1963. Arborophila rufogularis intermedia

(1963) Arborophila rufogularis intermedia (Blyth).
Arborophila rufogularis intermedia, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 391.
This Arakan subspecies ranges from Assam, South of the Brahma¬pootra and East of the Dibong, through Manipur, Lushai Hills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the Arakan Yomas, while East it extends through the Chin Hills to the Kachin Hills and the Yunnan Mountains (A. r. euroa).
In the Assam Hills it was quite a common bird, breeding between 2,000 and 6,000 feet in almost any kind of forest or jungle. The favourite haunt is undoubtedly rather stunted forest between 3,000 and 4,000 feet where the trees are small, not too close, the undergrowth scanty rather than otherwise, and the open glades and banks of streams numerous. At the same time I have found nests or had them shown to me in dense evergreen forest with almost impenetrable undergrowth. Often they haunt bamboo-jungle or mixed bamboo and grass, while at other times they may be found breeding in secondary growth and in among the weeds and cotton-bushes in cultivated patches surrounded by forest.
As a rule they prefer to nest in grass or thin undergrowth in forests, and in Laisung they nested occasionally in beds of a large and very virulent stinging-nettle mixed with a little long grass.
The nest varies greatly. Of course it is always on the ground, but it may be just a collection of leaves and rubbish with a hollow scraped in the centre, a scrape in the ground, either roughly lined with leaves and grass or with a neat compact lining of well inter¬woven leaves and grass. At times also a still better home is furnished for the eggs, especially when the scrape is made in among the roots of grass, whether green or withered. A hollow is scraped out by the birds in among the roots where the grass grows fairly thickly ; this is beautifully lined, and then the surrounding grass is cleverly interwoven with other stems and blades of grass so as to form sides all round the nest and a complete or semi-complete canopy over it. Not content with this, the female then forms a tuimel a few inches or a yard or more in length through the grass to the nest ; sometimes this tunnel is a well constructed, well covered affair, but I have seen one which was really ridiculous, the grass being simply bent over here and there where it grew conveniently, and though, from the marks, the bird evidently went in and out of her nest by this path quite regularly, the tunnel could not have screened her from view in any way.
The scrapes vary from about 7 to 9 inches in diameter, the best nest-pads being about 6 inches across, while the interwoven grass forms a chamber about 9 to 12 inches in diameter by rather more in height.
The mouth of the tunnel seems to be generally closed by the birds with growing grass, to which a few extra bits may be added. When the bird is absent it is always closed but often also as she enters to sit she closes, or partially closes, the entrance behind her.
Sometimes the nest is entirely unconcealed and at other times it is well hidden in scrub or grass or occasionally by an overhanging rock or boulder.
The breeding season is a long one and I have taken eggs from the 4th April to the 3rd August, but most eggs are laid in May and June.
The normal clutch seems to be four to six and very seldom seven. The Nagas all say that the birds do not lay more than six and some times only three, and these men are such accurate observers of nature that I have no doubt they arc correct.
One hundred and fifty eggs average 39.2 x 29.8 nun. : maxima 44.0 x 31.0 and 43.1 x 82.0 mm. ; minima 38.4 x 26.6 mm.
The male is monogamous and is a very good husband and father, but takes no share in incubation and only helps with the nest when this is of the chamber type, when he assists the female in pulling down and interweaving (matting together would be a more correct term) the grass of which the walls and roof are formed, A pair of birds bred in a ravine near my bungalow in Gunyong for four years. The first year some Nagas netted the bird and took the eggs, but on her release in the ravine she again laid in almost the same spot, bringing up her brood of four quite safely. She always laid four eggs, but one year she had two broods, and the whole ten birds kept together until the following year. Incubation in her case took twenty or twenty-one days and began with the laying of the third egg ; the male never sat, so far as I could ascertain, but was generally in the vicinity of the nest.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1963. Arborophila rufogularis intermedia
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Arrakan Hill Partridge
Arborophila rufogularis intermedia
Vol. 4

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