(1843) Ducula badia insignis.
HODGSON'S IMPERIAL PIGEON.
Ducula insignis Hodgs., As. Kes., xix, p. 162 (1836) (Nepal); Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 21.
Vernacular names. Dukul (Hind, in Nepal); Fomok (Lepcha); Dal Pagoma (Assam).
Description. Differs from the preceding subspecies in having the mantle, scapulars, etc., a copper-brown tinged with maroon, much less deep and less purple in colour; the sides of the head are more grey and the under tail-coverts are a darker buff; the upper tail-coverts are more grey and less brown.
Colours of soft parts. Iris pale grey, grey or bluish-grey ; bill white at the tip and then pale brown, the cere and gape deep fleshy-purple or dull carmine; legs and feet deep purple-lake or dull coral-red tinged with carmine; soles paler and pinker ; claws pale brown; orbital skin purple-grey, purer grey next the eye.
Measurements. Total length about 450 to 500 mm.; wing 228 to 259 mm. ; tarsus about 25 to 32 mm.; culmen about 25 mm.
Young birds are duller than the adult; the upper parts have no copper-purple tint and have the wing-coverts edged with chestnut.
Distribution. Western Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and the whole Terai to Eastern Assam, North of the Brahmapootra. Birds from the Khasia Hills are of this race but those from Cachar, Sylhet, Manipur and the Bengal Districts East of the Bay, though somewhat intermediate, are nearest to griseicapilla.
Nidification. This Pigeon breeds throughout its range between the foot-hills and 6,000 feet, most commonly between 2,000 and 4,000 feet, whilst in Lakhimpur we obtained it breeding in the well-forested plains also. Most eggs are laid in May and early June but I have seen well-advanced young in April and fresh eggs in July. One egg only is laid, a typical Pigeon's egg, long oval, almost elliptical in shape. Twenty-two average 46.2 x 33.5 mm.: maxima 49.0 x 36.1 mm.: minima 42.4 x 30.3 mm.
The nest, the normal platform of twigs, is placed on forest-trees at any height between 40 and 15 feet from the ground, the tree selected being generally one in the interior of forest.
Habits. Not distinguishable in any way from those of the next race.