Gould, Cent. Him. B. pls. 63, 64, 65; Jerd., B. Ind. iii. p. 517, No. 806; Hume and Marsh., Game Birds i. p. 143. Phasianus nipalensis (Gray, the female), Hardw., III. Ind. Zool. i. pls. 46, 47, 48 and 2 pl. 40; Elliot, Mon. Phas. i. pl. -
The Simla Horned Pheasant or the Western Tragopan.
Head black, crest tipped with red; nape, the back and sides of neck dark red ; back and upper parts dark brown, minutely barred irregularly with black, each feather with a round white spot on a black ground : shoulder of wing dark red ; quills blackish, mottled and barred with brown ;. some of the wing coverts with dusky olive spots ; tertiaries mottled like the back and with the scapulars have a large white spot; upper tail coverts lengthened, the lateral feathers with a large fulvous tip edged with dull black and white spotted ; tail black, unspotted towards the tip, but barred with white, brown for the greater part of its length ; beneath, the throat and neck below the wattle vivid scarlet, passing into flame colour and yellow on the lower part of the neck; breast and lower parts black, dashed with dull red, and each feather with a round white spot; thigh coverts mottled black and brown, paler and yellowish near the joint. Bill blackish ; irides hazel brown; orbits bright red; fleshy horns pale blue; gular wattles purple in the middle, spotted and edged with pale blue and fleshy on the sides ; legs and feet fleshy.
Length. - 27 to 29 inches ; wing 11.25 ; tail 10.5 to 11; tarsus 3.
The female has the head and all the upper parts mottled with dark and light brown and blackish with small pointed streaks of pale yellow ; quills and tail dark brown, minutely mottled and barred ; under surface light ashy brown, powdered with blackish and marked with irregular spots of white; fleshy horns and wattles absent.
Hab. - Western borders of Nepaul to the extreme N.W. Himalayas. It is found about Simla and Mussoorie, but more abundant near Almora. It is not a very rare species, and is very easily reared in captivity, as well as easy to shoot. They feed chiefly on berries, but insects also form part of their food. They begin to pair in April. Eggs have been obtained in May at from 8,000 to 11,000 feet elevation. They are, according to Hume, elongated ovals considerably compressed towards the small end, and about the size of the egg of the Monaul. The shell is devoid of gloss, and vary in colour from a pale cafe au lait to a dull reddish buff, Size from 2.4 to 2.55 by 1.68 to 1.72.
Ceriornis Blythi, Jerd., J. A. S. Beng., 1870, p. 60; Gould, B. Asia vii. pl. 47. This is another species of which much is not known. It is said to occur in the Naga and Assam hills : the forecrown and occiput is black; lores, orbital region, cheeks, chin, throat and nude parts adjoining golden yellow; back of the head, neck all round and breast bright brick red or lake ; a black post orbital and gular band ; upper surface of the body rich maroon red, with white ocelli on a black ground at the tip of each feather ; flanks more yellowish ; belly grey ; tail dark brown.