(1907) Syrmaticus humiae humiae.
Mrs. HUME'S PHEASANT.
Callophasis humiae Hume, Str. Feath., ix, p. 461 (1881) (Manipur). Phasianus humiae. Blanf. & Oates, iv, pp, 80, 480 (part.).
Vernacular names. Yit (Burm.); Wuri (Kachin) ; Loe-nin-koi (Manipur).
Description.— Adult male. Crown brown tinged with olive, darker all round the bare orbital skin and faintly glossed with green; chin and upper throat black; upper breast and upper back deep velvet-black with broad edges of deep steel-blue ; lower back and rump steel-blue, paler than the back and each feather edged with white and with a broad white bar bordered with black; upper tail-coverts grey, faintly vermiculated with white and with an obsolete broken black bar across the centre ; tail vermiculated grey, with black bars more or less mottled with chestnut on the central pair of feathers; four outer pairs with a broad subterminal bar of chestnut and the two, or three, outermost pairs mottled with white at the tips ; lesser and median wing-coverts like the back, the former with a broad band of white, narrowly edged with steel-blue and with bases of glossy blue-black, the latter with a black band glossed with steel-blue ; greater coverts deep chestnut, edged white and sub-edged white near the quills; primaries brown edged chestnut; secondaries chestnut, the innermost tipped white and sub-tipped black ; lower breast like the back, changing to deep bright chestnut on the abdomen and flanks ; thighs and centre of the abdomen mottled brown and chestnut; under tail-coverts black with a faint blue-green gloss.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown to orange ; orbital skin deep crimson; bill greenish-horny, tipped paler and darker on base and culmen; legs and feet delicate drab.
Measurements. Wing 206 to 224 mm.; tail 401 to 535 mm.; tarsus 58 to 66 mm.; culmen 25.5 to 29 mm.; spur 8.3 to 17.7 mm. Weight 2 lb. 6 oz.
Female. Head above reddish-brown, the crown streaked with black ; sides of the head and lores dull fulvous, spotted posteriorly with black; neck sandy-brown, obsoletely barred with blackish above, boldly barred on the sides; upper back and scapulars sandy-brown with bold velvety-black edges and bars and with white arrow-shaped marks in the centre of the feathers; lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts mottled sandy-brown and black with indefinite black centres to the feathers, more pronounced on the rump, where and on the coverts there are also a few white marks; central tail-feathers the same as the coverts with faint mottled bars of dark brown; outer tail-feathers chestnut with broad black bars and white tips; breast sandy- or greyish-brown with a few black spots; lower breast, flanks and thigh-coverts sandy-rufous, barred with very pale grey; lower thigh-coverts darker brown; vent and centre of the abdomen duller than the flanks ; shorter under tail-coverts mottled brown, white and sandy; longest coverts chestnut with black bars and broad white tips ; visible plumage of the wings mottled grey, brown and sandy-rufous with bold markings of black; median and greater coverts edged whitish, forming narrow wing-bars; primaries brown, mottled with rufous and with pale buff bars on he outer webs.
Colours of soft parts. Small bare space round the eye red. Measurements. Wing 198 mm.
Distribution. Manipur, Patkoi Naga Hills, Lushai Hills and North Burma West of the Irrawaddy, South to Haka in the Chin Hills.
Nidification. Mrs. Hume's Pheasant breeds during April and May in the Chin Hills on ridges above 6,000 feet up to the highest on Mt. Victoria, roughly about 10,000 feet. There is no nest, the eggs being laid on the wind-blown leaves and rubbish in some natural hollow in the ground under a bush, rock or patch of grass. They breed principally in thin stunted forest without much undergrowth but very broken and rocky. The eggs number six or seven to ten and are like small fowls' eggs, not in the least like the eggs of true Phasianus. In colour they vary from very pale buff, almost white, to a rather warm buff, Forty eggs (mostly Mackenzie's measurements) average 48.7 x 35.3 mm,: maxima 51.5 x 36.3 and 49.5 x 37.5 mm.; minima 46.0 x 33.7 and 48.5 x 33.2 mm.
Habits. This beautiful Pheasant is found in the mountains between 4,000 and 10,000 feet, frequenting thin forest and open grass-land, either all grass, three feet or so in height, or grass with trees scattered here and there. Always, however, it seems to prefer very broken rocky ground on steep hill-sides. Its flight is said to be slower than that of the European Pheasant and it flies low, in and out of, rather than over, the tree-tops. Its call is said to be a low grunting note and no one seems to have heard them crow. It feeds on acorns, seeds, berries, roots and shoots as well as on all kinds of insects, worms, etc.