1346. Tragopan blythi

1346. Tragopan blythi.

The Grey-bellied Horned Pheasant.

Ceriornis temmincki, apud Jerdon, Ibis, 1870, p. 147, nec Gray. Ceriornis blythii, Jerdon, P. A. S. B. 1870, p. 60 ; Sclater, P. Z. S. 1870, p. 163, pl. xv; Godw.-Anst. P. Z. S. 1872, p. 496; id. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 172; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 472; id. Cat. no. 806 bis; Hume & Marsh. Game B. i, p. 151, pl.; Godw.-Aust. P. Z. S. 1879, p. 457, pl. xxxix ; Cran, S. F. x, p. 524; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 301.

Tragopan blythi, Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 276. Hur-huria, Sansaria, Assam ; Gnu, Angami Naga ; Chingtho, Kuki.

Coloration. Male. Forehead, vertex, lores, a band through the ear-coverts behind the naked side of the head continued across the throat, and joining another band that extends round the nape, black; broad supercilia meeting behind across the occiput and neck all round, with upper breast and bend of wing, Indian red ; crest short; feathers of tipper parts black, streaked with buff, each with a subterminal white spot shading into brown all round, and on each side of it a much larger deep red spot; terminal portion of upper tail-coverts white, shading all round into chestnut and tinted with black ; quills and tail as in T. satyra ; breast and greater part of abdomen light sepia to smoky grey, the edges of. the feathers slightly darker: flanks passing into the Coloration of the back; under tail-coverts smoky grey, edged with red and tipped with black.

Female (as described by Hume) much less grey than that of T. melanocephalus, and distinguished from that of T. satyra by being blacker and less ferruginous on the upper surface and greyish creamy instead of ferruginous buff on the lower. I have not been able to examine a specimen, but young males are more finely vermiculated on the upper surface than either of the other species, and have no black blotches at all. Young males have at first the plumage of the female, and gradually assume the adult male plumage ; and on the whole it is most probable that the bird with a red neck figured by Godwin-Austen as a female must have been either a very old female assuming the male dress or a young male.

Bill dusky; skin of face and throat yellow, more or less mixed with orange and emerald-green at the lowest part; it is bordered laterally by a very narrow black line ; legs fleshy (Jerdon). Irides deep brown, orbital skin orange, horns azure, lappets brimstone tinged with blue ; orbital skin in female light brown (Damant).

Wing of male 10.5; tail 8; tarsus 3.2; bill from gape 1.4; wing of female 8.5 to 9. The length of the male is said by Dr. Wood to be 30 inches, but this appears large. Skins measure only 21 to 24.

Distribution. Throughout the Naga hills south of Assam from the neighbourhood of Paona Peak in the Burrail range on the west to the high ranges south-east of Sadiya, and as far south as Manipur, at elevations from 5000 to 10,000 feet and upwards in summer. Dr. R. Cran wrote to ' Stray Feathers' that a specimen was sent to him from the Dafla hills north of Assam ; but the species was not found there by Godwin-Austen, and the occurrence of this Pheasant north of Assam requires confirmation.

Habits, &c. Very similar to those of other species. A few details are given by Godwin-Austen (l. c.) and by Dr. H. S. Wood in the 'Asian' (June 15th, 1894, p. 173). The food is said to consist chiefly of berries, and the bird inhabits high forests of oak and other trees.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1346. Tragopan blythi
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Grey Bellied Horned Pheasant
Blyth's Tragopan
Tragopan blythii
Vol. 4
Term name: 

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