Turnix Bonnat., Tabl. Eneyl. Meth., i, pp. lxxxii, 5 (1790).
Type, Tetrao sylvaticas Desfon.
Bill like that of the Gallinae hut rather small and slender ; the wings are pointed with the first quill longest; legs and feet moderate, the latter in some species rather long.
Our Indian species are resident throughout their range, though moving higher up the mountains in the warmer months of the year, whilst they may also move about locally in certain parts of India under stress of climatic influences.
Ogilvie-Grant recognized twenty-one species in the Catalogue of the British Museum and twenty-two species in his ' Game - Birds, where he adds the species Turnix whiteheadi from Luzon. To these twenty-two species Grant further adds two subspecies, and of these twenty-four species and subspecies, five species and one subspecies are, according to him, represented in India.
As regards the subspecies of some of our species, they are a matter of no little difficulty but, as I shall deal in detail with these under the various species with which they are connected, further comment is here unnecessary.
The Family Turnicidae is composed of birds of which the female is thro larger, generally the higher coloured and always the dominant partner in all domestic matters, for, beyond laying the eggs, she has nothing to do with the rearing of the young.
Key to Species.
A.Breast barred right across with black and white or quite black……T. suscitator, p. 441.
B.Breast never barred or black in the centre.
A.Central tail-feathers lengthened, pointed and edged with buff; bill dark, not yellow……………T. dussumieri, p. 450.
B.Central tail-feathers not lengthened, pointed or edged with buff; bill yellow……………T. maculatus, p. 453.