(1898) Pavo muticus.
THE BURMESE PEAFOWL.
Pavo muticus Linn., Syst. Nat., 12th ed., p. 272 (1766) (Java); Blanf. & Oates, iv, p.70.
Vernacular names. Doun, Udun or Udaung (Burm.) ; Marait (Talain); Tusia (Karen) ; Bourong-marah (Malay) ; Pegu-majura (Calcutta).
Description. — Adult male. Head and extreme upper neck brilliant metallic blue-green ; neck, upper breast and mantle golden-bronze, each feather centred deep bluish-purple bordered with verdigris-green and edged with the same; on the upper mantle the blue centres show up boldly and the feathers are broadly edged with black; back emerald-green, each feather centred bronze and edged with black; wing-coverts next the back similar to it; other coverts deep metallic blue-green changing to bronze-copper on the coverts of the inner secondaries; winglet, greater-coverts and primaries light chestnut with dark brown shafts and tips ; secondaries dark brown with a metallic-green sheen on the visible portions; tail dark brown, mottled paler next the shafts; tail-coverts forming the train similar to those of the common Peacock; lower breast bronze, each feather edged and centred with deep blue-green; flanks duller, deeper green fading to dull brownish-black on the middle of the abdomen, vent, under tail-coverts and thighs.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown or hazel-brown; orbital skin bluish-green ; naked cheeks yellow to pale orange ; bill dark-horny brown, darker at tip and paler at the base; legs and feet dark grey-brown or horny-brown, claws blackish.
Measurements. Wing 175 to 506 mm. Weight 8.5 to 11 lb.
Female. Has no train. The whole back and rump is brownish-black, more or less barred and marked with buff, the feathers next the scapulars with faint metallic-green edges; the bronze and black borders of the breast are broken and less conspicuous; the primaries and chestnut feathers of the wing are mottled on the outer webs; the upper tail-coverts are no longer than the tail and are mixed with brown and bright buff; tail brown with paler bars and tips.
Young male is like the female but the feathers of the lower back are greenish-bronze and the upper tail-coverts are golden-green tipped with bronze.
Distribution. The whole of Burma, Siam, Cochin China, the Malay Peninsula, Java and, possibly, Sumatra. North it is found, though it is rare, in Looshai, Chittagong and the Chittagong Hill Tracts. It used to occur in Manipur and there are a few— descendants of imported birds—in the North Cachar Hills.
Nidification. Similar to that of the preceding bird but the eggs are always laid in dense forest. The season varies. Blanford gives June to September as the favourite months near Moulmein, Gairdner found them during April in Siam and Cook took eggs in this month and March in the Shan States. Hopwood speaks of them as " swarming along the Little Tenasserim river in March where they were breeding." The eggs, three to five in number, are indistinguishable from those of the last bird. Twenty eggs average 73.4 X 53.6 mm.: maxima 79.3 X 55.0 and 75.6 X 55.2 mm.; minima 67.4 x 51.0 mm.
Habits. Those of the preceding species. It is nowhere held sacred and is accordingly extremely wild and shy. In Burma it keeps almost entirely to dense forests bordering rivers and streams. Its cry is a loud trumpet-like cat-call, quite similar to that of the Indian bird.