1289. Myristicivora bicolor.
The Pied Imperial Pigeon.
Columba bicolor, Scop. Del. Flor. et Faun. Insubr. ii, p. 94 (1786). Carpophaga myristicivora, apud Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 371; Beavan, Ibis, 1867, p. 332 ; Ball, J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 32; nec Columba myristicivora, Scop. Carpophaga bicolor, Blyth, Cat. p. 232; Felzeln, Kovara Meite, Vog. p. 107; Ball, S. F. i. p. 79; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 264; id. N. & E. p. 496; Sharpe, P. Z. S. 1875, p. 108; Blyth, Birds Eurm. p. 145; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 418; Hume, Cat. no. 781 quint. : Oates, B. B. ii, p. 303 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 369. Myristicivora bicolor, Bonap. Consp. Av. ii. p. 36; Walden, Irons. Z. S. ix, p. 217; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 227.
Coloration. Creamy white, except the primaries and secondaries (the tertiaries are while), greater primary-coverts, winglet, the terminal half of the median tail-feathers and a gradually diminishing proportion on the outer rectrices, which are black; the white extends far down the shaft, and middle of the outermost pair of tail-feathers, whilst the black runs up the outer margin sometimes for three-fourths of the length.
Bill leaden-blue, the tip darkish horny or dark plumbeous; irides dark brown; legs and feet pale smalt-blue (Davison).
Length about 16; tail 5.5; wing 9 ; tarsus 1.2; bill from gape 1.4.
Distribution. From the Andamans and Nicobars through the Malay Archipelago to New Guinea and Australia, where a local form (M. spilorrhoa) occurs. This Pigeon breeds on the Nicobars and is a seasonal visitant to the Andamans, Cocos, Narcondam, Barren Island, and according to Blyth to the Mergui Archipelago, but not, so far as is known, to the mainland of Tenasserim. According to Dr. Maingay, this species also visits the islands only on the coast of the Malay Peninsula.
Habits, &c. Though found in great numbers at the Nicobars, this bird, according to Davison, is irregularly distributed, being very common in some islands but absent in others. In some it keeps much to mangrove swamps. It lays a single egg in January, February, or March, and makes the usual platform nest on mangroves. A single egg obtained by Captain Wimberley measured 1.78 by 1.25. The bird is a fruit-eater, and in its general habits closely resembles Carpophaga.