1342. Lophophorus refulgens

1342. Lophophorus refulgens.

The Monal.

Lophophorus refulgens, Temm. Pig. et Gall, ii, p. 355 (1813) ; iii, p. 673; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 278. Lophophorus impeyanus, apud Blyth, Cat. p. 246; Adams. P. Z. S. 1858, p. 500; Mitchell, ibid. p. 545, pls. 147 (young), 149, fig. 5 (egg); Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 510; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 67 ; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 71; Hume, N. & E. p. 520; Hume Marsh. Game B. i, p. 125, pl.; Hume, Cat. no. 804; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 342 ; Fairbrother, S. F. ix, p. 203; Wardlaw Ramsay, Ibis, 1880, p. 70; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 407 ; nec Lath.

The Monaul Pheasant, Jerdon ; Lont , Ham, Nil-mor, Jangli-mor, Kashmir ; Nilgur, Chamba ; Mandl, Nil, , Karari , Kulu ; Munal, Ghar-mnnal, Ratia Kawan, Ratnal, Ratkap, N. W. Himalayas; Datiya, Kumaun and Garhwal; Dafia, Nepal; Fo-dong, Lepcha; Chamdong, Bhot. (Sikhim).

Coloration. Male. Head and crest of spade-shaped feathers, bend of wing, and upper tail-coverts brilliant metallic green: at the sides behind the ear-coverts is a purple patch ; back and sides of neck coppery bronze, passing into the bronze-green of the upper back; interscapulars, scapulars, wing-coverts, and rump metallic purple, with the tips of the feathers blue or greenish blue; lower back white; quills black, secondaries glossed with green on the outer webs ; tail-feathers pale cinnamon, darker towards the ends ; lower parts dull black, glossed with metallic green on the throat and fore neck, along a stripe on each side of the upper breast, and on the lower tail-coverts.

Female. Brown ; the feathers of the head and neck above and at the sides, upper back and wing-coverts black, with buff streaks and mottling on each side of the shaft or along it; crest short, the feathers of equal breadth throughout; lower back and rump buff, with black bars; upper tail-coverts more or less tipped with white; quills blackish brown, secondaries with rufous-buff bars and whitish tips; tail-feathers like secondaries, but the rufous buff bars are broader and more regular; chin and throat white, remainder of lower parts blackish brown, speckled and streaked with buffy white and with more or less distinct white shaft-streaks.

The young resemble the female except that young males have the throat more or less black and generally are darker throughout. The adult male plumage appears to be gradually assumed, some of the feathers changing in colour without a moult; and the bird, according to Mr. Wilson, does not attain its full plumage until the second year, whilst the 7th primary remains brown for a year longer.

Bill dark horny; irides brown; naked orbits blue; legs and feet dull ashy green (Jerdon).

Length of males about 28 ; tail 9.5 ; wing 11.5 ; tarsus 3 ; bill from gape 2. Length of females about 25 ; tail 8.5; wing 10.5.

Distribution. Throughout the Himalayas, from Bhutan to Kashmir and even farther west, this Pheasant having been recorded from Chitral and from the Safed Koh in Afghanistan. In Sikhim in summer the range of the Monal is from 10,000 to 15,000 feet; in winter lower. In the Western Himalayas the usual range is from 8000 to 12,000 feet, though the bird may be found in summer up to 15,000, and in winter as low as 4500.

Habits, &c. In summer this gorgeous Pheasant is found near the upper limits of forests, and frequently on the hill-sides above the forests in small numbers ; it is not met with iu flocks or coveys, but singly or in twos or threes, females keeping together more than males do ; it lives on insects, seeds, berries, leaves, &c. The call is a loud plaintive whistle. The breeding-season is in May and June, and four, five, or rarely six eggs are laid in a small depression beneath a bush or tuft of grass. The eggs are dull buffy white, speckled with reddish brown, and measure on an average 2.55 by 1.78.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1342. Lophophorus refulgens
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Himalayan Monal
Lophophorus impejanus
Vol. 4

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