(1998) Turnix suscitator taijoor.
THE COMMON BUSTARD-QUAIL.
Hemipodius taijoor Sykes, P. Z. S., 1832, p. 155 (Deccan). Turnix pugnax. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 150 (part.).
Vernacular names. Gulu,, Gundlu, Gundra, Salui-gundra, (Hind.); Pared, female, Kalada, male (Telegu); Kurunq-Kadik, female, Ankadik, male (Tamil); Durwa (Ratnagiri); Karechaki (Canarese).
Description.— Adult female. Differs from T. s. leggei in being much paler and much more rufous, many birds appearing, as a whole, to be a bright but rather pale rufescent-red. The pale fulvous edges to the feathers of the back, scapulars etc. are larger and paler, increasing the pale effect of the plumage, whilst the underparts are generally very much paler. The black spots on the wing-coverts, though smaller, are more in the nature of bars than they are in any of the other subspecies.
Colours of soft parts as in T. s. leggei.
Measurements. The Common Bustard-Quail follows the general avian rule in being smaller in the South than its more Northern and Eastern representatives.
The British Museum series—a large one—gives the wing-measurements for females as 77 to 88 mm.
Adult male. Differs from the female in the same way and degree as does that of the other subspecies.
Measurements. The male, as usual, is decidedly smaller than the female—wing 72 to 85 mm.
Distribution. The whole of India South of the habitat of T. s. plumbipes down to Cape Cormorin. It has not yet teen recorded from Sind but I have recently had it sent to me from the Punjab, where it would appear to be only a rare straggler. In the districts round Calcutta it is replaced by T. isabellinus.
Nidification. Not to be distinguished in any way from that of T. s. plumbipes, though, if Plume is correct, this Continental form would appear very often to be contented with laying its eggs in some hollow without making a true nest. Even in such cases, however, a rough collection of scraps of grass etc. are always placed in the hollow before the eggs are laid.
The season for laying may vary somewhat in different places but it may be said to last more or less all the year round. Scarcity of food naturally checks breeding, so that in the driest portions of its habitat the driest months of the year will form a gap in breeding operations and, on the contrary, where the rainfall is heaviest the birds will cease breeding during the height of the Rains.
The eggs are exactly like those of T. s. plumbipes and vary in colour to the same extent. Sixty average 24.7 x 19.4 mm.: maxima 26.5 x 20.1 and 23.9 x 20.4 mm.; minima 23.0 x 18.1 and 24.2 x 17.9 mm.
Habits. Those of the species.