72. THE CHIN-HILLS SILVER-PHEASANT.
Gennceus williamsi, n. sp.
MALE :—The mantle, back and rump black, coarsely vermiculated with buff, the feathers of the rump with a broad white fringe preceded by a firm black band; the wing-coverts with five or six buff lines on each web,parallel to the margin; all the tail-feathers barred with buff.
FEMALE :—The two middle tail-feathers chestnut, mottled with black; the others black, obliquely barred with white, these white bars progressively decreasing in number and extent, the outermost feather becoming practically black.
Vernacular Name -.— Yit, Burmese.
Captain F. T. Williams has kindly sent me a pair of Silver-Pheasants from Kalewa on the Chindwin river in Upper Burma. These birds, a male and a female, are quite distinct from any species I am acquainted with, and I have much pleasure in associating Captain Williams's name with this fine new Pheasant. The two birds have been deposited in the British Museum (Natural History), South Kensington.
The Chin-Hills Silver-Pheasant, there is little doubt, will prove to be the Silver-Pheasant of the whole of the Chin-Hills, extending a considerable distance north and south of the latitude of Kalewa, and it is to be hoped that other specimens may soon find their way to England.
In the male, the crest is glossy black. The mantle, the back and the rump are black, with a blue gloss on the mantle and back, coarsely vermiculated with buff, the lines being more or less across the shaft of the feather. Each feather of the lower back and rump is terminated by a broad white fringe, one-fifth of an inch wide, preceded by a firm black band occupying the space between the fringe and the first vermiculation. The wing-coverts are black with five or six buff lines on each web, these lines being parallel to the margin of the feather. The exposed part of the quills of the wing are obliquely barred. The tail is black, obliquely barred with buff on all the feathers; the inner web of the middle pair of feathers more densely barred with buff than the others. The entire lower plumage is glossy bluish black. The female has the general colour of the upper plumage and wings reddish brown, each feather edged paler and minutely freckled with black. The throat is ashy white. The whole lower plumage is ashy brown, each feather edged with greyish white, and with a conspicuous greyish white shaft-streak. The two middle tail-feathers are chestnut, mottled and barred with black; the next pair is black, the inner web mottled with pale chestnut, the outer web black mottled with white and broadly edged with chestnut; the other feathers are black, mottled and barred with white, the white progressively decreasing in amount, the outermost feather being almost entirely black.
Length of male about 24 ; wing about 9 (evidently moulting in the present bird and may be longer); tail about 10.
The length of the female is about 21; wing 8 ; tail 8.
The bare skin of the face is crimson and the legs brown or dark flesh-colour.