1881. Cenopopelia tranquebariea tranquebariea

(1881) Oenopopella tranquebarica tranquebarica (Herin.).
Oenopopelia tranquebarica tranquebarica. Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 250.
The distribution of this Red Turtle-Dove includes practically the whole of India, while it has once been recorded from Ceylon. In the North-West it is common in Sind, Rajputana and the Punjab, and Harington found it breeding on the North-West Frontier at Peshawar. East it is found as far as Eastern Bengal, but not in the hills of Nepal, Sikkim and the Bihar Terai.
Although not quite such a confiding little bird as the Spotted Dove and Little Brown Dove, its habits do not differ very greatly from those of these birds. Sometimes its nest may be found in, or in the immediate vicinity of, towns and villages and even in gardens but, for the most part, it prefers well-wooded waste land or cultivated tracts away from human habitations, while it has also been known to breed in thin forest.
Hume says, and very rightly, that this Dove is most capricious in its choice of habitat:—"It is very common in the bare arid treeless region that surrounds the Sambhur lake. It is common in some dry well cultivated districts. It is very common in some of the humid tracts like Bareilly, and again in the Sal jungles of the Kuman Bhaber, On the other hand over wide extents of similar country it. is scarcely to be seen” (‘Nests and Eggs,' vol. iii, p. 360).
The sort of tree selected for nesting purposes varies in different places, Hume “always found the nests at or near the extremities of the lower boughs of very large trees, at heights of from 5 to 15 feet from the ground, and laid across any two or three convenient hranchlets.” In Sind Butler “noticed nests innumerable on the Babool trees below the camp.” Cripps once found a nest in a clump of bamboos near a cultivation hut, and they have also been taken from bushes, especially thorny ones, palms, cacti, cane¬brakes and saplings. Barnes records some curious sites. He says : “I have taken nests both before and after the rains, but I think the majority breed just after the rains. I have always found the nests in small trees, well in the jungle—acacia trees for preference. The nest is very frail and the eggs are usually visible from below. I have taken the eggs from old Crows nests, and once found a nest in the foundation of a Tawny Eagle’s nest, which had on the other side a nest of the Common Munia.”
Most nests are made of twigs only, some of twigs and grass-stems mixed, and some of grass-stems only. One of these latter Hume describes as “a tiny network of grass stems so slightly put together that the eggs were clearly visible from below.”
As a rule the nests are easy to find, but Betham writes from Ferozepore :—“Comes to breed in great numbers in the Hot Weather. The nest is usually situated high up in a tree and concealed from view by the foliage and, consequently, it is not easy to find.”
In the hills it breeds from April to September and in the plains all the year round but, where the rainfall is exceptionally heavy, as in Bengal and parts of Assam, very few eggs are laid in July and August.
The full clutch is, of course, two, but three eggs or young have been frequently seen. Butler says that in Sind he has on several occasions seen three eggs and once three young birds, while in Deesa also be once found three eggs in a nest. Hodgson again says that in Nepal they lay “two or three white eggs.” So many hundreds of nests of this Dove are seen annually that perhaps the few threes recorded above may merely indicate a “normal abnor¬mality” but, on the other hand, it may mean that this Dove does lay three eggs rather more often than do other Doves.
Forty-nine eggs average 25.9 x 19.9 mm. : maxima 29.0 x 20.0 and 24.3 x 21.2 mm. ; minima 23.9 x 21.0 and 23.1 x 18.6 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 4. 1935.
Title in Book: 
1881. Cenopopelia tranquebariea tranquebariea
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Red Turtle Dove
Streptopelia tranquebarica tranquebarica
Vol. 4

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