(1861) Columba palumbus casiotis.
THE EASTERN WOOD-PIGEON OR RING-DOVE.
Palumbus casiotis Bonaparte, Consp. Gen. Av., ii, p. 42 (1854) (Himalayas) ; Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 34.
Vernacular names. Dahnud (Hind., Chamba).
Description. Whole head and neck dark grey, the chin and throat sometimes slightly paler; lower hind-neck glossed with green or purple-copper according to the light; a broad buff semi-collar on the lower neck, interrupted at the back; below these buff patches the neck is glossed with green and purple; upper back, scapulars and wing-coverts light earth-brown changing to grey on the outer coverts ; outermost secondary coverts pure white on the outer webs and those next them with a white edge forming two oblique bands of white across the wings; edge of shoulder of wing and primary coverts dark brown, the inner ones grey on the inner webs and edged white; primaries and outer secondaries slaty-black, edged white; lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts dark ashy-grey; tail brownish-black with a broad grey band across the middle, obsolete on the central feathers ; breast Vinous-pink, paling to dove-grey on the abdomen, flanks and under tail-coverts; tail below black with a broad white band across the middle.
Colours of soft parts. Iris pale yellowish-white to pale yellow; base of bill carmine-orange or orange-red, livid white in the centre and orange at the tip, cere whitish; skin round eye carmine-red ; legs and feet coral-red, not very bright.
Measurements. Total length about 400 to 430 mm.; wing 243 to 263 mm.; tail 139 to 153 mm. ; tarsus about 24 to 27 mm. ; culmen about 16.5 to 18 mm.
Distribution. South Persia, Turkestan, Afghanistan, Kashmir and the Himalayas East to Sikkim; in Winter moving South to Sind, the North-West Frontier Province, Punjab and Oudh.
Nidification. Within our limits this Pigeon breeds in Kashmir and Kuman, though there is practically nothing on record, whilst Marshall, Cock, Rattray and others have found it breeding about Murree. Outside India it breeds in numbers in Afghanistan and all along the frontier from 2,500 to 12,000 feet and possibly higher than this. Barnes took eggs in Afghanistan in June, Rattray at Murree in May and June, whilst there are eggs in the Cox-Cheeseman collection taken during this month at Rustem. Ten eggs average 40.3 x 29.4 mm.: maxima 42.0 x 28.8 and 41.0 X 30.0 mm.; minima 38.8 x 28.7 mm.
Habits. This Wood-Pigeon seems to be a resident bird, though moving a great deal locally according to food-conditions and curiously enough never apparently breeding either in Garhwal, the Simla States or, practically, between the Ganges and the Jamna. In night, voice, food etc. it does not differ from its European cousin.