1284. Carpophaga aenea.
The Green Imperial Pigeon.
Columba aenea, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 283 (1766). Columba sylvatica, Tickell, J. A. S. B. ii, p. 581 (1833). Carpophaga renea, Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S. xii, p. 11 ; Gould, P. Z. S. 1859, p. 150; Walden, Ibis, 1873, p. 314; Hume, S. V. ii. p. 200 ; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 424; iv, p. 235; v, p. 418 ; vii, p. 224 ; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burnt, p. 144; Hume, N. & E. p. 496; Armstrong, S. F. iv. p. 337 ; Inglis, S. F. v, p. 39; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 416; Hume, Cat. no. 780; Bingham., S. F. ix, p. 194; Parker, ibid. p. 481 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 718; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 301; Anderson, Jour. Linn. Soc., Zool. xxi, p. 152; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 294; Oates in Humes N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 366 Davidson, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. v, p. 329; ix, p. 489 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 190. Carpophaga sylvatica, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiv, p. 856 ; xxvii, p. 270 ; id. Cat. p. 231; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 455; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 248; Beavan, ibid. p. 332 ; Blanford, J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 188.Carpophaga pusilla, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xviii, p. 816 (1849) ; id. Cat. p. 232; Layard, A. M. N. H. (2) xiv, p. 58; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 148 ; Hume, Cat. no. 780 ter.
Dunkal or Dumkal, Sona Kabutra, Barra harial. H.; Pogonna, Mal. ; Kukurani guwa. Tel.; Maratham praa, Tam. (Ceylon); Malta nila goya, Matabatagoya, Cing.
Coloration. Head, neck, and lower parts to vent ashy grey with a pink tinge ; forehead and chin whitish ; back, rump, upper tail-coverts, and outer surface of wings bronze-green, often bluish or purplish in patches; tail bluish green above; primaries and secondaries blackish above, more or less grey on the outer webs ; rectrices and quills beneath dull brown with a yellowish tinge; under tail-coverts liver-coloured (dark dull maroon).
Bill grey, the region of the nostrils dull red; irides red; edges of the eyelids, legs and feet purplish red (Oates).
Length 17; tail 6.5; wing 9; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 1.4. There is considerable variation in size, and specimens from Travancore and Ceylon (C. pusilla) have the wings only 8 to 8*5 inches long.
Distribution. In the. Peninsula of India this Pigeon is found only in the forest-region east of long. 80° from the Ganges to a little south of the Godavari, and in the Malabar coast region as far north as Canara. It may occur near Bombay, but this is doubtful *.
I can find no trustworthy record of the Imperial Pigeon's occurrence in the Carnatic, Mysore, the Central Provinces west of 80° E. long., the Bombay Presidency north of Canara, nor in any part of Northern India west of the Rajmebal hills and Sikhim. This species is, however, common in Ceylon, and is found from the base of the Eastern Himalayas in Sikhim and Bhutan through¬out Assam, Burma, and the Malay countries and islands to the Philippines, Borneo, Java, and Plores.
Habits, &c. A forest bird, chiefly found in hilly country at low elevations, sometimes associating in flocks, hut more often seen singly or in parties of two or three. Like all members of the family it is purely a fruit-eater, it keeps much to high trees, and it rarely descends to the ground except to drink, which it does in the morning and afternoon. I have myself seen it drinking at the latter time. Jerdon found it visiting the Malabar coast with Ducula cuprea. The call is a low guttural dissyllabic note. This bird is one of the best of all Indian pigeons for the table. The nest is the usual flimsy platform of straw and sticks, and one egg is usually laid, but two are said to have been observed. An egg measured 1.8 by 1.32. The breeding-season in Ceylon (Legge) and near the Godavari (Jerdon) is in April and May, in the Andamans July (Wimberley), in Tenasserim February and March (Bingham).
* There is in the British Museum a specimen labelled Bombay from Sykes's collection, but the species is not recorded in Sykes's list, and a specimen of the Himalayan Dendrotreron hodgsoni, also from Sykes's collection, occurs similarly labelled. Butler, in the ' Bombay Gazetteer,' says that Carpophaga aenea was included in Major Lloyd's Konkan list and that he may have seen it once himself at Khandala. But neither Fairbank nor Vidal records it.