1344. Tragopan satyra.
The Crimson Homed Pheasant.
Meleagris satyra, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 269 (1766) Tragopan satyrus, Cuv. Reg. An. 2 ed. i, p. 479. Ceriornis satyra, Blyth, Cat. p. 240 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii. p. 516 ; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 71; Murie, P. Z. S. 1872, p. 730, pls. Ix, Ixi llame, N. Sf B. p. 521; Hume Sf Marsh. Game B. i, p. 137, pl. ; Hume, Cat. no. 805 ; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 343; Oates in Hume's N. & B. 2nd ed. iii, p. 409. Tragopan satyra, Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 271.
The Sikim Horned Pheasant, Jerdon ; Lungi, H. Garhwal and Kumaun; Monal, H. (Nepal) ; Omo, Bap, Bhotia; Tar-rhyak, Lepcha.
Coloration. Male. Head, sides of nape, throat, and foreneck black ; two streaks, one on each side of the occiput, meeting at the nape, the middle of the nape itself, the neck except in front, but with broad bands running to behind the ear-coverts, upper back, bend of wing and coverts near it, and all the lower parts from the neck crimson; the upper back and all the lower parts, except the uppermost breast, spotted over with white black-edged ocelli, small and sharply defined on the breast and back, larger, ill-defined, and grey instead of white on the abdomen; wing-lining, except the larger coverts, buffy red; interscapulars, scapulars, and the neighbouring wing-coverts, lower back and rump-feathers black with rufous-buff vermiculation, each feather with a subterminal white ocellus, broadly edged with black, and a large rounded brown spot on each side of the ocellus; most of the wing-coverts and the sides of the rump the same, but with deep crimson patches ; quills black, with rufous-buff imperfect bars and vermiculations ; upper tail-coverts brown with black tips; tail-feathers black, vermiculated with buff on the basal two-thirds.
Female. General colour rich ochreous brown, paler below, above black in blotches or mixed with rufous buff, and in parts with greyish brown; pale shaft-stripes on the crown and throat, passing into angular ill-defined buff shaft-spots on the body, much broken by mottling and generally larger below than above; quills as in male; tail-feathers barred, mottled, and vermiculated with buff throughout.
Young birds of both sexes resemble females, but have distinct buff shaft-stripes above and below. The adult male plumage is gradually assumed, the feathers round the neck becoming red, and the pale shaft-spots changing to ocelli before the crimson garb is acquired by moult.
Bill of male blackish brown, horns bright lazuline blue, orbits and upper throat fine purplish blue, irides deep brown, legs and toes pale fleshy ; bill, of female dusky horny, legs brownish grey, more or less fleshy (Hums). The gular apron-like wattle can he expanded during the breeding-season to a length of several inches ; it is usually blue with lateral bars, which, under excitement, become orange or scarlet; but it is described by Hume as orange with lateral blue bars, and it probably varies in colour. The horns are larger in the breeding-season, and measure at times over 3 inches in length.
Length of male about 27 ; tail 10.5 ; wing 10.5 : tarsus 3.25 ; bill from gape T5. Length of female about 23 ; tail 8 ; wing 9.
Distribution. Throughout the Himalayas from the Alaknanda valley in Garhwal to well into Bhutan, and perhaps somewhat farther east, between about 6090 and 12,000 feet; in summer chiefly from 8000 to 10,000 feet. This Pheasant was formerly not rare near Darjiling.
Habits, &c. This is a thorough forest-bird, shy, and rarely seen, keeping to thick cover, and often found in " ringal," the small upland bamboo that covers the hill-sides in many parts of the Himalayas. The call, described by Jerdon as a deep bellowing, and by Hume as a loud bleating cry, is chiefly heard in spring. At this time the males show off by raising their horns and expanding their wattles, and in other ways, as described by Mr. Bartlett in Dr. Murie's paper (I. c). The eggs, laid in May, are like large hen's eggs, nearly white, slightly freckled here and there with pale dull lilac, and measuring about 2.6 by 1.8.
T. temmincki, Gray, the Chinese Crimson Horned Pheasant, is found in South-western and Central China, and a specimen in the Hume Collection is said to have been brought from the Mishmi hills, just beyond the frontier of E. Assam (S. P. viii, p. 201; ix, pp. 198, 205). The male resembles that sex of T. satyra, but differs (1) in having the pale spots on the lower surface larger, pearly grey in colour throughout, and without black edges, and (2) in each feather of the back and of most of the upper parts being dark red at the end, with a small subterminal grey ocellus; the red of the neck, too, is less rich and paler towards the head. The female is very similar to that of T. satyra.