27. BLYTH'S HILL-PARTRIDGE.
Arboricola rufigularis, Blyth.
Sides of the body marked with white and chestnut. Breast grey. Feathers of the back obsoletely fringed, not barred. Throat chestnut, spotted with black.
Vernacular Names :—Peura, Kumaon; Kohumbut-pho, Lepcha ; Lakom, Bhutia. Pokhu, Daphla Hills.
Blyth's Hill-Partridge occurs in the lower ranges of the Himalayas from Kumaon to about the 94th degree of east longitude, where the Daphla Hills are situated. It again occurs many hundreds of miles south, on Muleyit, and probably other high hills, in Tenasserim. In the intermediate country between Assam and Tenasserim, the next species only has been observed.
This species ranges from the base of the hills up to 6000 feet. There is little to say regarding the habits of this Partridge; they seem to be quite similar to those of the other Hill-Partridges.
Mr. Hume tells us that Mr. Mandelli sent him an egg of this Partridge. It was taken from a nest which contained four fresh eggs on the 4th July at Pattabong, below Darjiling. This egg is described as being a broad oval in shape, pointed towards the small end; in colour a sullied white with a few very minute grey specks dotted about on it; and the shell rather fine and smooth, but with very little perceptible gloss. It measured 1.5 by 1.2.
In this bird the crown of the head is brown spotted with black, and a broad band over the eye is grey speckled with black. The throat, the sides of the head and the sides of the neck, (almost meeting behind) are chestnut with round black spots. The upper plumage, the wings and tail are olive-brown; the feathers of the back with faint, indistinct, darker margins (sometimes almost absent); the rump and tail with small black spots and triangular marks; the wing-coverts pale olive-brown with large oval black spots and chestnut tips. The spotted throat is followed by a plain chestnut patch, and again by a black band. This black is reduced in size, or sometimes quite absent, in specimens from Tenasserim. The breast is deep grey ; the belly greyish white; and the sides of the body deep grey, each feather with a white spot, and the lateral margins broadly chestnut. The first ten quills of the wing are brown, mottled with rufous at the tip.
Length about 10 1/2; wing about 5 ; tail about 2; legs pale red; irides brown; bill black. Weight up to 12 oz.