1371. Ammoperdix bonhami.
Perdix bonhami, Fraser, P. Z. S. 1843, p. 70. Ammoperdix bonhami, Gould, Birds Asia, vii, pl. 1; Adams, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 503; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 567; Hume, S. F. i, p. 226; id. Cat. no. 821; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 45, pl.; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 310; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 175; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 433; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 123.
The Seesee Partridge, Jerdon ; Sisi, Punjab, Sind ; Tihu, V.
Coloration. Male. A black frontal band carried back above each eye and over the ear-coverts, succeeded below by a silky-white band through the eye, including the lores and ear-coverts, and terminating behind in a rufous patch; below the white are traces of a black streak; crown and nape dull ashy grey, sides of neck grey with white zigzag cross-bars; hind neck and back similar, but the bars overlaid and partially concealed by vinous red; lower back, wings, rump, upper tail-coverts, and middle tail-feathers sandy grey finely vermiculated with buff, especially on the scapulars and tertiaries, feathers of the lower back and rump with small blackish arrowhead-shaped spots along the shafts ; primaries brown, and, except the first, barred with buff on the outer web; secondaries brown, mottled with buff on the outer web and sometimes on the inner near the shaft; outer tail-feathers brownish chestnut, more or less pale-tipped; chin whitish, passing into ashy grey on the throat, cheeks, and fore neck; breast vinous buff, passing into yellowish buff on the abdomen and lower tail-coverts, the feathers of the upper abdomen with rufous margins, those of the flanks whitish, with chestnut inner webs and black margins to each web.
Females differ in wanting the black and white markings of the head, which is dull brownish grey irregularly barred with whitish; the upper parts are more isabelline than in the male, the wings more coarsely marked, and the scapulars blotched with brown ; there is no grey on the throat nor black and chestnut on the flanks, the lower parts are barred light brown and buff, the throat is whitish, the middle of the abdomen with the lower tail-coverts being entirely buff, and there are b»oad but faint oblique streaks of whitish on the abdomen and flanks.
Bill orange to chestnut; irides yellow to orange-brown; legs wax-yellow ; claws pale brown (Hume).
Length of male about 10 ; tail 2.5 ; wing 5.5 ; tarsus 1.25 ; bill from gape .7. Females are rather smaller : wing 5.
Distribution. The Salt Range and Khariar hills of the Punjab; Hazara, and all the ranges of the Punjab and Sind west of the Indus. To the westward this bird ranges throughout Baluchistan, Afghanistan, and Persia, and is said to have been obtained in Arabia near Aden.
Habits, &c. The Seesee is chiefly found on bare rocky and stony hillsides, and is commonly seen in ravine3, never in forest or thick bush. It is a bird of hilly deserts. It is usually met with in pairs even in the winter. The call is a soft, clear, double note. The flight rather resembles a quail's, and the bird rises with a whistle. This species breeds from April till June, and lays 8 to 12 creamy-white eggs, measuring about 1.4 by 1.03, in a slight nest on the ground, often between stones or under a bush. Hume speaks of Seesee as poor eating, but my experience of them in Sind and Persia was much more favourable.