1903. Gallus bankiva murghi

(1903) Gallus bankiva murghi Rob. & Kloss.
THE INDIAN RED JUNGLE-FOWL.
Gallus bankiva murghi, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 295.
The Red Jungle-fowl is found in the Lower Himalayas from Kashmir to East and South Assam ; North and East Central Provinces, Western Bengal, Chota Nagpur, Bihar and Orissa ; Mundla, Raipur, Bastar and South to the Godavery. As Hume and others have pointed out, the range of the Jungle-fowl coincides almost exactly with that of the Sal-tree (Shorea robusta) and the habitat of the Swamp-deer (Cervus duvauceli).
Our Jungle-fowl is, as its name infers, a bird of the forest and jungle, but it really does not much matter what kind of jungle it is. Probably it prefers fairly dense jungle with cultivation round about, so that it can breed in the former and feed in the latter. In the hills, where it is common up to 5,000 feet and occurs up to at least 7,000 feet, I think we found most nests in forest with undergrowth on the borders of the rice-fields, but many also bred in bamboo-jungle or in secondary growth. Others again made their nests in bush and tree-forest on islands in the bigger streams while, like nearly all Game-birds, they prefer sites which arc close to water.
*I see no reason to depart from the nomenclature used in the ‘Fauna.’ It is quite impossible to use gallus, which Linnaeus applied to a. domestic form, not the Red Jungle-fowl, which he described with the adjective pugnax.
The nests are just scrapes in the ground, but these are nearly always well filled with grass, leaves and other rubbish, sometimes as it falls but, more often, scraped together by the birds. Occasionally no scrape is made and the eggs are deposited on whatever debris lies about.
Three nests out of four are well hidden under hushes, ferns, long grass or brambles but, when in bamboo-jungle, they may be right out in the open, though the buff eggs hardly show at all on the fallen bamboo-leaves and may be passed very close without attracting attention.
They breed from the end of March to the end of May, but odd clutches may be taken from January to October.
So far as my own experience goes live to seven eggs generally form the full clutch ; eight, nine or ten are sometimes laid but, on the other hand, I have seen three or four only incubated. Hume says five or six is the usual clutch, Hutton says that in the Dhun it is four to six, but Jerdon says eight to twelve eggs.
The eggs are like small eggs of the domestic fowl and vary from very pale buff, cream or fawn to a colour as deep and rich as that of the darkest egg of a barn-door fowl. I have not, however, ever seen a clutch of really white eggs.
In shape and texture, as well as in colour, they are also similar to eggs of the domestic bird and vary to the same extent.
One hundred and fifty eggs average 45.3 x 34.4 mm. : maxima 52.0 x 35.5 and 46.3 x 41.1 mm. ; minima 39.6 x 33.2 and 44.0 x 32.0 mm.
I have no doubt that most cock birds are monogamous and take quite a keen interest in the feeding and protection of the young, though they certainly take no part either in incubation or in the preparation of the nest.
The display needs no description, as it consists in the same running round the hen, the same stiff distention of the wing and the accompanying brushing of the ground that is indulged in in our home farms. There is one feature, however, that is not seen or, rather, heard at home, and that is the drumming sound made by the cocks when perching, which is produced by the rapid beating of the wings against the body.
The period of incubation is twenty days.

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: 
1903. Gallus bankiva murghi
Spp Author: 
Rob.&kioss.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1903
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
197
Common name: 
Common Red Jungle Fowl
M_ID: 
1513
M_SN: 
Gallus gallus bankiva
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
15090

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