WHITE-CHEEKED OR BLACK-THROATED HILL-PARTRIDGE.
The alternative English names of this species express two noticeable points in its coloration; its Hindustani name is Peura, which really seems to mean any sort of hill-partridge, these uninteresting species not attracting the special attention of natives. The Chittagong name is Sanbatai.
Besides the white cheeks and black throat, this species is notable for not having any chestnut streaks on the wThite-spotted flanks, the ground of which is grey like the breast. The sides of the neck are buff, speckled with black, and the black throat patch frays out into spots as it joins the breast, and just above the juncture is mixed with white. The back is barred with black as in the common hill-partridge, but the legs are light orange-red. The red skin round the eye, commonly found in these hill-partridges, is noticeable even through the face-feathers in this species.
This is a bird of our eastern hills, its western limit being Assam; it ranges east to Cachar and south to Chittagong, but does not go north of the Brahmaputra. It is fond of dense forest and bamboo-jungle, and is usually only seen singly, though in such cases it is suspected that often a covey may be really present, but refusing to rise simply because one of their number has been disturbed, for sometimes parties of half a dozen may be seen. Their call, according to Cripps,is "a rolling whistle, whew, whew, 1 repeated many times, and winding up with a sharper and more quickly uttered whew. As is usually the case with these partridges, the call can be easily imitated, and by such imitation they are most readily shot; in the ordinary way, as with the common hill-partridge of the west, they afford only chance-shots, and are only worth picking up casually when such opportunities occur. They rise with a loud whirr and whistled alarm-call, and fly well and fast; but will not fly at all if they can help it. The eggs are white, and have been found at the foot of trees on shaded teelahs, of about two hundred feet high; the nest was a scrape lined with leaves and twigs, and four seems to be the full set, as they have been found incubated.