1865. Alsocomus puniceus

(1865) Alsocomus puniceus (Tickell).
THE PURPLE WOOD-PIGEON.
Alsocomus puniceus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v. p. 232.
This very handsome Pigeon has been recorded on the extreme West of its range in the Chambi Valley by Ludlow, It is not uncommon in Eastern Bengal in all districts West to Singhbhum and Manbhum and East through the Assam Valley into Burma. It is found in all the wetter districts of Burma, Cochin China, Siam and the Malay Peninsula.
For breeding purposes the Purple Wood-Pigeon keeps entirely to forest, but this is not always evergreen, and I have taken the nest in scrub-jungle, secondary growth and in bamboo-jungle. It is normally a bird of low elevations but occurs up to 3,000 feet, while I have taken the nest up to 3,500 feet in the Khasia Hills. The nest is a quite typical one, the usual platform of small twigs, rather small for the size of the bird, measuring 8 or 9 inches in diameter by about 1.1/2 to 3 deep. They are placed low down ; I have never seen one over 20 feet from the ground and most are between 5 and 10 feet, built in tall hushes, small trees and saplings or in bamboo- clumps. No attempt is made at concealment, but the nests are never very conspicuous.
Oates, who was the first to find the nest and eggs of this bird, writing to Hume from Pegu, says :—“Kyekpadein, 27th July.— Nest in fork of horizontal bamboo-bough, about 10 feet from the ground, composed of a few twigs woven carelessly together. Male bird sitting. Egg quite fresh. Size 1.47 by 1.15 in.”
It is a late breeder, eggs being laid from the middle of May to the end of July or, occasionally, in August.
Only one egg is laid and, though I once took two from a nest, one was addled and long laid while the other was fresh. Another time when I found two both were fresh, so it may be that every now find then two are laid.
Fifteen eggs average 37.6 x 29.2 mm. : maxima 41.5 x 32.5 mm, ; minima 85.5 x 28.0 and 39.1 x 26.6 mm.
I think both birds help in nest-building, as I have seen a male carrying twigs, and he certainly does the greater part of the incubation, at all events by day, as we shot or caught males oil the nest more often than females.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1865. Alsocomus puniceus
Spp Author: 
Tickell.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1865
Year: 
1935
Page No: 
157
Common name: 
Purple Wood Pigeon
M_ID: 
4860
M_CN: 
Pale-capped Pigeon
M_SN: 
Columba punicea
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
15043

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