Coturnix coromandelica, Gm.
830. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 588 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 7 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 423 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 215 ; Game Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 151 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 132.
THE BLACK-BREASTED QUAIL.
Length, 6.5 to 7.25 ; expanse, 7.83 to 12.12 ; wing, 3.43 to 3.7 ; tail, 1.2 to 1.56 ; tarsus, 09 to 1.0 ; bill from gape, 0.5 to 0.6 ; weight, 2.2 to 3 oz.
Bill blackish, paler at base beneath; irides brown ; legs and feet pale fleshy.
Male, upper surface closely resembles that of the Grey Quail, but is somewhat brighter, and the colors more pronounced, the yellow stripes being in greater number; chin and throat pure white ; two narrow cross bands of black on the throat, the upper one joined by a longitudinal stripe on each side from the base of the lower mandible ; below these the breast is black, breaking up into black blotches on the abdomen, extending along the flanks as far as the vent; lower belly white, tinged with rufous on the flanks and lower tail-coverts; primaries plain unbarred brown.
The female wants the black breast and cross bars, and has the neck and breast spotted dark-brown.
Young males have less of the black on the breast, which is broken up into spots and blotches. During the breeding season, the black breast is more marked, the bill also is darker, and the legs redder.
The Rain Quail is generally distributed throughout the district, and is in most places a permanent resident; in Sind it occurs as a seasonal visitant. It breeds during August, September and October, making a slight nest in a depression on the ground. The eggs, eight or nine in number, are usually broad oval in shape, and vary in color from pale yellowish to rich cafe-au-lait.
" The markings are of three types: :-
'" First fine specklings and spottings thickly spread over the whole surface of the egg ; second bold blotchings and frecklings ; third marblings.
" In color the markings equally vary, blackish, purplish, olive, and burnt sienna, all occur." :- Game Birds of India.
They measure 1.1 inches in length by nearly 0.84 in breadth.