1380. Lerwa nivicola.
Perdix lerwa, Hodgs. P. Z. S. 1833, p. 107. Lerwa nivicola, Hodgs. Madr. Jour. L. S. v, p. 301 (1837); Blyth, Cat. p. 248; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 555; Stoliczka, J. A .S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 68; Blanford, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 72; Hume, Cat. no. 817 ; Hume Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 1, pl.; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 428. Lerwa lerwa, Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 100.
Lerwa, Bhotia.; Janguria. Kumaun ; Quoir or Kur Monal, Garhwal, &c.; Golabi, Bhair, Ter Titar, Bashahr, &c.; Barf-ka Titar, Kulu ; Biju, Chamba.
Coloration. Head and neck all round and whole upper plumage closely barred with black and buffy white, the pale bands broad and rufous on the tertiaries and scapulars ; primaries and secondaries brown, the inner primaries speckled with whitish on the edges and tipped white, the secondaries broadly tipped and more speckled with white, and the inner secondaries barred with white near the ends; tail black with mottled white bars; breast deep chestnut, the feathers towards the base dark brown with white edges; abdomen similar, but the white margins are broader and much more conspicuous, and the feathers have subterminal black bars, the white edges are broadest on the flanks ; lower flanks and feathers around vent barred brown and rufous white ; under tail-coverts chestnut, with black shaft-stripes and buffy-white tips.
In young birds the chestnut of the lower parts is mottled and tipped with black, and the barring is less distinct throughout.
Bill bright red ; irides brown ; feet deep red.
Length about 15; tail 4.5; wing 7.75; tarsus 1.5; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. The higher ranges of the Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan and farther east, at elevations of 10,000 to 14,000 feet in summer, lower in winter, also in Moupin and West Se-chuen, China.
Habits, &c. This bird somewhat resembles a Ptarmigan, and is found in coveys or small flocks in autumn and winter, and in pairs in spring, on rocky or stony slopes, amongst stunted herbage above the forest line, except when driven down by the winter's snow. It has a peculiar shrill whistle, by which its presence is often made known, for when unmolested it is a comparatively tame bird. The young are hatched about the end of June at elevations between 12,000 and 15,000 feet, the eggs being large and white, freckled all over with reddish brown. There are usually six or seven young in each brood. This is one of the best Asiatic game birds lor the table.