946. Gecinus squamatus.
The West-Himalayan Scaly-bellied Green Woodpecker.
Picus squamatus, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1830, p. 8; Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 998. Gecinus squamatus, Blyth, Cat. p. 57; Horsf. & M. Cat. p. 659; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 286; id. Ibis, 1872, p. 9; Tytler, Ibis, 1868, p. 202; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 20; Beavan, Ibis, 1869, p. 414; Cock & Marsh. 8. F. i, p. 350 ; Hume. Cat. no 170 ; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 49 ; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 430; Hargitt, Ibis, 1888, p. 153; id Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 43; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 297 ; Sharpe, Yarkand Miss., Aves, p. 108.
The Scaly-bellied Green Woodpecker, Jerdon; Tuktola, Chamba.
Coloration. Male. Crown and occipital crest crimson; mantle, including sides of neck, back, scapulars, and secondary wing-coverts, green, rump and upper tail-coverts strongly tinged with yellow; a broad yellowish-white supercilium extending to the nape with a black line above continued across the forehead, and another black line below from the eye to the nostril; a black spot behind the eye; another broad yellowish-white streak from the base of the bill below the eye, below this streak the malar region is black mixed with greenish white ; ear-coverts greenish grey; wing-feathers brownish black, inner webs of all with imperfect white bands, in the primaries towards the base only; outer webs of primaries with equidistant yellowish-white spots; outer webs of secondaries and tertiaries greenish dusky barred with whitish; primary-coverts dusky, with white spots; tail-feathers above brownish black with white bars rather narrower than the interspaces ; below, the dark bars are pale and the whole feathers tinged with yellow; throat and breast pale greyish green, sometimes varying to pale ashy ; abdomen and flanks with lower wing and tail-coverts greenish white, each feather with a black intramarginal band producing a scale-like marking, and with sometimes a black shaft-stripe.
Female. Crown and occiput black instead of crimson, the bases of the feathers leaden grey, and the sides of the frontal and coronal feathers greenish grey.
In young birds the upper plumage is dusky, the feathers being-edged with green, and the breast-feathers bear scale-like marks like those of the abdomen.
Iris a circle of darkish pinkish red surrounded by a second ring of light pink ; upper mandible horn-coloured at the base, the tip and the whole lower mandible brightish yellow (Beavan); legs greenish plumbeous (Jerdon).
Length 14; tail 5.3; wing 6.5; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 1.9.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Gilgit and Kashmir to Kumaun and probably Western Nepal, at elevations from about 5000 to 9000 feet. A skin was obtained in Afghanistan by Griffith.
Habits, &c. This Woodpecker is often seen feeding on the ground. It lays generally five, sometimes six eggs in a hole excavated in the stem of a tree, in March, April, or May. The eggs are white and very glossy, and measure on an average 1.28 by .93. The nest-hole is generally placed at a considerable height from the ground, as a rule more than 20 feet.