(1855) Columba livia neglecta.
HUME'S BLUE BOCK-PIGEON.
Columba neglecta Hume, Lahore to Yarkand, p. 272(1873) (Ladak). Columba livia. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 29 (part.).
Vernacular names. Kabutar (Hind.); Kentisiam (Pushtu); Kapoth (Baluchi) ; Kaftar (Persian).
Description. Similar to the European Rock-Pigeon but the general plumage paler, whilst the lower back varies individually from white to pale grey or pale bluish-grey; the band thus formed is narrower than in the typical form.
Colours of soft parts as in the typical form.
Measurements. Wing 226 to 240 mm.
Distribution. Turkestan, East and South Persia, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Sind, Kashmir and North-West Frontier Provinces and North-West Punjab.
Nidification, Hume's Rock-Pigeon breeds practically all the year round in Sind and other places at low elevations but above 5,000 feet their season is restricted to April, May and June for first layings, second broods being raised as late as September. Normally their nesting differs in no way from that of the next bird, intermedia, but in the Deragut District Pitman found two nests made on trees—" massive constructions of sticks and twigs lined with finer material and dead grass. One was placed among the thin top branches about 18 feet from the ground ; the other was placed on a stout branch 12 feet from the ground." Another curious site is recorded by Marshall, who found them breeding in the underground water-channels round about Quetta. Forty-eight eggs average 38.5 x 28.7 mm.: maxima 42.5 x 28.0 and 40.0 x 29.6 mm.; minima 36.0 x 27.8 and 36.1 x 27.5 nun. Pulton and Whitehead both found it breeding at 10,000 feet on the North-West Frontier.
Habits, Those of the species. This Pigeon, however, sometimes seems to undertake curious local movements. Thus Rattray records them as breeding in hundreds at Thull up to April and then suddenly disappearing. In Chitral, again, Whitehead found them common from August to April but absent from May to July ; probably food-conditions govern their comings and goings.