1298. Palumbus casiotis.
The Eastern Wood-Pigeon, Ring-Dove, or Cushat.
Palumbus torquatus, var., Blyth, Cat. p. 233; Adams, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 497. Palumbus casiotis,. Bonap. Consp. Av. ii, p. 42 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 464; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 66 ; Cock & Marsh. S. F. i, p. 358 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 497 ; id. Cat. no. 784; Butler, S. F. viii, pp. 386, 500; ix, p. 298; Wardl. Rams. Ibis, 1879, p. 448 ; Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 421 ; Barnes, S. F. ix, pp. 218, 457; Swinhoe, ibid. p. 237 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 346. Columba casiotis, Biddidph, Ibis, 1881, p. 91 ; Scully, ibid. p. 583; Swinhoe, Ibis, 1882, p. 117 ; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 173; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 302.
The Himalayan Cushat, Jerdon ; Dhanud, H. (Chamba).
Coloration. Head and neck dark ashy grey ; sides and back of lower neck glossed with metallic green, changing to purplish red, especially at the sides towards the shoulders ; a large buff spot on each side of the neck near the body; back, scapulars, quills, and the wing-coverts near the back brownish grey; primaries with narrow white outer borders ; winglet and primary-coverts blackish ; a broad longitudinal white band from the angle of the wing over the outer secondary coverts ; lower back, rump, upper tail-coverts, and base of tail above dark ashy grey ; the tail beyond the upper coverts blackish; beneath the tail is nearly black, with a broad whitish-grey band across the middle ; breast pale lilac or vinous grey, passing into ashy grey on the abdomen and lower tail-coverts ; wing-lining ashy.
Bill orange at the tip, whitish at the base; feet red (Jerdon). Irides yellowish white (Biddulph).
Length about 17; tail 6.75; wing 10.25; tarsus 1.25; bill from gape 1.1.
Distribution. This Wood-Pigeon replaces the European bird (P. torquatus), which only differs in having white instead of buff neck-spots, in Central Asia and North-western India. It breeds in the North-western Himalayas from the Afghan frontier to Kumaun and in the higher hills (wherever there are trees) of Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Southern Persia, and it visits Kandahar, Quetta, tbe Punjab, and occasionally Sind in winter.
Habits, &c. Wood-Pigeons are chiefly found about high trees, on which they perch at intervals and roost, but they feed on the ground on grain, seeds, acorns, young shoots, &c. They collect in large flocks and migrate extensively, and, in some countries, regularly. The call is of four syllables, low and moaning. This species breeds in May and June, and lays the usual two white eggs on a small loosely-constructed platform of small twigs in a bush or tree, often at no great height above the ground. Eggs measure about 1.6 by 1.1.