1416. Vivia innominata innominata

(1416) Vivia innominata innominata (Burton).
THE HIMALAYAN SPECKLED PICULET.
Picumnus innominatus innominatus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. iv, p. 92.
Vivia innominata innominata, ibid. vol. vii, p. 320.
This quaint little Piculet is found in the Outer Himalayas from Kuman and Dharmsala to Eastern Assam, both North and South of the Brahmapootra River. The Manipur birds should also be included in this race.
Over the whole of their range this bird occurs from the foot-hills and adjacent plains up to some 4,000 feet, here and there ascending a good deal higher. Stoliczka has recorded it at 9,000 fect, in the Western Himalayas, while it breeds about Naini Tal at 5,000 to 6,000 feet, but in Sikkim is rare over 4,000 feet, though Gammie found eggs at 5,000, while in Assam it is most common between 1,000 and 3,000 feet.
* Ticehurst (Bull. B.O.C. vol. liv, p. 20, 1933) separates the Western Himalayan birds under the name of simlaensis on the grounds of their greater size ; twenty-one Eastern birds, wing 54 to 59 mm ; Western birds, 59 mm. upwards. I have lid Cachar birds with wings 60 mm., and cannot separate Eastern and Western forms.
The favourite resort everywhere seems to be secondary growth and mixed bamboo- and scrub-jungle with a mixture of small trees. In the West it occurs also in dense and light forest and in the East very often in jungle of small clump bamboo with bush and grass undergrowth.
In the Western Himalayas most birds drill their nest-holes in branches or trunks of small trees and saplings at heights between 3 and 15 feet from the ground, but in the Eastern Himalayas the great majority make use of bamboos for breeding purposes. The bamboos may be either dead or living but, if the latter, the birds generally select one which has a fault or diseased portion in which they can cut out the entrance-hole. Again, they nearly always choose a bamboo in which they can drill the entrance just below one node, so that the eggs can be deposited deep down on the node below at some distance from the entrance. They prefer clump bamboos to the single species, but I have seen occasional nests in the latter.
The entrance is very tiny, not more than an inch in diameter, and small bamboos are always chosen, so that the chamber is between 2 and 3 inches in diameter, the eggs of course being deposited on the bare wood or in the chips which have fallen inside from the drilling.
The breeding season is April and May. Gammic took two clutches in Sikkim in the former month, while Whymper and Marshall took clutches on the 6th and 20th of that month respectively. In Eastern Assam and Cachar I have taken eggs from the 14th March up to 26th July, but I think June and July eggs are second broods.
The normal clutch of eggs is three or four, but two only are often incubated. They are typical little Woodpeckers’ eggs, pure white, exceptionally hard and strong and very glossy. In shape they are either spheroidal or very short, blunt ovals.
Thirty eggs average 14.8 x 12.0 mm. : maxima 16.0 x 12.7 and 15.1 x 13.1 mm. ; minima 13.3 x 12.2 and 14.3 x 10.9 mm.
Both sexes perform incubation and both take a share in the drilling of the nest-hole.
The courtship display seems similar to that of the larger Wood¬peckers, the male bird scuttling backwards and forwards on the bamboo while going through the same contortions as do the big birds, accompanied by continued squeaks, very like those of a Shrew, uttered by the female as well as the male.
I think incubation takes eleven days and the fledgling period only fourteen days.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1416. Vivia innominata innominata
Spp Author: 
Burton
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1416
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
318
Common name: 
Himalayan Speckled Piculet
M_ID: 
10317
M_SN: 
Picumnus innominatus innominatus
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14528

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