Turnix taigoor, Sykes.
832. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 595; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 7 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 424; Game Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 169 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 132.
THE INDIAN BUSTARD QUAIL.
Length, 5.44 to 6.6 ; expanse, 10.75 to 12.5 ; wing, 2.85 to 3.45 ; tail, 0.9 to 1.38; tarsus, 0.9 to 1.2 ; bill from gape, 0.6 to 0.78 ; weight, 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 oz.
Bill dark slaty; irides pale yellow to straw-white; legs and feet light slaty to plumbeous.
The females rule, much the largest.
The female is rufous above, with transverse black lines on each feather of the back, scapulars and rump, these having also yellowish-white lateral margins, internally edged with black; the crown of the head rufous, with a series of black and white feathers appearing as white spots, set off with black, along the median line ; another and broader series over each eye; a third bordering the throat, which, with the middle of the foreneck to the commencement of the breast (together with the more conspicuous feathers of the wings), is fulvous-white, with tolerably broad black cross-bars; below the breast, light but bright ferruginous.
The male bird differs in wanting the black on the throat and neck, the chin and throat being whitish ; the markings on the head are whitish-yellow without black specks; the throat and breast are faintly banded; and the whole tone of plumage is lighter and less pronounced than in the female.
The Indian or Black-breasted Bustard Quail is not common, but, with the exception of Sind, occurs more or less in all parts of the district. It breeds during June, July and August, the nest, if it is worthy of the name, being placed in a depression, sheltered by a tuft of sarpat-grass or stunted bush, and is composed of a few short pieces of grass. The eggs, four in number, are peg-top shape, of a dirty stone color, densely freckled brown and yellow, with a few well defined black blotches, scattered over the shell, and having also a few underlying patches of inky-purple.
They average 0.93 inches in length by about 0.79 in breadth.