(1985) Francolinus pondicerianus mecranensis.
THE MECRAN GREY PARTRIDGE.
Francolinus mecranensis Zarudny & Harm., Orn. Monatsb., p. 53 (1913) (Baluchistan). Francolinus pondicerianus. Blanf. & Oates. iv, p. 139 (part.).
Vernacular names. Acho Titur (Sind); Tauzarai (Pushtu): Gora Titur (Hind.).
Description, Much paler than either of the preceding races; above the general tone of the plumage is grey, not brownish-grey and the chestnut, practically confined to the scapulars and wings, is much paler and also less in extent; the throat-patch is white or almost so and the surrounding white spaces broader and whiter; the breast is but faintly tinged with ochraceous.
Colours of soft parts. Similar to, but paler than, the same parts in the other races.
Measurements. Wing, 141 to 149 mm., 137 to 139 mm.; culmen 19 to 23 mm.
Distribution. The Mekran Coast, Sind, throughout the hilly portion and also between the Indus and Baluchistan in the North; Baluchistan, Afghanistan, South and Central Persia. In the North-West Frontier Provinces West of the Indus only this race seems to occur. "Whitehead's birds from the frontier, Battray's from Dera-Ismail-Khan and Bunnu, and others from Quetta, all seem nearest this pale grey race.
Nidification. In Northern Sind, between Sukkar and Baluchistan this Partridge breeds in great numbers during March and April and in Baluchistan and Afghanistan most breed during April and May, whilst in Persia it breeds from April to June at altitudes up to 9,000 feet. So far as is yet recorded it does not seem to have a second breeding-season later in the year. Nests and eggs are like those of the other races. Seventy-seven eggs average 34.0 x 26.0 mm.: maxima 37.3 X 25.6 and 35.1 x 27.4 mm.; minima 31.0 x 24.4 mm.
Habits. This race only differs from the others in inhabiting drier, more arid and desert country. Even in these, however, it keeps much to the water-courses where there is scrub and other jungle or a certain amount of grass and cultivation and it is seldom to be found in the actual deserts or stony wastes in which there is no cover.