1953. Perdicula asiatica asiatica

(1953) Perdicula asiatica asiatica (Lath.).
The Jungle Bush-Quail.
Perdicula asiatica asiatica, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 377.
I can add nothing to the distribution as given in the ‘Fauna,' and the bird breeds and is resident wherever found. It occurs “in well-wooded localities from the Himalayas to Ceylon. In the Outer Himalayas it ranges up to 4,000 feet and in the hills of Southern India up to about 3,500 feet. In Kashmir it has been obtained at 5,000 feet. It has not been found in Sind, but is common in parts of Jodhpore and Rajputana, extending thence along the Western coast to Ceylon ; it is common in the Deccan to the South and East of the North-West Provinces and extends East to Bihar, Western Bengal and Orissa. In Bengal it has been reported to me from Dacca, while Rainey thought he saw it in the Sunderbands, but I doubt if either of these reports can be relied on. It is common in Chota Nagpur and not rare in Gya, the Midnapur and Rajmehal Hills, is occasionally seen in Suri and the Santhal Parganas and, even more rarely, in the hilly portions of Bankura.
They make their nest in any kind of cover which is thick enough to afford good protection yet is not too dense and moist. Occasion¬ally they may frequent deep evergreen forest for breeding purposes, though this is exceptional, and they prefer scrub, bush, deciduous forest, standing crops or grass-land.
Tickell describes the kind of country they haunt as “stony, gravelly places among thorny bushes, such as the jujube or ber, or tracts of stunted Sal, Assun and Polas (or Dhak).”
The nest, for a Game-bird’s, is a quite well put together little pad of grass and grass-roots, measuring 4 or 5 inches in diameter, with a depression in the centre, for the eggs, about 2 to 3 inches across by an inch or so deep. It is placed under the protection of a bush, extra thick tuft of grass, or in long grass, weeds etc. high enough to screen it from the sun and from the view of passers by.
Over most of its range it begins to breed after the rains have well broken and insect-food is very abundant. Eggs are laid from about the middle of August to the end of the cold weather, the great majority being laid between the end of August and the end of October, In the Deccan they breed from October to February and occasionally in March, while in Orissa, Bengal and Bihar most birds seem to lay in March and April, In Travancore Stewart found them breeding from January to March, most eggs being laid in February.
A fall clutch of eggs may be anything from four to eight but is most often five or six. The texture is fine and close, the shell strong and the surface smooth with slight gloss, while the shape varies from true to pointed oval.
In colour they vary from a creamy buff, so pale that it looks white unless contrasted with really white eggs, to a pale cafe-au-lait or pale buff, very rarely of any depth in tint.
One hundred and forty eggs average 25.4 x 19.5 mm. : maxima 29.0 x 21.3 and 28.3 x 22.0 mm. ; minima 34.1 x 19.3 and 24.2 x 18.4 mm.
The female alone incubates and in India incubation takes sixteen days, but Mr. N. F. Cockerill found that in captivity it took eighteen days (Avi. Mag. vii, p. 234, 1909). They are very close sitters in a wild state, not leaving the nest until almost stamped on.
The male is almost certainly monogamous, though this has not been proved beyond all doubt.

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: 
1953. Perdicula asiatica asiatica
Spp Author: 
Lath.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1953
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
240
Common name: 
Jungle Bush Quail
M_ID: 
1371
M_SN: 
Perdicula asiatica asiatica
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
15135

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