1373. Francolinus pictus.
The Painted Partridge.
Perdix picta, Jard. & Selby, Ill. Orn. pl. 50 (1828). Perdix hepburnii, Gray in Hardw. Ill. Ind. Zool. i, pl. 55 (1830-32). Francolinus pictus, Blyth, Cat. p. 251; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 561 ; Beavan, Ibis, 1868, p. 383; King, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 216; Lloyd, Ibis, 1873, p. 415; Butler & Hume, S. F. iv, p. 6; v, p. 211; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 262; Ball, S. F. v, p. 419; vii, p. 225 ; Hume, Cat. no. 819; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 19, pi.; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 744 ; Hume, S. F. ix, p. 208 : Butler, ibid. p. 422 ; Vidal, S. F. x, p. 160; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 308; Oates in Humes N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 430; Ogilvie Grant, Ibis, 1892, p. 40 ; id. Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 138.
Titar, Kala titar, Mahr. ; Kakhera kodi, Tel.
Coloration. Male. Forehead, supercilia, lores, and sides of head dull ferruginous red; crown black with buff edges to the feathers ; back and sides of neck the same, but the buff edges are broader and more rufous ; upper back black with white spots; wing-coverts blackish brown, with large rufous-buff spots and bars ; scapulars the same, each with a submarginal buff band; quills brown, with transversely broad rufous-buff spots on each web, becoming bars on the secondaries ; lower back, rump, upper tail-coverts, and middle tail-feathers narrowly barred black and white ; outer tail-feathers the same, but with black ends, which are broader on the outermost feathers ; chin and throat paler ferruginous than the cheeks and becoming streaked with black on the fore neck; breast and flanks nearly covered with buffy-white spots separated from each other by black ; lower abdomen dull rufous, passing into chestnut on the lower tail-coverts.
Females scarcely differ except that the pale bars on the lower back, rump, and tail are more distant, and buff instead of white; the throat too is whitish.
Bill blackish ; irides dark brown; legs yellowish red (Jerdon). No spurs in either sex.
Length 12; tail 3 ; wing 5.5 ; tarsus 1.7; bill from gape 1.05.
Distribution. The southern limit of Francolinus vulgaris is the northern boundary of the range of the Painted Partridge, which is common in Guzerat, Khandesh, the Nerbudda valley, and parts of the Deccan, less common in the Central Indian Agency, Bundelkhand, Jhansi, Saugor, the Central Provinces, and the northern parts of the Madras Presidency ; still rarer farther south, and wanting on the Malabar coast south of Bombay, in Mysore, and in the peninsula south of Coimbatore. It occurs in Ceylon, but only, so far as is known, on some of the lower hills of the Central Province west and south of Nuwara-Elia.
Habits, &c. Similar to those of F. vulgaris, except that the present species is more commonly found in dry grassy tracts away from water; it affects cultivation to a greater extent, and it much more often perches in trees ; the male especially often utters its call-note, which resembles that of the Black Partridge, but is less harsh and has a very different tone, from a tree. The nest and eggs closely resemble those of the Black Partridge ; the breeding-season is from July to September (June to August according to Jerdon), and the eggs, usually 7 or 8 in number, are creamy white to drab in colour, and measure about 1.4 by 1.18.
Where plentiful this Partridge affords good shooting, and it is, in the cold season, an excellent bird for the table.
On the boundary between the areas, inhabited by the Black and Painted Partridge respectively hybrids between the two have been found, as at Deesa by Capt. Butler (Hume & Marsh.' Game Birds,' ii, p. 25, pl.), and, I think, in Cutch and Kattywar (J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 190 ; xxxix, pt. 2, p. 121). For the hybrid the name F. intermedins was suggested by Butler (S. P. v, p. 211), and the name was at one time accepted by Ogilvie Grant (Ibis, 1892, p. 40).