1943. Galloperdix lunulata

(1943) Galloperdix lunulata (Valenc.).
THE PALNTED Spur-Fowl.
Galloperdix lunulata. Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v. p. 362.
The range of this Spur-Fowl is very much the same as that of the true Bed Spur-Fowl. In the North its limits may be roughly defined as the Sind, Jumna and Granges Rivers ; West it is found as far as the coastal hill-ranges and throughout Coimbatore and Mysore. It does not occur on the Malabar coast or in Western Travancore. On the East it extends to the coast of Orissa and Madras wherever the country is suitable.
This Spur-Fowl does not seem to mind much what kind of country it breeds in provided there is ample cover of some kind and the ground broken and rocky.
There is very little recorded about the breeding of this bird. Blewitt writes :—“It breeds certainly from March to May” (Raipore), "making a slight excavation in the ground for the eggs, under shelter of a boulder or rock in a thicket. Some time in April 1871, from such a nest, made at the base of a large boulder in dense jungle, the eggshells were taken from which the chicks had escaped ; again in the same month, under the ledge of a rock in thick undergrowth in a slight hollow in the earth, two fresh eggs were found.
“Apparently five is the maximum number of eggs. At least during two seasons, of the many broods met with, no single brood of chicks exceeded this number.”
Hume also notes that Thompson took a nest in Chanda, on the 5th April and Tickell a second in June.
It does not breed at any great elevation, probably very seldom over 3,000 feet and generally under 2,000 feet.
Pitman found them extraordinarily common in the Central Provinces on the rocky bills of granatoid gneiss, which were covered with forest, bamboo- and thorn-jungle, and noticed that they preferred the crests of these ridges, covered quite thinly with grass and bush, rather than the more heavily forested lower slopes. This penchant for boulders and rocks, both for living and for breeding among, seems constant, and many of my correspondents refer to rocks affording protection to the nests they have found.
In the Nilgiris they are very common in the sholas and other small woods up to about 2,000 feet, and I have clutches taken by Vidal, Howard Campbell and F. E. Kemp taken from February to May and a clutch of two taken by Col. H. R. Baker in the Eastern Ghats on the 18th June.
We still want more information about the breeding time, but presumably, over most of its area, February to early May is the normal season, a few birds laying in January and a few others in June.
The eggs are just like those of the other species, but pale-coloured eggs are more numerous in proportion and the range of variation wider.
Twenty-five eggs average 40.9 x 29.3 mm. : maxima 42.4 x 28.4 and 42.0 x 81.0 mm, ; minima 39.7 x 28.3 and 41.2 x 27.0 mm.
I know nothing of its general breeding habits beyond Blewitt’s note to the effect that “the parent birds assiduously care for their young and when disturbed exhibit great anxiety for their safety. When closely pursued, the old birds endeavour by many artifices to draw the attention of the intruders from the spot where the chicks lie concealed, and invariably on the cry of a chick, wounded or captured, the parent birds daringly return to the rescue, often to within a dozen yards or so of the sportsmen. The chicks are very soon able to fly as well and as fast as the old birds.”

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1943. Galloperdix lunulata
Spp Author: 
Valenc.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1943
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
229
Common name: 
Painted Spur Fowl
M_ID: 
1463
M_CN: 
Painted Spurfowl
M_SN: 
Galloperdix lunulata
Volume: 
Vol. 4
id: 
15123

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