963. Dendrocopus sindianus.
The Sind Pied Woodpecker.
Picus assimilis, Natt.,, Bonap. Consp. Volucr. Zygod. p. 8 (1854; descr. nulla). Picus scindeanus, Gould, Horsf. & M. Cat. ii. p. 671 (1856-58) ; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 273; Hume, Ibis, 1870, p. 529; Jerdon, Ibis, 1872, p. 7; Hume Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 179, pl. ii; Hume, S. F. i, p. 170; Barnes, S. F. ix, pp. 215, 453 ; Murray, Vert. Zool. Sind, p. 113 ; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 157. Picus sindianus, Blanf. Fast Pers. ii, p. 132; Hume, Cat. no. 158; Doig, S. F. viii, p. 370; ix, p. 279; Swinhoe, Ibis, 1882, p. 102 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 112 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 303. Dendrocopus scindeanus, Hargitt, Cat B. M. xviii, p. 227.
Coloration. Male. Nasal plumes white with black tips ; forehead white, sometimes buff or light brown; crown and occiput crimson ; a malar band from lower mandible down the neck, back of neck, back, rump, and upper tail-coverts black; lores, supercilia, sides of head and neck, scapulars and innermost median and greater wing-coverts, together with the lower parts from the chin to the abdomen, under wing-coverts and axillaries, white; lower abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts crimson. Wings and tail similar to those of D. himalayensis, except that the wing-feathers are brown, that the white spots on both webs are much larger, and the unspotted tips of the primaries shorter. In some specimens too. the three middle pairs of tail-feathers are entirely black. The wing is differently shaped, being shorter and rounder.
In the female the crown and occiput are black.
Bill bluish plumbeous; irides dark maroon; legs and feet greyish plumbeous (Butler); irides crimson (Barnes).
Length 8.5 ; tail 3.1; wing 4.5 ; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape 1.1. Females slightly smaller, and with a somewhat shorter bill.
Distribution. Throughout Sind, Baluchistan, and the Western Punjab as far north as Peshawar, Murree, and Sirsa, and westwards to Bampur in S.E. Persia. St. John obtained specimens, now in the British Museum, in the Khwaja Amran range north-west of Quetta.
Habits, &c. This species is chiefly found in tamarisk scrub, which abounds in Sind and the neighbouring countries. It breeds in holes in tamarisk and babul (Acacia arabica) trees in March and April.