1317. Pterocles fasciatus.
The Painted Sand-Grouse.
Tringa fasciata, Scop. Del. Flor. et Faun. Insub. ii, p. 92 (1786). Pterocles quadricinctus, apud Jerd. Madr. Jour. L. S. xii, p. 4; id. Ill. Ind. Orn. pls. 10, 36; Burgess, P. Z. S. 1855, p. 30. Pterocles fasciatus, Blyth, Cat. p. 249; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 498; King, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 216; Beavan, Ibis, 1868, p. 378 ; Blanford, J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 183; Hume, J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 121 ; McMaster, J. A. S. B. xl, pt. 2, p. 214; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 249 ; Hume, N. & F. p. 511; Hayes Lloyd, Ibis, 1873, p. 415 ; Adam, S. F. i, p. 391; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 426; iii, p. 293; vii, p. 225; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 4 ; v, p. 231; ix, p. 421 ; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 262 ; Davidson & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 86; Hume, ibid. p. 162 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 59, pl.; Hume, Cat. no. 800 ; McInroy, S. F. viii, p. 492; Tuffnell, S, F. ix, p. 201; Davidson, S. F. x, p. 316; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 295; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. v, p. 334; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 364; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 27. Pahari bhat titar, Bhat-ban, H. (N. W. P.) ; Palki, Belgaum ; Handeri,
Southern India; Kal gowjal haki, Can. (Mysore); Sonda polanka, Tamul.
Coloration. Male. A narrow white frontal band followed by a broader black band, behind which is a second white band, a black spot over eye; crown buff and black mixed ; hind neck buff, with an olive tinge ; back, scapulars, inner quills, rump, and tail with broad buff and black cross-bands, generally straight, but somewhat arrowhead-shaped on the rectrices ; scapulars, later secondaries, and tail tipped with yellowish buff ; wing-coverts buff, olivaceous near the shoulder, the inner coverts banded black and white, with the tips ochreous buff; winglet, primary-coverts, and quills dark brown; chin, throat, and fore neck ochreous buff; a broad deep ferruginous-chestnut gorget, then a pale buff band followed by a black band ; behind this the abdomen is banded white and blackish brown ; under tail-coverts buff and black like the tail; wing-lining light brown.
Female buffy pale fawn, banded with black above and below, the scapulars and tail tinged with chestnut; head spotted with black, throat more finely spotted; quills as in the male.
Tail of 16 feathers.
Bill red ; orbital skin lemon-yellow ; irides dark brown ; feet dull yellow, claws reddish (Jerdon).
Length about 11; tail 3.5; wing 6.5; tarsus .9; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. Peculiar to India and resident. Found in suitable places throughout the greater part of the Peninsula, but not on the Malabar and Bombay coast nor in the forest region north of the Godavari and east of Raipur, Mandla, &c, nor in the low grounds of the Carnatic. This Sand-Grouse is found throughout the Deccan and the Central Provinces and as far south as Mysore, and is common in parts of Guzerat,Cutch, Rajputana the N. W. Provinces, and amongst the Sewalik hills of the N. W. Punjab, but does not occur west of the Indus nor on the Gangetic alluvium. It is not often found in thick forest or in alluvial plains, but is common in scrub-jungle, on small rocky hills and barren broken ground.
Habits, &c. This, perhaps the most beautifully marked of all Sand-Grouse, never occurs in large flocks, and is usually seen singly or in twos or threes that rise with a cackling note from amongst rocks and grass or bushes. It is crepuscular in its drinking habits, flying to water before sunrise and after sunset in small parties, and often, in the hot weather, before dawn and after dark. Like other Sand-Grouse, it often utters its trisyllabic call on the wing. The eggs are similar in shape, gloss, and number to those of other species of Pterocles, but the ground-colour is pale salmon-pink with darker specks and blotches, and the average size 1.42 by .98. The principal breeding-season is in April and May, but eggs have been taken in other months.