1336. Gennaeus albicristatus.
The White-crested Kalij Pheasant.
Phasianus albocristatus, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1830, p. 9. Euplocomus albocristatus, Hutton, J. A. S. B. xvii, pt. 2, p. 693; Blyth, Cat. p. 244. Euplocamus albocristatus, Adams, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 499; Hume & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 177, pl.; Hume, Cat. no. 810; C. H. T. Marsh. Ibis, 1884, p. 423 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 413. Gallophasis albocristatus, Mitchell, P. Z. 8. 1858, p. 544, pl. 148, fig. 1 (young), & pl. 149, fig. 3 (egg) ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 532 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii,' pt. 2, p. 68; Beavan, Ibis, 1868, p. 380 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 526. Gennaeus albocristatus, Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 298.
Kalij, Kukera, Mirghi Kalij, Kalesur , Kalesi , H., in various parts of the N.W. Himalayas; Kolsa, Western Punjab and Chamba.
Coloration. Male. Long hairy crest white; forehead, sides of crown, nape, sides and back of neck, upper back, and wing-coverts black glossed with purplish steel-blue, the feathers of the upper back with narrow whitish borders;. lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts black with broad white edges; quills dark brown, secondaries with green gloss on the outer webs; tail-feathers blackish brown with a slight greenish gloss ; chin, throat, abdomen, and lower tail-coverts dark brown, passing into sullied white on the lanceolate breast-feathers ; sometimes the whitish tint extends over part of the abdomen, bases of feathers brown throughout; feathers with pure white shafts, especially on the upper back and the breast.
Female. Upper parts, crest included, reddish brown; shafts and edges of feathers whitish, and all feathers minutely subobsoletely vermiculated with black; lower surface similar but paler; chin, throat, and middle of abdomen whitish; middle pair of tail-feathers rufous brown with fine whitish or buff vermiculation ; other tail-feathers black with a slight bluish gloss.
Bill greenish white; irides orange-brown; bare eye-patch scarlet to crimson : legs and feet livid white, with a purplish or brownish tinge (Hume).
Length of male 24 to 29 ; tail about 11 ; wing 9.5 : tarsus 3 ; bill from gape 1.4. Length of female 20 to 23 ; tail 8 ; wing 8 ; tarsus 2.7.
Distribution. The Himalayas, from Kumaun to Hazara; not west of the Indus, according to Biddulph, nor in Nepal, or only in the westermost part, ranging from- about 2000 feet, close to the base of the hills, up to about 5000 or 6000 feet in winter and 9000 or 10,000 in summer.
Habits, &c. This is the most familiar of the Himalayan Pheasants, being frequently seen about villages and cultivation in the lower Himalayas ; it has a preference for low coppice, bushes, or wooded ravines near water. It is not very gregarious ; its call is a loud whistling chuckle, which is generally uttered when the bird flies away. The males are very pugnacious, and make a drumming noise with their wings as a challenge. This species breeds from April till June, forming a slight nest of grass &c. on the ground, and laying usually about nine eggs, creamy white to reddish buff, and measuring about 1.94 by 1.44.