1288. Ducula cuprea.
Jerdon's Imperial Pigeon.
Columba cuprea, Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S. xii, p. 12 (1840). Carpophaga insignis, apud Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 457 (partim) ; Davidson, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. v, p. 329. Carpophaga cuprea, Hume, S. F. iii, p. 328; Hume & Bourd. S. F. iv, p. 403; Hume, Cat. no. 781 bis; Bourd. S. F. ix, p. 300 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 407; Taylor, ibid. p. 464; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 368: Davidson, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 340; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 215.
Coloration. similar to that of D. insignis, except that the back and wings are dull olive-brown, without ruddy or coppery tinge ; the rump is dark grey more or less tinged with olive, and the terminal fourth of the tail is brownish grey above ; the chin and throat are white, the rest of the head and neck, with the breast and abdomen are lilac ; the lower abdomen tinged with ochreous ; lower tail-coverts maize, and wing-lining dark slaty grey.
Bill dull lake-red at the base, slaty at the tip ; orbits lake-red ; irides red-brown ; legs dull lake-red (Jerdon).
Length about 17 ; tail 7; wing 9 ; tarsus 1.2 ; bill from gape 1.3.
Distribution. The hill-ranges near the Malabar coast from Canara to Cape Comorin.
Habits, &c. Those of the genus. Jerdon, the discoverer of this bird, found it visiting the coast near Cannanore in large numbers during the months of April and May for the purpose of feeding on the buds of Avicennia and other plants peculiar to salt-water swamps. At other times of the year it keeps to the hill-forests, in which it breeds, according to the observations of Messrs. F. W. Bourdillon and I. Macpherson, from March to May, at the same season that Jerdon found it visiting the coast. Davidson took an egg in Canara on February 13th. The nests are of the usual kind, in small trees, 10 to 15 feet from the ground, and one egg is laid, measuring about 1.73 by 1.29.