Gould, Cent. Him. Birds, pls. 60, 61; id., B. Asia pt. ii. pl. 7; Jerd., B. Ind. iii. p. 510, No. 804; Hume and Marsh., Game Birds of Ind. i. p. 125; Murray, Avif. Brit. Ind. ii. p. S33. No. 1192. :-
The Monaul Pheasant.
Head, including the crest, also the throat, brilliant metallic green; back of the neck brilliant iridescent purple, passing into bronzy green, and all with a golden gloss; upper back and wing coverts, also the rump and upper tail coverts richly glossed with purple and green, the latter colour prevailing on the wings and furthest tail coverts. Middle of back white; quills black; tail cinnamon rufous; whole lower surface black, glossed on the throat with green and purple, dull and unglossed elsewhere. Bill dark horny; naked orbits blue; irides brown; legs dull ashy green. (Jerd.)
Length. :- 27 to 29 inches; wing 11 to 12.2; tail from vent 9.5 to 10.5; tarsus 2.7 to 3; bill from gape 1.9 to 2. Females are smaller. The female has the chin and throat white, the rest of the body pale buffy brown, with dark brown spots, bars and undulations; secondaries barred black and rufous; tip of tail and external margin of tail coverts whitish. Bill blackish; legs dusky greenish.
Length. :- 24 to 26 inches; wing 10.3 to 11; tarsus 2.65 to 27.5 bill 1.3.
Hab. :- The western borders of Cashmere to the more western portions of Bhootan, and throughout the Himalayas, as far east as Sikkim. Jerdon says in Sikkim it is not found at a lower elevation than 10,000 feet Common about Mussoorie at one time, and also about Simla. Breeds throughout the forest- clad ranges of the Himalayas during May and June. The eggs are laid in a bare depression in the ground under the shelter of some overhanging rock, or the massive root of some large tree. The eggs, 4 to 6 in number, are long ovals, a good deal compressed at one end; the ground colour is buffish white thickly and coarsely freckled all over, especially in the middle, with deep reddish brown. Size from 2.41 to 2.69 in length by 1.7 to 1.89 in breadth.