963. Tetraogallus caspius

963. CASPIAN SNOW-PARTRIDGE.
TETRAOGALLUS CASPIUS.
Tetraogallus caspius (S. G. Gmel.), Reise Russl, iv. p. 67, pl. x. (1784) ; Gould, B. of As. vii. pl. 29 ; Radde, Orn. Cauc. p. 343, pl. xxii. ; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 108 ; Dresser, vii. p. 241 ; pl. 493.
Ur-Keklik, in the Taurus ; Kabk-i-dareh, Persian.
Male ad. (Taurus). Differs from T. caucasicus in having the head, neck. and upper parts paler and tinged with huff, the larger wing-coverts bluer and less vermiculated on the basal portion ; sides of head and neck creamy white, the space below the eye pale blue-grey with a darker blue-grey stripe down the side of the neck ; feathers of lower throat and upper breast tipped with ashy buff, becoming ashy buff on the sides, and on the fore¬part boldly spotted with black ; rest of breast ashy buff, vermiculated with blackish grey ; middle of abdomen sooty slate ; crissum dull buff ; under tail-coverts creamy white ; bill yellowish horn, paler at the base ; legs rich orange-red ; iris dark brown ; bare space round and below the eye brilliant Indian yellow ; nostrils orange-red. Culmen 1.7, wing 11.8 tail 8.0, tarsus 2.6 inch. The female is rather smaller and duller, has the crown slightly marked with light buff and dark grey, the stripes on the sides of the neck and the band on the lower throat buffer in tinge, the latter ver¬miculated with grey, and both mottled with black, soft parts duller than in the male, and the spur on the hind tarsus wanting.
Hab. The Taurus Mountains, west to the Gok or Geyee Mountains, east to Transcaspia, Armenia, Kurdistan, and Northern Persia, north to the Caucasus.
Like T. caucasicus the present species inhabits the moro ele¬vated portions of the mountains, and is extremely shy and wary. It feeds on bulbous roots, young grass blades, moss and scale-fern, and the young are probably fed on insects. The call-note is a full clear prolonged whistle ending with an abrupt jerk, and the male utters a loud cackle which is continued during flight. It breeds late in April, the nest being a deep round hollow scraped in the stony soil, slightly lined with dry grass and a few feathers, and the eggs, 6 to 9 in number, resemble those of T. caucasicus both in size and colour, but are, if anything, a trifle darker in ground colour.

BookTitle: 
A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Reference: 
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
963. Tetraogallus caspius
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
CatNo: 
963
Year: 
1903
Page No: 
689
Common name: 
Caspian Snow Partridge
M_ID: 
1110
M_CN: 
Caspian Snowcock
M_SN: 
Tetraogallus caspius
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
10122

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