Gallus sonnerati, Tem.
813. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 539 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 5 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol, IX, p. 421; Game Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 231 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 131.
THE GREY JUNGLE FOWL.
Jangli Murghi, Hin.
Length, 28 to 32 ; expanse, 27 to 31; wing, 9.35 to 9.65 ; tail, 14 to 16 ; tarsus, 2.85 to 3; bill from gape, 1.3; weight, 1 10/16, to 2 1/2 lbs.
Length, 18 to 20; expanse, 26 to 27 ; wing, 7.8 to 8.3 ; tail, 6 to 7 ; tarsus, 2.2 to 2.5 ; bill from gape, 1.2 ; weight, 1 9/16 to 1 3/4 lbs.
Bill yellowish-horny; comb, face, and wattles red; irides orange-brown; legs and feet horny-yellowish. Whole head and neck, with the hackles, blackish-grey, with yellow spots, each feather being blackish with the shaft white and two spots, the terminal one of somewhat square form, as if a drop of yellow sealing wax; the other whitish, passing on the wing-coverts into oblong spots of glistening wood-brown; ear-coverts pale rufous; the rest of the plumage above and below blackish-grey, the feathers white shafted, and those on the flanks broadly centred and tipped with wood-brown; outermost primaries dusky, with the shaft and narrow edge pale; the others black, faintly glossed; upper tail-coverts glossy purple ; central tail-feathers glossy-green, the gloss diminishing on the lateral feathers ; vent dirty-brownish ; under tail-coverts glossy black with white shafts.
The hen is mottled brown above, with pale shafts on the wing-coverts; beneath blackish-brown, the feathers broadly centred with pure white, passing into plain dull brown on the flanks, thigh-coverts, vent, and under tail-coverts; head and neck rufous-brown, paler on the chin and throat, and somewhat yellowish ; primaries dark brown, the secondaries mottled brown ; tail blackish-brown, edged with mottled-brown.
The Grey Jungle Fowl is a common permanent resident all along the Sahyadri Range, and in the adjoining forests, including the hilly parts of Ratnagiri and Belgaum ; it is also common on Mount Aboo, and indeed all along the Aravelli Range at all events as far as Erinpoora, where I have myself obtained it. It breeds during May and June, the eggs being deposited on the ground under a bush ; there is not much nest to speak of, only a few dry leaves. I have never found more than six eggs in a nest; they are oval in shape, pointed at one end, coarse in texture and closely pitted all over like the eggs of guinea fowl. They are creamy or of a rich cafe-au-lait color, most of them spotted or speckled with brownish red. They measure 1.84 inches in length by 1.38 in breadth.