Coturnix communis, Bonn.
829. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. 11, p. 586 ; 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. 133; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 131.
THE LARGE GREY QUAIL.
Length, 7.1 to 8.82 ; expanse, 13.0 to 14.7; wing, 4.0 to 4.55; tail, 1.6 to 2.25; tarsus, 0.9 to 1.15; bill from gape, 0.6 to 0.73; weight, 3.2 to 4.62 oz.
Bill very variable, in color blackish, dusky horny-brown, dull pale bluish, &c.; irides brown ; legs and feet pale fleshy.
Male, head brown, with pale edgings to the feathers, and a central pale line ; eye-brows, cheeks, and lores whitish, with the ear-coverts partially brown; the upper plumage brown, each feather of the back, scapulars, rump and tail having on one side of the pale yellow shaft, a fine black patch, and some pale cross striae; wing-coverts greyish-brown, with narrow streaks and bars of the pale yellowish, black bordered ; primaries dark-brown, with pale rufous spots and bars on the outer webs; beneath, the chin is dull white ; the throat rufous-brown with a double-blackish or brown band or collar, separated by some yellowish- white and a few blackish spots on the breast and sides of the neck ; the rest of the lower plumage pale rufous, deepest on the lower neck and breast, and becoming earthy on the flanks and vent; the long feathers of the flanks pale chocolate color, with a broad central stripe and some black blotches.
The female chiefly differs in wanting the rufous-brown patches on the throat and breast, which is much spotted with brown; she is larger than the male.
The Grey Quail is a common winter visitant to all portions of our limits. It is much more common in some years than in others. A few pairs do occasionally remain to breed, but these are probably sickly or injured birds.