1307. Turtur suratensis.
The Spotted Dove. (Pig. 1, p. 1.)
Columba suratensis, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 778 (1788). Turtur vitticollis, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 85 (1844), descr. nulla. Turtur suratensis, Blyth, Cat. p. 236; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 479; Beavan, Ibis, 1868, p. 376: Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 67 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 112; Hume, S. F. i, p. 218; Adam, ibid. p. 390 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 504; Butler & Hume, S. F. iv. p. 3; v, p. 231 ; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 262 ; v, p. 409; Hume & Bourd. S. F. vii, p. 39; Davids. & Wend. ibid. p. 86; Ball, ibid. p. 224 : Cripps, ibid. p. 297 ; Hume, Cat. no. 795; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 341 ; tidal, S. F. ix, p. 75 ; Butler, ibid. p. 420; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 705; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 92; 1882, p. 286; Sadly, Ibis, 1881, p. 585; Reid, S. F. x, p. 60; Davison, ibid. p. 408; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 291; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 298; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 353; Sharpe, Yarkand Miss., Aves, p. 119; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 444.
Chitroka fakhta, Perki, Chitla, Kangskiri, Panduk, H.; Chaval ghugu, Telia ghugu, Beng.; Kawada, Mahr.; Bode, Gond; Poda-bella-guwa, Tel.; Puli-pora, Tam. ; Mani-praa, Tam. (Ceylon); Kobeya, Allu-kobeya, Cing. ; Ku-po-hu, Assamese.
Coloration. Head above and at sides and nape vinous grey ; forehead and around eye generally greyer; a black spot in front of each eye; back and sides of neck black, each feather bifurcate at the tip and terminating in two white spots ; upper back brown, each feather with two rufous terminal spots, the spots gradually fading out on the lower back and rump, becoming much larger on the scapulars and wing-coverts, in which the rufous end of each feather is divided into two by a blackish shaft-stripe, broadest at the end ; primary and greater secondary wing-coverts ashy; quills brown; the four middle tail-feathers brown, the next pair black with grey tips, the others with the basal half black, terminal half whitish or white; lower surface vinous, whitish on the throat, vent, and lower tail-coverts; wing-lining grey near the edge, further in and axillaries blackish.
Young birds are duller and browner, and want the black white-tipped feathers of the neck, whilst the rufous spots on the back and wing-coverts are indistinct.
Bill dull leaden-black ; irides dark hazel, surrounded by a reddish sclerotic ; legs dark purplish red (Jerdon): orbital skin red (Legge).
Length about 12 ; tail 5.5 ; wing 5.5: tarsus .85 ; bill from gape .85. Females are a little less, and Ceylon birds are slightly smaller than North Indian.
Distribution. Throughout the whole of India and Ceylon; most common in well-wooded countries, rare in drier regions, and wanting in desert tracts. This Dove is found throughout the Himalayas up to 7000 feet and in Gilgit and Ladak (the statement in the British Museum Catalogue that it inhabits Yarkand is a mistake). To the eastward it is found in Assam, Cachar, and Manipur, but is replaced in Burma by T. tigrinus.
Habits, &c. A common familiar bird, coming frequently into gardens about houses and having a plaintive, trisyllabic call. It breeds almost throughout the year, having two or more broods; but in Northern India the principal season for laying eggs is from October to May. The nest is the usual slight structure placed on a bush or low tree, and the two white glossy eggs measure about 1.06 by .82.