The green-legged hill partridge is easily recognized, not only by its green legs, but by the coloration of the flanks, which, instead of being grey with white spots, as is usual in the group, are light reddish brown boldly marked with black. The upper throat is white, but the lower chestnut, speckled with black as in the rufous-throated species, and the breast is really brown like the back, which may easily lead to confusion with the brown-breasted hill-partridge so-called, which often lives in the same district as, though not exactly alongside, this one, and certainly has the breast no browner; indeed, it is a particularly light, buffy-tinted bird.
The colour of the back in the present species is brown, with rather fine and close markings of black. It has a remarkable peculiarity in the plumage of the upper flanks, where there is a white downy area, overlaid by the ordinary feathers, and further hidden by the closed wing. The use of this peculiar patch is not known, and it would be worth while to study the bird in life to see if it is displayed at any time, or if, like the down patches on the breast and rump of a heron, it secretes a powdery substance.
The green-logged hill-partridge is not found in India proper, but is a Cochin Chinese and Burmese bird, occurring, like the brown-breasted species, on the Pegu hills, though not on the western faces of these, and also inhabiting Tenasserim, where indeed it was first obtained. In Pegu, Oates noted, as above observed, that it did not frequent exactly the same localities as the brown-breasted kind, even in the same district, and Tickell, who discovered it, remarked that in Tenasserim it actually avoided mountains, and frequented low-lying jungle on dry undulated ground. Davison also observed that though sometimes found in heavy forest, it preferred a thinner growth, and unlike the rufous-throated hill-partridge, would settle again on the ground when flushed by a dog, instead of perching.
In other respects, in their skulking habits, and in having a double-whistled note, these birds conform to the ordinary hill-partridge type, but the small differences of detail are interesting, as they are correlated with differences in structural points— the white down-patch under the wing, and the absence of a peculiar bony ridge over the eye which the typical hill-partridges possess.