The Jungle Bush Quail bird, scientifically known as Perdicula asiatica, is a small game bird that is found in South Asia, predominantly in India. It belongs to the family of Phasianidae, which includes pheasants, partridges, and quails. This shy and elusive bird is widely hunted for its meat, which is considered both nutritious and delicious. Despite this, the Jungle Bush Quail is not considered endangered.
The jungle bush quail is about seven inches long and has a plump, rounded body and a short, sturdy beak. It is characterized by its short, rounded wings, which make it a poor flyer. Its plumage is predominantly brown with beige and black markings. The male and female of the species look almost identical, but the male has a slightly larger head and more colorful markings. The bird’s legs are short and sturdy, enabling it to run quickly and efficiently through the dense undergrowth where it usually lives.
This bird is shy and usually solitary or found in pairs. It prefers to stay hidden in the thorny bushes, shrubs, and tall grasses, where it can easily camouflage itself from predators and humans alike. The Jungle Bush Quail is mainly active in the early morning and late afternoon hours, often making a series of short, piercing calls, which can be heard from far off. They feed on a diet of berries, seeds, and insects, which they forage for on the ground. The diet of the jungle bush quail varies seasonally and depending on the availability of food.
Breeding season for Jungle Bush Quail typically begins in June and lasts until October. During this time, males can often be heard making low chuckling calls to attract females. The female lays between 4-7 eggs in a shallow scrape or in a depression in the ground. Once the eggs are laid, the male and female take turns incubating the eggs. The eggs usually hatch after 18-21 days, and the chicks are fully fledged after about four weeks.
In conclusion, the Jungle Bush Quail is a fascinating bird that is endemic to India and is a valuable game bird for hunting. Despite being hunted, this species is not endangered and has a stable population. Its distinctive features, shy nature, and habitat make it an interesting and important species in the biodiversity of the Indian sub-continent.