909. PALLAS'S SAND-GROUSE.
Syrrhaptes paradoxus (Pall.), Reise Russ. Beichs. id. A pp. p. 712, Tab. F. (1773) ; Gould, B. of Asia, vi, pl. 60 ; id. B, of Gt Brit. iv. pl. 11 ; Newton, P.Z.S, 1861, p. 397, pl. xxxix. fig. 1 (egg), ; Dresser, vii. p. 75, pl. 468 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 389 ; Newton, Ibis, 1890, p. 207, pl. vii. (pull.) ; Ogilvie Grant, Out. P., Br. Mus. xxii. p. 2 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 740 ; Saunders, p. 488 ; Lilford, iv, p. 97, pl. 43.
Fausthuhn, German ; Sirratte, Ital. ; Steppehone, Dan ; Stepphona, Swed. ; Hieta-kana, Finn. ; Stepnaya-Kuritza, Russ. ; Sha-chee, Chinese.
Male ad. (E. Siberia). Crown and sides of head dull gold colour ; nape greyish buff ; across the Kind neck a patch of golden orange extending upwards on each side ; back, scapulars and rump warm sandy ochreous, the two former boldly, the last narrowly barred with black ; primaries bluish grey, the first long and attenuated, the inner ones ochreous tipped ; secondaries ochreous on the inner and blackish on the outer webs ; wing- coverts sandy ochreous, the larger tipped with foxy red ; outer edge of wing spotted with black : tail-coverts and elongated middle tail-feathers ochreous washed with blue-grey, the latter tipped with black ; rest of tail- feathers slate-grey tipped with white ; under parts delicate dove-buff, tinged with grey fading to dull white on the lower abdomen, legs and feet ; upper breast crossed by an irregular black bar and the middle of the. abdomen by a broad black band ; bill pale horn ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.5, wing 9.0, the first quill 1.1 longer than the second, tail 7.6, the middle feathers 3.6 longer than the rest, tarsus 1.1 inch. The female is duller and greyer, has the crown and nape striped with black, lacks the yellow and orange on the head and neck and the pectoral band, and has the first quill and middle tail feathers shorter.
Hab. The steppes of Southern Russia, and Asia east to North China, north to Lake Baikal ; large flocks have visited Europe at uncertain intervals, and it has been obtained in almost every country, while it has bred in Great Britain and Denmark.
In habits it resembles the other Sand-Grouse, and like them flies very swiftly. It feeds on seeds, and its call-note, which is uttered when the bird is on the wing, is a loud truck-turuck, truck-turuck. Its nest is a mere depression in the soil, sometimes lined with a few grass-bents, and the eggs, 3 in number, are deposited late in May or early in June, and are stone-buff, often with a greenish tint, marked with purplish brown shell-blotches and dark brown surface-spots, and measure about 1.69 by 1.16. The young bird was taken in Scotland on the 8th of August.
909. Syrrhaptes paradoxus
909. PALLAS'S SAND-GROUSE.