1922. Gennaeus horsfieldii williamsi

(1922) Gennaeus horsfieldii williamsi.


Gennaeus williamsi Oates, Man. Game-B., i, p. 342 (1898) (Kalewa, Upper Chindwin).

Vernacular names. Tit (Burmese); Bah (Arrakan).

Description.— Adult male. Crest black; head, neck, back and whole visible portions of wing grey, this effect in colour being formed by numerous tiny bars of white, or buffy-white, and black ; lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts black with numerous bars of white and broad white fringes to the feathers, making these parts contrast with the back and to appear much whiter and more boldly barred; tail like the back but more boldly marked with white; inner webs of primaries brown, obsoletely mottled with darker brown ; lower plumage like G. h. horsfieldii.

The general tone varies greatly. Individuals merging into horsfieldii on the North-Eastern border of their habitat are very dark, the black predominating over the white; on the other hand, individuals on the Southern and Western boundaries are pale, grading into G. l. oatesi and G. n. rufipes respectively.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; facial skin deep crimson-red; bill pale horny, the tip almost white; legs and feet various shades of dark and light plumbeous-brown, ashy-brown or fleshy-livid, never red.

Measurements. Wing 218 to 254 mm.; tail 218 to 304 mm.; tarsus about 74 to 77 mm.; spur up to 26 mm.; culmen 28 to 32 mm.

Female is distinguishable by its tail from G. h. horsfieldii; the central tail-feathers are paler and more chestnut; the lateral feathers are black or nearly black with numerous narrow broken bars of white. On the whole, the females of this race are paler and more chestnut than those of the preceding.

Wing 195 to 231 mm.

Distribution. Confined to the moderately high hills lying between the Manipur, Oyu and Irrawaddy rivers; South it is found in the Arakan Yomas and on the East as far as Minbu and Thayetmyo. North it occurs as far as Homalin and Tammu.

Nidification. William's Kalij breeds between 2,000 and 4,000* and rarely up to 6,000 feet (Fort White), principally from early April to the end of May, possibly both earlier and later. The eggs number "four to nine and are similar to those of other Kalij Pheasants, though the few I have seen are rather pale buff. Sixteen eggs average 45.5 x 35.8 mm. They appear to breed more in scrub-jungle, secondary growth and thin deciduous forest with some undergrowth, rather than in deep evergreen-forest.

Habits. Similar to those of the Black-breasted Kalij but it is not so much a bird of the deep shadowy forests as of the scrub-jungle and secondary growth: Its note is the same single crow as that bird utters and it has in common with all other species of Gennaeus the guttural " Whoop-keet-keet," rapidly repeated as they feed and move about, the same cry rising more loudly if alarmed or fighting.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.5 1928.
Title in Book: 
1922. Gennaeus horsfieldii williamsi
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Williamss Kalij Pheasant
Lophura leucomelanos williamsi
Vol. 5

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith