1986. Perdix hodgsoniae hodgsoniae

(1986) Perdix hodgsonioe hodgsoniae Hodgs.
THE TIBETAN PARTRIDGE.
Perdix hodgsonii hodgsonii, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd cd, vol. v. p. 423.
The typical form of Tibetan Partridge ranges from Western Tibet to the Abor and Mishmi Hills and is not rare in the highest plateaux of Nepal and Sikkim.
Ludlow (Ibis, 1925, p. 217) thus suras up his experience of these Partridges :—“This is a common bird in suitable localities from Gyantse to Phari. It may occasionally be seen near Data in the Chumbi Valley but not below. A few are to be found on the actual plain of Gyantse, but they generally keep to the side nullahs which open in to it, especially if these nullahs are cultivated and there is cover in the shape of buckthorn and Tibetan furze. The birds keep in coveys right through the winter and do not pair off until the end of March. Eggs are laid in June. The neat is generally a mere depression in the ground, lined with dry grass and placed under shelter of a small bush, Neste, may be found on low banks between the barley fields, or high up on the mountain slopes."
It breeds from 11,000 feet upwards but how high is not recorded. Mr. D. Macdonald told me they bred certainly up to 15,000 feet, and he believes up to 17,000, but Captain Barnes found a nest with ten eggs at an elevation of 16,430 feet on the Pass leading from the Pangong Valley to the Indus Valley in Tibet.
Hume found them in far bleaker areas than either Bailey or Ludlow describe as normal. He writes:—"The entire aspect of the hill where these birds were found was dreary and desolate to a degree—no grass, no bushes, only here and there, fed by the melting snow above, little patches and streaks of mossy herbage, on which I suppose the hirda were feeding.”
Bailey, however, notes (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxi, p. 179, 1911) :—“Found in the crops in the Trangpo Valley from Pea npwards,” In conversation also he told me that the hirda do not by preference inhabit the more rugged and bare portions of the Gyantse plateau but are found in places where there are crops, grass or good cover in the way of bushes. Steen also, in a letter to me, said that he nearly always found the birds and their neats close to crops.
Macdonald, Steen, Kennedy and others have sent me many clutches of this bird’s eggs and the former says of the first four sent to me :—“The above four clutches were all collected near Gyantse, The eggs were laid in scratchings or in natural hollows in the soil, in some of which wind-blown leaves and rubbish formed a bed for the eggs, but there was no distinct lining or nest made by the birds. Some nests were placed under the shelter of boulders or bushes and others among the short prickly little bushes which cover so much of the Tibetan plateau. Wherever placed they were always on the leeward side of the hill. A few nests were found in quite open stony bare ground and a few others in standing crops or thick grass" Of another nest he writes : “It was placed in a hollow scratched out by the birds on the leeward side of, and practically under, a large houlder. A few leaves and a little grass were in the nest but how they got there I do not know,”
The first few eggs are laid in May but nearly all the eggs sent to me have been taken in June and a few in July. The birds are probably not double-brooded.
The full clutch is large, eight to ten are usual and eleven and twelve by no means rare. The eggs are fine and close in texture but the surface of the shell is dull and glossless.
In shape they are long ovals, often slightly pointed, much longer in proportion than the eggs of any of the Francolins.
In colour the eggs are a dark brown-buff, darker than any but the darkest of the Francolin eggs, while a certain number are quite definitely tinged with olive.
One hundred and fifty eggs average 37.6 x 27.2 mm. : maxima 43.0 x 26.3 and 39.2 x 28.4 mm. ; minima 34.5 x 27.1 and 38.9 x 24.1 mm.

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: 
1986. Perdix hodgsoniae hodgsoniae
Spp Author: 
Hodgs.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1986
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
270
Common name: 
Tibetan Partridge
M_ID: 
1318
M_SN: 
Perdix hodgsoniae hodgsoniae
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
15173

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