Eastern OR Blewitt's Painted Bush-Quail.
Sirsi lowa, Hindustani.
This race of red-legged or painted bush-quail found in the Eastern Central Provinces, where the ordinary kind does not occur, differs from the type in no important particular, and here again I wonder Plume wasted a plate on it; the result was not happy, as the legs and bills of the birds are there represented as yellow, whereas they ought to be red—a mistake of the artist's, of course. The distinguishing points, as usual in a local race as compared to a true species, are merely comparative ; a smaller beak, greyer tone of plumage, dull pinkish tinge over the abdomen, instead of only on the breast and along the flanks as in the typical form, greater extension of the white on the head of the cock at the expense of the black face and crown, and finally smaller size, which barely reaches two and a quarter ounces, while in the other race it runs from this to over three. It was said by Blewitt, the sender of the first specimens to Plume, to be delicate and well-flavoured.
He also found that it went in coveys of sometimes more than a dozen, living in forest, grass, and scrub on hilly ground. He noted, from native information, the breeding-season as November to January, but Thompson gives it as June and July, soon after the rains begin, the young flying in September. The fact probably is that this race and the typical one both breed at any time which local conditions make convenient for them. Thompson's note, however, that the male in the courting-time often repeats a loud single note, is worth quoting, and also his experience in rinding these birds frequenting " long grass on the banks of nullas and rivers." Blewitt gave the notes as "more soft and melodious " than that of the others, by which " others" presumably he meant the thick-billed bush-quails; so this need not indicate a difference in voice between the two races.