Pterocles fasciatus, Scop.
800. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 498 ; Butler, Guzerat ; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 4; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol IX, p. 421 ; Game Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 59 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 131.
THE PAINTED SAND GROUSE.
Length, 10 to 11.25 ; expanse, 19.5 to 22.5 ; wing, 6.4 to 7 ; tail, 3.25 to 3.75 ; tarsus, 0.8 to 1; bill from gape, 0.55 to 0.7; weight, 6 to 7 1/2 oz.
Bill brown to dark orange-red ; irides brown; feet dirty-yellow to pale orange-brown.
Male, general ground color bright fulvous-yellow, the sides of the head, neck and breast, and shoulder of the wings plain and unspotted ; the back, scapulars, tertiaries and tail, banded with deep brown; a narrow white band on the forehead, then a broadish black band, succeeded by another narrow white one, and then a narrow black band, widening behind the eye, and ending in a white spot; the occiput and nape with black streaks; quills brown-black, with narrow pale edgings ; the median and greater coverts of the wings and some of the secondaries broadly banded with inky-black, edged with white ; a triple band separates the fulvous of the breast from the abdomen, the first maroon, the second creamy-white, and the third unspotted chocolate-brown, which is the ground color of the abdominal region, vent, and under tail-coverts, each feather being tipped with white.
The female differs in wanting the black and white bands on the head, the pectoral band, and the inky-black and white bars on the' wings, the whole upper surface, the sides of the neck, breast, wings, and tail, being fulvous mixed with rufous, and finely barred with black; the chin, throat, ear-coverts, and some of the greater wing-coverts are unspotted fulvous; the lower part of the breast, and the whole abdominal region, very finely barred with chocolate-black and creamy-white.
With the exception of Sind, the Painted Sand Grouse occurs throughout the region, but is very locally distributed; it is a permanent resident, breeding usually in April and May; they make no nest to speak of, but merely scrape a slight depression in the ground, at a spot, sheltered by a tuft of grass or bush. The eggs, two or three in number, (usually three) are of a cylindrical shape, delicate pale salmon-pink in color, with specks and tiny streaks of brownish-red, with a good many spots or clouds of pale inky-purple intermingled.
They measure 1.4 inches in length by 0.98 in breadth.