THE PEACOCK-PHEASANTS.

THE PEACOCK-PHEASANTS.

The Peacock-Pheasants have very beautiful plumage, adorned with brilliant ocelli. The sexes do not differ very markedly, but the female has the ocelli less brilliant than the male. The males are remarkable for the number of spurs on the leg; two or three on each being the usual number, and occasionally four. This feature induces me to place these birds near the Spur-Fowl and the Blood-Pheasants.

In these birds the feathers of the crown and of the hindneck are very soft and disintegrated. The feathers on the front part of the crown and on the forehead are slightly lengthened, but cannot be said to form a crest. The tail of the Indian representative "of this group is composed of twenty feathers. These are graduated, soft and broad, and form a very large convex tail. In the case of a female bird in captivity which had chickens, it was observed that these always took shelter under their mother's ample tail and only left it when they had to run forward to pick up food.

Mr. Hume once procured from the Lushai country the tail-feathers of a male Peacock-Pheasant which apparently belonged to an unknown species. These tail-feathers were similar to those of Germain's Peacock-Pheasant, which occurs in Cochin China; but it is so extremely unlikely that this bird should occur in the Lushai Hills that it seems certain that a new species of Peacock-Pheasant remains to be discovered in the Lushai and Chin Hills. It will have the tail of Germain's Peacock-Pheasant, but its body-plumage will no doubt differ. When rediscovered it will bear the name Mr. Hume conferred on it —viz., Polyplectrum intermedium.

The tail-feathers, as described by Mr. Hume, are hair-brown spotted with pale buff, and with elongated, oval, emerald-green ocelli.

A bird which I once obtained from Bhamo and named P. helenae afterwards proved to be a young specimen of the Grey Peacock-Pheasant.

There is a species of Peacock-Pheasant, P. bicalcaratum, which occurs in the Malay Peninsula and may hereafter be found in Tenasserim. It has a pair of ocelli or brilliant spots on each of the middle pair of tail-feathers, and a single spot on the other tail-feathers, situated on the outer web.

BookTitle: 
A Manual Of The Game Birds Of India(land Birds)
Reference: 
Oates, Eugene Wifliam. A manual of the game birds of India. Vol.1. 1898.
Title in Book: 
THE PEACOCK-PHEASANTS.
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates
Year: 
1898
Page No: 
233
Common name: 
THE PEACOCK-PHEASANTS.
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
9717

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