1138. Palaeornis torquatus.
The Rose-ringed Paroquet.
Psittacus torquatus, Bodd. Tab. Pl. Bnl. p. 32 (1783). Palaeornis torquatus, Blyth, Cat. p. 4; Layard, A. M. N. H.(2) xiii, p. 262; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 611; Jerd. B I. i, p. 257 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 232; Hume, S. F. i, p. 170; ii, p. 13: xi, p. 54; id. Cat. no. 148; Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 55; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 118; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 171; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 141; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. m, p. 85; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 108 ; Newnham, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. iv, p. 54; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xx, p. 433.
Tota, Lybar Tota, H.; Gallar, in N. W. P.; Tiya, Tiyatota, Beng.; Ragu, Mahr.; Chilluka, Telegu; Killi, Tam.; Rana girawa, Cing.; Kyay-gyot, Burm.
Coloration. Male. Very similar to P. eupatria, except that there is no red wing-spot. General colour bright green; a fine blackish line from nostril to eye; occiput, nape, and cheeks tinged with pale greyish blue; a rose collar round the neck except in front; chin and a band from the mandible to each side of the rose collar black; smaller and middle upper wing-coverts considerably paler green than the greater coverts and quills; median tail-feathers green at the base, then bluish grey; other tail-feathers green on the outer webs, yellow on the inner, all tipped with yellow and dull yellow beneath; lower parts paler and yellower than upper surface ; wing-lining greenish yellow.
Female. No black band nor rose collar, but an indistinct emerald-green ring round the neck. Young birds resembles females.
Bill cherry-red; irides pale yellow; feet cinereous (Jerdon), Upper mandible red, lower varying from red to black in different localities (Hume).
Length about 16.5; tail 10 ; wing 6.75 ; tarsus .65; bill from cere .85.
Distribution. Throughout India and Ceylon, and from Assam to Pegu, but not in Tenasserim. This Paroquet is found to the eastward in Cochin China, but statements of its occurrence in the Malay Peninsula and China are probably due to caged individuals having been taken thither. In India, P. torquatus extends to the wooded parts of the Punjab, Sind, and Cutch, and to the base of the Himalayas, where the country is open; but it is not found as a rule on hills nor in large forests. It has been seen at Quetta. A closely allied form, a geographical race in fact, P. docilis, inhabits tropical Africa.
Habits, &c. This is by far the commonest and most familiar of Indian Parrots, abounding about towns and villages in most parts of the country, and keeping to open and cultivated land. It is often seen perched on houses and buildings of various kinds, such as temples or machans about fields, and it does much damage by pilfering grain and fruit. It occurs in large flocks at times, and these often collect in great numbers towards sunset and perch for the night on trees near towns and villages, with Crows and Mynas. Sometimes bamboos are selected for perching on. The cry of this Parrot, often uttered during the bird's swift arrowy flight, is shrill and rather harsh.
The breeding-season extends from January to May; the majority of the eggs, usually four in number, being laid in February to the southward, and in March in Northern India. In Upper Assam this bird is said by Mr. Cripps to breed in June. The eggs are white and glossless, and measure about 1.2 by .95.
This is the Parrot most commonly kept tame in India; it is a docile bird and imitates the human voice well.