Reddish ash, with longitudinal dusky spots: quills black; the first two primaries with a broad white bar across each web.

(E. crepitans, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 521. Common Thick-knee, Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 250. pl. 40. Great Plover, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. i. p. 362. Thick-kneed Bustard, Mont. Orn. Diet.

Dimensions

Entire length eighteen inches.

Description

Upper parts reddish ash, with a longitudinal dusky spot down the middle of each feather: space between the eye and the bill, cheeks, throat, belly, and thighs, white: neck and breast tinged with reddish, and marked with fine longitudinal dusky streaks: a pale bar across the wing-coverts: quills black; the first with a large and conspicuous white spot near the middle; the second with one somewhat smaller: under tail-coverts red: all the tail-feathers, the two middle ones excepted, tipped with black: bill yellowish at the base, black at the tip: irides, orbits, and feet, yellow. In young birds, the markings are less distinct. (Egg). Stone-colour, blotched, spotted, and streaked, with ash-blue and dark brown: long. diam. two inches two lines; trans, diam. one inch seven lines.

A migratory species visiting this country about the latter end of April or beginning of May, and departing in the Autumn. Is most abundant in the southern, midland, and eastern counties. Frequents heaths, extensive corn-lands, and other open districts. Feeds on insects, worms, and reptiles. Makes no nest, but lays its eggs, which are two in number, on the bare ground. During the breeding season the male utters a loud shrill cry, heard more particularly in the dusk of the evening. The name of this species is derived from a peculiar enlargement of the upper part of the tarsus, and of the joint immediately above it, most conspicuous in the young birds of the year.