(1883) Oenopopelia tranquebarica murmensis.
THE SIKKIM RED TURTLE-DOVE.
Oenopopelia tranquebarica murmensis Hartert, Vog. Pal., ii, p. 1499 (1920) (Nepal). Oenopopelia tranquebarica. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 47.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Exactly intermediate in colour between the two preceding races. Much darker and redder than the Indian Red Turtle-Dove but yet decidedly paler than the Burmese form. The colours of the axillaries and under wing-coverts would suffice to distinguish the three forms ; white or very pale grey in the first; dark grey in the second and grey in the present form.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements as in the Burmese form.
Distribution. Eastern Nepal, Sikkim to Assam, North of the Brahmapootra.
Nidification. Apparently breeds from March to May but quite possibly over a much wider season also. It breeds along the lower hills and also in the plains of Assam. The few eggs I have seen vary in size between 25.7 x 20.5 and 28.9 x 21.8 mm.
Habits. Those of the species. This is a rare bird in Assam but less so in the extreme West, where it was always to be met with in small numbers in the rice-fields after they had been reaped.