bunting (in spring) The Purple -rumped Sunbird (108). (Male) Pied Harrier (156). (YeUow 24. The Magpie Robin (cock) (68). The Crow-Pheasant (131). The Terns summer) (200- 205).

The Southern Red. 9. 28. (Not dealt with in this book. The The The Pheasant-tailed Jagana (182). 8.Indian Birds 27. Indian Oriole (44). The The The The Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (23). 3. Black streak through the eye to (i. 4. Little Ringed Plover (186). Shrikes (34-37). 2. on breast) (91)4.e.) (105). (Black cross 5. Painted Stork (220). Some of the Bustards. The Black-necked Stork The Night Heron (225). (Rather a patch than a streak.whiskered Bulbul (21). 3. 4. The Bengal Red. Black band across the breast 1. 2. The Ashy-crowned Finch-Lark on throat. The White Wagtail (patch (Collaret interrupted. collaret or gorget or (218). 6. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (24).) 7. The Common Indian Bee-eater (116).whiskered Bulb'ul (20).) 3.) 36 . from beak back of head) 1.

with black wing bars and red {b) 1. The Indian Tree-Pie (Silver-grey is on wings.) 3. The Crow-Pheasant (131). (Red patch under 5.) 6. (A black bird with brown wings). The Chestnut-bellied Munia (75). Black and brown {chestnut) (5).) (Slaty blue. tail. lower parts greyish. The Indian Pitta (109). 37 . eye. 4.Classification 5. (24).) (Hen and young) Indian Paradise Fly- catcher (57). 1.. 7. Black and another colour {a) Black and blue (11). legs. 2. (165). grey bars 2. The Ashy-crowned Finch-Lark 6. on tail. According to Colour (105). 5. (Cock) Brown-backed Indian Robin (66). The Malabar Whistling Thrush The Velvet-fronted Nuthatch The Indian Blue Rock Pigeon (Whitish throat. (White in and patch of skin (52). which long.) The Common Myna tail. behind 3. The Bee-eaters (116 and 117). wings and yellow legs.

2. The Bank Myna (53). The 38 . dull .) 4. Short-billed Minivet (cock) (42).) (Upper 5. on side o£ head and buflE wing bar. The Indian House Crow (3). (Lower abdomen white and white tip to tail. plumage has bluish tinge. . The Large Cuckoo-Shrike (43). The Red-rumped Swallow (90). The Common Swallow (88).) (^j). 3. plumage has bluish tinge some white in tail. (/) Black and red 1.) (Upper 6.Indian Birds Black and (f) co-ffee or fawn colour The Rose-coloured Starling {J) (48). Black and grey 1. The Black-headed Cuckoo-Shrike (42). (Red patch of skin 5. (Red 4. outer tail feathers brown. 3. Indian Redstart (cock in spring) (65). 2.) Black-backed Indian Robin (cock) (A black bird with red patch und«r tail. The Burmese House Crow (4). The The The is Indian Scarlet Minivet (cock) (41).) (/) Black and -pink The Rose-coloured Starling (cock) (48).

The Coot . (Very dark grey. The Common Indian Swift (124).) 13. Indian White-backed Vulture (143). 39 14. (54). (Small white patch on wing. 9.) II. The Indian Pied Kingfisher (118). Pied Harrier (155). (White breast Black Ibis and patch on thigh. 5. bills.2. According to Colour The The Black Vulture (141). The Pied Myna patch behind eye.) The The White-bellied Drongo (26). (Spotted black and white like a Hamburgh fowl. 12. with white back.) 8. Black and white Crackles (46 and 47). (Orange bill and (Cock) Paradise Flycatcher (57). (Cock) The The Pied-crested Cuckoo (129). The Large Pied Wagtail (92). 6. (Black birds with white wing bar.) 3.Classification 7.) 4. with white bar across back. 7. (Very 8. yellow wattles.) i£) I. (213). and legs. The Fantail Flycatchers (58-60).) 10. (176). (Cock) Pied Bush Chats (61 and 62). dark brown. . The Magpie Robin (68). (White bird with long tail and black head and crest.

) 21. The White Ibis (White bird with black head.Indian Birds 15. (Two white bars in wing.) 2.) 16.) 40 .) 20. (Black bird with white neck and lower parts. (Long- legged white bird with black back and wings. The Avocet The Indian white. wading (Dark (Black bird with black markings. 4. 3. (Hen) Scarlet and Short-billed Minivets (39 and 40). (Black birds with yellow bill. The Cormorants (209 and 211). The The Painted Stork (220). 24.) (188). The Orioles (44 and 45). wattles. red bill and legs. birds with white throat. (Cock) Black-winged ^tilt (187). Open-bill (221). The Black-necked Stork (218). (White (206). 23. The White-necked Stork (217).) 19. and legs. and white wing bar. (212). The Crackles (46 and 47). The White Stork (216).) 17. (White bird with black in wings . Skimmer brown and 18. if)) Black and (in yellozo 1. (Cock) lora summer) (13).) 22.

) Black. The Shama (69). The Barred-headed Goose (228). The Black-headed Munia (74). 5. 2.(Jlmsification According to Colour 6. Black and two other colours (a) Black. (The white (p) 1. grey. The Black-headed Cuckoo-Shrike (42). brown.) Black. Jagana (181). The Black-tailed Godwit (191). and white 1. 3. 4. Black. The White Wagtail (91). and white The Velvet-fronted is Blue Nuthatch (24). . chestnut. The Indian Grey Shrike (34). fawn-colour. (Plumbrown . and white 1. The Chestnut-bellied Munia (75). blue. (Cock) Indian Bush Chat (63). 41 . Black. 3. age greyish {c) bill and legs yellow. The Ashy-crowned Finch-Lark (105). 4. greyish. and white The Indian {e) Hoopoe (123). and white 2. (Cock) Black Partridge (172). The Bronze-winged {i) 6. 2.

and white (226).. (Wings and tail composed of light and dark 2. Indian Roller or "Blue Jay" (115). 7. The Blue-tailed Bee-eater (117). The White-breasted Kingfisher (120). Black. (Grey.Indian Birds 5. 42 . ish brown bill and legs yellow. green bird with blue moustache. The Common Flamingo II. black streak through eye. Bright blue (Bright The Common Green Bulbul (14). The The blue bars. 3.) (J) .) Indian Pitta (109).) 4. The Barred-headed Goose (228). The Gulls (196-199) \ Wings very pale The Terns (200-205) i g'^^X The Night Heron (225). BLUE Birds with blue in their -plumage (d) 1. and two long bristle-like feathers in 5. The Common Indian Bee-eater (116). 6. fink. 7.) 6. 8. The Common Kingfisher (119). tail. (A green bird with turquoise throat.

) Q)) 1. and frontal shield.) (Upper parts (88-90). tail composed of light and dark (f) Slaty or greyish blue The Indian Blue Rock Pigeon (165). The Swallows 2.) Indian Roller or "Blue Jay" (115).) 4. (Little short-tailed birds which go about in small flocks and pick insects oflE the bark of trees. The Common Peafowl (170).) 43 . Dark blue (11).) birds with blue in their long 9. tails. dark blue.Classification 8. The Purple Coot (175). legs.) and 24). The (Wings and blue bars. glossy. 3. {d) Blue and black birds {Vide Black and blue birds. (A bird large purple-blue with red bill. According to Colour (Green The Green Parrots (132-134). The Malabar Whisthng Thrush The Nuthatches (23 (A black bird with cobalt patches. 10.

to-wee. This as and these usually have largely counteracted by the fact that the lower parts are in the shade. (This flits about among the leaves. The Indian Tailor Bird (28). they are among the most difficult birds to identify. to-wee. In the breeding season the two . nothing striking about their appearance. and are described as such in systematic works on ornithology. Birds which appear to be a uniform earthy brown will be found on closer inspection almost invariably to be brighter in hue below than above. Birds whose general hue (a) is earthy brown Those smaller than the sparrow I. BROWN is The number nating hue is of birds of which the predomi- brownish very considerable. I shall describe them as they appear to the ordinary observer.Indian Birds III. Most birds is which look a uniform earthy brown are in reality a cream colour below. But as this book is intended for the field naturalist. I. When the bird calls a small black band may be seen at each side of the neck. The note is a loud to-wee.

The (Slender and loosely-knit. The Ashy Wren-warbler snapping noise (31). A very familiar wrenhas a greenish tint. The Brown by its (Characit terised short tail and the fact that constantly makes insects.Classification According to Colour middle tail feathers of the cock grow over an inch longer than the others and project be- yond them like bird. a curious as it flits (Makes about the bushes. white throat and rump.) (Very 8.) The brown Sykes's Tree-warbler (29). 2. little salUes ping noise.) into the air after (Reddish 7.) 6. make no snapFlycatcher (55).) 4. and Indian Wren-warblers (32 and 33). is distinguished from other warblers by the fact that its upper plumage is streaked with dark The brown. usually seen in small flocks. The White-throated Munia {76).) Streaked Wren-warbler (30). like bristles.) 5. (Not unlike a solidly built wren. thick bill. with a tail of average length. Cock quite differently coloured. and a note like the twitter of the sparrow. (This 3. brown. (Hen) Indian Bush Chat (63).) 45 . and not short like that of the wren.

with black tail . (Reddish brown. outer pretty mellow note 4. (Swallow- like flight nests in sandbanks. Cocks gaily coloured. 10. . It has a very cheery call. The Dusky Crag-martin .) 5.) 3. The Common Babbler number it carries its tail bird with a of dark streaks.") (Pale 2. " The Rat Bird. hence (6). The Brown Rock Chat . white eyebrow.) . along its (A brown As it runs along the ground. longish curved biU. name. The Common Woodshrike tail (38). (Swaltew- like flight builds mud nest. (64).) (87). The White-browed Bulbul (22). (Pale yellow parts. yellow patch under the tail. (Broad . its (Robin-hke in habits continually bobs 46 head.) (Hen) Sunbirds (106-108).— Indian Birds 9.) 11. sometimes hovers in the air on rapidly vibrating wings.) (Hen) Pied Bush Chat (61 and 62). under {b) The size of. cock more strikingly coloured. white eyebrow. feathers white a tanti tuia. the sparrow 1. or a little larger than. The Indian Sand-martin (86).

Thick- some dark streaks in plumage and white in tail).) The Larks never perch in sing.) Weaver Birds (70-73). red patch under 7. The Bush bushes when they sometimes air. to Colour (Brick- (Hen) Indian Robins (6y and 68). The Crested Larks (101-103). The Grey-necked Bunting (83).) 8. Clasdfmdion Acoordin^ 6. 11.) (Longish legs 13.) (97 and 98). take short flights into the Distinguished from the pipits in having no white in the tail. The Pipits (95 and 96). (Hen) Common Sparrow (82). (Dull yellow under parts and bright yellow patch under the tail.) 9. tail. 47 (Feed . (Hen) Black-headed Bunting (84). ish bill. (Distinguished from the true larks in perching in 15. (Hen) Rose Finch (80). dark streaks in plumage..throated sparrow Yellow patch on throat. but 12. (Two white (81). (Stout bill. some soar in the air and Larks (99 and 100). take refuge in trees 14. bars in wing.) 10.) 16. Cock becomes showy in breeding season. Yellow. Feed on ground. (Feed on ground trees . Tail often carried erect. when disturbed.

(Woodtwists its head from Its plumage is much (112). (Like the Kentish Plover. Legs feathered to the toes. .) 48 . never perch in bushes. Eyes in front of head.) Ringed Plover (186). The Kentish Found Plover (White on the sea coasts. much spotted and barred with white.) 23. streaked. The Jungle Owlet it is (139).) (Plumage 18. collar. in tail.) 20.) 19. (Distinits guished from the Spotted Owlet by call and by the fact that 21. which repeated^ regularly at intervals of about ten seconds. (Wading birds. which occur in large flocks on shallow water. The Spotted Owlet (135). The Little throat. The Scops Owl the Spotted Owlet tufts.Indian Birds on ground 17. side to side continually. speckled. far less often seen. sing in air . but distinguished from it by having a black band across the white in fjocks 22.) (185). Comes out at sunset and sets up a loud chuckling chatter. and spotted. (Differs from (138).) Crested heads no white It The Common Wryneck pecker-like habits. in having " horns " or earis l^ote a single hoot. The Little Stint. .

. a reiterated " brain- fever. (Plummuch barred. like those of the two species just cited tail has a reddish tinge. it flits about at dusk hawking insects. (Ashy grey birds with dark cross- bars to the feathers. looking bird.) The Common Quail (171).) The White-headed Found only Babbler (8).) 4. loud crescendo caU. 3.) (9). like that of a bird of prey.) The 159). greyish in S. is above. (Plumage much mottled crepuscular in its habits . . made it familiar to all. About the size of a myna (An untidyvery (As The Jungle Babbler (7). India. which goes about in small flocks of half a dozen. Nightjar (126).) 6. Shikra and the Sparrow-hawk (158 and 8. feeding on the ground noisy 2. The Common Indian . D 49 . (A large edition of above.) 5. The Rufous-tailed Babbler (Habits . Horsfield's Nightjar (127). but the crown of the head white. age Its The Common Hawk Cuckoo (128).ClassiflcaMon According to Colour (c) 1. (A good deal smaller than a myna legs short plumage . flight feeble. ." has 7.

barred with black.) (189).) (Plumage 5. very fast 6. The great 162). The Grey Partridge (174). which occur in marshes or at the water's edge. so . with the eyes forwardly directed. . much barred.) (Black streaks in plumage. runs 4. Large birds. The Malabar Grey Hornbill (122). (Like the above.) 3. Bigger than a crow The Common Grey Hornbill (121).) majority of Birds of Prey (140(Plumage usually much barred. coast. Lives exclusively on the ground^) (Long-legged under parts and short tails. in wings and tail. The Stone Curlew some white yellow. and bill The Curlew Long curved bill. birds with white The (d) 1.) (180).Indian Birds much 9. Owls (136 and 137). characteristic call. legs 7.) 2. large brownish-grey bird with long tail (A and big beat. (Much Night birds. (A wading bird. but found chiefly on the west The larger barred and spotted.) Sandpipers (192-194). Does not perch in trees .

The Brahminy Myna (51). (Found it at the water's edge.) 9. tail. (Head black.) 5. is heard at sunset. grey on wings. 4. 75. The Indian Treepie (5).) 2. (Not y6. (Hen) Indian Robins (66 and 67).) The Yellow-eyed Babbler (Cinna- mon-brown bird with white breast. 7. (Buff and grey bird with a black head. Flight transforms into a milk- white bird. 11. . The Indian Bush Chat (63). and yy).) 3. Its The Night Heron The (225). (Hen) Indian Redstart (65).) 9.Classification 8. to Colour The Whimbrel (A small edition o£ the Curlew. (Long (10). The White-breasted SI Kingfisher (120). (Bill and legs dirty pink.) 6. (Yellow patch of skin at side of head.) Grey-lag Goose (227).) 10. The Red-headed Bunting (85). According (190). silver 2. The Brown Shrike (37).) 10. cry " waak " 11. also in one species. Birds with chocolate or rich brown in plumage 1. (Cock 8. The Pond Heron (124). The Common Myna (52). The Munias (74.

The The The Glossy Ibis (214). I.) (Reddishreddish brown bird with white 16. COFFEE OR FAWN COLOUR fawn-coloured bird with black and white A wings and tail The Indian Hoopoe (123).) 21. The Barn Owl (136). 3. Brown and black birds. {Vide Black and brown birds.) 17. The Kestrel (162). The Brahminy Kite (151). The Black Partridge (172). The Red and Yellow-wattled Lapwings (183 and 184).Indian Birds 12. 15. (Back and wings bronzy brown. TheBronze-winged Ja^ana (181). (Wings reddish brown. 19. The Crow-Pheasant (131).) 18. 14.) 4.) 20. (Runs about on water weeds. Shoveller (230). (Black bird with reddish-brown wings. The Short-eared Owl (137). 52 .) 13. 22. head. (Cock) Red Turtle Dove (i6«). 23. (Wings ^^-^ brown. Indian Little Grebe (231).

(Yellow under .Classification According to Colour 2. Black and coffee colour (Young) Rose-coloured Starling V. (Brown patch of skin behind the eye. floating plants.) (Olive green. tail feathers prolonged as bristles. 8. * (Back and shoulders only are green. The 2. Runs about on over.) 6. 11.) The Indian Pitta (109). The Bronze-winged Jagana (181). bars. The Green Pigeons (163 and 164).) 4. The Common Green Bulbul * (14). (Two middle 9. bright yellow below. (Long tails. red beak. parts 5. The Coppersmith (114). (Hen) lora (13). The Green Munia (78).) 1.) 7.) The Paroquets* (i32-'i34). The Bee-eaters* (116 and 117). Birds in the -plumage (40).) 10. (Greenish yellow above. GREEN of which bright green pre- dominates Indian White-eye (12).) * These are practically green all S3 . The Green Barbet (113). two white wing 3. (Wings only greenish bronze. (Lower parts yellow.

The Grey and Grey-headed 94). I. The Ashy-crowned (Upper parts ashy grey. lower Finch-Lark (i2i (105). (Grey and (Hen) Magpie Robin (68).) Montagu's and the Hen HarS4 (153-155)- . glossy- neck.B. The Indian Grey Shrike (34). yellow. (41). 4.) 2. and wing patch (speculum) only green.) 9. (93 and (Upper parts bluish grey.) VI. (Broad black band through eye. The Bank Myna (53). 1. The Grey-headed Myna (50). The Grey The Pale. GREY to Prevailing hue grey N. (Grey and Wagtails white bird.-^Many birds are so coloured that it is not easy know whether to class them as grey or as brown birds. riers tail long.Indian Birds 12.) 7. black bird with red patch of skin on side of head.) 6. The Small Minivet (Upper parts slaty grey. (Cock) Shoveller Duck (230). 5.) 3. (Large greyish-brown birds with the 10. Hornbills and 122). The Cuckoo-Shrikes (42 and 43). (Head.) 8.

parts. The Common Heron (222). Partridge (173). The Doves The Grey (166-169). 1. 20. The Shikra (158). The head only grey (8).) (Narrow rust-col(159)- oured bars on lower 12. often greyish rather than white. (Cock) Indian Redstart (65). (Broad black band through eye.and Rufous-backed and 36).) 13. (Bluish grey with two black bars in wing.) ss . 2. The Indian Blue Rock Pigeon (165). The Grey bill. 19. The Barred-headed Goose. The Sparrow-hawk (Rust-col- oured bars on abdomen.) The Bay. (Cock) Black-headed Bunting early winter.CHasdfication According to Colour 11. (Head and (In neck grey in early winter. (Large French(Pale grey. The Adjutant (219).) 16. (84). enormous 18. Under parts yellow. grey birds with long shanks. (35 3. The White-headed Babbler is (Crown Shrikes of head 2.) 5.) 17. (Plumage greyish brown and much barred. Flycatcher (56). The Cranes (177-179). 15.) The Grey-headed 4.) Pelican (208).) 14.

Kestrel (162). black.Indian Birds 3. Grey and red bird (Head. very pale grey wings. and white.) 56 . (Black and deep rose-coloured pink. (Legs long and deep pink . The Terns (200-205). (Hen) Magpie Robin Gulls (196-199). very pale grey wings. PINK 1. and white 4.) Grey. 4.6.) . The Rose-coloured Starling (48). and cerise. black. wings white. The Common Heron (Under parts white.) 5.) 2. {Vide Black. Grey and white (68).) The (White birds with (White birds with (222). 3. neck. Grey and black {Vide Black and grey. The Common Flamingo (226). grey.) Vn. 1. back and wings brick red. and tail The grey .) 2.

Amadavat * (79). 6.) 10. (Red ''*' shield on forehead. (Cock) Common Rose.) These birds are conspicuously red. 15. 14. u. 12. or having red wattles or red skin on head {a) 1. The Purple Coot (175). (Cock) Yellow-fronted Pied Woodpecker Golden-backed Woodpecker (in). Indian Robins {^d and Sf). The Green Parrots (i 31-133). The Pitta (109). 9. 5. 4. 57 . I. RED Birds with red in -plumage.Finch (80). The The The The The The The Red-vented Bulbuls (15-18). Indian Redstart * (65). Bright red 2.Classification AccwdiTig to Colour Will. (no). 3. 7. 8. 16. The Crimson-breasted Barbet (114). 13. 21). ThePurple-rumpedSunbird(io8). Bank Myna (53). The Black Vulture (141). (Back dull crimson. Red-whiskered Bulbuls (20 and Minivets * (39-41).

14. 7. Rufous-tailed Finch-Lark (104). 8. Red-headed Merlin Kestrel (162).) 21. Chestnut-bellied Munia (75). The Red-wattled Lapwing (183). (23). S8 . 13. 12. Crow-Pheasant (131). Dull rei {chestnut. Brahminy Kite (151). (Back of head 18. The Black Curlew (213). The White-breasted Water-hen (174). The The The The The The The The The The Shama (69).) bright Sarus (178). 4. 5. (White and cerise. Red-headed Bunting Swallows (88-90). Common Kingfisher (119).) (^) 1. or maroon) 2. The Common Crane (177).) 19. 15. (Red not very head and neck. red. Shrikes (35 and 3. 20. hay. 11. (85). The Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch The Bay. The — — . (Cock) Red Turtle Dove (169). (Red patch across back of head. 9. The Bronze-winged Ja^ana (181). The Flamingo (226). (161).Indian Birds 17. 6. 10.and Rufous-backed 36).

Shoveller (230). The The The The The The The The Sarus (178). 2. Brown-headed Gull (197). 1. Common Indian Blue Rock Pigeon (165). is According to Colour (The red The Ruddy The The Sheldrake (229). Indian River Tern (203). 3. Red crest The Woodpeckers (no And in). 18. 11. ID. 4. S9 . 13. Laughing Gull (196). Indian Little Grebe (231). Whiskered Tern Black-bellied (200). The The The The The The Coppersmith Kingfisher (119). 2. Indian Skimmer (206). The Purple Coot (175). 12. Black-winged Stilt (187). Tern (204). 9. Red-legged birds (114).Classification 1 6. (Orange red. Doves (166-168). 8. 5. Partridges (172 and 173). 3.) 17.) 15.) 7. (Dull brownish red. 14. White-breasted Kingfisher (120). 6. very yellowish.

Shoveller (230). The Bank Myna (53). 4. The Storks (216-218). (226). (183). Red 1. The Red-vented Bulbuls (15-18). The Common Flamingo The The Grey-lag Goose. Red patch 1. The Indian Pitta (109). 17. with 2. of shin on side of head. of feathers under the tail. The Indian Robins {^66 and 6j).) 20. The Black Ibis (213). 5. birds with 2. The Alexandrine Paroquet (131). (Deep pink. Red patch 1.Indian Birds i6. birds 6. The Red-wattled Lapwing 7. 4. The Blossom-headed Paroquet (133). 18. The White-breasted Water-hen (174). -patch of feathers 5. birds with 2.) . The Red-whiskered Bulbuls (20 and 21).) 19. (Dirty pinkish (Yellowish red.) red. Red and 60 black {Vide Black and red. on shoulder. 3.

) 4. Egrets (223).) 3. (207).. 2. Birds in the plumage of which white largely predominates 1. WHITE is Birds of which the plumage pure white 1. Stilt (187).) 7. The Black-winged (188). and shoulders black . The The Spoonbill (215). crest. The Avocet (Several black mark- ings. The Gulls (196-199). (Cock) Paradise Flycatcher (57).) (Black head and (Black in wings neck 8. (Back and wings black in cock. 5. The Terns (200-'205). Black-necked Stork (218).) Stork (216).) head. long curved The White legs. 6. The Dalmatian Pelican The White . (Some black in wings. Ibis (212). brown in hen. red 9. (Black in wings red. legs 61 . bill. The . neck. I . Classijflcation According to Colour IX.) (Black head and 2. 2.

Indian Birds Painted Stork (220). 2. 1.and Rufous-backed The Grackles (46 and 47). birds with The Grey. 8.) 62 (192). (224). Bay. White bar in wing.and Yellow. 11.) 12. Red. Shrikes (34-36). (Black wings and bar across breast . (Dirty white. Large Pied Wagtail 9. 4. (Some cerise in the plumage. 3. The Common Flamingo (226). legs brown. The The Open-bill (221). The Common Sandpiper bar.) 3. narrow white .) 10. (92). White-breasted Kingfisher (120). 62). 12.wattled ID. with black on wings. Lap(Very wings (183 and 184). shoulders. 11. 7. The Common Myna (52).) 6. (Cock) Indian Robins (^6 and 67. The Pied Bush Chats (61 and The The The The The The Magpie Robin (68). and tail. Indian Pitta (109). 5. Dull-coloured bird whose wings appear all white when flying The Pond Heron 4. Pied-crested Cuckoo (129).

) The Black Partridge (172). The Pied Myna (54). is (The white on the cheeks intersected by a number 9. Two white bars The lora (13). (80). of thin black lines. 6. The Yellow-wattled Lapwing 63 (184). (Here white band runs from eye down the neck. (Cock) Sparrow (82). 5. birds with 2. The Indian Bush Chat (63). The Golden-backed Woodpecker (iii). 1.Classification According to Colour 5.) a this the 11. birds with 2. The Red-whiskered Bulbuls (20 and 21). The Ashy-crowned Finch-Lark (105). (The patch is in this species on the sides of the neck.) 3. 10. (In species the white runs down each side of long neck. on 4.) 6. The Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch (23). The White-eared Bulbul (19).) 12. The Red-wattled Lapwing (183). . 7. 8. The Common Crane (177). not on the cheeks. White cheeks. 1. (Hen) Rose-Finch in wing. (Also a small patch of crimson feathers cheeks.

and white. black.) 7. and white.Indian Birds (Here a white band runs from eye to eye round the back o£ the head. and blue {Fide Black.) 9. and black {Vide Black.) 13. black. not very conspicuous. and chestnut {Vide Black. and white. White. blue.) 8.) 3. White.) 12. grey. The Indian White-eye (12). (83). grey. White. pink. Ring of white feathers round eye 2. and brown {Vide Black. and white. 1. and white.) 64 . White. fink.) II. brown. and black {Vide Black. The Grey-necked Bunting (Ring not (Ring very conspicuous. White.) 10. White and black {Vide Black and white. black. chestnut. The Brown Flycatcher (55).

yellow patch under 6. 3. behind eye. (Cock) Bayas (at breeding season) (70- 73)13. 2. The lora (13). I. The Yellow-throated Sparrow (81). The Black. The Pied Myna (54). 40. birds with yeUow beak. legs. 8.) (Orange patch of Flycatcher (56). (19). The Grey-headed 12. The Indian White-eye (12). The Green Munia (78).) 9. The White-eared Bulbul tail. The Common Myna skin (52). 14.) 11.and Red-headed Buntings 65 (84 and 85). 7. (Yellow (Pale patch under the 5.) (Patch of yellow on forehead. (Yellow beak. The The (Black Orioles (44. The White-browed tail. and wattles. YELLOW Birds with bright yellow in the plumage 1. E . Crackles or Hill Mynas (46 and 47). TheComnaonGreen Bulbul(i4).) 4.) Bulbul (22). legs.Classification According to Colomr X. and 45). 15. and patch of 10. and 41). skin behind eye. (Hen) Minivets (39.

(Not The majority of Birds of Prey. 1.) 6. Partridge (172). The Green The Black Pigeons (163 and 164). 18. The Grey and Grey-headed 94). (Spotted black and white bird with yellow forehead. The Common Hawk-Cuckoo (128). 23. The Golden-backed Woodpecker The (iii).Indian Birds 1 6.) 5. The The Indian Pitta (109).) 21. (Back golden yellow. The The Yellow-wattled Lapwing (184). The Yellow-eyed Babbler (10). 3.) Pheasant.) 20. (Cock) Purple-rumped Sunbird (108). (Back of neck golden yellow in breeding plumage.) 2. Yellow-fronted Woodpecker (no). Birds with bright yellow or orange legs 2. (223). 19. 4. Wagtails (93 and 17. 22. The Mynas (51-53). The Grackles (46 and 47). (The yellow varies from dull to bright. 7. very bright. (Reddish 66 orange. Cattle Egret (in breeding plumage) (Yellow plumes grow from back of head.) .tailed Jagana (182).

Tern (205). Birds with duU-colaured upper plumage and bright yellow under parts 1. 2. 6. The Black. 5. The Grey-headed Flycatcher (56). 2. The Grey and Grey-headed and 94). The lora (13). 13. 3. The Stone Curlew (i8o). 4. brownish 12. The White-browed Bulbul (22). 10. The White-eared Bulbul (19).and Yellow-wattled Lapwings The The Herring-Gulls (198 and 199).and Red-headed Buntings (84 and 85). 5. in winter. summer. of feathers on the throat. birds with 1.) The Barred-headed Goose The Shoveller (230). According to Colour 9. bird (81). The Indian White-eye (12). of feathers Wagtails (93 4. 11. Tellow patch with The Yellow-throated Sparrow 67 . The Red.Classification 8. fellow patch under the tail. 3. (Orange in (228). Little (183-184). The Green Munia (78).

3. Green Pigeons (163). The The The The The Indian Pitta (109). 68 . 5. Coppersmith (114). 6.) 8. birds with 1. head or yellow wattles. Kingfisher (119).Indian Birds Tellow 'patch of skin on side of 6. 2. BIRDS OF MANY COLOURS of Birds in the plumage which at least four bright colours appear 1. 4. (Cock) Purple-rumped Sunbird (108). 7. The Brahminy Duck (This bird is mainly of a ruddy yeUow hue. 2. Tellow and black {Vide Black and yellow. The Crackles (46 and 47). 9. Common Peafowl (170). The Common and Pied Mynas (52 and 54)3.) XI. Yellowish red (229). The Yellow-wattled Lapwing (184).

II. Feeding habits. in pound it is rough found in the comaU probability the nest of one serve a nest be it of the species set forth in the Ust given. VI. as out of twenty in found of them will any garden in the plains nineteen also certainly belong to birds set 69 . belong to some other species. of birds vary according to lists none of the given as are They merely if Thus. I. Birds that go about in flocks. The nests list is nevertheless useful. Birds that habitually sit on exposed perches. Flight. guides. exhaustive. . III. of course. VI I. Birds which habitually carry the tail almost vertically. V. Since habits circumstances. Birds having remarkable cries. but may.CLASSIFICATION ACCORDING TO HABITS D. IV. Birds whose nests are likely to be found in any garden in the plains.

chfichi Crow chgyk. BIRDS HAVING REMARKABLE CRIES Name Call of Bird No.. . I. cheyk chSchi chey at .. to-wee. heard chiefly dawn. which Cunningham The King describes as "cheyk.Indian Birds forth in my list.. | warbler 31 . to-wee. coch-lee. 25 cheyh" A loud . „ A snapping noise 70 f Ashy Wren. like a that of 1 The J Idle 11 human being Schoolboy Bult^^^ A VI A sweet little IV tmklmg song • (The •{ . J Tree-pie 5 Squeaks that of a revolv-lThe Seven . to-wee A fThe Tailor -g. . of Bird in Part II A loud metallic lee. fOfA-| Indian or cogee. cogee like . arrive at its all probability belongs to one o£ to it name by a process of elimination. ing axle that requires oiling/ Sisters 6 A striking whistle.15-22 A cheery whistle. . Having determined that should not be difficult a given bird in these species.

oles 44 & 45 52 Keeky. the first bars of the r tailed Fly^ J catchers 58-60 A song like A A (Purple Sunthat of a canary "1 bird . . keeky churr . . poe . screaming call . 114 . . Wood. breasted Kingfisher 1 20 A low Sk. kuturuk . 123 71 . iii loud. monotonous. 107 fGolden- backed loud. WhiteA loud. . of Bird in Part II Call of Bird A pretty. . . The Hoosk. tonk. like "i „^ „ " Guards XT Valse" 1 . pecker . 38 loud. A mellow (The Woodtanti-tuia 1 shrike . . . kok ) monMyna The Fan- A whistle of about six notes. JThe 1 Ori. penetrat-"|^Green Bar- ing kutur kutur. . ] The Com- churr. .113 A monotonous. .. like the tapping The Coppersmith . peeho . mellow.Classification According to Habits Name No. ak .J bet . of a hammer on metal rattling scream . keeky. metallic tonk tank. . kok. kok. feeho.

like the tapping of a plank with a hammer Nightjar Brain-fever 127 A crescendo " brain-fever." kucha. sonorous. uttered in a shrieking. kwachee. ku-il. heard at night q A single hoot repeated monoj . chattering tone A weird screech.. trembling scream A sound like a stone sliding) The Common over ice J Nightjar Horsfield's 126 Chuk. owl-like whoot. brainfever. . The Crow) 130 whoot. 138 72 . chuk. khwachee rapidly Owlet 135 . . The Spotted kwachee. chuk. of Bird in Part II of Bird . whoot I Pheasant 131 Loud " screams uttered during)The Paro) flight quets 132-134 A torrent of squeak and" chatter and gibberish. 136 tonously at regular intervals of ten seconds. Bird . oomp . The Swift 124 A shrill. . BRAIN-FEVER ".Indian Birds Name Call No. ku-il" The Koel A low. 128 A crescendo "ku-il.. kwachee. . The Scops Owl . .

" Turtuck.. . tur- tuck. the wing Kite . . trill. I uttered on}. TheShikra 158 (The Spotted plaintive cUkoo-coo-coo 73 ( Dove . A mournful wailing hi ht ht hi ht hi. sailing ^^. of Bird in Part II of Bird Call At early dawn. .. }- ^. 152 A sharp A double whistle ..Clasdfication According to HoMts Name No. tuckatu. while the bird the air .. -p .. .. chee-\ _. ." n^my Kite 151 . turtuck. . 139 they end rapidly" (Tickell) Loud resonant when the bird the air calls is utteredl^. chatucka or tuckatuck. turtuck. ' The words sounding rather low at first and with considerable pauses between.„..J Eagles 148-50 „ Peculiar squeaking wail uttered] rp. turtuck.. and the intervals decreasing and the tone getting louder dissyllables till The Jungle Owlet . 166 . is high up in ^ J in[ . turtuck.

A A A deep grunting coo-coo-coo Turtle Dove 169 like) loud fe-haun.Indian Birds Name Call No. ringing pateela-paieela- Partridge 173 pateelas rThe White- A very loud. penetrating. . 174 Loud. . of of Bird Bird in Part II A soft subdued CM^-fM^-foo-coo- 1 ^i -j tleJsrown t> l Dove . rather the miau of a cat . . reiterated breasted not easy to describe Wa t e r hen . .} Partridge 172 Three single harsh notes followed by a succession of The Grey shrill. rapidly] The Bl^ck utttred juk-juk. . hoarse.) 170 harsh. The fowl Pea. 167 KU-kS—ka n fThe Indian j Ring Dove 168 rThe Red . heard night 74 at] J The Stone Curlew . trumpet-"|The Cranes like calls J ^77-^79 Wild-sounding cry. call. 180 . tee-tee-tur . high-pitched.

Classification According to Habits Name of Bird Call No.\ minyDuck229 IL BIRDS WHOSE NESTS ARE LIKELY TO BE FOUND IN ANY GARDEN IN THE PLAINS The Indian House 1.184 . ? wattled Lapwing 183 fThe Yel. of Bird in Part II A loud.) (In a bush The Common Babbler (Not eggs blue.. " Did he do Pity to do it " .) 3. shrill ! fThe Redit . . in Madras. (Also the Corby Madras. . but shorter low-wattledLapwing .) One " or other of the species of " Seven (In a bush . Storks 216-221 A soft but penetrating chakwa CVh. Sisters 4. Crow (i) in (6).e^r3ih. (3). or «-o«/^ (Stuart Baker) . eggs blue. Like the above. ..) 2. The Clappering o£ the beak . (7-'9). (In tall trees.) One or other of the Red-vented Bulbuls (In a bush or plant growing in the 75 (15-18).

) (Not in Punjab or 13. eggs as in 4. Nest as in 4.Indian Birds verandah . pale pink.) 11. eggs reddish brown. (In Madras 7.) (64). (22).) King Crow (25). 15. Fantailed Fly- (In one of lower branches of tree.) 5. (Tiny cup in fork of tree. S. India.) 14. The Orioles (44 and 45). (In a low tree or bush. blotched with One or other of the Red. (In bush or plant growing in verandah.) 12. or other of the catchers (58-60). 6.) The White-browed Bulbul only. The Brahminy Myna The Common Myna The The One Pied (51).) . (In low tree. (52). The Indian Robins {66 and 6j).) 76 building on a ledge. (Very often on a window-sill. The leaves stitched together.) 16.) Indian Paradise Flycatcher (57). Myna (54). very 9. The Brown Rock Chat {Inside a (Not in S. Two or three 8. India. buls (20 and 21). (In hole in building.) (In trees.) Indian Tailor Bird (28).) ID. (In hole in building or tree. frequently quite close to that of a King Crow. The Nest in bush.whiskered Bul(Locally.

) (lii).) 29. The Yellow-throated Sparrow (81).) 25.) 19. Indian Hoopoe (123). which the bird 24. as in case of 21. tree. to Habits (In hole in The Magpie Robin or tree.) Indian Swift (124).) 26. 28. (In hole in building. The Common Sparrow 20.) 18. The Golden-backed Woodpecker hoUows (In hole in tree. (In a dense thicket.) (Anywhere on the verandah or inside the bungalow. The (In hole in The Indian Roller (115). a wall eggs green with reddish (In blotches. (82). According (68). (Nest 23. The The Indian Pied Wagtail (92). Purple Sunbird (107).Classification 17.) 27. (Nest sus- pended from a bush or a rafter in the verandah. (In holes in trees sometimes buildings. or a deserted building. which the birds hollow out. hole in tree. The The (In hole in (In verandah tree or building.) 21.) 22. out. Parrots (132-134). (131).) Barbets (113 and 114). The Crow-Pheasant The Green . (In hole in tree or building.) 77 . The Purple-rumped Sunbird (108).

(In trees. and in in the case of the Little Brown Dove often the verandah. Bush Chats (61-63).) 34. White-eyed Buzzard Doves (166-168). 33. 3. Drongos (25 and Shrikes (34-37). 78 . (In trees. Kingfishers (i 18-120). Indian Roller (115).) (High up in tall trees.) (158).) 31. Bee-eaters (116 and 117). II. (In hole in tree or building. 1. THAT ARE FOND OF SITTING ON EXPOSED PERCHES. 9. 7.Indian Birds 30. 26). Swallows (88-90). The Spotted Owlet (135). (High up in tree. (147). The Paddy Bird (224). (166-169). 4. 8. SUCH AS TELEGRAPH WIRES BIRDS The The The The The The The The The The The Crows (1-4). 2. 5. 32. The Common The Shikra The Doves Pariah Kite (152). 6. ID. Common Sparrow (82).) III.

flocks. 4. The Weaver Birds (70-73). (Small flocks. (Feed on the ^ ripening grain. (Very- large flocks. The Hqrnbills (121 and 122).) The Cuckoo-Shrikes (42 and 43). 12.Finch (83-85). (Small flocks. BIRDS EXCEPT WHEN NESTING 1. 10. congregate in flocks. (Small flocks.) 2. 5. but by no means invariably. The Indian Starling (49).) 9. (80).) The Munias (74-79). (Small flocks of seven or eight. The Nuthatches (23 and 24).) Myna frequently.) 7. 3. The Minivets (39-41).) 6. The Grey-headed Myna (The other species of (50). (Small The Rose-coloured Starling (48). The Indian White-eye (12).) 79 .) 13. Red Munia.Cflcbsdfication According to Habits IV. (Especially the The Common The Buntings Rose.) 11. (Small flocks. WHICH ARE ALMOST INVARIABLY FOUND IN FLOCKS. The Babblers (7-9). 8.

(Only when (170). Demoiselle Cranes in (177 and 179). 15. 21. 23. 27. 26. The Night Heron (225). feeding on a carcase. The Spoonbill (215).) 19. 16. flocks The Swifts (124 and 125).Indian Birds 14. The Copimon Peafowl The Common and (Small parties. The Spotted Owlet (135). The Little Stint (195). The Vultures (141-143). flocks.) 18. The Cattle Egret (223). 22. (Very . The Indian Skimmer (206). 28. 29. small probably family parties. The Shoveller (230). The Geese (227 and 228). 80 . 24.) (The Saras Crane never goes 20. Many of the Gulls and Terns go about in flocks. The Plovers (185 and 186). The Green Parrots (i32-'i34). The Common Flamingo (226).) 17. 25.

much of the day in fishing.e. The common Pariah Kite (152). much the same way as fisher. until one espies something to F 81 . The Brahminy Kite (151). but they never perch. The live Swallows and insects Martins (86-90). When they wish to rest they go to their nests.) (This spends 3.) 4. and then drops on to its quarry in the water. i. birds Birds of very powerful which spend a great part of the day on the wing 1. The Vultures (141-144). high up in the air motionless on exfor hours panded wings.Classification According to Habits V. The Pied Kingfisher (118). FLIGHT flight. (These 2. It flies over the water and every now and again hovers on rapidly vibrating wings.) 5.) (These remain 8. (These two species spend hours in the air sailing in circles looking out for their quarry. food in does the Pied King(Obtains its 6. 7. I. The Osprey (140). as in the same way the swallows.) The Swifts (124 and 125). on small which they catch (These feed on the wing. The Fishing Eagles (148-150).

3. observing this. The Crows (1-4). it then descends. much as the Pied The Gulls (This behaves over Kingfisher does over the water. Birds which make the air from a -perch after insects {Vide Feeding habits. Whistling Thrush (34-37). (These are omnivorous. VI. 83 (11). FEEDING HABITS Birds which feed largely on the ground 1.) manner which gulls follow 11. follow suit. The Babblers The Malabar The Shrikes (6-9). and feed anywhere and everywhere.) 9. The Kestrel (162). in (Everyone is familiar with the ships. and companions. land 10. 3. (Descend from . 4. I.) 2. little sallies into 2. singing as they descend The Finch-Larks (104 and 105). The Terns (200-206).Indian Birds eat its on the earth below .) (196-199). 4.) Little birds which fly from the ground some twenty or thirty feet and then drop to the ground.

12.) 6. The Indian Roller (115). (Fly low and drop on to their prey. 14. 15. The Indian Redstart (65). The Hoopoe (123). The Indian Pitta (109).) 21. 10. 9. 19. (Drops from and seizes its the air food in its talons.Classification Acccyrdw^ to Habits perch to ground. The Bush Chats (61-63). The Vultures (141-145). it. 13. The Brown Rock Chats (64). and return to perch and devour 5. The Crow-Pheasant (131). The Wagtails (91-94). (Hovers on rapidly its vibrating wings and drops on to 83 prey. quarry and 18. (Swoops down from a perch on to a lizard. 20. The Harriers (153-157).) . 7.) 17. The Mynas (51-54). The Kestrel (162). (Descends seizes its from perch to ground and then returns to perch. The Pipits (95-96). The Munias (74-79). 8. etc.) 22. The Indian Robins {66 and 6^). 11. The White-eyed Buzzard (147). The Larks (97-105). The Common Kite (152). seize their quarry.) 23. 16. The Magpie Robin (68).

(Frequents trees.) (Fre- quent 7. The Tailor Bird (28).) The (Frequent bushes.) 84 . The Nuthatches (23 and 24). sometimes hovering on vibrating wings in order to secure their quarry 1. 3. (Frequent bushes.) The Warblers (29-32). 3.) The Common Woodshrike (38). (Fretrees). 25. 26. Birds that run up and down the trunks of trees. 2.Indian Birds 2if. 3. Sunbirds (106-108). quents 5. All game and wading birds (except those that take their food off water). The Blue Rock Pigeon The Doves (166-169). trees. 6. (Frequent Cuckoo-Shrikes (42 and 43). on which they find their food 2.) 2. The Common Wryneck (112). Birds that feed largely on insects which they pick of the foliage. The Indian White-eye (12). (Frequents bushes. 1. The Woodpeckers (no and in). (165). 4. trees. The The Minivets (39-41).

The Indian Robins {^6 and The Magpie Robin (68). The Flycatchers (55 and 60). 85 . 8. The Tailor Bird (28). The Pelicans (207 and 208). BIRDS WHICH HABITUALLY CARRY THE TAIL^ ALMOST VERTICALLY 6']). The Fishing Eagles (148-150). 1. The Drongos (25 and 26). The Terns (200-205). 5.Classificcution According to Habits . 2. or take their the surface of water 2. The Gulls (196-199). 7. The Osprey (140). 4. The Bee-eaters (l 16 and 117). fish . 9. The Cormorants (209-211). Birds which either catch food of 1. 2. The Indian Skimmer (206). Birds which feed on insects which they catch in the air by making little sallies from a perch 1. 6. 3. The Brahminy Kite (151). VII. 3. The Kingfishers (11 8-1 20). 3.

.

PART Descriptive List of the II Common Birds of the Plains of India .

.

In describing a bird its size is a matter of importance as an aid to identification . which are : 89 . I have adopted another system of indicating the size of each bird described. J. stands for Jerdon's Birds of India. each being that of a familiar bird. and have described each species in terms of these standards. and the F. and the number which follows indicates the number of the bird in The Fauna of British India. STANDS for that follows indicates the number of the bird in Jerdon's work.DESCRIPTIVE LIST OF THE COMMON BIRDS OF THE PLAINS OF INDIA NOTES The Fauna of British India. but as number the statement that a bird is six inches in length probably does not convey to the average person a definite idea of its size. I have taken five standards of size.

as bird 90 . rather smaller than a bulbul. had its length been Ji inches I should have described it as -II. Such a bird. which means that is a bird smaller than a sparrow . I. In this connection it is worthy of mention that certain smaU birds. the adult cock paradise have very long tails. The Indian house crow. IV. If A be a bird of which the length is 5 inches.e. V. II. My system is as follows. The bulbul. lyi ins. for flycatcher. would a have to be described as -V. if it be 7 inches in length I affix +1.1. in length. i. denoting that it is larger than a sparrow. 10 inches in length. 8-9 inches in length. 23 inches in length. if it be 6 inches in length I affix simply I . if example. The myna.Indian Birds The common sparrow. measured from the tip of his beak to the end of his tail (as ornithologists usually do). III.e. 6 inches in length. but smaller than a bulbul. as. and nearer to the sparrow than the bulbul in dimensions . i. desire more details will find them Those who in The Fauna of British India. The kite. I affix in a bracket . By these means he who consults this book will at once be able to form a rough conception of the size of each species described.

size as I shall accord- ingly describe the paradise flycatcher as II.e. If nothing is said about the distribution of any bird this means that it may be found anywhere in the plains of India. the body of which is about the. 91 . same i. a bird of the same the bulbul. a key to the identification of our friends. In cases where birds build very characteristic nests or have very characteristic songs or shall notte that habits. but this would con- vey a very misleading idea of the magnitude of the bird. contain the words " Found m . etc. In order to simplify identification I shall roughly indicate the distribution of each species. commoner Indian feathered some other writer its Having identified a bird. If a species occurs in all parts save words " Not found in the' description. I shall cation.Descriptive List of the Covmnon Birds rather smaller than a kite. one or more the " will occur in If the distribution the description will be local. the reader should refer to for information regarding habits. size as that of the bulbul. but the cock has a very long tail. little It mention these as aids to identifimust be remembered that this book but merely is not a natural history of birds.

B. Birds of the Plains. B.Indian Birds As a further aid to identification I have. I. Vol. all cases Most sorts. 298) means that a picture of the bird in question will be found on page 298 of Volume I of the bird volume of The Fauna of British India. stated where the picture of the bird is to be found. Thus (Illus. IV. C. Ditto. Garden and Aviary Birds Finn. Vol. in in which a species has been figured in any book which is easily procurable. B. IV. 92 . II. The Birds of Calcutta (2nd Edition). by Dewar. p. F. Fauna of British India (Birds. P. by Finn. B. ditto. The Common Birds of Bombay. stations in India boast of a library of which is likely to contain some. at any rate. F. II. F. Ditto. ditto. Ditto. F. of India. by F. ditto. by Dewar. by Eha. List of abbreviations used B. III. of the books referred to. III. I. by Cunningham. Vol. Vol. F. B. G. Some Indian Friends and Acquaintances. I. D. I). In order to save space I have used abbreviations for the titles. Bombay Ducks.

60. Found only in the N. III. p.) Glossy black all over. (IV. F. G.. which are ashy brown. II. Like a jackdaw in marking and appearance. ditto. Game Birds I. (lUus. except for nape. (F. and I. Ditto.. ditto.. (J. 117.F. by Stuart I. (The hue of this ashy brown varies considerably 93 . or the Grey-necked Crow. 1-4 1 Corvus machrorhynchus : The Jungle Crow (+IV. Indian Ducks and Their Baker. and Ceylon. 4). Nest a large structure placed high up in a tree. Descriptive List of the I. G. I. 3.657). 2. D. Vol. Marshall and Hume. province and the western parts of the Punjab.. I. (J.) or the Indian Corby. II. 660). Corvus splendens : The Indian House Crow. ditto. (F. 61.. The Crows. of India. Vol. 7). I. B. (V. Glossy black all over. 663). Burma. ditto. also B. III. Not found in the N.W. Common Birds Allies.) Corvus corax : The Raven. (J. Vol. Glossy black.W. neck. D.) (F. B. upper back and breast. Nests from March to May. where it is replaced by the next species. p. I). p. G. Ditto. Punjab.

P. Dendrocitta rufa (J. being lightest in the Punjab. (F. Nest like that of i. This bird has a curious metallic call which . In Burma this species is replaced by the next. It also emits a great variety of harsh Breeds from April to August.) Nesting season May to July. D. 4. (+11.) : Corvus insolens The Burmese House Crow. or later. and so on. 190. Indian Birds with the locality. 5. . or cogee. B. and breast brownish black body chestnut silver-grey on the wings. the next pair is shorter. p. but with tail a foot in 674). (F... 117. . B.. Tail greyish with broad black band at the tip. a large The nest is cup high up 94 in a tree. During flight the tail assumes a curious shape owing to the fact that the feathers which compose it are graduated in length. (IV. splendens in which the neck plumage is nearly as dark as that of the other parts.) Head. 16). p. cries. neck. also and B. the median pair is twelve inches long. may be cogee. : length.) A form of C.. i68 B. p. coch-lee. (lUus. the outer pair being only about half the length of the median pair. The Indian Tree-pie. syllabised* coch-lee. 8).

I. Its note is not unpleasant. i. Does not appear to occur in the neighbourhood of Calcutta. lo.) (lUus. B. It nests chiefly in the hot weather. Its eggs are pale blue. Argya caudata : The Common Babbler. or los). on the ground. or in small flocks. 438). (F. C. which is invariably placed in a low bush. (II. 95 . p. but the illustration is not a good one. its tail is about 4^ inches long. Ad(which dicted to arid parts of India. a better idea is given in F. The nursery is a neatly constructed cup. about largely in pairs. (J. upper plumage darker than the lower. where an allied species is figured. half the total length of the bird) seems to trail on the ground like that of a rat.) The Babblers.) Rat-bird. Bombay. 10.e.. A is dingy brown bird . hence one of its names. or Madras. 6-10 6. In each feather there a dark line along the shaft which causes the It goes It feeds bird to have a streaked appearance. p.Descriptive List of the CoTmmm Birds (Does not appear to occur in or about the towns of Bombay and Madras. When it runs. or Striated Bush-babbler.

15. Three the tail. flocks." or very loud. They go about whence the name " Seven " Sath Bhai. canorus. where it is (F." They feed largely on the ground. very loosely inserted. or " Seven These are in little all untidy-looking.)* comt) * At Allahabad the Large Grey Babbler {Argya mal(F. species are 7. (Illus." Crateropus Babblers. is more abundant even than It may be recogni&ed by its long tail. 432). no). (J. like a combination of a continually jerk squeak and the groans of a revolving axle that They which has the appearance of being So untidy-looking are these birds that Eha likens them to " Old Jones. C.) This bird is abundant in Northern India. by the two next B.Indian Birds 7-9. or Gangai. sounding requires to be oiled. earthy-brown birds about the size of mynas. The Sisters. seeking for insects among dead leaves. largely replaced in the plains species. 107)." Their flight is feeble and laborious. C. p. who spends the day in his pyjamas. common : Crateropus canorus : The Jungle Babbler. and becomes rarer in the south. (III. While feeding they keep up a constant chatter which every now and then grows Sisters. .

80. 10.) 9. B.) (J. B. Crateropus somervillii (F.) This is the common babbler of the Madras recognised by the presidency. : The White-headed Babbler.) : sinensis The YeUow-eyed Babbler. (III. (+1. p. 385). breast are white. throat.. in). The eyebrows. 433). 435).. The common Poona. and The under parts are creamis coloured. It is (J. B. is It measures about five inches in depth and 97 usually slung by its broadest part on to two or more grow- G . This is (F. easily its greyish white crown of p. tinctly It is babbler Bombay and dis- the least untidy-looking of the and may be recognised by the reddish hue of its tail. head. 204. Common Birds Cratero-pus griseus (F. species All three of babblers build neat cup-shaped nests not far above the ground and lay beautiful blue eggs. D. (Illus.) considerably smaller than the other babblers described. babblers. 113) : The Rufous-tailed of Babbler. a The eye bright yellow. 139). This shape not unlike the hat worn by a officer last is in political in full dress. It emits sweet note and builds a beautiful nest. (III.Descriptive List of the 8. Its general colour is cinnamon brown. Pyctorhis (lUus. (J.

eye. the cock . 631). stout grass stems. with bright yellow tail. Bengal. which is usually in large flocks at the beginning of the 98 hot weather. 89). note is a striking whistle.) A The bird greenish yellow bird. throat and a patch of yellow under the rest of the lower plumage is greyish white. 1 Whistling Thrush. ( - I. White-eyes go about they feed largely on insects which they pick from off the leaves of trees. heads of millet. (F. : 12.W. Each individual utters unceasingly a cheeping note. 11 Myiophoneus horsfieldi : The Malabar (F. Usually occurs in Its the neighbourhood of shaded streams. 342). or the eastern portion of Madras. 226). Frontier Province. . Small patches of the same hue occur on other parts of the body. or perhaps more frequently to a forked branch. At the nesting season. is The most its noticeable feature of the a ring of white feathers Hence popular name. (+III. Zosterops palpebrosa The Indian White(J. Indian Birds ing reeds.) A black bird with large cobalt blue patches on the forehead and the wings. or Idle Schoolboy. United Provinces. Not found in the N. the Punjab. round the eye.. (J. or Spectacle Bird.

wings. B. B. Bulbul. 252). pale blue egges are usually laid. and tail green lower parts yeUow. jiEgithina tiphia: The Common lora. The Common Green (F. " A Kttle bird. Hen : Upper parts. There are two white bars in the wing.243). wings. also G. 14-22 14. or Jerdon's Chloropsis. Descriptive List of the sings a sweet little song." Builds at the beginning of the hot weather a very neat and tiny cupshaped nest.(-I. p. p.(J. can be nothing else than the lora. B. B.(-n. Chloropstsjerdoni.) Cock : (a) In summer upper plumage. 91. lower parts bright yellow. (lUus.) 13. followed by its mate in green and yellow.. (F.) 99 .. 96. Common Birds nest a is The a beauti- ful little cup suspended frona forked branch. p.. 64. Two G. and tail are black . in black and yeUow. a-463).468). It does not occur in the Frontier Province or the Punjab.) The Bulbuls. Two white bars in the wing. (lUus. (b) In winter the black parts of the head and back are replaced by yellowish green.. " Uke a tomtit. This species has a sweet song." writes Eha.

black. Bengal. 96. G. approached by a human being the parent birds set up a loud chattering. p. each feather having a narrow margin of a lighter hue. chin. They build neat cup-shaped nests. These bulbuls occur loa . frequently in plants in the When the nest is verandahs of houses. There is a patch of yeUow on the forehead.. Rajputana. weU-wooded parts of the country. is The black of the male in the hen. or the northern and western portions of the United Provinces. and throat and a purple-blue moustache. B. The tail is tipped with white.) Ike Red-vented Bulbuls. the Punjab. A conspicuous crimson patch under the tail. Head black with short crest remainder of plumage brown. and there is a white patch above the tail. The cock has the sides of the head. 15-18 .Indian Birds A beautiful emerald green bird. replaced by bluish green Does not occur in the Frontier Province. but rare on the east coast. (Illus. It is essentially a bird of Central and Southern It affects India. Bulbuls go about in pairs and constantly emit a cheery note.

) The Punjab (J. Lucknow.) The common 17.] 19. (F. 461). 285). 282). 22. bulbul o£ Burma. 462). B. 278). (lUus. 296. 283). (F. 87. but ornithologists divide : into several species 15. 459). p. (J. p. (F. (II. B. so that at Lucknow and other points of junction it is not possible to assign the local leucotis : bulbuls to any of the above species. (J. and Assam. : Bengals. (J.) 16. (II. (II. (-II. p. and the province of [At the points where the various species or races of red-vented bulbuls meet they inter- breed. (II. the (lUus.) (F.. the Punjab.) The common North B. II.) . p. 279). as bulbul of South India. bulbul o£ Eastern Oudh.. common bulbul of the Frontier Province. Molpastes hamorrhous : The Madras as far Red-vented Bulbul. Red-vented Bulbul. : Molpastes bengalensis The Bengal Red- vented Bulbul. also B. (F. Molpastes burmanicus : The Burmese Red-vented Bulbul. 95) The Agra. D.Descriptive List of the all Common Birds them over India. Molpastes The White-eared Bulbul. Molpastes intermedins C.) The common 18.

" The upper plumage The tail feathers are someis earthy brown. hence the name " red-whiskered. and Cutch. p. P. in the north-west portion of In the cold weather its range extends into the Province of Agra and the C. but each cheek is characterised by a large white and a small crimson patch. The head and crest are black. G.) The Red-whiskered Bulbuls. under the tail of crimson. (lUus. 252. but in the spring it migrates to the west and breeds in Found only India.iTidian Birds This species Bulbuls in its diflFers from the Red-vented somewhat smaller size. I. The a point 102 .. what darker brown and are tipped with white. Punch's cap. 96 .. which end in and project forward. The breast and lower plumage are white. also F. p. 20 and 21 These sprightly and handsome birds are characterised by their long crests. like Mr. Katywar.. and the Western Districts of the Punjab. the Frontier Province. B. its and the patch of yellow instead shorter crest and in having a large white patch on each feathers side of the head. Its nests have also been taken in Rajputana. Sind.

bird. 289). Otocompsa fuscicaudata : The Southern Red-whiskered Bulbul. (F. There is a crimson patch of feathers under the 20.) in Northern and Eastern India. 288). 305). buls build neat cup-shaped nests in trees Both the Molpaftes and the Otocompsa buland shrubs in gardens. : emeria The Bengal Red(J. 460). A dull greenish brown a. Not infrequently they also B. p. and B. 460). p. P..) Found Burma. Pycnonotus luteolus : The White-browed crest. (-11-). (F. (J. more especially in the hills. 26. Bulbul. (II. 452).Descriptive List of the breast is Common Birds abdomen by known a as separated from the conspicuous band of black feathers the collaret. 22. 296 . (II. This is the common bulbul of all our South-Indian hill stations. B. whiskered Bulbul.) (Illus. p.. having no 103 . 21. D. C. 230. also B. Otocompsa tail. (lUus. 87. (F. is from Emeria In Emeria the black collaret interrupted in front. p.. nest in plants growing in pots placed in the verandah. This species in that it is distinguishable has a complete collaret. B.) Found chiefly in the south-western portion of India.

250). ex- Southern India and ceedingly common in the vicinity of Madras. I. bellied Nuthatch. 104 The lower . ( - I. 23 and 24 Nuthatches are acterised little climbing birds char- by very short tails. being heard It builds a tree. been little bird in existence. Sitta castaneiventris : The Chestnut(J.) Upper plumage dark black greyish blue. They nest in holes of trees. (lUus. They go about in small flocks and run up and down the trunks and branches of trees with great address.) 23. much more frequently than seen. The other parts of the cheek are white. as their name implies. p. 298. 321).. F.Indian Birds It has a white eyebrow. through the eye and down the side of the head. therefore." show itself very much in the open. A broad band runs from the beak. and has. frequently closing up a portion of the aperture with mud. (F. They also. is and the patch of is feathers under the tail It occurs only in pale yellow. cup-shaped nest in a bush or low The Nuthatches. picking up small insects. feed upon nuts. It frequents gardens very cheery little tailed " the blithest It does not and utters a variety of notes.

325).) I.) King Crow. . the cock velvet-like black forehead and a black streak . The Drongos. Dicrurus ater : The Black Drongo. It breeds in the hot weather . (J. 278). the popular parts of the name C. insects It makes little flights after and then returns to its perch. 253). throat whitish lower parts Not found in the Punjab.Descriptive List of the Common as Birds plumage is dark chestnut-red. the nest is a small cup. and western parts of Bengal. 327). all over. P. with a long-forked One of the most familiar of Indian birds. Its call is very cheery and is heard most often at earliest dawn. P. 25-27 25. Sitta frontalis : The Velvet-fronted Blue having a Nuthatch. 24. (J. wedged into the fork of los a lofty . (II. of the bird. or (F. or on the backs of cattle. denoted by (The lower Distribu- hen are of a lighter hue.) blue. (-1.. Jet black but with tail. Upper plumage dark through the eye greyish. a tail six inches long. C.. (F. It frequently perches on telegraph wires.. tion : U.

(II.) Very like the King Crow (No. The a tail length two outer tail feathers are a foot and a half in on the inner side of the shaft there is scarcely any web.Indian Birds branch. This bird. but with 20 inches long. although nowhere common in India.W. also I. but only a summer and the to F. 281). Dicrurus ccerulescens : visitor . while the web on the outer .. (Illus. and a winter Assam. P. p. Found visitor over India. (F. The White-bellied but with long25) in appear- Drongo.. 106 . 27. 284). Dissemurus paradiseus : The Larger Racket-tailed Drongo.. (J. The all oriole and the dove frequently nest in the same tree. B. B.) Glossy black all over. to the Frontier Province Western Punjab. 330). forked (F. The head is decorated by a large backwardly-directed crest. The breast is grey and the abdomen white. ance. and B. D. is found in all parts save the N. and the eastern portion of looks black Bengal.. F. tail. frontispiece p. (J. i. 339). (II. the Punjab.) 26. 148. save that plumage (but it is it is a little smaller and its deep indigo instead of glossy black from a distance).

In the hot weather the two middle tail feathers of the cock exceed the others in length by fully two inches. There is a short black bar on each side of the the forehead is reddish. 530). The lower plumage is dirty creamy white. bristle-like tail feathers These projecting. Close inspection shows that grey.Descriptive List of the shaft grows longer as feather. it render very easy to in recognise the cock tailor bird breeding plumage. the back of the neck. (F. head and the back brown. but as the bird con- tinually calling loudly to-wee. The Warblers. and hence is very rarely seen in the plains. a watching will soon reveal the black patch on the side of the neck. tinged with green. it Gommon Birds nears the tip of the These elongated outer feathers are turned upwards and outwards at the tip. 107 . (J. Confined almost entirely to forests. 28-33 28. to-wee.) Indian Tailor Bird. 374). visible only when the bird stretches is its neck to utter little its note. (- A tiny brownie bird not unlike a wren with a respectable tail. to-wee. Orthotomus sutorius : The 1.

(lUus. the lining through these tiny apertures in order to keep the lining in situ. The nest is a wonderful structure. 103 . B.. but In it colouring is it is much and has a narrow creamlittle brown bird which is not the tailor bird.S3). The walls are growing leaves. 30. the tailor bird. B. also G. B. The nest should be looked for in the hot weather. is a dull-coloured little brownie It visits India in great is numbers in the winter. and said to like breed in Sind. is likely to be this solidly built more coloured eyebrow. Hypolais rama : Sykes's Tree-warbler. 462). bird. the edges of which the bird draws together by means of The nest is cosily lined with cotton-down. ( Streaked Wren- warbler.(-I-) This. The tailor bird pierces in places the leafy waU of its nest and pushes some of cotton or fibre. 64. A species.. (F-394)>(J-S. (J. This little bird is easily distinguished 108 from the . or one of the wrenwarblers described below. (F.) 29.) Brown above and cream-coloured below. - 1. p. too. and frequently nests in the verandah. Prinia lepida : The 550). p.Indian Birds The tailor bird is essentially a denizen of the compound.

— Descriptive List of the Common Birds its other long-tailed wrens.) Another " tiny brownie bird.(J. by the fact that upper plumage is streaked with dark brown." Ashy upper plumage with brown wings and tail. It builds a neat ball-like nest with an entrance at the side. lower plumage cream-coloured. This bird Sind. The nest is usually situated at a few inches from the ground. A very slender and loosely-knit bird. It is easily distinguished it by the curious snapping noise makes as it flits from bush to bush. bier. Several are to be found in April and May amid the wild indigo that grows on the Lahore golf links.war- (F. The tip of feather is white and next to this is tail is a black patch.464). The brown each tail shows cross bars. 31. Prima socialis : The Ashy Wren. It sounds as though it were due to the upper and lower mandibles of the beak closing sharply together. common It also occurs in Punjab and in Rajputana and in the in the valley of the Ganges. This species constructs two types of nests 109 . How this noise is made we do not know. The green eggs have a distinct ring of reddish dots at the thick end.S34).(-I.

a baU-like woven structure with an entrance at the side. India. Found in N. P. 28). and the parent birds sometimes have their work cut out in rearing up their brood before the crop is cjit.W. This species has rusty-coloured thighs. Prinia Jerdoni The Southern Wren- warbler. (J. 33. Eggs greenish with red and brown It builds a nicely-woven ball-like nest. (F.) This species differs so little in appearance distinguish from the noise it is last that except for the snapping almost impossible to them unless held in the hand and compared. ( . Prinia inornata : warbler. 544). 32. (F. 543). and these may serve to distinguish it from the last species.Indian Birds one is like the other is that of the Tailor Bird (No. The nest is invariably placed near the ground. Does not occur in the N. : At the Nilgiris this species meets the next. F. which is frequently attached to growing corn.I.) the South Indian form of No. This bird is known as the weaverbird to boys who attend Indian schools. 467). 466). no . The Indian Wren32. (J. The eggs are mahogany red. blotches. This is (-1.

. Their hooked and notched beaks and the broad black band that runs from the base of the beak through the eye gives them a very sinister appearance. shrikes form a is well-marked family of to sit Their habit on an exposed perch and from thence pounce on to some insect on the ground. (J. p. 469). P. (+11. Not infrequently bits of rag hang down from . broad black band from base of beak. P. . (lUus. Punjab. or Butcher Birds. The thorny nest of this and of the other species of is butcher bird a deep cup. 34.) Upper parts French grey . 34-37 The birds.. through eye and down the side of the neck. wings black with conspicuous white Breast and lower plumage white. forehead black . B. and Western Bengal. B. Lanius lahtora : The Indian Grey Shrike (F..) The Shrikes. often close up against the trunk. placed usually in a tree. U. Thus their habits are like those of some birds of prey. They have a variety of notes.Descnptive Liit of the Common Birds and has very much the same habits and appearance as the last species. C. Sind. 103. Tail black and white bar. 256).

The eggs have a stone-coloured background with brownish blotches. p. 454. Q. I. breast. 257). ever.. this (F. (F. back maroon. 473).) This species is distinguishable f rqm the above three shrikes by the fact that it lacks the white wing bar which makes the others 112 so conspicuous . median feathers black. Lanius vittatus (F. 260). The rump is the same colour as the upper back and not white as very like it in colouring. p.. Q. (J. rump is white wings black with a white bar. Indian Birds the nest and serve to locate its whereabouts. Head . Lanius cristatus : The Brown Shrike. in 3537.. Lanius erythronotus The Rufous-backed last species. 476). (+11. 261).) Although smaller than the bird is It may. B. pale grey. : 36. B. 70 35.) (lUus. (-II. 481). also F. which conspicuous during flight. (-II. white. : The Bay-backed Shrike. outer ones white lower parts white with a reddish-yellow tinge on the Shrike.) Forehead and broad band through the eye black. Tail black and . howbe distinguished by the fact that it has no white in the tail. which often form a ring near the large end.

The nest is difficult to find. It spreads itself over all parts of the country save the N.) bird. i6. An ashy-brown (F. 265). which Jesse syllabises as tanti-tuia. 39-41 Minivets are brightly coloured insects little birds. G. 488). Occurs chiefly in gardens and avenues. the herald of the cold weather. . (-|-I. Tephrodornis pondicerianus : The Combroad white mon Woodshrike.) 38. A reddish-brown bird with white cheeks and throat and a whitish eyebrow.) it uals are said to remain in India to It is has a harsh chattering note. picking from off the leaves of trees. which utters incessantly. as when seen from below it n3 H . as regarded in Calcutta (lUus. It F. and the Punjab. which usually go about in small flocks. P. They build neat cup-shaped nests. which are usually placed on a horizontal branch. It is most easily recognised by its pretty mellow note. The Minivets. B.W. Unlike the other butcher birds this species is merely a winter visitor to India.. (A few individnest. (J. p.DescripUve List of the Common Birds during flight. having a eyebrow and the outer tail feathers white.

(lUus. Assam. save that the red of the cock is like 4 Very much tail (F.Indian Birds looks like a knot in the branch. P. Pericrocotus brevirostris The ( short- with the Scarlet Minivet (39) in appearance. The wings are black with a scarlet bar running scarlet along (and not. 495).) but with Cock: A beautiful bird arrayed in bright and black. across) the wing. Rajputana. Tail feathers scarlet except the median pair. Assam and C. long. of 4i (F.) : 41. B. the back and lower parts scarlet. : 40. Pericrocotus speciosus : The Indian Scar- let tail Minivet. Pericrocotus peregrinus ( The I. P. tail Small 3 inches (F. which are black. and C. P. but crimson rather than scarlet. Hen: Head and body and black. Bengal. 64. Occurs in Punjab. 39.) P. Bengkl. G. 276). 490). - 114 . (J. (J. Minivet.) - 1.. bright yellow. p. Tail yellow Occurs in U. a The flocks lead wandering existence. (J. wings black with longitudinal yellow bar. billed Minivet. as is usual. U. The head and shoulders are black. 500).. 273). (I. inches long. inches long.. 271).

This species goes about in small flocks. and breast black rest of plumage grey shading into white on the abdomen tail black with broad white tip. (F. (F. (J. Cock Head. wing Upper parts grey. (+in. Campaphaga : sykesi : The Black-headed ( Cuckoo-Shrike. F. 268). bar. Graucalus macii : The Large Cuckoo- Not found in Shrike. is strictly arboreal. I The lower parts IS . 42 and 43 42. lower back deep scarlet. 270). - II. 43. tail as in cock. P.W. P. lower parts creamy brown with yellow or orange wingwith red in the tip. tail black with red at tip. F. lower parts whitish . Hen : Upper parts grey. Hen : white. (J. breast scarlet . red bar. 508). and has many of the habits of the minivets. wings black with. lower plumage orange- yellow. sio).) .DescripUve List of the Common Birds Cock : Head and shoulders slaty grey. chin and throat blackish.) with a A large: pale slaty-grey bird black patch in front of the eye. tail black Not found N. throat. Punjab or N. The Cuckoo-Shrikes.W. with narrow black cross bars.

rich. The nest is a wonderful structure a large cup slung like a hammock or prawn net on the fork of a bow. - III. 470). peeho. usually placed in one of the lower branches of a lofty tree. portion of the peninsula. The Orioles. but out of reach of a human being. The eggs are pale pink. 518). which wash 116 . : (F.W. Neither 42 or 43 are very common birds. all Found over India. with chocolate off. Hen : Of hue than the cock. Oriolus kundoo The (J. but rare in the N. During flight this bird looks like a flash of gold. The note is a mellow peeho. habits as above.Indian Birds are paler than the upper parts hibit more or less distinct and often exnarrow black cross bars . : 44 and 45 44. A strictly arboreal species. Indian Oriole.) A bright beak and red eyes. blotches. — Crow. or ( Mango Cock Bird. This species very frequently builds in the same tree as the King soft. sides of the yeUow bird with a pink There is some black on the in the wings head and duller and the tail. with greenish back.

P. p. (lUus.) 521). chin. I. 128. I mention them. Not found in the Punjab.) The Crackles. but is merely a summer visitor to the Punjab. and the Himalayas. 46 and 47 As these birds are almost exclusively confined to hilly and well-wooded regions they can scarcely be numbered among the birds of the plains of India .W. F. Oriolus melanocefhalus (F. They are glossy black with a conspicuous white wing bar. : The Black- headed Oriole. 16 also tinguishable . or Hill Mynas. or N. G. found all the year round in most parts of India. common they are but as so very frequently seen in cages.. P.W. Very much like the last species. F. Beak orange-yellow. Their birds 117 . but a much shorter tail. and upper breast black. N. throat. p.. legs pale yellow. or is in the eastern portion of Bengal proper. (J. B. but is disby having the whole head. F.. (-III. 472 and 473).. or in the Himalayas.Descriptive List of the This bird is Common Birds It not found in Eastern Bengal.. 45. have They are larger than the common myna.

Preparatory to leaving the country for breeding purposes rosy starlings congregate iiS . India. or pale coffee- black . but the black crest rests flat on the head. Q. 48. 524).) in the Himalayas and C.693). The birds are most abundant in the winter. Eulabesreligiosa: (F.) Cock : Head. 523). Found a. 692). or Tilyer. throat. Pastor roseus: ling. Eulabes intermedia: The Indian Grackle. so that it is not noticeable. (III. and 5^8). Found only (F. Hens and young cocks : In these the pink is replaced by a pinkish grey. (+ni. The Starlings. P. 690).) The Southern Grackle. coloured hue. wings. Rosy starlings do not breed in India. (+III. 47.Indian Birds most conspicuous feature wattles. although individuals may be seen in aU months of the year. in S. is the pair of yellow 46. Q. tail glossy rest of plumage rose-coloured pink. The head is crested. 48-54 Rose-coloured Star(F. The or Jowaree Bird. The great majority of birds one sees in India are hens or young cocks.

86. rest of upper plumage dark grey with a reddish tinge. (II. : 50. remainder of lower . N. throat and breast reddish grey with a white shaft to each feather plumage rusty yellow tip. 688).W. chin almost white. (B.) Very like the common English starling in appearance.. These flocks do much damage to the grain. (+11.. Beak greenish blue with Not found Punjab. and are therefore sometimes known as Mulberry birds. or the it In the other parts of India I under- goes local migration. small yellow or buff spots in certain lights it shows a green or bronze sheen. F. Sturnia malabarica The Grey-headed Myna.) Head pale grey. P. 538). have seen it in Madras only in the cold weather. 681). Q. where it is usually seen in flocks. 532). (J. Sturnus menzbieri : The Common Indian Starling. They are also very partial to mulberries. (F. A winter visitor to Northern India. Glossy black with numbers o£ . in Sind. and hence are known as Jowaree and Cholum birds.Descriptive List of the in Common Birds huge flocks in April and May. red. Abundant in the Punjab during the cold weather. 119 .) 49. (F. p. D.

(+11. Not found in Eastern Bengal. (J. and lower plumage rich buff wings black and grey .) Head. 82 . neck. head and crest black. The long crest rests flat on the neck and looks like a pigBeak tail. D. p. Legs bright yeUow. or the western portion of the Punjab.) N. (lUus. 50 are very alike in shape and colouring. P. and frequenting the topmost branches of trees.) 120 The Common Myna. p. Its note is a harsh chuckle. It associates in small flocks. F. 684). 124. B. tail feathers brown with white tips . (F..W. (III. 51. the also B. In this case the nest-hole is usually in some building or tree. B. 549). or Pawai. rarely if ever descending to the ground.. 1emenuchus fagodarum : The Black- headed or Brahminy Myna.. the most noticeable difference being in the colour of the head and crest and of the legs. 544). Like most other ihynas this species nests in a hole. . having a silky hair-like appearance. Acridotheres tristis: (F. This bird and No. 687).. Indian Birds This is the most arboreal of the mynas. blue with yellow tip. (J. An unpleasant odour emanates from the nest. 52.

551). (-III. India.) like 5 1 in shape. p.Descriptive List of the Common Birds One o£ the most familiar of our Indian birds. (-III.C.) 53. p. contra. Acridotheres ginginianus : The Bank or WellMyna. D. Each time it says kok it points to the ground with its beak and bobs its head. 54. 516. 84. show. keeky. (J. a noisy bird. broad white legs tips. 555). Beak and bright yellow bright yellow patch of skin behind eye. its notes as " Keeky. during . Eha . ing a very conspicuous white bar during Tail feathers visible flight. Very is (F. describes . churr. Sturnopastor and nests in holes hence its popular name... 44. kok. Not found It goes in S. flocks about in in river banks or wells. (F. Head. also F. . and B. but its prevailing tint grey instead of brown. kok. kok. neck. p. B. I. a:nd upper breast black . 685). black with flight. keeky churr. and the patch of skin behind the eye crimson instead of yellow. The Pied Myna. 683). tail The wing bar and the tips of the feathers are buff instead of is white.. Q. is This bird It It feeds largely is found in every garden in India. rest of body plumage rich brown wings black. on the ground.) 121 ." (lUus.

no great Occurs only in U. 122 . so that it is not safe to set down a bird as a flycatcher merely because it makes little sallies into the air after insect quarry. the Bengals. little into the air after their quarry.Indian Birds A black bird. and white bar at base of wing . Their habit sallies which they catch upon the wing. from some perch. G.) The on Flycatchers. It must. is to make. ing.. (Illus. usually at altitude.. C. This bird that it differs from the other mynas in builds a large nest in a tree. also hunt for insects in this manner . for example. p. Beak orange with white tip . the king crow and the wagtails. lower parts grey. are be seen in the Nos. P. orange patch o£ skin behind the eye. P. however. but the great majority them are confined to the likely to hills. and Assam. The followplains.. i6. not be forgotten that birds other than flycatchers. 57-60 being especially abundant. B. A of considerable number of species of fly- catcher occur in India. as. white cheeks and rump. however. 55-60 Flycatchers are birds which feed exclusively insects.

( . lower parts white. ceylonensis : The Grey56. inconspicuous ring of white An ashy-brown bird feathers round the eye. lower parts black crest and head metalHc white.I. (J. 588). that makes a sally into the air after an insect. 598).) tail darker than body. wings and tail dark brown. 295).Descriptive List of the 55. Bill bluish black. F. Common Birds Fly- The Brown catcher. (-1. A rare bird in the plains. or A little brown bird with a short tail.) Head.. (F. but the cock has a very long tail. Terspiphone paradisi : The Indian Paradise Flycatcher. (J. and breast ash-coloured. Sind. 592). Punjab. bird. Back greenish yellow . 57. Culicicafa headed Flycatcher. . Legs slate-coloured. also known as the Ribbon Bird and the Widow Bird. (F. neck. . 288). (J-297). and then returns to its perch. is probably this species.) One of the most beautiful birds in India. Alseonax latirostris. India. P. in N. Lower plumage dull yellow. (F. Not a very common Not found Rajputana. Not likely to be seen in N. (II. 123 .W. Hen and young cock : Like a bulbul in size Rich chestnut plumage with and form.W.

little The cock has also a sweet song. 58-60 with are a These are blackish-brown spicuous birds. his long white tail like feathers hang down bottom of the nest. B. species — the affinis).) The Fantail Flycatchers. and G. frontispiece. The an inverted cone in shape.Indian Birds Second year cock that the : Similar to above.. 124 There some . Burmese Flyalso catcher (T. being length. The white cock shares the duties of incubation.. several inches beyond the The bird frequently utters a sharp note like something the twitter of a sparrow. and as he sits. B. is In Burma allied this species replaced by an Paradise i . con- white eyebrow. This bird undergoes a certain amount of local migration. except tail two median feathers are much longer than the others. It visits the Punjab in great numbers nest is in summer for nesting purposes. p. B. F. (lUus. j6. and is usually placed on one of the loAver branches of a tree. p. i6 inches in Old cocks : The chestnut parts of the plum- age turn white. II.

Wh«n they have a nest these flycatchers are very bold.Descriptwe List of the Common Birds white spots in the wing. Rhipidura The white- browed Fantail Flycatcher." Three species are common. built largely of cobweb on one of the lower branches of a tree. " waltz and pirouette among the lower branches of a shady mango tree. The common N. Distinguished by its very broad white eyespecies of brow and forehead. They will set upon and drive away birds much larger than themselves. Nest a cup. 292). (+10. to use Eha's words. The nest is either a neat cup or an inverted cone. and as the bird continually spreads its tail into a fan the white is very conspicuous. India. (F. (J. The lower plumage a striking is white. The tail feathers are tipped with white. and will even offer to attack an intruding : human being. and have similar manners and appearance. : The three species are distinguished as follows albifrontata 58. 604). They are easily recognised by their " tinkling " song and by the manner in which they continually fan the tail. which they utter constantly. and dance . These birds have and very cheery song of about six notes. or. 125 . drop the wings.

India. 607). 605). hen is a reddish-brown bird (greyish in winter). 76. The hen may be distinguished The from other brownish colouring of her mate.Indian Bi/rds 59. (J. and from 59 Fantail Flycatcher (F. Rhifidura pectoralis: The White-spotted (J.) The Robins. (+I-) Distinguished from 58 by the black forehead and narrow white eyebrow. India.. and from 60 by the black abdomen. The common fantail of S. (+1. The and a cock is a black bird (brownish in early winter). (Illus. Nest cup-shaped. and E. The common fantail of S. Nest an inverted cone. 61. The Pied Bush Chats. p.W. 60. with a conspicuous white wing patch white rump. birds by the peculiar ground at the The nest is in a hole in the base of a tussock of long grass. Pratincola ca-prata 1 : The Common Pied 26 . 61-69 61 and 62. Rhi-pidura albicollis : The White-throated Fantail Flycatcher. 293). B. with a black tail with a reddish patch over the tail.) Distinguished from 58 by the black forehead and narrow white eyebrow. by the whitish abdomen. B. 291). (F.

) Pied Bush Chat. (F.6io). a-494)'(+I-) 127 . Northern occurs usually in open hens of these species of robin-like birds are very difficult to distinguish .(J.Descriptive List of the Common Birds Bush Chat. The above two 63. breast orange-red.(-I-) Found in N. lower parts pale reddish brown.a. Cercomela fusca The : Chat —the Desi shama The Brown Rock (F. 64. Pratincola atrata : The Southern 482). 62. all parts of fields. Large patch of white on each side of neck .480. Hen : Reddish brown all over . India. in S. 609). (F. but as they are usually found in company with the cock it is not as a rule difficult to assign them to their proper species. no white neck patch. or White-winged Black Robin. 629). (J. A India winter visitor to . Pratincola species may perhaps be re- as local varieties. India.6o8). Found garded Chat. and C. of Indians.(-I-) Cock : The upper parts are reddish brown in winter (black in summer owing to the brown edges to the feathers being worn away). (I.483). maura : The Indian Bush (F.

and upper plumage is black. fringed with grey. P. and very common (J. The abdomen is orange- All the feathers of the tail are reddish ex- cept the two median ones.) Each feather of the head. so that after the autumn moult the cock is dark grey in these parts but gradually the grey edges wear away. nest is The cock sings a sweet little lay. or It is made of dried if and its roots. Hen : Reddish brown when the cock . are reddish chestnut. red. that the red in her plumage 128 . Rajputana. so that by the spring the head. : The Indian Red- 497). start. made up of dried grass and placed even an inhabited room. The eggs are pale blue blotched with reddish yellow. : 65. Ruticilla rufiventris (F. The rump and the feathers over the tail Cock . U. (I. and upper parts of the cock look black. except duller. neck. breast. . which are brown. or a mosque. its It fre- quents buildings and robin-like in habits. P.. grass The in a niche or on a ledge in an outhouse. in Punjab. at Lahore. Found C. and falls to pieces lifted from foundation. is grey or black otherwise like is the cock. 644).Indian Birds A As it dull inconspicuous is brown bird. hops about it continually bobs its head.

and a conspicuous patch of brick-red under the tail. 66i). holes in walls. so that the bird looks fire. A familiar bird which haunts gardens and is very partial to dry sandy localities. redstart as behaves an easy bird to identify. Thamnohia cambaiensis : The Brownbacked Indian Robin. India. It feeds largely on the ground. etc. 67. (+1. 662). It builds a neat cup-shaped nest on window-ledges or in 66.Descriptive List of the Common Birds The tail. (F. (+1. Occurs all over Northern South of the Godaveri it is replaced : by 6j. it though it had St. Vitus' dance in the is As it flies away all the red in its like plumage a ball of shows. (J. (J.) Cock : A glossy black bird with a brown back. 480). a narrow white bar in the wing. The Black-backed Indian Robin.) The hen of this species is scarcely distinguishI 129 . A winter visitor to India. when alarmed. Hen : A sandy brown bird with a brick-red patch under the tail. taking It frequents cover in bushes gardens. Thamnohia fulicata (F. Very common in the north and rarer in the south. 479). It usually carries the tail raised almost vertically and so dis- plays the red patch. banks.

) 68. also G. India. long. They frequent gardens and are robin-like in habits. 294. stables The nest frequently found in F. 476). p. A Outer conspicuous white wing : feathers white. (F. II. (Illus.) 69. bar. p. (J. its This plumage cause and the magpie pattern of The cock and hen it to be readily identified. B. Copsychus saularis The Magpie (II. and B. with a white abdomen sharply marked off from the black tail throat and breast. tail. 475). : Cock A glossy black bird. B. but greyish brown where he last. Lower . D. This species. The stead o£ brown. 663). cambaiensis cock differs in {66). (J. B. frontispiece. orDayal. 56. Hen the Marked like is the cock.. having the back black inOccurs only in S.) Robin. tail six 664). It nests in holes in trees is or buildings. Cittocincla macrura : The Shama. pair for life. and outhouses. like frequently elevates the The cock has a fine song in spring. : (lUus.Indian Birds able from the hen of T.. p. (F. A very familiar garden bird. black. (II.) but with a inches A fine songster... 97. : Cock Upper plumage 130 glossy black.

as does the breast. 70-73 Weaver gregarious birds habits. are sparrow-like birds o£ They build.) G. 720). Found only p. : being from below. 694). and look very like the hen bill. Common Birds Lower is Wings black and white. baya retains this plumage throughout In the hot weather. They breed : Four found in India. however. like her. the head and neck of the cock become a beautiful golden yellow. or Common Weaver Bird. In this plumage the cock baya is very easily recognised. save that the black replaced by slaty parts are brown and the reddish lower (lUus. or rather weave. At most seasons of the year the cock and hen are reddish-brown birds with a faint. The Weaver Birds. a thick The hen the year. and the chin turns almost black. house sparrow. the entrance in the rains. in thick jungle. (F. much paler than in the cock. Ploceus baya The Baya. 40. 131 . plumage chestnut red. Hen : Like the cock.. or Bottle Bird. wonderful flask-shaped or retort-shaped nests which hang from species are trees. these are 70. having. (J.Descriptive List of the back white. B. fawncoloured eyebrow.

by having the feathers of the all breast streaked longitudinally with black.Indian Birds This species occurs in places it is all parts of India except Bengal.) differs so little This species P. (2) the black by the fact that the tubular entrance is short and not long like that of P. megarhynchus. 70) am inclined to regard it as a local race of the latter species. 133 . that I from (No.. 694). 723). and Burma. 69s). 131. This species 71. (F. to the nest This is a comparatively rare species and is not found in S. (I. II. 721). p. (J. (I. Ploceus In these replaced by an allied species (71). also B. Assam. 73. India. but is not nearly so commonly seen as P. Ploceus manyar : The Striated Weaverbird. baya and P. (J. and is 72. (lUus. megarhynchus : The Eastern Baya. 722). p. (F.) distinguishable from Nos. Ploceus bengalensis : The Black-throated ( Weaver-bird. It found over India. 173 71. baya. F. (3) the side of the neck.. (F. is (J. baya. B. 696). 70. is - I. 72.) This species ance. but very like 70 and 71 in appear- may be distinguished by (i) a yellow patch on breast.) .

734). Head (F. (-1. structure. having an entrance at the The eggs are Munia malacca : The Black-headed Munia.) in having the abdomen chestnut throated India). : malabarica (called The WhiteChiruka in N. (F.697). Abdomen very white. Except when breeding they usually go about in flocks.) Jerdon's name for this bird 133 —the Plain . This differs from 74 only j6. a large. 72s). 75. white. characterised by bills. the ground. Munia atricapilla : The ( Chestnut-bel- lied Munia. which very thick is rarely situated at is any great distance from ball-like side. Uroloncha - I. India This handsome species is confined to S. 74-79 Munias are diminutive smaller birds. considerably than the sparrow. tinged with maroon.703). (J. in the north it is replaced by a closely .Descriptive List of the Comnwn Birds The Munias. instead of white. (J. pale' slate colour. allied species (75).(-I. (J. 74. Munia the (F. 698). The nest. rest o£ lower plumage black.) and breast black. 726). back wings and Bill tail rich chestnut.

. should serve to enable the observer to identify munia. like No. This seen. cheet.) This is known by bird fanciers as the Nutmeg Bird and the Spice Bird. but most of the feathers have each 134 . is the species of munia most is commonly and found in all parts of the plains of India. cheet. (J.699). cream-coloured. is one of the common cage birds of India. B. The lower plumage is dirty white. save Eastern Bengal and Burma. : P. note. and the note (lUus.I37-) yy. 79. the white patch on the rump. the thick this inconspicuous little bill.735). that of the head being darkest. wings. i£ ever. (F. (-1. Head. The feathers of the tail are graduated. B. The lower breast and abdomen are white. pure.Indian Birds Brown Munia that given it — is much more appropriate than being usually by Oates. sparrow-like syllabised by Sykes as " cheet. upper plumage." It has a twittering. It. the upper plumage being earthy brown save for a white patch on the rump. and tail are rich chocolate brown. for the white of the throat is rarely. neck. This. Uroloncha functulata The Spotted Munia. the small size of the bird. It is a plainly-coloured bird.

little 705). This beautiful (F.) bird. or Sind. 737). The upper plumage and wings are light green. (J. davat.738). Stictospiza formosa : slaty blue.W. The general hue of the brown with patches richest crimson and some tiny white There is more crimson in the cock than plumage is reddish in the 135 . The Green Munia. ( is is I. brighter in the cock than in the hen. i6. P. 79. or Red Waxbill. : Distribution Central India and Southern amandava : The Indian Red Munia.) 78. This a tiny little bird with a bright red of the spots. or Green Waxbill.a-704). p. Bengal. so that the lower parts of the bird have the appearance of a nutmeg-grater hence one of the popular : names of the bird.. B. or Lai. brighter in the cock than in the hen . which barely fre- two-thirds the size of the sparrow. G. Bill dark Does not occur in N. quently caged. (lUus. or Ama- (F. the tail is black. F.Descriptive List of the a Common Birds narrow black semicircular bar. the lower parts are yellow. S-porcEginthus BiU bright red. beak and red eyes.(-I-) Every aviary in India boasts one or two is amadavats.

738). 80-82 These are seed-eating birds. stout bill. In full dress the cock has the whole head. As. with brownish-green crimson is bright on the breast. In Burma this bird is replaced by an allied one (S. abdomen (lUus. and rump. however. Carpodacus erythninus : The Common Rose-Finch. sexes there is always a both patch of crimson on the in But lower rump. In order to perceive the crimson they must be watched when at rest in the sunhght. and sides of the body crimson. (+1. 80. having the of black. the wing feathers are brown. They are highly gregarious and are found all over India. and in the former in the breeding season than at other times of the year.. breast. the little birds look brown. There are two yellowishbrown bars on the wing.Indian Birds hen. yellowish red instead G. Cock wings. 136 The . and not crimson.) crimson bird. 761). upper plumage.) The Finches. frontispiece. The canary and the house sparrow are the most familiar examples of this family. B. characterised by a thick. (J. throat. during flight. flavidiventris). : A (F.

it is fairly I observed it only in Lucknow.Descriptive List of the Comnum bars Birds Hen with wing. " It visits the call it is extent. Jerdon writes of this species. In March many are taken in fine breeding livery. Unless carefully watched for it is apt to be overlooked. feeding on various seeds and grain . It not a bird that obtrudes itself on the observer. S. and. but during October. In the extreme south I have chiefly plains seen of is ' it in bamboo jungle. to some the Tuti. gardens. and jungle. Natives has a pleasing song. it is fairly species in his Cunningham says common common in the gardens of Calcutta Jesse states that during the winter months. India.' In other parts of the country also frequents alike groves. at 137 . : A greenish-brown sparrow-like bird two conspicuous whitish is on the This bird a winter visitor to the plains of Northern and Central India. feeding bamboos on several occasions. on the seeds and so much signifies this its habit that the Telegu name Bamboo it sparrow. At Lahore March and April. and leaves in April." Eha does not include Common Birds of Bombay. not infrequently on flower buds and young this leaves.

bright in the cock and dull in the hen. 82. (I. Passer domesticus The Common Spar- row or House Sparrow. 8i. wings and tail brown. I give it merely for the sake of completeness. whither repairs for breeding purposes. by its having a pale yellow patch on the throat. Not found Punjab it is so far east as Calcutta. streak over the eye and upper back chestnut. throat black. cheeks . a In the it summer : visitor. usually in trees. Cock : Top of head and lower back ashy and sides of neck pure white.Indian Birds Gymnorhis throated Sparrow. reddish . flavicollis : The Yellowhouse (F. bird is (F. (I. 711). 775). the former with lower plumage dirty white.) A larly near relative of the common sparrow. domesticus. 706).) Description of this familiar and ubiquitous quite superfluous.white eyebrow and grey. but is far familiar in its behaviour than Passer It nests in holes. 776). (J. white wing bar. In appearance it is like a particu- tidy and slenderly built readily distinguished It may be hen sparrow. 138 . less This species frequents gardens. a white bar Hen : A dull brown bird with dirty white under parts . (J.

buchanani. (J. They occur in large noisy flocks. (-M. Buntings bills. E. melanoccphala.) nothing striking in the appearance is of this bird. 139 . This occurs only in the N. and E.bit its song of "A of bread and no che-e-e-ese..W. 795). There (F. Emberiza buchanani: The Grey-necked is Bunting. 716). The upper plumage ashy brown. the shaft of each feather being darker than the web. with conical the sparrow." has rendered the bunting clan familiar to every Englishman. giving the bird a streaked appearance. 83. The species most commonly seen are E. are finch-like birds mostly rather larger than Several species visit the plains of India in large fat numbers every cold weather and wax on the grain crops.Descriptive List of the Common Birds The Buntings. 83-85 The yellow-hammer. luteola. making merry among the various cereal crops ^nd taking refuge in trees when disturbed. The lower parts are reddish brown. There is an incon- spicuous white ring round the eye. There is some white in the tail visible only during flight. with little . parts of India.

Emberiza melanoce-phala : headed Bunting. Hen breast : A brownish bird with dull yeUow under the and abdomen and a bright yellow patch tail.Indian Birds The Black84. B. This species looks rather like a in winter. (J. the wings and tail are brown. where. the cheeks and lower plumage are deep bright yeUow. : The (-1-1. 142. it " about Found takes the place in India of the at yeUow-hammer home. Emberiza luteola (J. and only in N. Punjab.. P. p. and Bombay. so that the head looks grey when the bird first reaches India in the autumn. C. as Eha says.W." (lUus. F. P. 800). but gets blacker as the grey edges of the feathers become worn away. swarming about fields and hedges and singing with more cheer than music. The back and shoulders are rich chestnut. A greenish-brown bird. large long-tailed weaver-bird.) 85. (F.) Red-headed Bunting. 721). (+1. with the head in the cock a colour between that of chestnut and old 140 .. 722). B.. It is the species of bunting most abundant in the neighbourhood of Bombay.) Cock : The feathers of the head are black with a grey border. (F. 799).

Another difference between the swifts and the swallows is that the former never 141 ." a flying swift to an Jeflferies likens anchor with enormous flukes. the slim body of the bird being the arrow. " its wings almost close against its similarity of profession has and it looks like a pair of opening and shutting. The Swallows.W. Anatomically the . The only other family with which it is possible to confound them two but is that of the swifts. the representatives of the two famihes may be distinguished at a glance as they dash through the air. Winter N.B. Common Birds Rump yellow. like a bow. " As a swallow darts along. scissors they are always extended and evenly curved from tip to tip. and —None of the above buntings occur in Madras. visitor to N. families are far removed from one another brought about Neverthesimilarity in outward appearance. but sides at every stroke. less. Now a swift never closes its wings in this way.Descriptive List of the gold. Central India." writes Eha. bright in male and duller in female. lower plumage yellow. It whips the air rapidly with the points of them. 86-90 Swallows and martins form a well-marked and familiar group of birds.

while the latter habitually seat themselves on branches of trees and telegraph wires. found of these the following are most swaUow are commonly martin. also B.. By the tests given above it is easy to determine whether any particular bird is a swift or a swaUow. Ptyonofrogne concolor : The Dusky CragSome white martin. 811). It nests in sandbanks. India.) Twenty-two in India . Upper plumage greyish brown.) Upper plumage dark brown. but having got thus far it is a matter of greater difficulty to determine the species. (F. 87. Chin and breast greyish white.. A small bird that dashes with great speed through the air. 267 species of . now just skimming the ground. can be nothing other than a swift or a swaUow. (J. p. p. seen : 86. 88). ( A tiny swallow. F. 35.) Sand- (F. frequently in company. B. rest of lower plumage white. flying now high up. and seeming never to tire. (Illus. Occurs only in N. frequently changing its course. (-1.Indian Birds perch on trees or wires or on the ground.90). 809). (J. Cotile sinensis : The - Indian 1. II. only about two-thirds the size of the sparrow. 142 .

and throat tail Upper plumage chestnut red. the ends of which look like wires. 7 inches in length. (-1. 90. : The 84). smithii 818). Not found in. 89. 813). inches 823). Hirundo (F.) X43 . lower plumage pure white. usually a cliff or the wall of a cave. Wire-tailed Swallow. Hirundo rustica : The Common Swallow (F. Madras or east of the U. or the Red-rumped Swallow. (F. It builds a nest like that of the common martin —a saucer o£ mud stuck on to some 88. vertical surface. but with a deeply forked tail ^i inches in length. (J. sometimes in a verandah. (I. Builds cup-shaped nest of mud. upper plumage glossy steel blue. Hirundo erythropygia : Sykes's Striated Swallow. (J. chin. (. P. wings and black . (J. paler on the breast. with a forked tail over 3 in length. usually under a bridge or culvert . 85). forehead.) Head chestnut. with the two outer feathers of the tail. Lower plumage reddish yellow . some white in tail. The most dull-coloured o£ the swallows.Descriptive List of the spots Common Birds on the tail.1. 82).) glossy steel blue. Eggs white with small red splashes. Lower plumage dark brown.

——

— —

Indian Birds
Upper
parts glossy steel blue, except for the

sides of the

chestnut red.
yellow.

head and the lower back, which are Lower plumage pale reddish

Not found
Burma.
white.

in Madras, Eastern Bengal, or Nest of usual swallow type ; eggs

Key to the Common Swallows
A.
Tail short.
a.
b.

Under Under
color.

parts light
parts dark

Cotile sinensis.

Ptyonofrogne con-

B.

Tail long and forked.
a.

b.

Chestnut red on forehead, chin, and throat Hirundo rustica. Head only chestnut, under parts white, outer tail feathers very long and wirelike

H.

smithii.

c.

Chestnut on lower back
thropygia.

H.

ery-

The Wagtails, 91-94
This family includes the wagtails and
pipits.

These are slenderly
flight
is

built birds,

whose

line of

an undulating curve.
144

They feed on

Descriptive List of the

Common Birds
little sallies

the ground, sometimes making the
air after their

into

quarry, and run with great

speed.

They never hop.
tail,"

They

constantly

" wag the

hence their popular name.

The
by

wagtails are distinguished

their

from the pipits brighter colouring and longer tails.
with dark stripes
maderaspatensis
of

Pipits are earth-coloured birds

along the vein o£ each feather.
All the wagtails except

M.

are merely winter visitors to the plains
India.
91. Motacilla alba:
(F. 826), (J.

The White

Wagtail.

590, (-n.) General colour of plumage grey. Face, chin, and throat white, back of head and nape black ; a black patch on the breast, the remainder of the lower plumage is white. The wings are black with much white in them.

The middle
ones white.

tail

feathers are black, the outer
tail

[In aU wagtails the outer

feathers are white,

and show up very

distinctly

during

flight.]

Not found in

S. India.

(lUus. B. B., p.

1 1 1.)

The Large 92. Motacilla maderaspatensis : Pied Wagtail. (F. 831), (J. 589), (11.)
black bird with a conspicuous white eyeThe breast and lower plumage are brow.

A

K

I4S


Indian Birds
white.

;

There

is

a

broad white bar in the wing.
wagtail can

The outer tail feathers are white. The only bird with which this

possibly be confounded is the cock magpierobin, or Dhayal (68) (q.v.), but the two are easily distinguishable by
(i)

The magpie-robin The

lacks the

white eyetail erect

brows.
(2)

magpie-robin carries his
in Eastern Bengal,
resident.

the wagtail never erects its tail.

Not found
Burma.

Assam, or
Nests in a

A

permanent

hole in an old boat, a roof, a bridge, etc.

The

eggs are greenish white, blotched with brown.

This wagtail is a fine songster, and may sometimes be seen sitting on a telegraph wire
pouring forth
tail.

its

melody.
:

(lUus. B. D., p. 14.)

93. Motacilla melanope

The Grey Wag-

(F.832),(J.S92).(-II-) This bird is misnamed. It has a large amount For this reason of yellow in its plumage.
Jerdon
with
calls it

the grey and

yeUow

wagtail.

marked on the lower back. Throat white, lower plumage bright yellow, wings brown, middle tail feathers black, outer
parts are bluish grey,

The upper

yellowish

green

ones white.
146

Descriptive List of the
94. Motacilla
borealis
:

Common Birds
The Grey-headed

Wagtail.

(F. 833), (J. 593), (-11-) This species is so like M. melanofe (No. 93) that it is not easy to differentiate between

them.
the chin

It

is,

however, generally possible to
fact that in this species
is

distinguish
is

them by the
yellow,

and the breast

sometimes

mottled with black.

The
95.
Pipit.

Pipits, 95
:

and 96

Anthus maculatus

The

Indian Tree-

(F. 841), (J. 596), (I.)

A

dull-coloured bird like a wagtail in shape,

but with a shorter tail, which it sometimes wags in a half-hearted manner. The upper parts are earthy brown with dark The lower parts are creamy white streaks. with black streaks. There is a little white It feeds in the tail, visible only during flight.

on the ground, but
disturbed.
is

takes refuge in a tree

when

It frequently goes about in flocks. nothing striking in its appearance or habits, and so it is not easy to describe satis-

There

factorily.

A

winter

visitor.

Not found
'47

in

Madras.

(Illus.

B. B., p. III).

. maculatus. 847). II. but there white in the smaller size tail. or (J. legs. (I. Anthus rufulus is : The Indian Pipit. 97-103 Larks are so Hke pipits that distinguish it is not easy to between them without capturing them. F. and books on Indian ornith- ology state that this bird soars up into the heavens and pours forth its song just as the lark does in England. the Indian Tit-Lark. I 148 must confess that this . it is indistinguishable all from the English skylark. and it " pipit. 600). 315. (Illus. The Larks." is only safe to set it down as a hand.) This longer scarcely distinguishable It has a species (95). p. from the last somewhat longer bill and its The claw o£ hind toe is much longer than that of A. (+L) the above two pipits in is a good deal more Except for its somewhat This very like appearance.iTidian Birds 96. (F. Thus in N. 861). but this cannot be seen unless the bird be held in the This species is found all over India. 97.) : Alauda gulgula is The Indian Skylark. Q. India in winter a bird answering to this description may be either species. (F. 767).

Descriptive List of the
is

Common Birds

species soar in the

I have never seen this middle of the day, or at any time save the very early morning. This is a permanent resident and builds a nest on the ground like that o£ the common

not

my

experience.

skylark.

98. Alaudula raytal:.
lark.

The Ganges Sand-

(F.866),(J.762), (-1.) This is distinguishable from the skylark by
smaller size and
It
is

its

its

a

permanent

resident,

white under plumage. but is confined

to the sandy beds of the rivers of

N. India.

It

runs about near the edge of the water.

The Bush Larks, 99 and 100
These are distinguished by having no white
in the
tail.

They

frequently perch in bushes

or

low

trees,

whence they sometimes take
air.
:

short flights in the

99. Mirafra assamica
lark.

The Bengal Bush-

(F. 870),

Q. 754),
P.,
affinis
:

(I.)

Found
lark.

in

U.

Bengal, and Assam.

100. Mirafra
(F. 872),

The Madras BushGuindy

Found
Park.

(I.) (J. 755), in S. India. It is common in

149

Indian Bvrds
The Crested Larks, 101-103
These are readily distinguished by the sharppointed crest which projects backwards and upwards from the back of the head. They sing well and have habits very similar to those
of the skylark.
1 01.

No

white in the
:

tail.

Galerita cristata

The
is

Crested Lark.

(F. 874), (J. 769), (+1.) Punjab and U. P., where it

abundant. Very

common
(F. 87s),

at Lahore.
:

102. Galerita deva
(J.

Sykes's Crested Lark.

765), (L).

U.

P.,

Rajputana, and C.
malabarica
(F. 876), (J.

L
The Malabar 768), (+L)
:

103. Galerita

Crested Lark.

Bombay and Travancore.
The Finch-Larks, 104 and 105
These are
the
air,

easily recognised

by

their curious

habit of flying some twenty or thirty feet into

then closing

to the ground.
curious note.

their' wings and dropping As they descend they utter a

They

are

dumpy
:

little

birds

and do not look
104.

as large as their

measurements.

Ammomanes

phcenicura

The

Ru-

fous-tailed Finch-Lark.
150

(F. 877), (J. 758), (L)

Descriptive List of the

Common

Birds

A
It

dark brown bird, with" dark red on the
tail.

lower back and
is

found chiefly in Central India in BomIn Sind and the Punjab it is replaced by A. fhcenicuroides (the Desert Finch-Lark). Not found in Madras.
bay.
105. Pyrrhulauda grisea
:

The Ashy-crowned
(

Finch-Lark.

(F. 879), (J. 760),

This
being
a

is

the

common

- I.) Finch-Lark of India,

permanent resident everywhere, except the N.W. F, P., Eastern Bengal, Assam, and Burma.
Cock : Upper parts dark ashy grey. Streak through the eye and all the lower plumage
black, cheeks

and

sides of breast white, so that,

Eha points the form of a
as

out, the black
cross.

on the throat

takes

[This very unusual colour-

ing,

i.e.

darker below than above, renders the

cock easy to identify.]

Hen

:

The

parts that are black in the cock
(Illus.

are reddish brown.

B. B., p. 142.)

The
identify.

Sunbirds, or Honeysuckers, 106-108
little

These charming
parts of

birds

are

easy

to

They are the Old World counterthe humming birds of the New World.
little

The

hens are inconspicuous
151

brown

birds

Indian Birds
witli yellow

under

parts,

but the cocks wear
leaves,
etc.,

a

gay

livery.

They

build large hanging nests,
grass,

so that they look, from a hanging masses of rubbish. Close inspection shows that the nest is pearshaped, with a circular entrance at one side and a little porch over the entrance. The nests are found in gardens, being sometimes suspended from the roof of the verandah. These birds feed largely on the nectar of flowers, which they abstract by means of their long tubular tongues. In order to obtain the honey they frequently hover on rapidly- vibratlittle distance, like

composed of dried together by cobweb,

held

ing wings, like

humming

birds.
:

io6. Arachnechthra lotenia
bird.

Loten's Sun-

(F.894),(J.235),(-L) Cock : The whole plumage is dark metallic purple, looking black in some lights, but in the
sun's rays it displays a green or lilac sheen.

The

beak

is

long and curved.

Hen : Upper plumage earthy brown, lower plumage very pale yellow. Found only in S. India. Very common in Madras. (Illus. B. P., pp. 78, 82, and 90.)
107. Arachnechthra
asiatica
:

The

Purple

Sunbird.

(F.89S),(J. 234),(-I.)
152

There is crown which appears metallic lilac in some lights and emerald green in others.) Cock : From a little distance the cock like a black-and-white bird. Found visitor to I. and throat are brilliant metallic purple. Hen : ' Upper plumage earthy brown. (J. P. 232). . the Punjab and N. Arachnechthra zeylonica The Purplelooks rumped Sunbird (F. P. however. F.. its a very fine songster. reveals a many colours. F. but is only a F. The tail and wing feathers are dark brown. : frontispiece. livery of and the lower parts which has a Closer inspection.) io8. lotenia. There is a maroon collar below the throat. lower all plumage yellow. chin. and breast appear white. the upper parts black. lower parts yellow. over India. The lower plumage is bright yellow. but this smaller and its curved beak is shorter. 901). voice being as sweet as that of the canary or the pied wagtail. each of a beautiful sheen.Descriptive List of the Cock : Common Birds species It is is Yery like A. The neck and upper back are dull crimson. the lower back.1.W.. patch on the Found in all parts of India except 153 N. ( .W. summer (Illus. Hen : Upper plumage earthy brown.

. 109 unique They are about the size of a quail short tails plumage. The eyebrow is white. 40.. Very common . and I. birds. They a cheery whistling song.. B. natives call this species the its Naurang colours. 933). 80 also B. There is a patch of pale blue feathers over the tail and a patch of the same colour on the wing. Indian Birds Punjab. p. (nine colours) on account of many The crown is yelloW tinged with orange and divided in the middle by a broad black band running from the beak to the nape of the neck. (Illus. wing and tail are black There is a white bar in the 154 . S. P. and G. in B. India. where it meets a broader black band that passes below the eye.. and are characterised by their and legs and their many-coloured They feed upon the ground. The (H-) (J.) The Pittas are Pittas. 128. 62. The back and shoulders are dull bluish green. p. B. Assam. Pitta (F. F. The feathers of the tipped with blue. and Burma. when alarmed they take refuge in bushes.. p. brachyura : The Indian Pitta. 109. 345). p. but They have are never seen far from cover.

A great many woodpeckers exist in India. It is nowhere visible only during abundant.Descriptive List of the Common flight. There is a large crimson patch under the tail.. (J. Birds wing Chin and throat are white. but only two species are widely distributed. p. p. F. Not found in N. but fairly . no and in is A general description of the woodpeckers scarcely necessary. (lUus.. Liopicus : fronted Pied Woodpecker.. They are very skilled climbers. 256. common in Madras. (+1. 972). Eastern Bengal. Punjab. tapping the same with their chisel-like beak to drive their quarry from its lair. They feed exclusively on which they pick off the trunks of trees. io8 also I. uttering their peculiar harsh cries. (F. They excavate their nests in the trunks of trees.) iSS . Their powers of flight are not great. moving up and down the tree trunk in a series of jerks the head is always pointing upwards. Assam. mahrattensis The YellowI ID. D. they progress through the . F.W. air in a series of undulations. breast orange-yellow. insects.) The Woodpeckers. 160). B. P. or Burma.

speckled. it is usually seen picking insects stump or a mound. Lower back and tail black. Common in . which it constantly Not found P. (J.65. Wings black and It has golden yellow. 188).) in Assam. (Illus. The cock has in also a There patch of red on the abdomen. p. In some respects its habits are those of the woodpecker. (F.Indian Birds A spotted black-and-white bird. aU other parts of India. Brachypternus aurantius : The Golden1 backed Woodpecker. with some white spots. with is a yellow patch on the forehead. 112. 14 also B. but it rarely if ever climbs high up a off a tree tree. (F. . of black Sides of head white. hence 156 name. III. a loud screaming utters. 986). J. and mottled over plumage. 1003). F. 111.) Bright crimson crest. its streaked. lines Top of head black. Not found in Eastern Bengal and Assam. Upper back golden yellow. lynx torquilla : The Common Wrygrey - neck. with a number and streaks. addition a short red crest. caU. 80). (+1.. ( + III.) An inconspicuous brownish all bird. It has a peculiar its habit of twisting its head round. C.

which they exthick stout bills. but considerably smaller. penetrating. with a brownish a large brown patch round the eye devoid of feathers. They have loud monotonous notes. cavate with their which they repeat eternally. kutur. kutur. (III.) rich leaf -green bird. Thereiceryx zeylonicus The Common head Green Barbet. The Barhets. a but can scarcely be called bird. (J. move the head. 1008). The a perfectly circular hole. A and (F. The bird starts by uttering a harsh laugh this is followed by a long succession tur-r-r-r — of kuturs. monotonous kutur. During the latter part of the cold weather and the early part of the hot weather it makes the bagh where it occurs resound with its loud. calls of two or three They nest in holes in trees. like that leading to a woodpecker's nest. 193). so that it is not easy to locate the bird from : its call. when calling. 113. in woodentrance to the nest is pecker fashion.— Descriptive List of the It is Common Birds common a winter visitor to the plains of India. 113 and 114 Barbets are tree-haunting birds with thick bills. Barbets. '57 .

or the East \Coast of the Madras presidency. Barbet." But the coppersmith heard a is a bird that Its is rather than metal. scription I quote the following de- from Bombay Ducks : The bird " always puts me in mind of a woman who ' makes up ' very carelessly.) oHve-green bird with very gaudy colour- ing on the head. Sind. The The is legs are coral red. but on close inspection many greyish white feathers are seen to be mingled with the green ones. like the tapping of hammer on one of the most familiar This cry is heard only in the hot weather. sides of the face are pale yellow. is seen. or Coppersmith. Lower Bengal. There is a daub of crimson on the forehead and another on the throat. The build of the bird exceedingly usually coarse. 197). Rajputana. (+1. to shade who is not only exceedingly lavish of the paint. Xantholesmahesmatocephala : The Crim(F. monotonous metallic tonk. but does not understand how it off gradually. is The general colour of the bird's plumage greenish. and the warmer sounds of the Indian country-side. 114. tank. An (J. son-breasted 1019).Indian Birds Not found in Punjab. 158 . tank.

flight transforms it it is a . Coracias indica : The Indian Roller. also B. also B.. the day the more vigorously does the bird (lUus. and B. but composed of dark blue. but not in the island of Bombay. B. D. cover. uttering as it on performs weird antics a perch. as it flaps heavily along study in Oxford and Cambridge blue. p.) 159 ..— Descriptive List of the Common Birds call.. D.. P. p. or " Blue Jay. 112. (J. hot weather decayed tree." (F. 12.) This is a most familiar bird. It is found in most parts of India. and again utters a loud by a vibration of the tail. B. throat and shoulders. or. In accompanied Burma this species affinis is replaced by an allied one Coracias —the Burmese Roller. Its wings and tail are alternate broad bands of light and These organs are not very much en evidence when the bird is perched . (lUus. p. ( III. Its head and + neck. At It nests at the beginning of the in a hole in a building or a the breeding season strange hoarse cries in the air.) 115. 246. C. p. sitting it is very noisy. are the colour o£ a faded port-wine stain. 1022). B. it every now tshock. 123). 57.

117). but undergoes a conamount of local migration. it looks now green. There is some black in the tail. as the rays of the sun are reflected at different angles.Indian Birds The Bee-eaters. siderable Found aU over India. The feeding habits of these birds are like those of flycatchers. It is a summer visitor to the Punjab and N. now bronze. Merop viridis : The Common Indian Bee-eater. 160 . The eye is bright red. They excavate their nests in sandbanks. They are characterised by having the median pair of tail feathers prolonged a couple of inches beyond the others as bristles. but with turquoise rather a long tail. P. and the two median tail feathers project as bristles a couple of inches beyond the other tail feathers. that. ii6 and 117 birds Bee-eaters are brightly coloured of elegant form. 116. They make from air after insects.) An emerald-green bird with a throat. (F.. F. black necklace.W. so the bird saib along on outstretched The pinions. 1026). some perch little sallies in the The wings when spread are triangular in shape. and a black band through the eye. (I. as wings are shot with bronze. (J.

(J. 42. pMlippinus 1027).Descriptive List of the Com/nwn Birds Bombay . and is said to leave the island of in the hot weather.) Merop (F. : The Blue-tailed Bee-eater. B. Like the latter undervisitor goes partial migration.. They perch on the bands between the flooded fields and make sallies into the air after insects. the There is a broad black streak running through the eye. p. B. 64. being a to summer N. p. India and a winter visitor to S. The throat is chestnut-red. B. 1 18-120 a very birds. One sees large numbers of these birds when out snipe shooting in Madras. 116. weU-marked group of characterised by long bills nest in holes in river and short banks. but with rather a long tail.) tail is bluish. The These form piscatorial Kingfishers. 82 also B. D. 117. (lUus. General hue green. p. and G. tails.. India. shot with bronze . (II. is This species edition of a larger and less beautiful it No.. 118). L They 161 . The note is a feeble but meUow whistle. The eye is bright red. The chin is a dirty cream colour.

Sometimes it checks its fall before reaching the water. tail is The back . 1033). Q. (J. a tank. blue. like a speckled black and white It seeks its Hamburgh fowl. 1035). where it again hovers.) is This bird.Indian Birds 1 1 8. F. the dark blue the wings greenish blue. 162. Alcedo ispida fisher. The Common King134). Its is to be found in is parts of India where there a river. is bright pale blue . and flies to another part of the jhil. The sides of the head are studies in red. also I. D.. quarry by hanging in the air on rapidly vibrating wings high above the water.) Indian. there like it save its larger no other Himalayan small crest. It has a B. 136). or a the kingfisher with which we are familiar in England. Ceryle varia : The Indian Pied King- fisher. (Illus. (F.. (II. 66 . luguhris). brother (C. 162 . (HI. Suddenly its pinions and it drops like a stone into the water. which pool of water. This bird must be familiar to every Angloit is the " Pied Fish-tiger " of Sir It is Edwin Arnold.) : 119. cease quivering. but with all a very short tail. It is is impossible to mistake this bird. (F. head and nape are blue with faint black cross bars. p. p.

129). or on the river bank itself. the feet are coral-red. straight. B. without doubt 163 . are bright blue. B. (III. p. and veryit rapid when and in motion continually utters Its a peculiar whistling scream. Its flight is low. 1044).- Descriptive List of the black. tail. 144. Its The bill is is black . and the lower parts are rustyred. and breast are white. as it sits waiting for its quarry keeps raising and lowering head in the most also comical manner. with white wing bars. is The dark red. chin.) 120. p. D. (J.. The head and nape are rich chocolate brown. (F. During flight the wings dis- play a very conspicuous white band. and wings as is the abdomen. The biU and the feet bright red. impossible to mistake this flying. 102. It is bird . smyrnensis : The White breasted Kingfisher. is which emits this species. a bough overhanging the water. P. The back. The chin is whitish or cream-coloured. throat.) This beautiful bird mjjst-be familiar to every Anglo-Indian. bright a rapidly blue bird.. . neck its is very it short. and habit to perch on thence to dive obliquely into the water after its quarry. Common Birds and white. Halcyon (lUus. a loud scream.

The body only 14 inches long. D.) The Hornbills. since it it feeds largely on insects. The above commonest three kingfishers are among the birds of India. which picks off the ground in much the same way as the roller or so-called blue jay does. They are often erroneously called Toucans by Anglo-Indians. I have elsewhere described the largest of the hornbills as 4-J- follows : Dichoceros bicornis is is " nearly feet in length. (lUus. being an insignificant part of the bird. The reader difficulty in identifying them with the aid of the descriptions in the Fauna of British India. 121 and 122 in These include some of the strangest forms nature. a mere connecting link between the massive beak and the great loosely inserted 164 .. Indian Birds It is often found far from water. 4. P. B. Toucans do not HornbiUs are characterised occur in India. There are several other species of more restricted distribution but as these are only not included them in should experience no common this locally. p.. 104 . by the enormous development of. p.. the bill. I have work. also B.

. which causes the bird to look as though it were wearing a hat. 140. Thus the hen remains a voluntary prisoner until the young are ready to leave the nest. foot long." The nesting habits of these They nestle in holes in trees. and so cannot be called common birds. Q. The eye is red. the cock bringing food to her. with the tail a (F. The great majority of hornbiUs are confined to the. (IV. large forests. the enis plastered up by the cock and hen until the orifice is only just large enough to allow of the insertion of the beak. 144).) i6s . and it rendered more conspicuous than would otherwise be by a structure known as a casque. Lo-phoceros birostris : The Common but Grey HornbiU. which it had placed for a joke on its beak rather than its head. however. are more widely distributed. When the eggs trance to which hen goes into the hole. p. is Common Birds The beak is nearly a foot in length. F. and the upper lid is fringed with eyelashes which add stiU further is a to the oddity of the bird's appearance. III. Two of the smaller species. (lUus.) 121.Descriptive List of the tail. This horny excrescence nearly as large as the biU. 1062). are laid the birds are curious.

which has a small casque or excrescence on top. (F. as I have seen it in Lahore. Blanford wanting in the Punjab. 1063). darkest on the sides of the head and palest on the lower parts. Eha does not mention it in his common Birds of Bombay. nor does it appear to be found in the neighbourhood of Calcutta. but it lacks the casque. which ordinarily projects from the back of the head and looks like a terised 166 . is a tree-haunting species. Its flight is Its cry is very characteristic. consisting o£ " alternate flappings and saiUngs. The Hoopes. laboured.) This is very like 121. (J. It is the common hornbill of the West Coast. This species states that it is is common in Oudh. 123 Hoopoes are ground-feeding birds. (IV. is blackish and 4 inches long." like that of the tree-pie. but with tail 9 inches long.Indian Birds A The It large brownish-grey bird. 145). biU. This is not correct. Lo-phoceros griseus : The Malabar Grey Hornbill. characby their long slightly curved bill and conspicuous crest. 122. I have not observed it in the vicinity of Madras.

167 . the wings form the arc of a circle as it dashes through the air. and the legs are very The feathers of the crest have black short. 123. 124 and 125 These birds are frequently confounded with swallows (q. 1067). Many species visit India. 1073). The is 2i inches long. (in-) Head and body fawn-coloured.v.) blackish bird. p. Cypselus common birds. (F. Upupa indica : The Indian Hoopoe. tail Wings and white with very broad black bars. Hoopoes nest in holes in trees or in the walls of buildings. (lUus.1. It never perches. B. The note is a soft ilk —ak— Hk. (J. When it wishes to rest it repairs to its nest.). (. A (F. affinis : The Common Indian Swift. which is back. 140.) The Swifts. rapidly repeated. 100). beak tips.Descriptive List of the Comrmm Birds backward continuation of the beak When the bird is disturbed and when it flies the crest is expanded like a fan. D. Almost every lawn in India forms the feeding-ground for at least one pair of hoopoes. but only two are really 124. (J. with a white bar across the which flies with great velocity . 255)..

Indian Birds
a saucer-shaped structure

made

of

of straw, feathers,

etc.,

usually fixed

mud, bits on to a

wall under an eave, sometimes in a deserted

temple or mosque.
(F. 1075), (J. 102),

(Illus.

125. Tachornisbatassiensis

B, B., p. 35.) : The Palm-swift.
Its habits are like
its flight is less

(-

1.)

A
swift
trees.

brownish-black bird.

those of No. 124, except that

and

it is

rarely

It attaches its
leaf,

found away from palm nest to the under side

of a

palm

or a betel-nut leaf.

The Nightjars, 126 and 127
These
birds

are

very nocturnal in

their
of

habits, so, like the heroine of

The Diary
seen.

a

Bad Girl, they are heard and not They are characterised by the

large

mouth,

which enables them to secure their insect quarry while they are on the wing. They usually lie up during the day on the ground in

some secluded

spot.
:

126. Caprimulgus asiaticus

The Common
(F.

Indian Nightjar, or Goatsucker.

1091),

a-

112).

(+"•)

parts greyish brown, lower parts brown, every feather being marked by reddish a number of narrow blackish cross bars.
168

Upper

Descriptive List of the

Common

Birds

The voice of this bird must be familiar to many residents in India, it sounds like a stone
skimming over
ice-bird.
ice,

and hence

is

known

as

the

127. Caprimulgus

macrurus

:

Horsfield's

Nightjar.

(F. 1093), (J.

no), (+III.)
Its chuk, chuk,

A large edition
chuk
is

of No. 126.

not unHke the sound made by tapping

a plank

with

a

hammer.

The Cuckoos,

1

28-1 31

parasitic

This large family falls into two classes the and the non-parasitic both classes

being represented in India.

The European cuckoo
the Himalayas, but
is

is

very abundant in

rarely seen or heard in

the plains.
128. Hierococcyx

varius

:

The Common
(-III, but with
with the

Hawk-Cuckoo
Indians.
a tail (F.

—the Brain-fever bird of Anglo1
is

6

109), (J. 205), inches long.)

Every Anglo-Indian
crescendo shriek

familiar

fever of this bird, which is reiterated with such " damnable persistency " at the beginning of the hot weather. This bird is exceed169

—brain-fever,

brain-fever, brain-

Indian Birds
ingly
less

common

in the

United Provinces,

It

is

abundant in other parts of India. It does not appear to occur west of Umballa ; I never heard it in Madras, and it does not seem to occur
in the island of miss
it

Bombay.
does occur.
It
is

It

is

impossible to
is

where
its

it

There

no mishaving

taking

note.

a

greyish-brown bird
very hawk-like
Sisters

with whitish under
darker cross bars.

parts, each feather

The

bird

is

in appearance, hence its
It
is

parasitic

name. on " The Seven
(Illus.
:

" and

other kinds of babblers.

B.

C,

p. 95.)

129. Coccystes jacohinus

The

Piedrcrested

Cuckoo. Known to Europeans in Upper India as the Rainy-weather Bird. (F. 1118), (J. 212), (+11, but with a tail over 6 inches long.) Upper plumage glossy black, with a broad white wing-bar, and white tips to the tail
feathers.

The

chin, throat,

and under parts
the

are white.

A

conspicuous black crest.
is

This species

very

common " on

Bom-

bay side." Numbers the rains, and announce their presence by loud
visit Northern India in

high-pitched
It
is

cries.

parasitic

on various

species of babblers.

(Illus.

B. B., p. S3.) 130. Eudynamis honorata
170

:

The Indian

Koel,

Descriptiiie List

of the

Common

Birds

sometimes wrongly called (e.g. in The Common Birds of Bombay) the Brain-fever Bird. (F. 1 120), (III, but with a tail 8 inches (J. 214),
long.)

Cock : A glossy black bird with a green bill and crimson eye. As he flies he looks like a slenderly built crow with an unusually long
tail.

Hen
This
is

:

A

brown

bird, spotted

and barred

all

over with white.

Bill and eye as in cock. an exceedingly noisy bird, and is most vociferous at dawn. It has three distinct calls.

The commonest
KU-iL,

is

a crescendo:

ku-il, ku-il,
is

whence
is

its

name. Another call

ku-y-o.

The

third

a torrent of kekaree, kekarees.
also B.

(Illus.

B. D., pp. 218 and 220;
parasitic

C,

p. 92.) It
is

on crows.
:

131. Centropus sinensis
cal,
(

The Common Cou(F.

or Crow-Pheasant.

1130),

(J.

217),

- IV, but with

a tail 10 inches long.)

A
tail
it

grfeat

black fowl with chestnut-red wings.

It feeds largely

on the ground, and its long sometimes causes the " griff " to mistake
at
at

for a pheasant.
Its call,

which is heard day, but more especially
171

aU times of the dawn, is a low,

)

Indian Birds
loud, sonorous whoot, whoot, whoot, the kind of
call

that one associates with an owl.
is

It

nest

in

not parasitic, but builds a large domed the innermost recesses of a dense
(lUus. I.F., p. 80.
[Illustration not

thicket.
a

good one.]

The Green

Parrots,

132-134

Every dweller in India must be familiar with
these noisy birds, both in the captive and the

wild state.

They go about

in small flocks,

looking like "live emeralds in the sun," and
uttering loud screams and harsh
cries.

During

flight they turn from side to side " like badly balanced arrows." They nestle in holes in

trees or buildings.

Three

species are to

be numbered among the
:

common
132.

birds of India.
ne-palensis

Palceornis

The
tail

Alexan11 35),

drine or Large Indian Paroquet.
(J.

(F.

147), (+III, but with a

over a foot

long.)

A beautiful grass-green
in the tail

bird,

with some blue

and
a

a red

The
bill

cock has

patch on each shoulder. rose-coloured collar round the
is

back of his neck, which

connected with the

on each side by

a black stripe.
17a

Descriptwe List of the

Common

Birds

Found

in

N. and C.

India.

Very common
Rose-ringed

in the Punjab.

133. Palaornis torquatus

:

The
148),

Paroquet.

(F.

1138),

(J.

(-III, but

with

a tail

10 inches long.)

A

small edition of No. 132, but lacks the

red patch on the shoulders.

The commonest
found
p. 18
;

of the green parrots, and
(Illus.

all

over the plains of India.

B. P.,

also I. F., p. 220.)
:

134. Palaornis cyanocephalus

The Western

Blossom-headed Paroquet. (F. 11 39), (J. 149), (II, but with a tail over 8 inches long.) Cock : General colour bright grass-green. The head is red, tinged with blue, as Blanford says, like the bloom on a plum. There is a red patch on the shoulders, as in the case of No. 132. The median tail feathers are pale
blue.

Hen
head

:

Differs

from the cock

in that the

is

duUer, being of a grey rather than a
in

red hue.

Not found

N.W.

F. P. or the Punjab.
in

Commoner

in

South than

North

India.

173

Indian Birds
The Owls, 135-139

Owls form a well-marked natural order It is easy enough to recognise an owl when one sees one, but not easy to say to what species
it

belongs, because

all

owls bear a strong re-

semblance to one another
the same colour
bars or drops.

—reddish

all

are of

much
crea-

brown with darker
all

Moreover, they are

tures of the night, so, save with one exception,

are not

much en
is

evidence in the daytime.
little

This

exception
(F.

that

clown, the spotted owlet.
:

135. Athene
1

hrama
;

The Spotted

Owlet.

180), (J. 76), (II.)

A
with
It

small owl

upper plumage earthy brown

or grey in colour, copiously spotted and barred
whjite.

Lower plumage white with dark

spots and cross bars. comes out long before sunset and pours forth a volley of chuckles and squeaks two
;

brown

of these individuals often shouting at once.

When
as

it

catches sight of a

human

being

it

stares at

him with

its

bright golden orbs and,

No

observes, bows with sarcastic effect. one who has dwelt any length of time in India can fail to have remarked this very noisy

Eha

little

owl.

It nests in holes of trees or in the
174

Like most other owls 175 it is heard . B.(+I.) This is a reddish-brown bird barred with narrow white and black bars. is can be classed species.74). 29) 136. however. as a familiar bird. up during the day often flushed by sportsmen.) over with dark in grass. (F. 94. 1173). B. 138. a winter visitor to India. P. A is large buff bird barred It lies brown. (J.. p. iiS7). It is very nocturnal in its habits . when it does get abroad in the daytime it is promptly of mobbed by the crows. (F. B. (F. 256 Three other namely B. 60). : \y].: Descriptive List of the walls o£ bungalows.) This may be distinguished from the spotted " owlet by the fact that it possesses " horns or ear-tufts. and seen. and evil it is Its cry is a weird screech. which is white. It has a long heart-shaped face. Asio The all Short-eared Owl. D. p. p. and Sometimes It is three or four are flushed together. Scops giu : The Scops Owl. (J. often also (lUus. (+IV. (IV. Strix flammea : The Barn Owl or Screech Owl. Cmnmon Birds the only owl which This are ..a-68). as a bird regarded by the people accipitrinus omen. 1152).

(-V. the Punjab.4o). (F. is who have camped is which repeated monotonously at regular intervals of about ten seconds. Pandion haliaStus : Bombay. (-II. : 139. (J. The Osprey. but distinguishable its from the kite by the fact that head and neck are white. and call has a peculiar protracted familiar to those It does who have camped in which must be the U. P. 1 is This owl 184). the Deccan. Glaucidium radiatum The Jungle Owlet. Its note. ii89). Like the pied kingfisher the great bird poises itself in the air on quivering wings high above the easier When water.a. save for a broad dark band which runs from the eye down the side of the neck. Suddenly its wings close and it drops down like a falling stone the water with a second or two later with a fish in its talons. nothing is than to identify the osprey. which must in India.) This looks very like a kite is when seen as it perches on a stone. seeking for food.) very like 135 in appearance. In the cold weather the osprey is to be seen 176 and disappears into huge splash. F.Indian Birds more often than be familiar to a single hoot.. not appear to occur in the N. or 140. P. however. 78). to emerge a .W. (F. all seen.

Rare in the Punjab and Sind. black bird with a red head. (+V. they. 141-145 are huge birds of prey which feed excarrion. Gyps indicus : The 177 Indian Long-billed M . 142.Descriptive List of the in Common Birds jhils most places where there are large or backwaters. A large bird of prey is with bare head and neck vulture. too. Black or Pon(J. Otogyps calvus The 1191). (F. other birds of prey remain for long periods on the wing . but they do not HteraUy hang in the air as the vultures do. nearly twice the size of the kite. as everyone knows. As these latter float in the air it will be observed that their wings project floating straight out at right angles to the body. 2). on fact They are distinguished by the that their head and neck are destitute of feathers. stay for hours on outstretched wings high up in the Kites and air. undoubtedly a Vultures. The These clusively Vultures. dicherry Vulture. looking out for dead animals.) A coat. a white waist- and a white patch on each thigh. The commonest species of vulture are : : 141. can sail and soar.

6). (V. except the tips of the wings. 144. 9. is It very dark grey. 178 which are shabby The neck covered . Not found in Sind. It is about the size of a kite. Pseiidogyfs the hue varying bengalensis : The Indian 5). (+V. is The naked head rather lighter than the rest of the body. (J. (F." description of the bird from Bombay Ducks: " There is no other creature like unto it. p. in length. is The lower back white. over . (J. (F. Neophron B. black. and this during fligjit is visible as a broad white band that runs from the body nearly to the tip of the wing. some white in the wings. (+V.) This is the commonest vulture in India. almost black. 1 197). White Scavenger Vulture.) ginginianus : The Smaller (Illus. B. Between 141 and 142 in size. White-backed Vulture. Its plumage is is dirty white. 1196). Thus the wing from below appears to be white with very broad black edges.) (F.Indian Birds Vulture. (J. 4). 1194). and this makes the It has bird easy to identify.) This familiar creature I have named " The I reproduce the ugliest bird in the world. 143.. a yard Uniform brownish grey with individuals.

or Large White Scavenger Vulture. 278 and 280. It is also called Pharaoh's Chicken. which hairs of a schoolboy. (Illus. This species : is : 145. and frequently assume a rusty hue.." Young scavenger vultures are sooty brown when they leave the nest and look like a different species.' . The under parts of its wings appear pure white in the sunlight. 6). dirtier-looking naked face and its It does not stand upright like the true vultures.Descriptive List of the Corrvrmm Birds with feathers. stick out like the back These are. and when seen on the wing looks quite a respectable bird. (J.) In the Punjab it is replaced by a species which resembles only in being a it in all characters. if possible. so are its legs. It is known to Thomas Atkins as the Shawk.) 179 . differing little larger. .. II. finish. 98). pp. It is a good flier. (+V. As ' Eha ' remajrks : ' . and the black border gives them a Its bill is yellow. B. This creature feeds on human ordure and haunts the neighbourhood of latrines. rather than the rest of the plumage. (F. D. Neo-phron percno-pterus The Egyptian Vulture. but carries its body like a duck and steps like a recruit.

For my part I am able merely to attempt 180 a description of two or three of the very commonest forms. " at the best a short road to despair. Naturalists learn to recognise them as David's ' watchman recogtidings of the is like nised the courier who brought victory over Absalom. I am not in I trust that before long Mr. C." is What most precisely this something cases able to state. the son of Zadok. to use the words of Eha. or some other Indian falconer. will give us a little handbook on the birds of prey of this country.' Every bird of prey has its own character. birds of prey are easily recognised as such. Donald. 146-162 is This large family composed of birds which it is bear so strong a family likeness that impossible to describe almost them in such a way as to enable the reader to identify them at sight. His running the running of Ahimaaz. H.Indian Birds 7he Birds of Prey. As with the species baffles owls. some trick of flight. . To try to make out the raptores by their colour is. something in its figure and proportions which serves to distinguish it decisively. but to name any particular even professed ornithologists.

spending the morning in this way. 1220). (F. (J. 29). (+V. (F.) this bird is very like the a tail . and if you cannot get near enough to make this out with the aid of field glasses. (IV. A bird that is looks like a kite with feathered legs probably tawny eagle the commonest eagle in India. you see a biggish.Descriptive List of the 146. 48). you may put it down as Butastur or even a fat grasshopper.) This bird of prey is about the size of the common house crow. Aquila vindhiana : Common The Indian Birds Tawny Eagle. of a sandy brown colour. abundant everywhere save on the Malabar 147. In colouring kite. more or less dashed with whitish. The White-eyed Buz- zard. " A Buzzard's idea of life small tree land. Butastur teesa : — coast. common are is but has not so long and its legs feathered right down to the toe — this the sign-manual of a all the true eagles. or on top of a commanding a good expanse of grass and to watch for a field mouse. is to sit upon a pole. (J." is The sign-manual of this common bird its white eye. you may still identify this species by the conspicuous white patch on the nape of the neck. 1203). or a lizard. If teesa. untidy hawk. 181 . Eha writes.

and throat. H. India ." (4 inches wide) across the Not found in S. (+V nearly half as big again the kite. as (J. bellied Sea-Eagle.Indian Birds Very common south. H. and on this account Jerdon calls it " The Ring-tailed Fish Eagle. This is the sign-manual of this species. and though he himself may his only appear a wee speck in the heavens. " All the fish-eagles. call will be distinctly heard. 42). and each and all seem to love hearing their own voices. a larger than the Head. 1224).broad white band tail. and a .) A chin. rare in the Pallas's Fishing . neck. 182 and nearly the . Eagle. India. 1223). Donald in The Indian Field. 148. about three inches from the tip. lower parts. "have loud resonant calls. large brown bird with whitish forehead. (V. anything but melodious. particu- when soaring. 149. HaliaStus leucoryfhus : in N. . and an inland rather than a seashore bird." is This bird frequents rivers and marshes." writes C. HaliaStus leucogaster : The White(J. little (F. (F. kite. leucoryphus in the plains of the Punjab may often be heard long before he larly is seen.) 43).

P. 183 . 148 and 150 by having the lower parts white instead of brown. 150. of which the middle feathers are considerably longer than the outer ones. This species is very seldom seen inland." This is a very noisy species. and the U. and is easily distinguished from Nos.) (F. glancing around with his bold black eyes. owing to the brilliant contrast of the snowy whiteness of the head and under surface. and with all his beautiful plumage gleaming in the bright sunlight. Jerdon caUs this species the Grey-backed Sea-Eagle. as a kite. By this character and by its loud cries may this bird be identified. half as big again A large brown bird with a white tail. with the deep ashy tints of the wings and back. (+V. other parts dark grey or brown. It is only a winter visitor to India to the Punjab. especially at the breeding season. Halia'dtus albicilla : The White-tailed Sea-Eagle. 1225). Col. Cunningham describes this species as " one of the most splendid of large raptorial birds.Descriptive List of the Gomrnxm Birds whole of the tail white . — Sind. There are few more striking objects than one of them as he sits on a bare branch overhanging a tidal channel.

(F.) the birds of prey this iti perhaps the state. p. 1229). This species is rare in the Punjab. (Illus. neck. a sportsman. The young are very like the common kite in appearance.Indian Birds 151. carries ofE a snipe that has swoops down and been shot by 152. almost maroon. p. Kite.) : The Pale Harrier. 1233). and upper black. the shaft of each white feather being The remainder of the plumage a rich chestnut. (V.. B. : The Brahminy is Kite. His long tail. D. Of all Q. The Common Pariah 56). SI). but may be distinguished when on the wing by the fact that the tail of the Brahminy is always rounded.) : Milvus govinda (J. 55).) 184 .. 148. (+IV. (J. 1228). B. slightly forked at the tip. D. while that of the kite is more or less forked. P. 153. abdomen is white. Circus macrurus (Illus. (-V.. Its cry is a peculiar squeaking wail.) Description of this ubiquitous bird is unnecessary. (F. easiest to identify its adult The are head. p. suffices to distinguish all him at a glance from . 182 also B. Haliastur Indus (F. common In Madras it sometimes everywhere else. breast. 190. other raptorial birds.

) 156. : Gormnon Birds Montagu's Harrier.) This is one of the most familiar birds of prey. 23). They are striking-looking birds with long wings.(-V. be The ordinary man will doubtless satisfied to call them all harriers. Circus ceruginosus : The Marsh Harrier. and are not seen in towns. ' (F. Q. (F-i235). 157. 1236). 158.weather visitors to India. They are larger than crows and smaller than level of the kites.(-V.S4). the hens are so alike that to distinI shall guish them is no easy matter. or even a small bird. an insect.) although as.a. Q. i237). 53). it may be possible to tell the male birds apart.(J-5o). B. B.. (+IV.) : 155. i8s . Circus cyaneus The Hen Harrier. : The Pied Har(+ IV. 52). a ground. only a few inches above the lizard. but those who shoot must be familiar with them. They hunt over fields and marshes. 15. Circus cineraceus (F. ever on the look out for a mouse. (+III. Harriers are cold. (F. (Illus. Astur badius : p. They fly low. (F.) (J. not attempt to describe these birds.) The Shikra.Descriptive List of the 154.12 44). Circus melanoleucus rier. 1234).

158 in habits and however. upper plumage is ashy grey. (+III. B. very It legs. B. with broad black cross bars. Its note is a sharp double whistle. Accifiter nisus (F. but. The eye bright yellow.) of falcon occur in India. quarry in the neighbourhood of Its method quail is to make a short quick dash. The with tail is of the same hue. : The Laggar Falcon. is to India. very like Bird in appearance. : The Sparrow-Hawk. 1247). of thin number is wavy white is cross bars. Falco (Illus. (J- (+ni. p. (F. p.) jugger I. 1257). appearance. 21.. a The breast is pale rust colour. 159. 160. No. the commonest. D. 84 also B. It looks like a large sparrow- . as It is the cere or base the Brain-fever its of the beak. a cold-weather visitor Q. 24)..I). Several species This one It is is. It often hunts for trees. characterised by is having long its It bolder and swifter in . Natives of India very frequently train this bird to hawk and mynas.) This species. I think. all a brownish bird barred and spotted 186 over with white.Indian Birds It is considerably smaller than the Its common house crow. movements. is which like is.

and every now and then hovers on rapidly vibrating wings over some spot where it thinks If there it espies some lizard or other animal. and tail grey. Msalon chicquera : The Turumti. 1265). otherwise it passes on and hovers elsewhere." (+III. (F. and sparrow-hawks light-eyed hawks. back and wings brick-red. 17). 162. Descriptive List of the Common Birds hawk with long pointed wings. (J. eyes are dark. or Red-headed Merlin. 1264). (+III. neck.) (F. But it does not make one dash at its prey after the manner of the sparrow-hawk .) Head and a stripe on the cheek chestnut. (J. Lower parts cream-coloured spotted with brown. It flies over the ppen country. The red back makes the bird easy to identify. 187 . Back and tail grey barred with dark brown . under parts whitish with black streaks and bars. This species lives largely on small birds and often hunts in couples. Head.. Natives call falcons dark-eyed hawks. It is a winter visitor to the plains of India. linnunculuS alaudaris : The Kestrel th6 English " Windhover. as does its its method of hunting quarry. i6i. it is a strong flier and settles Its down to a long chase in the open country. is an animal there it drops quietly on it. 16).

U. (J. (J. It is a bluish-grey is the common Kabutar. (F. (+III. These beautiful birds are They go about closely in small companies.Indian Birds 7 he Green Pigeons. tail A species. ( + III. Columba intermedia : The Indian Blue Rock Pigeon.) Head. 1292). They feed exclusively : on fruit.) seems scarcely deserving of specific rank. 788). It (F.) This familiar bird scarcely needs description. P. U. colour) with two broad black bird (light slate 188 . 1271).. 772). 164. This is (F. Legs orange-yeUow. P. Found in the Eastern Punjab. 163. 1272). In the Punjab. (J. and yellow bar on the wing.. (+11. It differs only in having the lower breast green instead of grey. 163 that 773). so like No. Crocofus chlorogaster : The Southern it Green Pigeon. Some lilac and a breast. Crocopus 'phoenico'pterus The Bengal Green Pigeon. and the whole of the peninsula of India is found the next bright yellowish-green bird. lower dove colour. 165. and Bengal. 163-164 strictly arboreal. but so do they assimilate in colour to their is leafy surroundings that it difficult to make them out.

Madras. sides of the A The neck are black with a number pairs of small white spots. (J. 1307). The four commonly seen in India are : species most 166. Common Birds tip of the tail is The black. very common in Travancore. 795). Tirhoot. It is of dove this is widely distributed. of tail feathers are tips. or in the Deccan. : The Spotted Dove. (III. and Lucknow. The two median Its brown. In the Punjab this species meets an allied form Columba livia distinguished by the fact that its is — lower back white instead of slaty grey.— Descriptive List of the bars across the wing. and the others black with white note is a plaintive cUkoo-coo-coo.) reddish-grey bird. so that a general description of them is unnecessary. 166-169 Every one is well acquainted with these familiar birds. Turtur suratensis (F. but its very capricious in Calcutta. but does not occur at Lahore. Like the species is other three species distribution. legs red. 189 . Bombay. The Doves. Found which is all over India.

which This pretty little : the natural history books a faded claret stain call ' vinaceous. It is distinguishable from Nos. building on the rolled-up chiks. neck.) 167. also B. but absent in Lower Bengal and the Malabar coast. and tinged on the head. i . passing into slaty grey on the wings and tail. Turtur The Indian Ring Dove. and B.. risorius : 168. D. doves by black tippet. 123. Its call is soft. (Illus. 794). (F. and breast with that tender tint peculiar to doves. (J. Bombay. (J. 1309). C... It is common in the Punjab. The feet are red. Eha thus describes it " Of an earthy brown colour. (-III. This dove is capriciously distributed. 1 3 10).' like on the tablecloth. : p. 796). P. (-MIL) This bird is a light French grey. musical cuk-cuk-coo-coo-coo. (F..) Brown Dove. p. IV. 166 and 167 by its paler hue and by the possession of a black collar with 190 . midway between the bulbul and myna in size." composed of quite a little tune — subdued. is On each side of the neck there a miniature chess- board in red and black. Turtur cambayensis The Little dove often nests in the verandah. U. p.a Indian Birds It is easily its distinguished from the other F. 8. Deccan.

and reddish wings. It note It is is common ku-ku kn. as in The Sand Grouse This family seems to form a connecting link They between the pigeons and the gallinaceous birds. 1311). The cock a grey bird with a black collar round the back of his neck. certainly India. not common in most parts of South It is remarkable in that the cock and is hen differ in appearance. resident. but not on the West Coast.Descriptive List of a t?ie Common Birds narrow white border round the back o£ the Its is neck. (J. a — P. are characterised by having feathered 191 . The hen lacks the red on the wing. (F. The note is harsh and sepulchral. in the Punjab. Deccan. and as it is a not nearly so abundant the other three species. The legs are not red the othef common doves. (Enopopelia The Red is Turtle Dove. In the U.. 797). tranquebarica : 169. is permanent but in It the Punjab merely a summer emigrant. more like a grunt than a coo. (11. found in Assam and S.) This is the smallest of the doves. and the India on the East. U. nor in Lower Bengal. P.

53. They are game to in The and reader is therefore referred Marshall Hume's standard plates book.. As you walk along you suddenly hear a rustling noise almost at 192 . puts up a common quail.Indian Birds legs. however.) Description of a cat. 1324). 47. They birds. 43. (F. G. 803). I. which there are coloured of the various species. Since. are of familiar bird is un- necessary. like the miau known all men. being game birds. The Quails These. are coloured so as to assimilate closely to their sandy surroundings. (+V. 53-63 of Vol. 59. 65. 69. The order is treated of on pp. one sometimes. do not come within the scope of the present work. I will briefly describe the bird. of the Bird Volumes of The Fauna of British India series. referred to The reader is Hume and Marshall and the Bird Volumes of The Fauna of British India series for accounts of them. 57. with this its a long train in the cock. but it and to loud call. pp. IV. in the course of a walk in the cold weather. Pavo cristati^s (J. I. (Illus.) 170. : The Common Peafowl. 77.

818). After a flight of twenty or thirty yards the bird drops into the corn likely to see of —that is all you are it the quail unless you shoot or or net it. II.Descriptive List of the Common Birds your feet. (J. and so scope of this book. Coturnix communis: The tail. 829).) The N cock a handsome black 193 bird. describe two common species.) Common Grey Quail. I. bird much spotted and barred with length of the back. (J. G. (F. but with a very short A brown black. 1355). lie outside the however.I33-) T^he Partridges These are game briefly birds. having some white streaks along the Short legs. (+11. and before you can say " Jack Robinson " a small brown bird has arisen with a flutter and dashed off a few inches over the tops of the heads of corn in the adjacent field. 171. (F. (+III. (lUus. I will. FrancoUnus vulgaris ridge.. with . 172. 1372). A winter visitor to India. whose calls are to be numbered among the commonest sounds : heard in the jungle. P. or The Black Part- Common is Francolin.

shrill. found in N. quickly repeated.. p. Its most places cry as is a curious harsh crow. ringing cries. " Juk-juk. not unaptly. in The is sides of the a The hen is reddish brown where the cock is black. It is uttered early in the morning and again at sunset. India." the U. tee-tee-tur. and has. each . so high- pitched beings. and there broad chestnut collar all round the neck. I. 822)." Blanford as.) Francolinus pondicerianus : The Grey (F. pateela. The loud call of this bird must be familiar to most Anglo-Indians. and cbntinuing with a succession of trisyllabic. (J. Partridge.) all A greyish-brown bird marked over with thin white or buff cross bars. 9. G. (+III.Indian Birds everywhere narrow bars of white or grey. head are white. 173." Jerdon says of this species : " Its call is a peculiar. been compared to the word Pateela-pateelabut preceded by a single note uttered two or three 194 times. 1375). II. teri kudrat. to be inaudible to some human declare that Indian calls Muhammedans the bird It syllabises it is " Sub-hdn. P. loud shrill cry. most abundantly in (lUus. Blanford describes it as " beginning with two or three single harsh notes.

the key-note of and does not.) This species runs very fast. II.Descriptive List of the time with Common Birds till it a higher intonation." (Illus. (IV. 51. " It is. 1404). (J. hoarse. and always makes for cover the moment it thinks it is being watched. Porphyria poliocephalus The Purple Moorhen.) 195 (F. tail. The Rails. must be familiar to most the people in India. . (J. pre- dominating in the evening and morning over cries of the other waders and the ducks in the village tank. or Purple Coot. almost black. as it were. reiterated call. throat. 902). skulker. 1401). p. ( + 11. 907). but plate not a good one. iy^-iy6 174. its loud. (F. having near it some bamboos or rushes there It is a great is one likely to see a water-hen. 173. B." gets. with a The under which is carried almost erect. (I. G. take to its wings unless flushed." as Blanford remarks.. as a rule.) : 175. p. Amaurornis phoenicurus : The Whitebreasted Water-hen. its call. and breast. " an excessively noisy white face. B. parts of the bird .) A dark slaty-grey bird. Wherever there is a pond are chestnut red.

its shining black plumage and its white bill and shield on the forehead serve to differMoreover. entiate it from all Indian ducks. but its toes are pinnate.903). 1405). . are not provided assist it webbed. 176. with flattened membranes which Its bill is not so flat in swimming. as It does not usually keep in flocks It does not Its feet as a ducks do. Fulica atra The Coot. (IV. and indeed is very frequently shot and eaten as a duck by inexperienced sportsmen. swim so high in the water duck. It breeds in India. it experiences It runs along the surface of the water for a few feet with vigorous flappings of the wings splashing before it and much itself succeeds in lifting out of the water. difficulty in starting to fly. none other like One frequently comes across : There when out shooting. However. unto it in India. impossible to naistake this bird. 196 as that of a duck. It is is white patch under it its tail. (F. i. The bill is red. when some disturbed on the water. a.) This is the most duck-like of all the rails. as is a square shield It has which the bird carries on its forehead.Indian Birds A red a beautiful purple-blue bird with very long legs.e.

legs are black. rest a loud. India. but rare in the south. and there a square. Its of the head. which have three in colour.) This bird is is the coolung of sportsmen. 197 . tall. in It is fairly common It is N. (Illus. lyy-iyt) Cranes are large..Descriptive List of the Common Birds The Cranes. (J. III. trumpet-like The grey- common Indian species are chiefly They never perch in trees. usually seen in flocks. Crane. 21. : like that of a flight of geese. (F. It is a winter visitor to India. Grus communis (F. Grus antigone : The Sarus. 865). (-I-V. about twice the Its size of a kite. 1409). dark red patch of skin across the back It has a broad white band running down each side of the long neck. which spend the middle of the day on sandbanks in the middle of rivers. I. 177. The Common 1407). but and nest on the ground. Its head is almost devoid of feathers. When they fly they carry the neck and feet stretched out straight. p.) 178. long-shanked birds call. When they fly in company the flight takes a V-shaped form. G. is general colour dark French grey.

permanent good.. but plate is not resident. I. I. (J. not soar high It is in the air. A light grey bird. The smallest of the cranes. but does not appear to occur south of the Godaveri. Its head is throat and a ring round Its head and neck are red. (+V.863). It It is is the most familiar of the Indian cranes. and stands nearly as high as a human being. It does usually seen in pairs. and will sometimes allow a human being to approach within thirty yards of it. It is far more confidential than the other species of crane. like the other a two species. (F. Its legs are dull red. the nape are black. This is the largest of the Indian cranes. (lUus. Behind the eye is a streak of white feathers which ends in a long graceful white plume. III. the Hindustani name for it is Karkarra. (+V. Anthrofoides virgo : The Demoiselle Crane. 1411).) Its general hue is devoid of feathers. 866).) 179.) sometimes wrongly called coolung by sportsmen . with a black face and neck and some black in the wings. Its French grey. p. G. Its note is harsher This bird is 198 .iThdian Birds G.

F. It cranes. or Stone-Plover. 31. It is feather having shaft. Guzerat. I. habits are like those of (lUus. G. and Kattiin other parts of less common N. India. and is known to Anglo-Indian sportsmen as the Bustard- Florican.) 180. 199 . i. Its rare in Lower Bengal and No. is is very common war and p. . pp. that of the curlew. IV. also G. 18. It frequents dry. lew. each blackish streak down the Its wings and tail have some black and white bars. 184. 859). 7. 1418). in the Deccan. a an ashy -brown bird. which are conspicuous when the bird Its flies. 3. S. p. (+IV. wild-sounding cry. eyes.Descriptive List of the Common Birds and It less trumpet-like than those of the other a winter visitor to India. (lUus. L. open. The is bill. which is often heard at night. India." and so none of them are treated of in this book.) The Bustards These come within the category of " game birds.. like and feet are yellow.. 177. I. (Edicnemus scolo-pax : The Stone-Cur(F. III. (J. stony country. or Thick-knee.) This bird is very like a bustard.

A conspicuous white eyebrow.) Head. 1428)." 182. " They present. which becomes particularly conspicuous when the legs are dropped just before the bird pitches on the surface of the weeds and expands its toes. Rare in Western India . odd appearance on the wing. (IV. i8i and 182 toes. 901). which have been gathered up into a bundle during flight. but a tail a foot in length in the breeding season. neck. common in the east. (J.Indian Birds The Jasanas. (J. 900)." writes Cunningham. but the general hue of these is a metallic greenish bronze. large 181. Hydrophasianus chirurgus ant-tailed Jagana. (F.) Winter plumage : Upper parts brown. : The Pheas- with (F. Meto-pidittsindicus: The Bronze-winged (-IV. with . and breast a beautiful glossy black. " an Jasana. There is some black in the wings. The lower back and tail are chestnut red. These remarkable birds have very long which enable them to run about on the floating leaves of water plants. 1429). owing to the disproportionate size of their feet.

855). and hardly equalled in this respect Its peculiar wailing cry has by any bird whatever. except the two median ones. 183 and 184 tled The Red. save the head. in the summer) rather like a silver pheasant. mind " the most Finn says that beautiful of all it is our smaller aquatic birds. 1431).e. Lower parts white with a black gorget across the breast. in its It is a beautiful creature to his summer splendour. There 183. which and the back of the neck. throat. Tail feathers white. Europeans call it golden yellow. (+IV. Wings black and white. are white. which is This Ja^ana looks in breeding plumage (i. and upper breast black. Breeding plumage like tail is : A long black pheasant- assumed.Descriptive List of the Cmnmon Birds a conspicuous white eyebrow and a yellow band down each side of the neck. which are brown. the water-pheasant. Sarcogrammus indicus 201 . and the other parts are black. and wings. and. Q." Head.) This is the famihar " Did-you-do-it. indeed. neck." been likened to the mew of a kitten. The Lapwings. (F.wat: Lapwing.

form a conto parts are Lower the tail. B. This species is widely distributed. is Its noisy call. are bronzy brown. This noisy bird India. and there is in front of the eye conspicuous a crimson wattle. B. white. 1433). the chief is difference being that the conspicuous wattle yellow instead of crimson and the white line runs round the back of the head from eye to eye. 856). 183. (J. The legs are bright yellow. as is and white. The biU reddish. except for a black band is which runs across it near the tip. as The back and wings the white being arranged so spicuous bar during flight. This is (F. but not .. p. black. Saciophorus malabaricus The Yellow- wattled Lapwing. instead of down the neck. In Burma it is replaced by an allied species Sarcogramnus atrinuchalis the Burmese Wat- — tled Lapwing.) very like the last species." one of the most familiar sounds of the Indian country-side. : 184. but not so harsh and with a note less. is known to all residents " Did he do it ? Pity (lUus. i6i. Its cry.— Indian Birds is a broad white band running from the eye down the whole length of the neck.) in tb do it. is like that of No. (-IV.

(J. 203 . Two species are common. since from a little distance they assimilate closely to the hue of the mudbanks on which they disport themselves. but they have to be looked for.) Upper parts brown. : 185.Descriptive List of the usually so Common It is Birds common as the last. Mgialitis alexandrina The Kentish Plover. surface of the wing is The under white. It certainly does not occur in the neighbour- hood o£ Lahore. said not to occur in Upper Sind or the Western Punjab. 848). Numbers of them are to be seen on the muddy edges of the Coum at Madras. (F. 185 and 186 The " ringed plovers are small " snippets which haunt the seashore and the sandbanks of rivers. lower parts white. They are not much bigger than sparrows. eyebrow. 1446). (I. but are pretty little birds. The brown of the upper parts is broken by a white forehead. according as the is brown or white surface of the wing pre- sented to the observer. now white. so that as a flock of this species or the next two species fly they look now brown. and collar. They go about in small flocks. The Plovers.

(I. 1451). about the size of that of the crow. 850). Its It is is a very easy bird to identify. 1 87. 1 is seen chiefly in winter and on 86. 898). (J.) Male: A white bird with glossy black back and wings. Female : White with brown back and wings. 899). (F. the shoulders. 1452). is Its bill is nearly three inches long. back of the neck. 1447). (F.) is No. Himantopus candidus : The Blackwinged Stilt. Like most of its tribe it has a plaintive whistle. or Long-legs. It is a white bird with a number of black markThe black markings are on top of the ings. Legs yellow. This species is not confined to the sea-coast. but may be easily distinguished from it by having a black band across the throat. 185 in appearance. (J. : 188.) This elegant bird is characterised by a very long biU. (-IV. Mgialitis dubia : The Little Ringed Plover. This species is characterised by very long This very like red legs. and the 204 body . which is curved upwards towards the end. (F. It found in marshes and tanks. (J. (IV. head.Indian Birds This species the sea-coast. Recutvirostra avocetta The Avocet.

HS4). a. but differs from it in having a white band along the middle of the head. Numenius fhesofus The Wbimbrel. 189 and 190 : 189. (F. (+IV.Descriptive List of the wings. about midway between the crow and the kite.) This well-known bird is about the size of a kite. (F. the curve in this case being downwards instead of upwards as in the avocet. resemblance to the kite ceases. with a curved bill half a foot in length. (J. : 190. a long-shanked The curlew is wading bird. 1455). 878). plaintive cry. It has a wild. (V. not appear to be very common anywhere. It is a winter visitor to India. and except for the white chin and throat its colouring all is But here rather like that of the kite.) This is a sniall edition of the curlew. for only a winter visitor to India. Common Birds The beak is black and the long legs are dark grey.877). Numenius arquata The Curlew. Its curved bill is only a 205 . Wherever there is is shallow water there It does may it the avocet be found wading in winter. 'The Curlews.

The bill is about four inches long. G. A winter visitor to India common in the north and rare in the south. They have fairly long bills. straight. : among the common birds of The Black. and abdomen. Limosabelgica wit. (lUus. that is to say.tailed God- (-v. The base of the tail is white and the remainder black. 192-195 These birds constitute the " snippets " of Anglo-Indian. Blanford states that Calcutta bazaar that this ence.Indian Birds little over three inches long. and perhaps scarcely deserves a place India. 409. and (F. III. birds that try to be snipe. . 1456). but not so long as that of any of the species of snipe. They are often seen feeding 206 —a state- . The legs are long. throat. and some white in the wings.87s). It is less abun- dant than the curlew.)^ A brown bird with white chin. is it is often sold in the woodcock.) The Sandpipers.. a. but Finn states not in accordance with his experias I. 191. p. light These are all greenish-brown birds with under parts.

It flies Eha remarks. apology for a tail in wagtail-like manner. 1461). but with a very short tail. and then its wings. so that it actually measures less than a bulbul. B.— Descriptive List of the Common Birds ment which cannot be made regarding the If you see a snipe-like bird feeding. (J.. picking up insects on the water's edge. with a very short tail. (+11.) It is a greenish-brown bird with white under parts. which are pointed. snipe. Totanus hypoleucus 1460). (+11. (F. When disturbed it flies away. By Sandpiper. Totanus glareola The Wood Sand(F. but (J. Its legs are not long for a wader . show a very narrow white band. but it is not by any means of the easy to say which of the many it. : The Common 893). piper. It is a sandpiper of sorts. its bill is about an inch long. B. or Spotted Sandpiper. with its wings bent When it settles down it wags its like a bow. you may be perfectly sure that it is not a snipe. and as (Illus. sandpipers without shooting Descriptions : common species of sandpiper follow 192. 168. It goes about in ones or twos (never in flocks). 891).) The upper plumage of this is dark brown 207 . p. this low.) : 193. you may recognise the species.

but distinguished of emitting the sharp it can be from the snipe.) (J. which is conspicuous as it flies away. 1462). but with a short tail.Indian Birds spotted with white. Tringa minuta (F. A winter visitor commoner in N. also the tail. India . so that the sportsman out shoot- ing constantly puts up the bird. (+11. The Green Sand194. with white forehead and under parts. than in the south." which it utters on the wing. " you see a hundred dingy little birds. 892). it is a much smaller bird than even the Jack-snipe. it utters a shrill note. by its " shriU piping note. It is distinguishable from the snipe. 1471). " If. Upper parts dingy brown. 195. (J. because instead " fsif " of the snipe on rising.) is This bird that it is very like less the last species. Totanus ochropus : piper. (F." writes Eha. The habits of this species are very like those o£ the snipe. Moreover. (+1. alongside of which it is often found. and has more white in the tail. and its white tail. : The Little Stint. about the size of sparrows^ all 208 . 884). as is The abdomen is white. but with a short tail. except larger and conspicuously spotted.

When flushed the first three go off at a great pace. The Little Jack-Snipe (G.Descviptwe List of the Common Birds feeding together knee-deep in water. It must suffice that all four species —The Common. Full. all lie up closely in comparatively feeble. who is not marshy ground or paddy fields in ihe daytime. you safely may the put them down as stints. gallinula). The Gulls. A winter visitor to India common on coasts. G.) (Illus. or Fantail Snipe ccelestis). III. The Snipes These being game birds are not dealt with in this volume. 196-199 Gulls are very familiar birds to every one has performed the journey from England to India." The flight of the last species is a true snipe. and are not likely to be seen by the naituraUst unless he is prepared to wade and flush them. I. 339» 3S9» etc. {GalUnago The Pintail (G. and The Painted Snipe (Rostratula capensis). either uttering no call or a short. pp. sharp " psip. The beautiful flight and the loud who o 209 ." . stenura)..

Larus ridibundus (F. they fly on after the ship.) white bird with grey shoulders and some black in the wings. The Laughing Gull. A winter visitor to India. on the sea- (lUus. They saunter through the air in the wake of the and when anything edible is thrown overboard they drop down and pick it off the water (they can swim like ducks). 1490). putting forth any effort. In summer the head and neck become brown and in winter traces of this usually remain. (IV. They stations are largely scavengers.981).Indian Birds screams of these kites of the sea are indelibly impressed upon the Indians. the little fish. 190. etc. memory of most Anglo- These magnificent fliers are able to keep pace with the steamer for hours at a time without ship. B. 272 also B. p. p. A The bill and legs are red... B. a.. and catch it up in a few seconds. and having devoured what there is to be eaten. . away when overhauUng shore. At sea-coast no sight is more familiar than that of a number of crows and gulls squabbling over that the fishermen throw their nets .) : The three commonest : gulls in India are 196. D.

except that shoulders are of a lighter shade of grey. ring-Gull.) from Nos. 198. (F. It is a much larger bird than the above two It It is species. 1495). and its legs are This bird distinguished yellow. (+IV. (J.) like This yellow is very No. legs. but apparently not on the East Coast. Larus affinis : The Dark-backed Her^ (J. 196 and 197 by the fact that its wings and shoulders are slate-grey instead of pale grey. 980). 1494). Larus cachinans : The Yellow-legged its Herring-Gull. (F. 199. Larus brunneicephalus : headed GuU. so that it is scarcely possible to distinguish them on the wing. (V. The Terns. found on other parts of the West Coast. is 978).) This bird is very like the last at all seasons. is It has This gull large jhils of often seen on the rivers and Northern India in winter. 1491).Descriptive List of the Common Birds The Brown197. 200-205 These beautiful birds have been aptly termed the swallows of the sea. (V. (F. is said to be very common at Karachi. for like swal- . 198.

times diving for a more frequently picking tern. tail. If you lows they are birds of powerful see a slenderly-built bird of whitish tinge. you B. ]hils. Bill. In India. But they are not confined to the sea. India. D. Their prevailing colour is white. wings.Indian Birds flight. legs." (Illus. An inland bird found on marshes. 270. with long swallow-like wings and forked bird which sails a along easily over water. A white bird with grey and tail. wherever there are rivers. may set that bird down as a 200. or the Small Marsh Tern. somefish. and toes duU red. 212 . and most of them have some black in their plumage.) : Winter plumage back. Summer plumage : The whole of the upper part of the head is black. or ponds there are terns to be found. (J. kered Tern. Very common in N. To repeat what I said in Bombay Ducks: " No one can fail to recognise a tern. rivers. 984). tanks. and paddy fields. Some black on the nape of the neck and a black streak behind the eye. and remain for long periods on the wing.) off the surface of the water.. something p. Hydrochelidm hybrida : The Whis(F. 1496). (-hll.

(F. Sterna seena The 213 Indian River Tern. Its wings are pearl grey. legs.Descriptive Lid of the : Common Birds The Caspian Tern. Its legs are black. with a longish tail. Hydroprogne caspia (F. Its tail is not very deeply forked. 1498)." It is name it into appears as the the least beautiful of the terns. common at Madras.) This is the largest of the terns. (J." In Bombay Ducks " gull-bird tern. It is 201. (+IV. and is said particularly common in Sind. being built than it is more heavily In winter most of them. The biU. Its bill is bright red. I have seen it as it never in the Punjab. In summer its head is jet black. It is local in its distribution. . a white bird save for the fact that there is a good deal" of black in the head. : 202. 1499). coast.) Printer's devils are particularly spiteful to this bird. Sterna angelica The GuU-billed Tern. and feet are black. (+III. It is Its tail is not very deeply forked. : found both inland and on the 203. It is It goes about to be in pairs. In The Common Birds its of Bombay " gull- they have mutilated gilled.982). 983). a. a white bird with grey wings and some black in the head. one of the birds Eha does not mention of Bombay.

is probably this species. tail. Bi/rds 985).) A tern not much bigger than a sparrow. but this soon disappears. 214 . 1503). Lower plumage very pale grey. (-II. 1510). (+III. India. Chin white. 987). and for a few weeks after the moult there is much white in the head. deeply forked some white after the abdomen black. with a white forehead and black head. (J. Cheek. with a long. inland. and a white patch on each cheek. One of the commonest of the terns. throat. Sterna melanogaster : The ( - Black-bellied Tern. but with a long. Head black (with chin. white cheeks and lower parts. (F.988). (J. dark red bill and legs. 1504). 205. 204. (F.Indian (F. a. Bill bright deep yeUow. deeply forked tail. paler on the tail than on the back. moult at Christmas). especially . and frequents the large rivers. Rest of plumage grey.) III. grey wings. head and nape are deep black.) is This Its the all common tern of N. Legs red. and wing lining white. The upper plumage French grey. Sterna minuta : The Little Tern. This bird moults about Christmas time. Bill orange-yellow legs and feet dull red.

is common in N. 21S The . and lower p. 207 and 208 is Description of these well-known birds superfluous. surface of the water. 1522). however. (J. a swan. legs bright red. : rare in the south.) beak is one and a half feet in length. but they Four species are found Two can scarcely be described as common birds. are fairly abundant on the big jhils of Northern India. 207. Rhynchops albicollis The Indian Skim1517). tern-Uke bird. or Scissors-bill. 296. Pelicanus crispus can.. species. which little flocks a about in few inches above the tail. F.) A long-winged. 206. with white forehead. (F. (F.Descriptive It fairly Lid of the Com/num Birds India . and a white coUar round the neck . as every one like.) The Pelicans. white bird with some black in the wings. knows what they look in India. Bill deep red . IV. : The Dalmatian Pelia large bird as big as (+V . 99S)> flies (-IV. rest of upper plumage dark brown. mer. parts. A Bill dark grey. (lUus.

) 208.) may be distinguished by its the curious dark spots and markings on (Illus.Indian Birds Winter visitor to U. : Three species occur in India 209. This bill.. (-1-V . 1007). P. Nos. but smaller than 209. When not fishing they have the habit of standing on top of a post with wings outspread and largely then look rather like a church lectern. Pelicanus philippensis billed or The Spotted- Grey Pelican. Phalacrocorax javanicus : The Little Cormorant. much smaller than 207. and Sind. (F. IV. (J.) 210. 1006).) The Cormorants. F. pinkish-yellow B. 209-211 These are large black birds. the only (F. p. (J.. 1527). (+V. (J. (F. Phalacrocorax fuscicollis : The Indian Shag. Phalacrocorax carbo : The Large Cor- morant. (IV. (F. No. 209 and 211 . P. frontispiece. 1526). 210 has no white throat. 1005). 1004).) All three have similar habits. 1528). the last being common member 2l6 of the genus. (J.) 211. 1523). (-1-V. : (lUus. which live on the water. 331. and catch fish by diving.

but can be readily is tinguished by the fact that No. as are the bill and legs. 212. but with a quicker stroke of the wings and frequent intervals of sailing with the pinions held level. (+v.) (J. so that they are easily distinguished from other waders when on the wing. As Finn has pointed out. or King Curlew. 211.941). The Black Curlew. (+V. or King Ibis of Anglo-Indians.) The long white. : The White Ibis. Inocotis papillosus (F. a. but the back of the head is 217 . : The Ibis. and not the neck as in No.Descriptive List of the Common Birds dis- have a white throat. In this species the head only. The rest of the plumage Black is 213. The Ibises are birds Ibises. " Ibises with the neck outstretched. 209 one foot longer than No. 212-214 about the size of a common fowl. is devoid of feathers. 942). Ibis melanocefhala (F. but having a long curved biU Uke that of the curlew. bald head and neck are black. 1541). 1542). The skin is black." They fly like storks usually occur in small flocks. 212.

wings.. 939).Indian Birds covered with the wing. save for a small white patch on which is nearly six inches dull dark green. (F. impossible to mistake They are There are no other birds like them. as are the long legs. Plegadis falcinellus (F. which spoon. (+V.) In this species only the front of the face is A chestnut bird with devoid of feathers. The plumage is glossy black. IS4S). 216-221 familiar with the appearance stork. black. Legs bright red. head. The Every one of the is Storks. cranes. : The Glossy Ibis. 1544). found in small flocks on sandbanb. Q. A (+V. Q. Platalea leucorodia : The Spoonbill. is little red warts. the stork family are their large size. 943). and tail dark brown with a green gloss. at the end It like a is. The bill. The long bill. at the water's edge. long. 215. 214. etc.) white bird with large a crest in the breedis is ing season. In this last and their perching respect they differ from bill. common and The leading features of habits. flat and expanded spoonbills. 2l8 . neck. their long legs.

legs bright red. their long necks are stretched out forwards. huge platforms of sticks built in trees. Xenorhynchus asiaticus : The Blacknecked Stork. 218. white bird with some black in the wings. 216. and shoulders Rest of black wings and white. Stork. Descriptive List of the Common Birds During flight which never perch in trees. (J.) A red. (+V and A India. black neck. 4! feet long. steady flapping o£ the wings. Dissura episcopus The White-necked (F. legs bright red. A Bill 3* feet long. visitor. 917). winter common : in North 217. 3 feet long. 1549). (J. 920).) Beak. black bird. legs dull Not found in Punjab or Sind. head. their long legs stretched out backwards. Their nests are in India. 1548). 219 plumage white . fly and but They by a slow.) (J. Bill black . (+V. or the Beefsteak Bird. The White Stork. (F. (+V . Ciconia alba 1546)5 919)' : . which are white. except for the neck and lower parts. often sail on outstretched wings like vultures. Sportsmen call this bird the AustraHan Stork.. . (F.

The (J. B. as is the bill. pp. a stork its bill. and a head neck hangs a There is a ruff of white feathers pouch. in S. . The lower parts are white. The wings are mainly black. white bird with a black band across the breast.. Not found in the Punjab . dubius : The Adjutant. From its French grey.) This an ibis is . which is trying to turn into which is ten inches long. The front of the head is devoid of feathers and is orange-yellow. (+V This huge bird is S feet long. IV. Ibis . over a foot in length. It is a having a marked downward curve. B. The wings are partly dark slaty grey and partly mous beak.Indian Birds 219. (Illus. 1552). (+V 3* feet long.. and B. p.) 220 . F. P.. 376 of O. 28 also I. very common in the Deccan. Pelican 938). The biU is dirty pink. The legs are brown. Not found and 34 220. leucocephalus : The of old Painted writers. 915). Leftoftilus (F. and the legs dirty greyish white. 1550).) Pseudotantalus Stork. 232.) characterised by an enor. India. devoid of feathers. (F. round the neck. (Its head is figured in Vol. (J. p.

221. (J. The bill is light horn colour. 1553). When a victim shows itself. F. sharp. their habit to stand motionless in shallow water with the head almost buried on the shoulders. To my mind and its this bird looks like a white stork that sadly needs a wash and brush up beak put straight in Found only N. India. 222-225 Herons are wading birds with long. (F. Abundant in Oudh and Bengal. and tail. nearly 3 feet long. This bird is distingushed from all others by (+V the fact that the mandibles do not meet in the middle . Anastomus The Shell Ibis o£ the older writers. and his victim ! woe betide On the wing herons are easily 221 . It is stiletto-like bills and telescopic necks.) It is a greyishwhite bird with black shoulders. indeed the beak looks as though ! it had become is distorted owing to the attempts of the bird to crack a very hard nut (The head figured on p. 378. 940). wings. IV. out shoots the neck of the fisher.) . The Herons.! Desariptive Lid of the oscitans : Common Birds The Open-Bill. and the legs dirty pink.

) pure white bird with a yellow bill . ashy-grey bird with some white on the From the back of the head some black Bill plumes hang. : 222. 929). but only four are commonly This is seen by the average observer. Ardea cinerea The Common Heron. the steady flapping of their wings. Legs dirty green. but these are scarcely common birds. these belong to the genus Herodias. This is a sociable species. Usually a solitary bird. and the fact that they fly with the neck drawn in and the legs projecting behind beyond the tail. (J. which serve as efficient beaters. The birds sometimes perch on the backs of cattle. These birds frequently accompany cattle.) An head. a little over a yard long. (F. yeUow. the familiar heron of England. 923)5 i55S)j (]' (+V . which the egrets seize. Lower parts white. (-hlV.. In the breeding season some yellow plumes grow from the back of the head. dark Bubulcus coromandiis : The Cattle Egret. 223. A great many species of heron occur in India. 1562). 222 A (F. There are three larger species of egret which are also white . and black legs. etc.Indian Birds identified by their large size. The quadrupeds put up grasshoppers.

and shoulders are Forehead. cheek. which may be seen squatting at the margin of every tank and every village pond. p. 937). Some of the feathers of the back of the neck are white and are 223 .. D. This is the ubiquitous Paddy Bird. white. and lower Remainder of plumage ashy Eyes bright red..) grayi : The Pond Heron. 178. D. It is impossible to mistake a paddy bird. (Illus. (J. (+IV. breast. Q. The black. (V..930). B. parts grey. p. which " wak " is (F. — every feather has the shaft of a colour different from the web. 1568). also B. 114. 236. nape. 224. back. Ardeola B.) This bird.) 225. one of these species. P. 1565).) large dusky-coloured bird A seen flapping its way along about sunset with loud is raucous cries that sound like the night heron. p. 240. (F.Descriptive List of the Common Birds is A large white egret with the bill black (Illus. head.. also B. looks greenish brown much the colour of its muddy surroundings. It sits all brown and Close inspection shows that flies all white. Nycticorax griseus : The Night Heron. p. B. But startle it and it opens out milk-white wings on which it flies away with steady flappings.

(+V in . tinge.) 226. black. flocks in They are white with a pink cerise. The wings are white. 1575). 227 and 228 As geese are game birds they do not come strictly ever. is The curious bent in the middle to form an obtuse angle. as they fly.) The Geese. 232 and 238. 944). P. IV. The Common Flamingo. The birds. 408 of Vol. nearly 4i feet long. Phcenicopterus roseus : (Illus.) These beautiful birds occur shallow lakes. B. but This call is often heard difiicult to describe. (The beak is figured on p. Howmuch en evidence in in the cold weather. during the winter months no sight is more common than that of a V-shaped flock of geese cleaving its way through the air on quivering wings. When riding in the early 224 morning . B. (J. of O. at night. D. as these birds are within the scope of this book. (F..Indian Birds lengthened to form plumes. and B. I will briefly Upper India describe the two common species. utter a curious cackle easy to recognise. and The beak long legs are deep pink. In the U. pp.

bars. (lUus. HI.) 225 .55-) in S. a. I. most of the flock asleep on one leg with heads tucked under the wing.. They pass the day on a sandbank in some large river. India.. also G. D. pink colour. S. p.949). Anser ferus : The Grey-lag Goose. Lower a dirty parts pale grey. 81. from which the bird derives Its general colour is more grey than its name. and the fact that its head is white with two conspicuous broad black cross bars. and feet are (lUus. III. This (F. India. 228. the shoulders having a number of narrow pale cross Bill. that of the last species. (-V. Not found P. Anser indicus : The Barred-headed Goose. 84 . G.Descriptive List of the Common Bi/rds one often surprises a flock of geese feeding in some field. (V. Rare in I.) species is distinguished from the other by its yellow bill and feet.945).) Upper parts brown. but one or two birds are invariably posted as sentinels. 227. legs. I. 1583). 1579). (F. p. (J..

since they warn other water-fowl of danger. They are wary birds and a great nuisance to sportsmen.V. 229 and 230 These being game birds do not come within the scope of this work.) a curious pale whitish on the head. Tail and wings black. not being found at all on the Malabar coast. This is (F. which is uttered frequently on the smallest excuse. abundant in S. ( or Brahminy Duck. " It is difficult." The cry is like a soft " chakzva" hence the Hindustani name of the 226 .iTvdian Birds The Ducks. (J. however. This handsome duck is a winter visitor to It is very abundant in N. Two species. ruddy-brown bird. India. legs. which are commonly by sportsmen on account of flavour. India. " so long as one is on an Indian river to get out of sight of these birds or out of hearing of their peculiar clanging bi-syllabic call or alarm cry. Bill. Casarca rutila : seen are not usually shot their indifferent The Ruddy Sheldrake. 229. . which dwell in rivers rather than in tanks." writes Blanford. 1588). It invariably goes about in pairs. less India. 954). and feet blackish. These I describe.

It has a peculiar — habit of swimming in circles with its bill rest- ing on the surface of the water. 231. (F. p. although it occurs in jhils. (lUus. It rarely walks 227 on terra firma.) This is one of the most aquatic birds in existence. (F... III. p. (J.) (lUus. after February speculum in the wing. I. Common Birds also I.^ p. G. p. India. : Head and upper neck Lower neck and breast white. Podici-pes albifennis : The Indian Little Grebe.) 230. This species is distinguishable from other ducks by its great flat bill being much broader at the tip than at the base. Rest of body brown with Cock. 196 . Spatula clypeata 1602). I. 975). : G. The Shoveller. D. 123. 141. is pre-eminently a village duck. (-V. (J. D. III. Cock before February. 114. If there be any considerable piece of stagnant water near a village in N.) This handsome duck. also I. or Dabchick. and .. and Hen : Reddish brown with a lighter-coloured border to many a green patch or of the feathers. for they are only winter visitors to India. 957). glossy green. 1617). (+11. Abdomen chestnut.Descriptive List of the bird. there are likely to be some shoveller ducks on this ^in winter.

When alarmed it seeks safety by diving. describe it better than to say that you might take it for a §mall chicken without a Its colour parts. is dark glossy with some rich brown on the upper chestnut on the sides of (Illus. p.Indian Birds never takes to flight from the water.) THE END . B. Young birds are lighter. " I do not know how to tail.. Eha says. the neck. 184." B. Writing of this bird.

Pewar is not only a keen and patient observer." is "* "BliAs of the Plains* in a^l respects a book to be acquired. Dewar has a delightfully simple and quaintly humorous way of expressing himself. style fidelity and his vivacious communicates the characters and habits of birds with unerring and infinite spirit. like has a number of remarkably fine illustrations. "Mr. and. is — "Here Saturday Review. sprightly and thoroughly entertaining manner." Guardian. Dewar's volume is one of the best recent examples of sound information conveyed in attractive literary form. — The photographs deserve the highest praise." its pre- Manchester Guardian. loj. — "The it decessor." delight in his Pall Mall Gazette. net PRESS OPINIONS Globe.—" Students of ornithology and bird lovers who pleasured in the pages of Mr. 6d." Evening Standard." ETC.z. DOUGLAS DEWAR.s. WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS Demy Svo." — " There — is much to commend in the book.-" Mr. The book is beautifully illustrated from photographs by Captain Fayrer.— entertaining style. and the wider their knowledge the deeper will be their pleasure.—" This book is written in a popular and Outlook." — ." SportstnaH." ZJai/j'jffjr^wjj." Daily Graphic. but he is gifted with the descriptive art in high degree. a work worthy of all commendation to those who love birds. — Truth. AUTHOR OF "BOMBAY DUCKS. f.c." Daily Chronicle. and his clever word-pictures of bird life make charming reading.. Mr. well . Dewar's * Bombay Ducks ' will find no less new book." " BIRDS OF By THE PLAINS i. Dewar sacrifices nothing of scientific accuracy in telling about his feathered friends in a light. Dewar has already made himself known as an able and attractive writer on Indian birds. " Mr. — " A work which all bird lovers will welcome. Dewar tells us with charm and with a point a great deal about many of the birds inhabiting the plains of India. "Mr.s.' His breezy style is pleasant and easy reading. — " Mr. "Those who enjoyed 'Bombay Ducks' will welcome 'Birds of the Plains. Literary World. volume is handsomely produced. Captain Fayrer's photographs form a charming feature of the book. and is ably seconded by Captain Fayrer's excellent photographs.

and is rendered not the less so by the splendidly produced photographs of living birds. They are most remarkable] and quite unlike the usual wretched snapshot and blurred reisroductions with which too many naturalists' books are nowadays illustrated.S. '* The East has ever been a place of wonderment. cannot be too highly praised. a more delightful work than 'Bombay Ducks has not passed through our hands for many a long day. BOMBAY DUCKS AN ACCOUNT OF SOME OF THE EVERYDAY BIRDS 6. We sincerely hope that our readers will deriye the same lively pleasure from the reading of this book as we have done. ." for writing in a brig:ht sacrifice of scientific . The habits of the different birds are fully described. . A feature of the book is the photographs of birds by Captain Fayrer. I. Dewar's account of the 'Naturalist's El Dorado^ is particularly captivating. yet full of information. Kb. Dewar gives us a charming introduction to a great many interesting birds. Pall Mall Gazette.S. and not overburdened with scientific words and phrases. . or witty and humorous writing in any form." Manchester Guardian.S. •' — . " . even to the reader who is The illustrations not a naturalist first and a reader afterwards.. F. which is beautifully illus- — . but the writer of Bombay Ducks brings before Western eyes a new set of pictures." Graphic— "Th^K book is written in a most readable style. Dewar . has collected a series of essays on bird life which for sprightliness and charm are equal to anytMng written since that classic." Daily News. . ." Yorkshire Daily Observer. The Jbook is handsomely produced. "Mr." County Gentleman. " This handsome and charming book the author has many interesting observations to record..—" Mr." Standard. and the way the themes are written are so much to^ the point. D. and is altogether an attractive acquisition. . Douglas Dewar's book is excellent . PRESS OPimONS spectator.—" Mr.. ' The Tribes on my Frontier.. light and e£uy. yet without any accuracy. . I. . . ." Dublin Express. .—*' Mr.. . The book is entertaining. " This new and sumptuous book. ." Illustrated London News. .C. There is not a dull line in the book.. Fayrbr. ." ." Indian Daily News.—" Thoroughly entertaining toall who can appre- — ' ' . A series of clever and accurate essays on Indian natural history written by a man who really knows the birds and beasts. Truth.. . . and he does so in a very racy manner. - — — ' trated." Shooting Times. . A naturalist with a happy gift and entertaining way. .BEASTS FOUND IN A NATURALIST'S EL DORADO By DOUGLAS DEWAR. . . .. . Dewar's excellent book. . With Numerous Illustrations from Photographs of Living Birds by Captain F.—" . S. . . — ciate either animal life as seen through practised eyes. often in a very amusing and interesting manner..M.Z.' was published.— "lliosi entertaining dissertations on the tricks and manners of many birds and beasts in India.

" — We Manchester Courier. —"The book it concise way in which biology. (Cantab).S. " The merits of the book are undoubtedly great.O. — "*The Making — deal of pleasure and interest." Dublin Daily Express. B. "Messrs.—" An exceptionally interesting book. Postage PRESS OPINIONS Christian World. originality." Literary World.U. — " The book is handsomely got up and fully illustrated.Z. AND FRANK FINN." — "*The Making the Sunday Tifnes.Z. WITH NUMEROUS F." — Nation. recommend it to the^ attentive study of all who are interested in the subject of evolution. graphs. Dewar and Finn have accumulated some very singular and striking facts in their * Making of Species.^" There a breezy.—*' Interesting and suggestive. net.S." Aberdeen Free Press.—" This handsome volume. Dewar'^ and Finn's volume shows the value of such first-hand experience. M.A.. *js. " The authors have stated their a plain and common-sense fashion. The illustrations are confined to birds. Dewar and Finn. of knowledge and Messrs. Weekly." of Species' will be read with a good There are many striking photo- T. "The amateur entering this perplexing field could hardly have a better guide. We do not doubt that the work will produce good fruit and attract considerable attention."' Truth." is certainly to be welcomed for the deals with the greatest problem of Outlook. (Oxon).C." Birmingham Post." is — "'The New Age. an interesting preface. 6cf. 6ei." It should' receive . Dewar and Finn enlighten us as to the origin of tneir work.. but are admirably executed.." Daily Telegraph.." THE MAKING OF BY DOUGLAS DEWAR... 9x5! ^ inches. — facts in of Species' will do much to arrest fossilisation of biological science in England. refreshing air about the book.' Newcastle Daily Chronicle. P's. We gladly welcome the literary advent of two such able and independent Naturalists as Messrs. F." is — "In — Daily Chronicle.A. ILLUSTRATIONS.— "The book is well written. Demy %vo.B. thoroughly characteristic of our day. Price extra." Daily News. wide attention. " Messrs. SPECIES B. I. A long volume of interest and very clearly written. This work full Making of Species' is a book. Messrs.S. Dewar and Finn are capable investigators.

and moult and blush. 6d. ReproDemy Svo (gxsJ in.). With Sixteen Full-page Illustrations. " The book is a treasure. PiRlE." — — JOHN lane: bodley head. W. The Record of Seven Years' Residence in the Island. (Oxon. and readable observation in lighter vein. Daily Chronicle. R. . and pronounce it excellent. JUNGLE: — . Globe. Author and Reproductions from Photographs. VIGO STREET. Calcutta. f. Crown Svo. — A always clear and free from technicalities . Standard. I. 6d. good natural The author is clearly in love with history. ana lively adventure. numerous Illustrations from Photographs. with a serious note of information and experience.. : " This book is merry merry. b.z. ORNITHOLOGICAL By Frank Finn." — — RIFLE 6- ROMANCE IN THE INDIAN Being the Record of Thirteen Years of Indian Jungle Life. PiRlB. We have read it through from cover to cover.a.INDIAN BOOKS KASHMIR By : The Land of Streams and Solitudes. — " To the list of books on big-game shooting that can be commended equally to the sportsman and the general reader Academy. By Caroline CORNBR. late DeputyWith Superintendent of the Indian Museum.net.—" This is a delightful book. and will be turned over often with joy and sighs. must be added this truly fascinating work. is one of the most fascinating we have read for some time. how they fight and mimic." Post. we always happen upon sound literature. Literary World. " It -is one of the handsomest productions that has come from the Bodley Head for a considerable time.). 6- OTHER ODDITIES. however. Cheaper Edition. witty. R. With Twenty-five Full-page Plates in Colour. LONDON. delightfully readable. duced from Photographs. los." wonderfully vivid ." style is CEYLON : The Paradise of Adam.). in all respects a first-rate book. New and 7s. and the pictures of jungle scenery and jungle life are ." Lvatrfiool Courier. net.s. P. fine description. Demy Svo. Crown 4to ( 10x6 Jin. "The book consists of a number of papers— all are very interesting and delightful book. His book will prove as interesting to — Momi»£The the general reader as to the enthusiastic naturalist. net. IDS. this volume will certainly prove as entertaining to the general reader as it is interesting to the naturalist. " This book. 6d. dealing with the courting of birds. and upwards of lOO other Illustrations by H. observant. his subject. 2is. Glasfurd With numerous Illustrations by the (Indian Army). net.. By Major A." " Search where we will through this entertaining book." Observer.

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