Arboricola brunneipectus

Brown-breasted HILL-PARTRIDGE.

Arboricola brunneipectus.

The light buffy colour of the under-parts and face of this species make it recognizable at once among our hill-partridges ; on the breast the buff is strongly tinged with brown, and on the flanks with grey ; and these flank-feathers have black tips as well as white spots, but there are not the usual streaks of chestnut in this region. The throat-feathers are marked with black, and the red of the skin shows through them more or less. The brown back is barred with black, the barrings being bold and strong: and the back of the neck is black. This is one of the red-legged species—in fact, it is noticeable that most hill-partridges are red on the legs as well as round the eyes.

In spite of the noticeable distinction ;n colour between this and the Arakan hill-partridge, the Burmese name Toung-kha appears to be applied to both, just as in the Himalayas Peura is rather a generic than a specific name.

It is in the Ruby Mines district and the eastern hills of Tenasserim and Pegu, that this hill-partridge has been found so far, living in evergreen forest at any elevation up to 4,500 feet; they especially frequent densely-wooded ravines and nullahs, and it has been noticed that the green-legged hill-partridge (Tropico- perdix chloropus) and the present bird are never found in the same valley, which points to some competition or conflict between them. In Pegu, where Oates observed this, it was found that these hill-partridges were only found on the eastern slopes of the hills, the western declivities being only clothed with jungle too thin to meet their requirements in the way of cover. Here they were living almost entirely on hard seeds.

At Thoungyah, Hume's collector, Darling, found them so common that he saw two or three coveys every day ; from six to ten formed a covey, but they were not easy to get. They uttered a "soft cooing whistle" as they ran about scratching amongst the leaves for their food of insects, little snails, and seed, but when treed by a dog their whistle became shriller and higher until another answered. The sight of a man drove them scattering into the dense underbrush. Tickell, who first described the species, says they cannot be flushed more than once, and when they had settled in the shelter of a bush they would squat till they were within a yard of the muzzle of his gun. He heard them now and then emit a purring note when creeping about in the cover. Except that it is believed to breed in May, nothing is known about the nesting of this species.

BookTitle: 
Indian Sporting Birds
Reference: 
Finn, Frank. Indian Sporting Birds. Edwards, 1915.
Title in Book: 
Arboricola brunneipectus
Book Author: 
Frank Finn
Year: 
1915
Page No: 
248
Common name: 
Brown Breasted Hill Partridge
M_ID: 
1407
M_CN: 
Bar-backed Partridge
M_SN: 
Arborophila brunneopectus
id: 
12404

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