(1919) Gennaeus leucomelanus.
THE NEPAL KALIJ PHEASANT.
Phasianus leucomelanus Lath., Ind. Orn., ii, p. 633 (1790) (India, Nepal). Gennaeus leucomelanus. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 90.
Vernacular names. Kalick Kalij (Parbuttia); Rechabo (Bhutia, Nepal).
Description. Similar to G. hamiltonii but with the crest glossy blue-black; the feathers of the lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts glossy blue-black with narrow white edges and vermiculated brown sub-edges; the wing-coverts have more white than on the preceding bird; chin and fore-neck more dark and glossy and the underparts on the whole more albescent.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding species.
Measurements. Wing 204 to 233 mm.; tail 249 to 305 mm.; tarsus about 75 to 80 mm. Weight 1 lb. 12 oz. to 2 lb. 8 oz.
Female differs from the White-crested Kalij in being more red and richly coloured; the feathers of the underparts have dark centres not seen in that species.
Chick in down. Head chestnut, paler on the forehead and behind the eye; a dark streak from the eye down the neck; centre of back chocolate-brown with broad lateral bands of pale buff; sides dull chestnut; chin and throat pale yellowish-white, remainder of lower parts pale yellowish-grey.
Distribution. Nepal, as far East as the Arun River. I procured several specimens from Dhamkhata on the Tamra, which runs into the Arun. Nepalese traders at Pankabari and Jalpaiguri bring down this species for sale.
Nidification. The only eggs known of this species are a pair of eggs and a clutch of five obtained by Mr. Ferry from the Nepalese in the hills immediately above Bettiah. They were taken on the 25th June and 23rd May and are just like the eggs of G. hamiltonii but are very deep pink-buff in colour. They measure from 46.1 x 27.7 to 53.0 X 39.0 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of the preceding bird and apparently ascending the hills as high as 9,000 ft. The Nepalese who brought in the two clutches of eggs above referred to said they were very common and that they trapped many birds of both sexes on the eggs, taking both birds and eggs for food. They only get them in forest and most often close to streams.
Scully records this Pheasant roosting in flocks, out of which he sometimes shot four or five birds.