1294. Columba rupestris.
The Blue Hill-Pigeon.
Columba oenas, var. rupestris, Pall. Zoogr. Rossn-Asiat. i, p. 560 (1811). Columba rupestris, Bonap. Consp. Av. ii, p. 48 (1854) ; Moore. P. Z. S. 1859, p. 400: Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 470; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 66; Hume, Cat. no. 789; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 92 : Scully, ibid. p. 584 ; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 421; Sharpe, Yarkand Miss., Aces, p. 116; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 250. Columba livia, var., Adams, P. Z. S. 1858, p. 497; 1859, p. 187. Columba rupicola, apud Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 273 ; Scully, S. F. iv, p. 176.
Coloration. very similar to that of C. livia; but the upper surface is slightly paler, and the lower breast, abdomen, and lower tail-coverts are pale ashy grey, the upper breast is tinged with lilac, and there is a broad white band across the middle of the tail. The lower back is white, as in C. livia; the rump and upper tail-coverts dark slaty grey.
The wing is very pointed, the 1st quill being as long as the 2nd or longer.
Bill black; irides golden red : feet lobster-red (Stoliczka).
Length about 13 ; tail 5 ; wing 9 ; tarsus 1.1 ; bill from gape .95.
Distribution. Central Asia from Gilgit to South Siberia and Corea: common in Tibet and in some of the drier valleys of the higher Himalayas. This Pigeon has been recorded from Gilgit, Dras, Leh, and the Upper Indus Valley generally, Lahaul, Upper Kumaun and Tibet north of Sikhim, but specimens labelled-Kashmir, Sikhim, and Darjiling in the British Museum Collection probably come from more northern localities.
Habits, &c. This Pigeon has generally been seen associating in flocks with C. livia. Its habits are similar; Marshall found it breeding on cliffs in the Pangi Valley (Upper Chenab).