1378. Tetraogallus himalayensis.
The Himalayan Snow-Cock.
Tetraogallus himalayensis, G. R. Gray, P. Z. S. 1842, p. 105 ; Blyth, Cat. p. 248 ; Adams, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 501; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 549; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 68 ; Hume & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 267, pl. ; iii, p. 483, pl. iii (egg) ; Hume, Cat. no. 816; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 93 ; Scully, ibid. p. 586 ; C. H. T.Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 423; Marshall, Fairbrother, & Bruce, S. F ix. p. 207; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 426; Sharpe, Yarkand Miss., Aves, p. 123, pl. xv; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M, xxii, p. 106.
Kullu, Lupu, Baera, Western Nepal; Huinwal, Kumaun ; Jer-monal, hills N. of Mussooree; Leep, Kulu ; Galound, Chamba; Gourkagu, Kubuk, Kashmir ; Kabk-i-dara, P. (Afghanistan); Snow-Pheasant of Himalayan sportsmen.
Coloration. Forehead and supercilia buffy white; crown and hind neck ashy grey, sides of head the same but paler ; sides of neck and the chin and throat white ; a chestnut streak from behind each eye expands into a broad patch on each side of the nape, and a deep-coloured chestnut gorget runs round the throat; upper back buffy grey, slightly mottled; rest of upper plumage black, finely vermiculated with buff; feathers of lower back, rump, and scapulars broadly edged on both sides with buff, and the median and greater secondary wing-coverts with chestnut; primaries white, with long ashy-brown ends which increase in length on the secondaries, and are vermiculated with rufous buff towards the tips; middle tail-feathers like the back, but without buff edges, outer tail-feathers chestnut towards the tips; upper breast greyish white, with subterminal broad black bars (sometimes wanting) to the feathers, then a band of pure white; lower breast and abdomen blackish grey, finely vermiculated with buff; the sides of the chest and the flanks purer grey, the feathers edged with chestnut inside and with black outside; vent and lower tail-coverts white.
Bill pale horny; irides dark brown; naked skin behind eye yellow ; legs yellowish red.
Length of male about 28; tail 8; wing 12; tarsus 2.7; bill from gape 1.45; length of female about 22.5, tail 7, wing 11.
Distribution. The Himalayas west from Kumaun at about 11.000 to 18,000 feet in summer, lower in winter; also in Afghanistan and in various ranges north of the Himalayas to the Altai.
Habits, &c. An admirable account is given by Mr. Wilson (' Mountaineer'), who is quoted by both Jerdon and Hume. This bird keeps near to the snow-line, on rocks and bare ground, generally in flocks of from 5 or 6 to 30. It feeds on grass, herbs, small bulbs, and seeds. Its call is a soft whistle. It breeds at high elevations from May to July, and lays usually about 5, sometimes more, eggs, which are long ovals, stone-coloured, thinly speckled with brown, and measure about 2.72 by 2.85.