A profusely spotted medium-sized game bird. Male has a chestnut head, beige-edged dark brown upperparts with a finely striped black and white rump and tail. Neck and underparts densely spotted with white. Female is similar to the male, but paler on the head. Extremely shy and secretive and not easily flushed. Rarely flies. Active at twilight or just before dawn.
Grassland, scrub, cultivation.
Range Most of India, south of range of Black Partridge, south of line from C Gujarat, N Madhya Pradesh, S Uttar Pradesh.
Noisy when breeding (SW monsoon); high-pitched , harsh grating four or five-noted khik… kheek…khee…khheeki call, quite similar to that of Black Partridge; may call every 20–30 seconds, for up to 40 minutes; often in duet.