Stoliczka's Bushchat

Saxicola macrorhynchus

30th Aug, 2007

Full Species (monotypic); i.e. no subspecies/races

Naliya, Kutch, Gujarat, India on 18th Jan, 07.Naliya, Kutch, Gujarat, India on 18th Jan, 07.
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1 I shot at the beginning of 1872 two specimens of a Pratincola, (probably female, the sex was unfortunately not determined), which appears to be distinct from any other yet known. General plumage, above dull brown, all the feathers margined with pale isabelline or fulvescent whitish, most broadly on scapulars and tertials, narrowly on the quills; upper tail-coverts nearly uniform pale fulvescent or sandy only along the centre of a darker hue. Central tail feathers brown, the succeeding also brown and very pale rufescent fulvous about the basal half of both webs, (not along the shafts), the rufescent colour gradually, not abruptly, passing into the brown; outer web of last tail feather wholly sandy or pale fulvescent white, and all have pale tips which easily wear off. Lores and supercilium sandy white; ears dusky. Lower plumage fulvescent white throughout, with a slight shade of cream colour; all the feathers on their basal halves are dark slaty, which is also the case on the upper plumage. Bill and feet nearly quite black .Total length about 5.2 to 5.5; wing, 2.85 to 2.9; first primary nearly 1 and 1.2 shorter than the second, which is nearly equal to the 6th and 0.24 shorter than the fourth, this being the longest; the 3rd and the 5th are sub equal and very little than the fourth; tail 2.1 to 2.25 tarsus, 0.95 to 0.97; bill at front, 0.48 to 0.5; from gape 0.72; hind toe and claw 0.57; hind claw alone 0.3; mid toe with claw 0.72 to 0.73 inch. The size of the bill which is rather narrow and saxicoline, and the length of the legs readily distinguish this apparently new species; it is not the female of P. rubetra, this having the basal half of the tail white, and bill shorter and broad at the base. It is also not a female or young of P. caprata, moreover the length and slenderness of the hind claw does not agree with any Pratincola, nor even with Saxicola, but strange enough with Oreicola (Rhodophila).

One of the two specimens was shot in January near Raipur in the Wagur district, and the other in February near Bhuj, in both cases in an open desert country with scanty low bushes. These were the only two specimens which I saw the possibly the bird may not be so very rare, for I could never pay undivided attention to any ornithological subject.
  1. The original description by Dr. F. Stoliczka - ED Red Data Book Status: Vulnerable-- Further Details

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