68. THE NEPAL KALIJ-PHEASANT.
Gennaeus leucomelanus, (Latham).
MALE :—No portion of the upper plumage vermiculated with white; crest black; back and rump with narrow white fringes ; lower plumage variegated, not black.
FEMALE :—Undistinguishable from the female White-crested Kalij-Pheasant.
Vernacular Names -—Kalich, Kalij, Perbuttia in Nepal; Rechabo, Bhutia in Nepal.
The Nepal Kalij-Pheasant appears to be found throughout Nepal except in the extreme eastern and western portions. According to Dr. Scully this Pheasant extends to the east nearly as far as the Aum river, but there is no certain information about the extension of this species to the west.
Writing of this bird, Dr. Scully tells us that " it is common wherever thick forest is found, from Hetoura in the Dun to the valley of Nepal; in all the wooded hills surrounding the latter up to an elevation of nearly 9000 feet; and in every forest about Noakot. It is usually seen in pairs or in parties of from three to ten, often feeding on the ground near cultivated patches at the borders of forests. The birds seem very fond of perching on trees, and it is usually in this position that one comes across them in forcing one's way through forest which has a dense undergrowth. On such occasions the Kalij first gives notice of its whereabouts by whirring down with great velocity from its perch and then running rapidly out of sight to the shelter of some thicket. In the winter the birds roost on trees at the foot of the hills, and the plan for making a bag is to post oneself about sunset under some trees which they are known to frequent and await their coming. The birds are then soon heard threading their way through the jungle towards their favourite trees and at once fly up and perch. When once settled for the night in this way they are not easily alarmed."
The male of this species resembles the male White-crested Kalij-Pheasant, but has a black crest, and the white fringes on the rump narrower, or about one-tenth of an inch in width. It is of the same size.
The female is undistinguishable from the female White-crested Kalij-Pheasant, and is of the same size.