(1871) Streptopelia orientalis ferrago.
THE NORTHERN INDIAN RUFOUS TURTLE-DOVE.
Columba ferrago Eversmann, Add. ad, Zoog. Ross.-As, fasc, iii, p. 17 (1842) (Singaria). Turtur ferrago. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 41.
Vernacular names. Koin (Chamba); Kullah (Bihari); Lal Panduk (Hind.) * Pahari Perhi (Lucknow); Ram ghugu (Beng.); Lali-kopu-hu (Assam); Hargrani Daotu (Cachari).
Description. Similar to the preceding bird but much paler, the chin and centre of the throat are whiter; the whole of the abdomen from the breast downwards is white or nearly so; the under tail-coverts are white and the axillaries and under wing-coverts a paler, purer grey.
Colours of soft parts as in other races.
Measurements. Wing 169 to 200 mm., but nearly always over 175 mm.
Distribution. Western Central Asia, Turkestan, Persia, Afghanistan and the Himalayas as far East as West Nepal and then through the lower levels to Sikkim up to 8,000 feet, above which the preceding bird takes its place. Stevens records this form down to 4,500 feet in " early summer " but not then breeding whilst birds shot by him at about 7,000 feet were all intermediate between this and the last race. Rothschild accepts Anderson's record of this race for Yunnan.
Nidification. This is a very common breeding-form all through its summer range but apparently nowhere at great heights. Whymper and Osmaston found nests at nearly 9,000 feet in Garhwal. Ward has taken them up to 8,500 in Kashmir and Whitehead at about the same height on the N.W. Frontier. The nests are generally built in forests, sometimes in orchards and open country, but nearly always in trees quite low down, whilst Pitman records taking eggs from a hollow in the side of a tree-trunk, with no nest of any kind whatsoever.
Many of the eggs recorded by Oates (' Nests and Eggs') as of this bird are doubtful, but forty eggs from my own collection average 32.2 x 23.9 mm.: maxima 34.6 X 23.0 and 32.3 x 25.3 mm.; minima 28.9 X 23.4 and 34.6 x 23.0 mm.
They lay principally in May and June, less often in July.
Habits. Differ in no way from those of the last bird. In Winter these Doves are found over practically the whole of Western and South India and have twice been recorded from Ceylon.