1302. Alsocomus puniceus

1302. Alsocomus puniceus.

The Purple Wood-Pigeon.

Alsocomus puniceus, Tickell, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xi, p. 461 (1842); Blyth, Cat. p. 233; Layard, A. M. N. H. (2) xiv, p. 58; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 462 ; Beavan, Ibis, 1868, p. 373; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 424; vii, p. 224 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 171 ; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 145 ; Armstrong, S. F. iv, p. 337 ; Wardl. Bams. Ibis, 1877, p. 467 ; Hume &.Dav. S. F. vi, p. 418; Hume, Cat. no. 782; Oates, S. F. viii, p. 167; Bingham, ibid. p. 196; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 696 ; Hume Inglis, S. F. ix, p. 258 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 289 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 345; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 296. Columba punicea, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiv, pp. 867, 878; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 306.

Coloration. Male. Lores, forehead, crown, and nape greyish white; neck, cheeks, and throat dull chestnut; upper and lower back, wing-coverts, tertiaries, and scapulars rich chestnut; rump and upper tail-coverts dark slaty grey; quills and tail-feathers blackish brown, some of the quills grey on the outer webs ; lower parts, including under wing-coverts, vinous chestnut; under tail-coverts dark slaty grey ; the whole plumage with a changeable metallic gloss, green and amethyst, which is peculiarly strong on the hind neck and upper back, and on the edges of the back and rump-feathers and of the upper wing-coverts.

Female rather smaller and duller in plumage, the head above browner grey with a lilac gloss.

Horny portion of bill bluish white ; rest of bill and gape lake-pink; irides orange; eyelids bright red; orbital skin purplish pink; legs and feet pale purplish or lake-pink (Davison). Claws pale yellow (Jerdon).

Length about 16; tail 6.5 ; wing 9 ; tarsus .9; bill from gape 1.05. Tenasserim birds are slightly smaller, wing 8.5.

Distribution. Sparingly distributed throughout Burma and the adjoining countries from Assam and Cachar to Cochin China and the Malay Peninsula, but not in the Himalayas, though this Pigeon is found in South-eastern Bengal, in Manbhum and Singhbhum, and as far west as Sirguja. A specimen appears to have been obtained by Layard in Ceylon, but it was probably an accidental straggler, as the species is unknown in Southern India.

Habits, &C. A fruit-eating Pigeon, generally seen singly or in small parties of not more than five or six in forest, especially on the banks of streams or in groves of trees in well-wooded cultivated country. The call, according to Bingham, is not unlike that of Carpophaga aenea, but not half so loud. Oates found a nest of a few twigs on a bamboo, 10 feet from the ground, and containing a single fresh egg, on July 27th. The male bird was sitting and the egg measured 1.47 by 1.15.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1302. Alsocomus puniceus
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Purple Wood Pigeon
Pale-capped Pigeon
Columba punicea
Vol. 4
Term name: 

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