(1887) Geopelia striata striata.
THE BARRED GROUND-DOVE.
Columba striata Linn., Syst. Nat., 12th ed. i, p. 282 (1766) (East Indies, restricted to Java) *. Geopelia striata. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 52.
Vernacular names. Merbok, Ketitir (Malay); Nok-kao-cha-wah (Siam).
Description. Forehead and crown, to centre of eye, ashy-grey ; cheeks, chin and throat paler ashy-grey ; posterior crown and nape light rusty-brown ; back and sides of neck, throat and sides of breast barred blackish-brown and white, the upper neck tinged with fulvous; whole upper plumage and wing-coverts earthy-brown, each feather edged with a black bar and the coverts tinged silvery; quills darker brown, the innermost secondaries like the back, with the basal halves of the inner webs chestnut; middle tail-feathers dark brown obsoletely barred darker, the adjoining pair blackish-brown; remaining five pairs black on the basal, white on the terminal halves, the white also extending some way down the edge of the outermost pair ; breast a beautiful vinous-pink, gradually changing to a pale fulvous-white on the abdomen and to pure white on the under tail-coverts ; flanks barred brown or black and fulvous or fulvous-white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris white to bluish-white; orbital skin pale bluish-grey; bill pale dull plumbeous or bluish-grey; legs and feet dull pale purple, paler behind and on the soles.
Measurements. Total length about 210 to 220 mm.; wing 92 to 104 mm.; tail 101 to 117 mm.; tarsus about 17 to 18 mm.; culmen 11.5 to 12.5 mm.
Young birds are like the adult but the barring on the flanks is continued across the breast and abdomen and the breast is white or dull rufous-white with no pink tinge or sometimes sandy-buff irregularly cross-barred.
Distribution. The South of Tenasserim, through the Malay Peninsula to Java.
Nidification. Kellow found this little Dove breeding near Perak in January, whilst Herbert took eggs in Siam during June near Bangkok and Sapatoom but these may have been escaped birds' eggs. The nest is described as a tiny fragile affair of twigs, placed on low bushes. The eggs are one or two in number, pure white or nearly so, twelve eggs averaging 22.1 x 16.6 mm.: maxima 24.2 x 17.4 and 22.4 x 18.0 mm.; minima 19.3 X 14.8 and 20.6 x 14.0 mm.
Habits. These are said to be very similar to those of the Spotted Dove. It keeps to open country or scrub-jungle and is never found in forest. Round about villages near the coast it is very common in cultivated fields and grass-lands, running about the ground, generally in pairs, hunting for seeds, small berries and fruits. Its note is said by Davison to be a soft " kok-akurr-kurr," repeated several times.
* Edwards's bird on which Linnaeus founded the name was a captive bird in London which was very probably obtained in Java.