1939. Ophrysia superciliosa

(1939) Ophrysia superciliosa.

THE MOUNTAIN-QUAIL.

Rollulus superciliosus Gray, Knowsl. Menag. Av., pl. xvi (1846) (India, Mussoorie). Ophrysia superciliosa. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 105.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description.— Adult male. Forehead and a broad long supercilium white, banded above and below with black; chin, throat, sides of the face and ear-coverts black; lower ear-coverts and cheeks white, extending in a broken band down the sides of the throat; a spot in front of the eye and another behind it white ; crown greyish-brown with velvety-black central streaks ; remainder of plumage dark slaty olive-brown, each feather edged with black on the basal three-quarters, except on the tail and longest upper tail-coverts ; under tail-coverts black with broad white terminal bars; the wings are rather browner and lighter than the rest of the plumage and the primaries are vermiculated pale with dull buff on the basal halves of the outer webs.

Colours of soft parts. " Bill coral-red; legs and feet dull red" (Hutton).

Measurements. Wings 86 mm. (in moult) to 95 mm.; tail 80 to 82 mm.; tarsus 29 mm.; culmen 11.5 mm. Two other specimens not fully adult have wings of 85 and 86 mm.

Female. Above cinnamon-brown, the centre of the crown unstreaked, nape and neck with broad black streaks changing to triangular black spots on the back, scapulars rump and upper tail-coverts, on all of which the feathers are bordered with fulvous, more especially on the scapulars; a small white eyebrow, and small white spots in front of and behind the eye; a broad supercilium, ear-coverts and sides of head vinaceous-brown, albescent on the chin and throat; a broad black band on either side of the crown and a black patch under the eye next the bill; wings like the back; primaries light brown, mottled with buff on the outer webs, the mottling deeper and more extensive on the inner secondaries; lower plumage pale, bright vinaceous-brown, each feather edged with chestnut and with a broad black central streak; flanks and vent vermiculated with brown and black.

Colours of soft parts. "Bill dusky red, lower mandible brightest; legs dull red; eyelids black with a small white spot at the corner " (Hutton).

Measurements. Two females in the British Museum have wings of 88 and 93 mm.

Young male. Like the female.

Distribution. Only known from Mussoorie and Nairn Tal in the North-West Himalayas.

Nidification unknown.

Habits. This little Game-bird frequents patches of long: grass and brushwood on steep hill-sides at about 5,000 and 6,000 feet, feeding principally on grass-seeds and keeping in small coveys of five or six birds. They refuse to fly until almost trodden on and are slow and heavy on the wing, pitching into the grass again after the shortest of flights. Their call is a shrill whistle.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Reference: 
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.5 1928.
Title in Book: 
1939. Ophrysia superciliosa
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1939
Year: 
1928
Page No: 
356
Common name: 
Mountain Quail
M_ID: 
1386
M_CN: 
Himalayan Quail
M_SN: 
Ophrysia superciliosa
Volume: 
Vol. 5
id: 
4663

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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