Pterocles coronatus, Licht.
801ter. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 206; Game Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 57.
THE CORONETTED SAND GROUSE.
Length, 10 to 11.75 ; wing, 7 to 7.5 ; expanse, 22 ; tarsus, 0.9 ; bill at front, 0.45 ; bill at gape, 0.65.
Bill pale slaty; irides brown; legs clayey-slate, with china-white scutae.
A line on each side of the forehead from the nostrils to above the eye black, and a pale fulvous one between these from the point of the forehead ; crown of the head pale chestnut, vinous or rufescent fawn; a pearly grey band from the anterior angle of the eye, continued as a supercilium and extending round to the nape ; lores and a narrow band edging the black chin and throat-stripe, white; sides of the face, ear-coverts, and the neck all round orange-buff; base of the neck and upper back isabelline,. the feathers edged dusky grey; interscapulars the same, with median buffy spots at the tips; rump and upper tail-coverts a dark or dirty grey, mixed with the fulvous of the base of the feathers ; tail with median rectrices of a pale vinous color, dark shafted, with a subterminal dark spot, and very narrowly tipped with white ; lateral feathers deeper vinous with also a subterminal dark bar, and broadly tipped with white; all the feathers with a few dusky sprinkles behind the dark band ; primaries and their coverts dull grey or dusky brown ; all the primaries, except the first three, broadly margined with fulvous-white obliquely towards, the. tips on their, inner webs, and also tipped the same ; secondaries hair-brown; tertiaries vinous on their inner webs and edged on the outer with buffish ; scapulars vinous at the base, dark shafted with a subterminal dark band, and mesially tipped with a nearly oval buff spot; median wing-coverts the same, the greater series greyish-buff or buffy-isabelline; abdomen, flanks, under wing-coverts, vent, and lower tail-coverts, white, slightly soiled on the middle of the abdomen, and in some specimens a pale isabelline ; tarsal plumes white.
The female has the throat and sides of the neck orange-buff; the chin paler and nearly albescent; the crown very pale cinnamon; entire upper-surface buff, with, in some specimens, a vinous tinge and barred with numerous crescentic and broken bands of dark brown; breast and under parts paler buff, also with crescentic bands ; the flanks albescent; scapulars largely blotched with dusky and with buff tips ; primaries and secondaries as in the male, but very pale, or hair-brown.
It is only on the confines of Sind that the Coronetted Sand Grouse has been procured and that but rarely. It is of course only a cold weather visitant, but further north in Southern Afghanistan I was so fortunate as to procure two batches of eggs. They measured 1.63 inches in length by 1.07 in breadth.