The general impression made by this bird may be judged of by the fact that an escaped specimen in England some years ago figured in a sporting paper as a hybrid between a partridge and a pheasant; it is, indeed, a partridge in size, but its tail in length and form rather recalls the pheasant type. The plumage is sober and partridge-like, and the same in both sexes ; the distinctive points about it are the chestnut spots on the brown back, and the diamond or heart-shaped black markings on the belly. The legs are grey, spurred in the cock, and often in the hen as well.
The bamboo partridge was first discovered by Dr. Anderson at Ponsee, in Yunnan; here it frequented old rice land on hillsides at 3,000 feet. It is now known to inhabit Manipur, the Kachyen Hills, and in our territory, Upper Burma and the hill ranges west to Assam. This being so, it at first seems strange that a good-sized bird like this should have first been made known from outside, when it occurs even near Shillong, but it is a very skulking bird, and difficult to flush. Besides bamboo-jungle, it haunts long grass and heavy forest jungle; it is strictly a hill bird keeping above 2,000 feet.
It perches freely and roosts in trees at night; and on rising in the morning will come out into open spaces. It is not an abundant bird, and generally found in pairs ; its call, heard in spring, is unmusical and loud, like che-ke keree. The nesting season is said to be May and June, and the eggs brownish-buff laid in a nest on the ground in or under a tuft of grass. The weight is about twelve ounces in the cock and a couple less in the hen; the plumage is exceedingly variable in detail, but the points given above, in conjunction with the length of tail, which may reach five inches, make this bird easily distinguishable from other local partridges, especially the woodland species, all of which except this one have very short tails.