Jungle Bush-Quail (Perdicula Asiatica) female differs from the male in the absence of the black barring on the underparts. In her case, the underparts are dull vinous brown. She also has a chestnut chin and throat and coveys in the dry scrub country. A very similar and confusing species, the Rock Bush-Quail (P. argoondah) is often found side by side with this.
Distribution: Resident locally throughout India (from the Himalayan foothills to Cape Comorin) and Ceylon, in the plains and up to about 4,000 ft. in the hills. Absent in Sind, parts of Kitjputatm, Eastern Bengal, Assam, and Burma. Four races are recognized in details of coloration, the dark Ceylonese (ceyloncnsis), the red Konkan-Malabar vidali, the pale N. W. Indian Punjabi, and the typical Asiatica which occupies the remaining portions.
Habits: The Jungle Bush-Quail affects fairly open deciduous forests as well as the dry stony country with grass-and-scrub jungle. It is found in stubble fields and stony grassland, but seldom in standing crops. The birds live in coveys of 5 to 20 and have a habit of forming themselves into ‘squares’ when resting — crouching bunched together under a bush or in the open, all facing outwards—and of suddenly ‘ exploding ‘ or rising with a whirr of wings when almost trod upon, and dispersing in all directions.
These ‘explosions’ are apt to be rather embarrassing when one is stalking a big game. The birds drop after a short flight, and the covey soon re-unites by means of soft whistling calls, whi-whi-whi-whi, etc., uttered by its members. They also roost at night in the manner described and are easily captured by fowlers who, having marked down a retiring covey, return under cover of darkness and throw a net over the sheltering bush.

The birds troop down in single file to drink in the mornings and evenings, and shift from one feeding ground to another in like manner, using the same little paths or tunnels formed in the matted and bent-over grass, day after day. Their food consists mainly of grain, grass seeds, and tender shoots. Breeding males are pugnacious and challenge rivals with harsh grating calls as of the Black Drongos‘ arguing ‘ at the onset of their breeding season.
Nesting: Males are apparently monogamous, but this has not been ascertained. The season is not well-defined and ranges between August and April. The nest is a scrape in the ground, lined with grass, under the shelter of a bush or grass-tussock, usually in the scrub jungle. Jungle Bush-Quail lays eggs 4 to 8 in number, which is creamy-white in color and fairly glossed. However, the incubation, which takes about 16 days, is carried on by the hen alone.
Jungle Bush-Quail Male and Female
Jungle Bush-Quail Male and Female. Photo Credit – Wikipedia


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