(1867) Dendrotreron hodgsonii.
THE. SPECKLED WOOD-PIGEON.
Columba hodgsonii Vigors, P. Z. S., 1832, p., 16 (Nepal). Dendrotreron hodgsoni. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 33.
Vernacular names, Hagrani Daohukuruma (Cachari); Pahari Pagooma (Assamese).
Description.— Adult male. Whole head, throat and neck and upper breast ashy-grey, the chin generally, and the throat sometimes, paler; on the lower neck and upper breast the bases of the feathers are blackish-grey, this colour increasing in extent and changing to claret-red posteriorly on these parts and on the back, scapulars and lesser wing-coverts to a claret-red or claret-maroon; longer scapulars, lower back and rump slaty-brown, the rump darkest and contrasting with the dark clove-grey shorter upper tail-coverts; longer tail-coverts and tail dark brown ; median wing-coverts claret-red, speckled with white, gradually changing to a dark slaty-grey on the outermost and greater coverts; primary coverts and wing-quills dark brown; the feathers of the breast are dark claret bordered with grey, the borders narrower on the lower breast and passing away on the posterior flanks and showing only as pinkish-grey spots on the abdomen; vent, thighs and under tail-coverts dark slaty-grey, merging into the red of the abdomen.
Colours of soft parts. Iris white or hoary-white; orbital skin livid or slate-colour ; bill black, sometimes tinged livid or purple on the cere and base; legs and feet dull green, blackish in front and paler and more yellow behind.
Measurements. Length about 355 to 405 mm.; wing 228 to 244 mm.; tail 140 to 153 mm,; tarsus about 24 to 26 mm.; culmen 15.2 to 17.7 mm.
Adult female. Whole head greyish; the grey margins to the feathers of the lower parts are not tinged with pink and the upper parts are more brown less maroon; the red of the underparts is replaced by a dark grey-brown.
Distribution. Himalayas, Kashmir to Tibet and Assam, Manipur, Chin and Lushai Hills into the Shan States.
Nidification. Six eggs taken in Nepal during May and June were all built on small trees in dense forest in extreme Western Nepal near the Sikkim Frontier. The elevation varied from 8,000 to 10,000 feet but in Assam I took two nests at about 6,000 feet. Each nest contained but one egg. In Kishtwar Ward says it breeds at 8,000 feet and it also breeds at about this level near Sonamarg in Kashmir. The eggs vary in size between 33.9 x 25.9 mm., an abnormally small egg, and 41.5 x 29.4 mm. Eight eggs average 39.3 x 30.1 mm., excluding the smallest.
Habits. This Pigeon is a bird of high-level forests between 8,000 and 11,000 feet, whilst Elwes got it at 13,000 feet in Sikkim. In the Assam hills it occasionally breeds as low as 6,000 feet and it comes about 1,000 feet lower than this in Winter all through its range. It collects in small parties at this season, feeding on trees on fruits and berries and seems especially fond of acorns. They also feed on the ground in the patches of hill-rice cultivation and eat rice when ripe. The note is a very deep one, sounding like " whock—whr-o-o—wh r r o o."