1296. Columba leuconota.
The White-bellied Pigeon.
Columba leuconota, Vigors, P. Z S. 1831, p. 23; Gould, Cent. pl. 59; Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiv, p. 864 ; id. Cat. p. 234 ; Adams, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 497, 1859, p. 187; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 471 ; Stoticzka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 66 ; Stanford, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 70; Elwes, P. Z. S. 1873, p. 659 ; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 274 ; Brookes, S. F. iii, p. 256 ; Hume, Cat. no. 790; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 340; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 92 ; Scully, ibid. p. 584; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 421 ; Sharpe, Yarkand Miss., Aves, p. 116; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 240.
" Snow pigeon " of Himalayan travellers ; Bujul, Chamba ; Lho-peu-rintiep, Lepcha ; Byaden, Bhot.
Coloration. Head all round very dark slaty grey; neck all round white, passing into the light earthy brown of the upper back, smaller wing-coverts, scapulars, and tertiaries; rest of outer surface of wing ashy grey, with three dark brown bands on the secondaries and their coverts ; quills brown at the ends ; lower back white; rump, upper tail-coverts,and tail blackish brown, the tail with a broad whitish cross-band just beyond the upper coverts on the middle rectrices, but nearer the ends in the outer feathers, subterminal and oblique in the outermost pair; lower parts from the throat white, tinged with greyish lilac on the flanks, wing-lining, and lower abdomen; under tail-coverts pale ashy.'
Bill and claws horny black; irides yellow ; feet bright light red (Scully).
Length about 13.5; tail 5; wing 9.5; tarsus 1.2; bill from gape 1.
Distribution. Throughout the higher Himalayas from Gilgit to Bhutan, at elevations of 10,000 to 14,000 feet in summer, but descending to lower elevations in winter. To the north-east the range of this bird extends to Kansu.
Habits, &c. This Pigeon, in summer at all events, is usually to he seen in flocks about rocky hill-sides. I found it irregularly distributed in Upper Sikhim, common in places, rare in others at the same elevation. I never heard its call, nor apparently has any other observer, and its nidification appears not to have been noticed, except that Lieut. Cordeaux says that he found it breeding amongst inaccessible crags in the Ai Nullah, Kashmir, in August.