1358. Perdicula argunda.
The Rock Bush-Quail.
Coturnix argoondah, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 153; id. Trans. Z. S. ii, p. 17, pl. ii. Perdicula asiatica, apud Blyth, Cat. p. 254; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 583 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 230; Adam, S. F. i, p. 392; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 7; Fairbank, ibid. p. 262 ; nec Lath. Perdicula argoondah, Hume, N. & E. p. 545 : id. S. F. vii, p. 159; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 117, pl.; Hume, Cat. no. 827; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 423; Davidson, S. F. x, p. 317; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 313 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. iii, p. 441; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 200.
Lowa, H. and Mahr.; Lawunka, Tel.; Sinkadeh, Tam.; Kemp-lowga, Can. (Mysore).
Coloration. Adult males have the upper plumage brown with rather broad buff cross-bars, slightly edged with black ; forehead, sinciput, supercilia, cheeks, chin, and throat dull brick-red, around the eye whitish, but no white superciliary band; tail and quills barred on outer web, and generally barred or mottled on inner web with buff; breast and abdomen barred black and white, the bars broader than in P. asiatica; lower abdomen and lower tail-coverts pale rufescent.
Adult females have the upper parts nearly uniform vinaceous brown, finely vermiculated in parts, and often with some remains of buff bars posteriorly; quills mottled with rufous and barred with the same on the outer webs; lower parts brownish vinaceous ; chin, lower abdomen, and lower tail-coverts whitish.
Younger birds of both sexes much resemble the young of P. asiatica; above, the upper parts are brown tinged with rufous, much vermiculated with buff and blotched with black, especially on the scapulars and tertiaries ; there are a few white shaft-stripes on the back.
Upper mandible black, lower paler ; irides brown to light red; legs red (Hume).
Length 7; tail 1.8; wing 3.3 ; tarsus 1; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. The range of this species is less than that of the preceding, for though P. argunda extends from the base of the Himalayas in the N. W. Provinces and the Punjab to near Cape Comorin, and west as far as Lahore, Jodhpore, Kattiawar, and Cutch, it is not known to occur in the Eastern Central Provinces, Orissa, or Bengal, nor along the Western Ghats, nor on the low ground near the Malabar coast, nor yet in Ceylon.
Habits, &c. This Bush-Quail keeps to much more open and drier country than its congener; it avoids hills, forests, and dense vegetation, and is chiefly found in sandy or rocky ground with small scattered bushes. Otherwise its habits are the same as those of the last species. It breeds, according to Hume, from August to September, and again in March; and the nest and eggs are similar to those of P. asiatica.