The only representative of this group is a small bird which has hitherto only been found in certain parts of the Himalayas. It is intermediate in size between the Quails and the Rock-Partridge. It has the soft plumage of the Quails, but differs from them notably in having an ample rounded tail. It also differs from them in the shape of the wing, the first quill of which falls short of the tip of the wing by more than half an inch; or the tip of the tenth quill, when the wing is closed or only slightly opened, falls about half-way between the tips of the first and second quills. From the Bush-Quails, the Mountain-Quail may at once be separated by its greatly superior size. From all the Partridges it may be distinguished by having only ten tail-feathers.
I have been thus particular in treating of this bird, because it is a very peculiar bird, and one apparently of great rarity, and I am anxious that, if any sportsman should meet with it, he may recognise it at once and not look upon it as a mere common Quail, which I have no doubt has frequently happened. It is perhaps only a rare bird because it has been overlooked, or, rising like a Quail, has not engaged the attention of the sportsman.
In the Mountain-Quail the sexes differ considerably in plumage but not in size. The leg is without a spur.
Mr. Ogilvie Grant has placed this bird amongst the Pheasants, and he may be right in doing so. I cannot, however, quite reconcile myself to this arrangement, and I prefer to place this curious bird between the Quails and the Partridges.