(1870) Streptopelia orientalis orientalis.
THE RUFOUS TURTLE-DOVE.
Columba orientalis Lath., Ind. Orn., ii, p. 606 (1790) (China). Turtur orientalis. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 40 (part.).
Vernacular names. Kala Fukhta, Barko Fukhta (Hind.); Yedra poda gura (Tel.).
Description. Head and neck brown suffused with vinous and the crown and forehead more grey, a patch of black feathers edged with silver-grey on either side of the back of the neck; upper back brown, each feather edged with rufous ; lower back and rump slaty-grey, the feathers with concealed dark centres; upper tail-coverts brown; central tail-feathers the same, tipped paler ; outer rectrices darker brown with broader grey tips and the outermost greyish-white on the outer web; scapulars, inner wing-coverts and inner secondaries dark brown with broad ferruginous edges; outer median and greater coverts dark slate-grey; primaries and outer secondaries blackish-brown with narrow pale edges; lower parts vinous-rufous, the chin and centre of the throat albescent, the abdomen paler with the centre often pale grey ; vent, flanks, under wing-coverts, axillaries and under tail-coverts pale grey.
Colours of soft parts. Iris orange to pale red; bill dusky horny or plumbeous, the cere, gape and eyelids purple; orbital skin dull plumbeous, rarely tinged with purple ; legs and feet lake-red to purple-red.
Measurements. Total length about 300 to 320 mm.; wing 190 to 200 mm.; tail 132 to 152 mm.; tarsus about 22 to 25 mm.; culmen 17 to 18 mm. Scully gives the wing-measurements as 185 to 220 mm.
Young birds are paler and duller brown with no grey on the head or rump; from forehead to tail each feather is narrowly edged with dull rufous; the underparts are dull, pale, smoky-brown, the feathers edged with yellowish-rufous ; the under tail-coverts are barred with black near the tips, which are rufous.
Nestlings in down are pale buff.
Distribution. Sikkim, Tibet and the Himalayas, North of Assam to Setchuan and thence to Manchuria, Corea and Japan. In "Winter it occurs over the greater part of Eastern India as far West as the Deccan and possibly the Bombay Presidency but, in the North, not West of the United Provinces.
Nidification. In Japan and Manchuria this Dove breeds from May to July, generally having two broods; in Tibet Messrs. Steen, Kennedy and others took many eggs in June and July at elevations up to 14,500 feet and in Sikkim it seems to breed down to 8,000 feet, below which elevation S. o. agricola. seems to take its place. The nest seems to be generally built on bushes, willows and low trees between 8 and 20 feet from the ground. Twenty-six eggs average 34.2 x 24.5 mm.: maxima 35.1 x 25.1 and 34.3 x 26.0 mm.; minima 32.4 X 24.2 and 34.8 x 24.1 mm.
Habits. Scully found this to be a forest-bird in Nepal, being common below 7,000 and 8,000 feet in Summer. Elsewhere it seems to be more a bird of well-wooded open country, scrub-jungle and thin forest. In habits generally it closely resembles its better-known Indian race.