1516. Coracias garrula semenowi

(1516) Coracias garrula semenowi Loud. & Tschusi.
THE KASHMIR ROLLER.
Coracias garrula semenowi, Fauna, B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 222.
The race semenowi was created for the Transcaspian bird, which is on an average a smaller bird than the Kashmir one, with com¬paratively shorter tail and weaker bill.
The Kashmir Roller is found throughout the North-West Himalayas at all heights between 4,000 and 8,000 feet and occasionally both higher and lower. It is very common on the Afghanistan and Baluchistan frontiers and from Gilgit throughout Kashmir, It apparently does not breed further South in the Kuman nor in the Simla and Garhwal Hills, while to the East Osmaston and others have not met with it in Ladak.
It is a familiar bird, breeding in gardens and orchards and in any kind of open well-wooded country. Rarely it may be found breeding in the interior of forest, but this is quite exceptional, Rattray found it common at Thall and Kohat, breeding there freely down to 3,000 feet. Whitehead also found it breeding in the Kurram Valley in colonies in holes in the conglomerate cliffs at the same elevation.
It makes its nest in any bind of hole. Perhaps most often it is in some natural hollow in a tree between 10 and 30 feet from the ground hut, very often, it makes use of a hole in the bank of a river. Davidson found eight pairs of birds breeding in holes in the hank of the Jhelum near Baramulla on the 26th June, but in a letter to me he says that “all the nests previously found were in holes in trees,” Ward also obtained clutches of eggs “from Kingfishers’ and Bee-eaters’ burrows in the banks of rivers,” though he considered the favourite site to be a hole in a tree of some orchard. Cock says that it was breeding in cliffs about Nowshera and in the Peshawar Valley, as did Whitehead on the Kurram.
The holes selected in trees are nearly always natural ones, and are used as they are found, though occasionally the birds will enlarge an entrance to suit their convenience.
No nest is made, the eggs being deposited on the bare wood or upon any collection of oddments which may have chanced to accumulate in the hole. When laid on sand they often become discoloured, especially when, as is sometimes the case, this is damp.
The breeding season is from the middle of April to the end of June. Rattray says that on the Afghan frontier the birds arrive in the end of April and at once begin hunting round for nesting-holes.
Four to six eggs are laid, pure white and highly glossed, with fine strong texture. In shape they vary from very broad ovals to rather long but blunt ovals.
Forty-eight Kashmir eggs average 30.2 x 29.0 mm. : maxima 42.1 x 27.1 and 35.9 x 30.0 mm. ; minima 33.7 x 30.0 and 34.3 x 27.0 mm.
In Witherby’s 'Practical Handbook’ the average of 208 egga, presumably nearly all from Europe, is 35.4 x 28.4 mm.
Twenty eggs taken by Pitman in Mesopotamia averaged only 24.9 x 27.3 mm.
Both sexes incubate, and with the European bird incubation is said to take seventeen days.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1516. Coracias garrula semenowi
Spp Author: 
Loud.&tschusi.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1516
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
387
Common name: 
Kashmir Roller
M_ID: 
8963
M_SN: 
Coracias garrulus semenowi
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14653

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