(50) Podoces humilis.
HUME'S GROUND CHOUGH.
Podoces humilis Hume, Ibis, 1871, p. 408 (Saryu Pass, Yarkand),
Vernacular names. Day-day (Tibetan).
Description. Above sandy brown with whitish collar around neck; wing-coverts like the back with faint terminal brown bars ; quills brown with pale edges; Below pale isabelline with centre of abdomen almost white; central tail-feathers blackish brown paling to isabelline-white on the outermost.
Colours of soft parts. Bill and feet black; iris brown.
Measurements. Wing 90 to 93 mm.; tail about 65 mm.; tarsus 28 mm.; bill about 23 mm.
The female is a trifle smaller, wing 88 to 90 mm.
Distribution. Yarkaud to Tibet, Koko Nur and Kansu. A single specimen has been sent me from the Chambi Valley in the extreme north of .Native Sikkim.
Nidification. This bird breeds freely in Tibet between 11,000 and 15.000 feet, making its nest, a soft pad of grass and fur, in burrows of the Mouse-hares, or self-made. According to Dresser the nest is sometimes placed at the end of a tunnel as much as 12 feet long, such as one would hardly expect the bird to excavate for itself. The eggs, either three or four in number, are pure white and measure about 22.9 x 16.4 mm. The breeding season is May, June and July.
Habits. They inhabit the same uplands as those inhabited by the Mouse-hares but are sometimes seen away from them. Their flight is very low and feeble and they are essentially ground-birds, spending their whole time thereon and never perching on trees or bushes. They are insect feeders.