(1966) Arborophila mandellii.
THE RED-BREASTED HILL-PARTRIDGE.
Arborophila mandellii Hume, Str. Feath., ii, p. 449 (1874) (Bhutan Duars). Arboricola mandellii. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 128.
Vernacular names. Pao-er (Chulikatta Mishmi).
Description.— Male and female. Lores, forehead and fore-crown dull, chestnut, shading into brown on the hind-crown and nape; pure dark grey superciliary stripes from the eye meeting on the upper neck; lower neck and extreme upper back chestnut-ferruginous with black spots; back, rump, upper tail-coverts and tail olive with narrow black edges and all but the back with bold black central spots to the feathers; scapulars and wing-coverts like the back but with still finer black bars; wing-quills brown; inner secondaries and greater coverts with chestnut edges, faint grey patches and bold black terminal spots; chin and throat pale olive-chestnut, followed by white and black rings; a small white moustachial streak; sides of head darker chestnut, forming a collar with the chestnut on the neck and spotted with black in the same way; upper breast rich deep chestnut; lower breast to vent grey, the flanks marked with chestnut in varying degree and more or less spotted with white; centre of abdomen paler and sometimes tinged with ashy; under tail-coverts olive with white spots and rufous tips and mottlings ; thigh-coverts and posterior flanks sometimes olive with black centres and rufous markings.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown to red-brown; bill black; legs reddish.
Measurements. Wing 133 to 145 mm.; tail 56 to 58 mm.; tarsus 43 to 45 mm.; culmen 19 to 20 mm.
Distribution. Hills North of the Brahmapootra from Sikkim and Bhutan to Eastern Assam. Bailey obtained it in the Upper Dibong Valley and Needham in the hills above Sadya.
Nidification. My collectors sent me four eggs with the skin of a female, trapped on the eggs which were taken on the 3rd June in the Chambi Valley at an elevation of about 8,000 feet. The eggs were laid on a pad of grass under shelter of a rock in evergreen-forest composed of oak- and rhododendron-trees, the ground very steep and rugged, much split up into small ravines and very wet and humid. The eggs measure about 44.0 x 34.4 mm. and are probably rather unusually large.
Habits. Those of the genus. This species is supposed to keep between 1,000 and 6,000 feet but evidently often ascends much higher than this. The Arbors knew it and said they habitually snared them in summer on some hills above Sadya which ran between 8,000 and 10,000 feet. It was obtained at over 7,000 feet in the Mishmi country and Macdonald trapped it at 8,000 feet in the Chambi Valley. It appears to be a rare bird, keeping to dense evergreen-forest.