1383. Turnix dussumieri.
The Little Button-Quail.
Hemipodius dussumieri, Temm. Pl. Col. pl. 454, fig. 2 (1828). Hemipodius sykesi, Smith, Ill. Zool. S. Afr. ii, notes to pl. 16 (1838). Turnix dussumieri, Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 161 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 227 ; vii, p. 226; xi, p. 312; Adam, S. F. ii, p. 338 ; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 9; vii, p. 186; ix, p. 424; Cripps, S. F. vii, p. 298; Hume, Cat. no. 835; Hume & Marsh. Game B. ii. p. 193, pl.; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 77 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 64 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 336 ; Barnes. Birds Bom. p. 319; Ogilvie Grant, Ibis, 1889, p. 462; id. Cat. B. M. xxii, p. 540; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 371. Turnix sykesi, Blyth, Cat. p. 256; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 600; King, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 216; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 174.
Ghinwa Bawa, Chota Lawa, Dabki, Tura, Chimnaj (Muttra), Libbia (Purneah), H.; Darwi, Ratnagiri; Chinna (or Tella) dabba gundlu, Tel. ; San gundlu, Uriya.
Tail-feathers elongate and pointed.
Coloration. Crown black and brown mixed, a buffy-white median line ; supercilia and sides of head buffy white, more or less speckled with black ; back of neck ferruginous red to rufous brown, with buff edges to the feathers ; back-feathers closely but irregularly barred black and rufous with traces of whitish edges ; the rump and upper tail-coverts the same but darker ; scapulars and wing-coverts rufous and black with conspicuous broad buff edges; quills brown, outer primaries with buff outer borders ; chin, throat, and abdomen almost white ; middle of breast brownish buff, sides of breast lighter buff, with heart-shaped black or black-and-chestnut spots. There is very little, if any, difference in the two sexes except in size.
Bill plumbeous; irides pale yellow ; legs fleshy whitish (Jerdon).
Length of female 5.5 ; tail 1.3; wing 2.9; tarsus .75; bill from gape -53. Males are a little smaller.
Distribution. The greater part of India and Burma, becoming rarer to the southward, and not known to occur south of Mysore nor in Ceylon. This species is found in Sind and the Punjab to the Salt Range, throughout the Indo-Gangetie plain and Lower Himalayas up to, in places, about 6000 feet elevation, and it has been recorded from the Khasi hills, Manipur, and Pegu, but not from Tenasserim. To the eastward it is met with in Hainan and Formosa.
Habits, &c. Though generally a resident, the small Button-Quail is believed to visit Rajputana, Sind, and open parts of the Deccan only in the rains. It breeds from April to October, according to locality, and lays usually 4, sometimes 5 or 6, eggs in a small depression on the ground lined with grass. The eggs are stone-coloured, minutely speckled with brownish and with larger spots of darker brown, and they measure about .85 by .65.