(1838) Treron curvirostra nipalensis.
THE THICK-BILLED GREEN PIGEON.
Toria nipalensis Hodgs., As. Res., xix, p. 164 (1836) (Nepal). Treron nepalensis. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 14.
Vernacular names. Daorep-buku-gajao (Cachari).
Description.— Male. Forehead and lores grey, darker on the crown and becoming olive-green on the nape and neck; scapulars, interscapulars, back and lesser wing-coverts chestnut-maroon, palest and suffused with grey where the maroon meets the green neck; rump and upper tail-coverts olive-green, brightest and tinged with yellow on the latter; central rectrices olive-green, the outer grey with a band of black across the middle, widening outwardly; the two pairs of tail-feathers nest the central more or less tinged with green; quills black, the two outer primaries narrowly edged with yellowish-white; innermost secondaries and a few coverts next the maroon, green; remaining coverts black with broad yellow margins to the outer webs ; cheeks, ear-coverts, sides of chin and throat, breast and lower plumage olive-green ; centre of chin and throat more yellow; posterior flanks, thighs and vent darker olive-green mixed with white ; under tail-coverts cinnamon, the external ones marked with green and white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris, inner ring deep blue, outer ring golden-yellow to orange-red; orbital skin vivid verdigris-green; bill pale yellowish, greenish or leaden-white, the tip darker and greener, the base and round gape brilliant coral-red; legs and feet deep lake-pink to coral-red.
Measurements. Wing 124 to 146 mm.; tail 84 to 95 mm.; tarsus about 18 to 19 mm.; culmen about 14 to 15 mm.
Female. Has the maroon of the upper plumage replaced by olive-green; the under tail-coverts are dull buff with olive-green bars on the longest and olive-green bases to the shorter.
Young males resemble the females but get a little maroon on the upper parts at the first moult. The whole plumage of the young at first is very grey and dull. The iris is pale grey-brown, the orbital skin livid grey and the basal portion of the bill dull pink.
Distribution. The extreme West of Nepal to East and South Assam, Eastern Bengal; Burma to the South of Tenasserim; Shan States, Yunnan, Annam, Siam and Cochin China.
Nidification. Whymper took numerous nests of this Pigeon during May on the borders of W. Nepal and Garhwal and thence it breeds throughout its range, principally in May and June but sometimes as early as March and often as late as August. They build their nests either in bushes or small trees in forest, in bamboo-clumps in mixed or bamboo-jungle and sometimes in single bushes or clumps standing in the open. Twice I have had them breeding in orange-groves round my garden. Nests and eggs are quite typical, two hundred averaging 28.7 x 22.6 mm.: maxima 30.0 X 22.0 and 28.3 x 23.2 mm.; minima 25.9 X 20.8 and 26.0 x20.0 mm.
They breed from the level of the plains up to at least 5,000 feet and possibly higher and, like all the family, are very close sitters.
Habits. This is a very common Pigeon all through Assam, Manipur, Lushai Hills and Northern Burma and in the first-named place always forms a conspicuous portion of the bigger bags made in forest. Their habits, flight, voice and diet are those of the subfamily but they are even more quarrelsome birds than most Green Pigeons, though their language and posturing are more fierce than their actual blows. In addition to the usual whistling notes they have a low guttural " groo-groo," common also to other Green Pigeons but more constantly uttered by this bird. They drink early in the mornings and late in the evenings and roost as a rule in high densely-foliaged trees but occasionally in cane-brakes or in reed-beds. I have frequently seen this little Pigeon on the ground, feeding on wild straw¬berries and the small red berries of a ground-plant.