(Last Updated on : 20-08-2015)
Red spurfowl is an Indian pheasant family with a scientific name "Galloperdix spadicea" is a member of the pheasant family and is endemic to India.
Structure of Red Spurfowl
Red spurfowl is a bird of forests, and is quite secretive despite its size. It has a distinctive call and is often hard to see except for a few seconds when it flushes from the undergrowth. It appears reddish and like a long-tailed partridge. The bare skin around the eye is reddish. The legs of both males and females have one or two spurs, which give them their name. This large partridge-like bird has a somewhat long tail. The upper parts are brown with dark barring while the face and neck are greyer in the male. The underside is rufous with dark markings and both sexes have a red facial skin patch and red legs with one or two spurs. Downy chicks have an unmarked cinnamon brown head, a dark brown band along the back bordered by creamy stripes edged with thin lines of dark brown. The male of the distinctive Kerala
race, stewarti has all-chestnut plumage, including the head feathers. Both sexes have long feathers on the crown that can be erected into a crest.
Type of Species of Red Spurfowl
Red spurfowl is the type of species and one of three species in the genus Galloperdix. Gmelin
used the name of Tetrao spadiceus
and the genus position was changed by Edward Blyth in 1844. The tail has 14 feathers and is slightly graduated. The wing is short and rounded and the red skin around the eye is brighter in the breeding season. The populations in three distribution ranges have been designated as subspecies; caurina for the populations in the Aravalli Mountain Ranges
, the south Kerala population stewarti and the nominate population of the rest of India. In colouration, the females show clinal variation becoming darker towards the south of their range.
Staying of Red spurfowl
Red spurfowl usually forage in small parties of three to five. When walking around, the tail is sometimes held vertical as in domestic fowl. They are quite silent in the day but call in the mornings and evenings. They feed on fallen seeds, berries, molluscs and insects apart from swallowing grit to aid digestion. When flushed, the usually fly a short distance and stay in well-defined territories throughout the year. They roost in trees.
Breeding Season of Red Spurfowl
The breeding season of Red spurfowl is January to June, mainly before the rains. A ground nesting bird, it lays 3-5 eggs in a scrape. Males are monogynous but do not incubate. Males have been observed to distract attention when females with chicks are nearby.