1359. Microperdix erythrorhynchus.
The Painted Bush-Quail.
Coturnix erythrorhyncha, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 153; Blyth, Cat, p. 255. Perdicula erythrorhyncha, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 581; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 160; Davids. & Wend. S. P. vii, p. 87; Daly, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. ii, p. 149. Microperdix erythrorhyncha, Gould, Birds Asia, vii, pl. 3; Hume, N. & E. p. 548; Pan-bank. S. F. iv, p. 262; v, p. 409; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 203. Microperdix erythrorhynchus, Hume, Cat. no. 828 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii, p. 123, pi.; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 423 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 411; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 314 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 442.
Coloration. Male. Forehead, lores, all round the eyes and gape, and the chin black; a narrow white sincipital band running back above the eyes and brown ear-coverts on each side; crown black, more or less replaced by brown in the middle of the occiput; upper parts brown, back and rump with rounded or lens-shaped black spots; scapulars, tertiaries, and wing-coverts with white shaft-stripes distant buff cross-bars and subterminal black blotches, chiefly on the inner webs; quills brown, the outer webs with rufous-buff cross-bars; tail-feathers blackish brown, with narrow buff transverse bands; throat and cheeks white, surrounded by a: black gorget: rest of the lower parts light chestnut, the upper breast washed with greyish brown, and the feathers with small round subterminal black spots ; the flanks and lower tail-coverts with large oval black spots with white borders.
The female differs, in having no black or white on the forehead, sides of the head or throat, which are dull rufous, and there is little or no black on the crown. Immature birds resemble females, but have black on the crown like males.
Bill, legs, and feet fine red; irides yellow-brown (Jerdon).
Length of male 7; tail 2; wing 3.5; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape .6. Females are somewhat smaller.
Distribution. The forest region on or near the Western Ghats from the neighbourhood of Bombay to' Travancore. Common on the Nilgiris. This bird has also been obtained on the Shevroy hills by Mr. Daly and Dr. Warth.
Habits, &c. Somewhat similar to those of Perdicula asiatica. The call is different, and the flight less noisy, the plumage being softer. The breeding-season is said to extend from August till April, varying with the height and exposure; no nest is made, and about ten glossy spotless eggs are laid, of a pale creamy colour, and measuring about 1.22 by .91.