1954. Perdicula asiatica argoondah

(1954) Perdicula asiatica argoondah (Sykes).
THE ROCK BUSH-QUAIL.
Perdicula asiatica argoondah, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 379.
The range of the Rock Bush-Quail constantly overlaps that of the Jungle Bush-Quail. Roughly it may be said to be South-East India from Madras to the extreme South, but not Ceylon, West it extends to some parts of the Punjab and to the United Provinces, Gujerat, Cutch, Rajputana, the Deccan, parts of the drier districts of the Bombay Presidency and the drier plains of Mysore and Travancore.
This species of Quail seems to vary according to the nature of its habitat in a most unusual manner and the two races are very frequently found within a short distance of one another, Hume explains this as follows:—“It avoids mountains, which it never ascends, forest and thick jungle, and eschews well watered and richly wooded or cultivated tracts ; it loves dry, open, sandy or even rocky plains or low hillocks sparsely studded with thorny bushes ; elevation is not of so much consequence to it as the openness and semi-waste character of the place. You will find it equally at home in the plains about Ajmere, at an elevation of 1,700 feet, and near sea-level in the Carnatic. Dry, barren, sparsely cultivated plains’ districts are its choice, and hence it follows that, although when localities such as it affects inosculate with those that the Jungle Bush-Quail prefers, you may shoot both species in the same stubble, yet, broadly speaking, as Captain Butler remarks, where you find the Rock Bush-Quail, there, as a rule, you do not find the other species.”
It seems especially fond of low rocky hills, and numerous writers refer to this. Sykes, who first discriminated between the Rock and Jungle Bush-Quail, says they “are found all over the Deccan on the general levels of the country, amidst rocks and low bushes.”
Jerdon writes :—“It frequents rocky hills with low scrub-jungle and especially barren and uncultivated plains, scantily covered with low bushes of Zizyphus and Carina” Davidson] records that "Its favourite resorts were the stony hillocks with a few scrubby bushes.”
The nest is similar in all respects to that of the Jungle Bush-Quail, and, like that of that bird, is generally placed under the shade and protection of a tuft of grass, bush or rock.
The principal breeding season is from August to November while a good many birds also breed in March and April. Blewitt in Jhansi found them breeding in August and September ; Davidson in the Panch Mahals took eggs “in the latter part of the rains, in Dulia in October and in Nassic in April” ; Aitken in Berar gives November and December as the laying months, while Harrington Bulkley obtained eggs in Gujerat and Cutch from August to December ; Sparrow took eggs from September to November near Trimulgherry and, finally, Betham found them breeding round Poona in great numbers from September to January. Probably it will be found to breed sometimes in every month of the year, though the two seasons mentioned are the favourite periods.
They lay from four to eight eggs, generally five or six, which cannot be distinguished from those of the preceding race.
One hundred eggs average 25.6 x 20.1 mm. : maxima 29.0 x 21.3 and 28.3 x 22.4 mm. ; minima 24.2 x 18.9 mm.
Its incubation, post-laying breeding habits etc. are just the same as those of the Jungle Bush-Quail and, like that bird, it is very pugnacious, the males fighting a great deal during the breeding season.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1954. Perdicula asiatica argoondah
Spp Author: 
Sykes.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1954
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
241
Common name: 
Book Bush Quail
M_ID: 
1375
M_CN: 
Rock Bush Quail
M_SN: 
Perdicula argoondah
Volume: 
Vol. 4
id: 
15136

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