(1905) Gallus sonneratii.
THE GREY JUNGLE-FOWL.
Gallus sonneratii Temm., Pig. at Gall., ii, p. 246 (1813) (India) ; Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 77.
Vernacular names. Jungli-murgha, Jungli-murghi (Hind.); Komri (Mt. Aboo); Parda Komri (Gondhi, Chanda Dist.); Ran-Kombada, Ran-Kombadi (Marati); Kombadi (Deccan); Kattu-Kozli or Koli (Tam.) ; Adavekode (Tel.); Koli, Kad-Koli (Can.) ; Geera-Kur (Marie Gond.).
Description.— Adult male. Feathers at the side of the forehead dull rufous ; head, neck and hackles of the extreme upper back black, with grey fringes to the bases and with numerous bars of golden-yellow on the nape, neck and shoulders changing to pure white on the back; on the longer feathers the black bars are glossed with purple-blue; back, rump and wing-coverts black fringed with grey, with broad white shaft-streaks and the majority of the feathers with concealed longitudinal grey streaks: longest and lateral rump-feathers fringed chestnut, glossed with purple and spotted with pale yellow or white; upper tail-coverts black, glossed with violet, purple and blue and edged with buff and chestnut; median wing-coverts and scapulars black, barred on the basal half with grey and with white shafts expanding at their tips into flat spatulate plates of orange-yellow about 25 mm. long by 5 mm. wide, the majority of which have deep red fringes on the outer side ; greater coverts and quills blackish-brown; the innermost secondaries and coverts with white shafts and sometimes freckled with whitish near the tips ; lower parts from the hackles to the vent dark brown or blackish with white shaft-streaks and grey or grey-white edges to the feathers; feathers of the posterior flanks and a few on the abdomen with orange-rufous edges ; feathers of vent and centre of abdomen dull rufous-brown ; under tail-coverts black with white edges.
Colours of soft parts. Iris yellow to bright red; culmen black, the upper mandible at the base and most of the lower mandible yellowish-horny; legs and feet yellow or reddish-yellow; claws black.
Measurements. Wing 220 to 254 mm.; tail 330 to 375 mm.; tarsus about 70 to 75 mm.; culmen about 24 to 27 mm. Weight 1| to 2 1/2 lb.
Female. Upper part of the head dull pale brown, rufescent on the forehead and with faint white streaks; neck golden-brown, feathers white-shafted and with brown bands on each web, increasing in size on the mantle ; whole upper plumage and wings finely vermiculated pale sandy-brown and dull black ; tail dull rufous-black mottled with- rufous on the edge of the central tail-feathers ; below white, each feather edged with dark brown and slightly speckled with the same ; flanks mottled sandy-brown and brown with broad white central streaks.
Colours of soft parts. Rudimentary comb and bare skin of face brick-red to dull crimson; otherwise as in the male but the legs more yellow.
Measurements. Wing 200 to 215 mm.; tail about 150 to 175 mm.
Young males are like the female but more rufous and more boldly blotched and barred.
Male in post-nuptial plumage has no long tail-feathers and the neck-hackles are replaced with short dull brownish-black feathers.
Chick in down. Similar to that of the Red Jungle-fowl but the lateral bands almost white and the sides and lower parts dull grey.
Distribution. Southern India as far North as Mount Abu on the West and the Godavery on the East. It is found in Central India and Rajputana, whilst South it occurs very nearly to the extreme South of Travancore.
Nidification. The principal breeding-months are February to May, except in the Western Nilgiris, where eggs are laid from October to December; both eggs and young may, however, be found in almost every month of the year. The nidification is very similar to that of the Red Jungle-fowl and the birds lay, like them, from four to seven eggs but occasionally as many as ten or as few as three. The eggs are like domestic fowls' eggs, pale fawn to warm buff, a few eggs being sparsely and irregularly freckled and spotted with light, dark or reddish-brown. Sixty eggs average 46.3 x 36.5 mm.: maxima 51.0 x 36.1 and 49.0 x 38.0 mm.; minima 43.0 X 34.3 and 46.1 x 33.1 mm.
Habits. Very similar to those of the preceding species but it is much less gregarious and generally keeps in pairs or small family-parties. Their crow is quite different to that of Gallus bankiva and Davison syllabifies it as "kuck-kaya—kaya-kuck," ending with a low "kyukun kyukun," repeated slowly and softly. Like other Jungle-fowl they assemble in great numbers in areas where bamboos are in seed. They are said not to be very pugnacious.