1327. Polyplectrum chinquis

1327. Polyplectrum chinquis.

The Grey Peacock-Pheasant.

Pavo chinquis, Muller, Natursyst. Suppl. p. 121 (1785). Pavo tibetanus, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, pt. 2, p. 731 (1788). Polypleetron chinquis, Temm. Pig. et Gall, ii, p. 303; Blyth, Cat. p. 241 ; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 148 ; Hume fylnglis, S. F. v, p. 40; Sclater, P. Z. S. 1879, p. 110, pi. viii, fig. 2 (egg) ; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2) v, p. 019; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 354. Polypleetron albocellatum (Temm.), Cuv. Reg. An. e"d. 2', i, p. 474 (1829). Polypleetron cyclospilum, atelospilum, & enicospilum, G. B. Gray, List Sp. Birds B. M., Gallinae, pp. 23, 24 (1867). Polypleetron thibetanum, Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, pp. 432,521; Hume & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 105, pl.; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 315. Polyplectrum tibetanum, Godio.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 272; xiv, pt. 2, p. 83 ; Hume, Cat. no. 803 quat.; Bingham, S. F. ix, p. 195 ; Fasson, ibid. p. 203 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 300; Waddell, Gazetteer, Sikhim, p. 229. ' Potyplectron helenae, Oates, Ibis, 1883, p. 136, pl. v.

Munnowur, Deyodahuk, Assam ; Deo-durug, Deo-dirrik, Garo hills; kat-mor, Chittagong; Doun-kalah, Arrakan and Pegu; Shwe-dong, Tenasserim.

Coloration. Male. Coronal feathers lengthened, hair-like. Whole plumage, except the chin and throat which are white, dull greyish brown, with small white or whitish spots that unite to form broken bars on the neck and upper breast; each feather of the upper back, scapulars, and later secondaries, and nearly all the wing-coverts, tipped by a large rounded ocellus of glossy violet changing to green, with a border of black and a broader outer rim of greyish white ; a pair of similar ocelli, but larger and oval and green changing to purple, near the end of each tail-feather and of each of the longer upper tail-coverts.

Female. Dull dark brown, mottled and speckled with pale brown ; the ocelli of the male represented by blackish-brown spots or blotches, with a slight violet or green gloss, and by the tips of the feathers being thickly speckled with white, sometimes tinged with rufous on the scapulars and tertiaries; these patches are most glossy on the secondaries and on some of the tail- feathers, but are wanting on the middle rectrices, on several of the outer pairs, and on the longer tail-coverts ; chin and throat whitish.

In males the upper mandible and tip of the lower are black, rest of lower mandible and facial skin pale yellow; irides white ; legs and feet blackish. In females the bill is brown, paler beneath ; facial skin pale dingy fleshy yellow ; irides deep grey ; legs plumbeous (Davison).

Length of male about 25 ; tail 14 ; wing 8.5 ; tarsus 3 ; bill from gape T3. Length of female 19 ; tail 9 ; wing 7.5 ; tarsus 2.75.

Distribution. Hill-ranges of Assam, extending along the base of the Himalayas west to Sikhim, where specimens were recently obtained by Dr. Waddell; also south of the Assam valley and throughout the whole of Burma, except Pegu, as far south as Mergui and the Laos Mountains in Shim.

Habits, &c. A shy bird, inhabiting dense hill-forest, and but rarely seen, though more often heard ; it has a harsh call, something like a bark often repeated, and generally uttered whenever the bird hears the report of a gun. The breeding-season is about April and May, but very little is known of the nidification. In captivity these birds pair; the hen lays always two eggs and has two or three broods in the year, but in the wild state the number of eggs is said to be larger. The eggs are buff in colour, and measure about 2 by T45. The young when hatched run behind the hen, concealing themselves beneath her broad tail.

P. bicalcaratum, L., distinguished by having the upper parts pale brown spotted with black, and by the male having a violet crest and only one ocellus on each of the outer tail-feathers, inhabits the Malay Peninsula, and may perhaps occur in Southern Tenasserim, but its existence there is extremely doubtful.

Some tail-feathers of a Polyplectrum, found in a Lushai village, were at first referred by Hume (S. P. i, p. 36) to a new species, P. intermedius, but were subsequently regarded by him (S. P. v, p. 118, vii, p. 426 ; Game B. i, p. 111) as belonging to P. germaini, Elliot, a Cochin-Chinese species. The small pale spots on these tail-feathers are less closely set than in P. chinquis, and are pale buff on a hair-brown ground, not greyish white on a grey-brown ground; the ocelli, too, are more elongate and emerald-green. It, of course, remains to be seen whether a distinct form inhabits the Lushai country, for it is not very probable that these tail-feathers were brought from a great distance.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1327. Polyplectrum chinquis
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Grey Peacock Pheasant
Grey Peacock-Pheasant
Polyplectron bicalcaratum
Vol. 4

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