Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 6 (1902).djvu/354

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By F. Finn, B.A., F.Z.S.

The Indian Dabchick is not common on the "tanks" about Calcutta—at any rate, I have never seen one myself except on that in the Indian Museum grounds, where I have from time to time turned out many specimens procured in the Bazaar, most of which soon disappeared. At last, however, a pair stayed, and in the autumn of 1900 built a nest in some bulrushes, a few feet only from a masonry platform. Four young were hatched, but disappeared during the floods which took place during that autumn, having probably either fallen a prey to fish, or perished through exposure. The parents, however, took heart, and built again a few feet to one side of their previous site; and I took the following notes on their proceedings:—

October 3rd, 1900.—Saw one egg in Dabchicks' nest, freely exposed all day, and looking very large; one bird hanging about.

4th.—On going to see the bird, it pulled some weeds over the nest, in which no eggs were visible, being no doubt covered already. The bill was used in the covering process, not the feet.

5th.—The bird slipped off at my approach alone, leaving two eggs uncovered, but stayed near as on the previous day. Later, I went with Major Alcock, who was also interested in the birds, and the bird covered the eggs and stayed near, as on the previous day, when we had been together.

8th.—The bird covered the eggs, and got off when I approached.

9th.—The bird did not get off the nest when I went to see it.