1141. Palaeornis schisticeps.
The Slaty-headed Paroquet.
Palaeornis schisticeps, Hodgs. As. Res. xix, p. 178 (1836); Blyth Cat. p. 5; id. J. A. S. B. xix, p. 232; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 615; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 261; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 20; Beavan, Ibis, 1869, p. 411; Jerdon, Ibis, 1872, p. 6; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 17 ; xi, p. 56 ; id. Cat. no. 150; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 242; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 89; Sharpe, Yark. Miss., Birds, p. 114 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xx, p. 456. Palsaornis hodgsoni, Finsch, Papag. ii, p. 50 (1868).
Pahdri tuiya, H. (Mussooree); Madana Suga, Nepal; Gagi of Calcutta bird-dealers.
Coloration. Male. Head dark lavender (bluish slaty); chin and narrow ring round neck black; hind-neck and sides of neck behind the black ring bright verdigris-green, passing into the green with a slight yellowish tinge of the back, scapulars, and coverts ; rump a little brighter; a dark red patch on median secondary-coverts; greater coverts and quills darker, the latter yellow at the edges; bend of wing yellow; median tail-feathers blue in the middle, green at the base and along their edges, and clear yellow for the terminal quarter to half, the other rectrices green on outer webs, yellow on inner and at the tips, all deep yellow beneath; lower parts from throat light green, lesser and median under wing-coverts bluish green.
The female wants the red wing-patch. The young is green at first and assumes the cap gradually.
Upper mandible yellow, tinged with coral-red; tip and lower mandible yellow; irides straw-yellow; orbital skin slaty; legs dusky green (Jerdon).
Length about 16; tail 9.5; wing 6.5; tarsus .6 ; bill from cere to tip .75. Females a little less.
Distribution. Throughout the Himalayas, below about 8000 feet, from Murree to Bhutan ; more common to the westward. Young specimens from the Khasi hills were referred to this species by Godwin-Austen, but after examining them I do not think they belong either to P. schisticeps or P. finschi.
Habits, &c. This is a mountain bird, ascending in summer as high as 10,000 feet, but descending to a low elevation in winter, and breeding in the last half of March, in April, and early in May. The nest is often in natural hollows in trees, but sometimes in holes cut by the bird. The eggs are white, four or five in number, and measure about 1.21 by .92.