1841. Sphenocercus sphenurus sphenurus

(1841) Sphenocercus sphenurus sphenurus (Vigors).
Sphenocercus sphenurus sphenurus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. v, p. 200.
The distribution of this Green Pigeon is much the same as that of the preceding bird but it extends farther West and North-West. They occur West of the Ganges, according to Hume, only as Summer visitors, but they have been reported breeding in Kashmir, Murree Hills, Kuman and the outer ranges of the Himalayas between 4,000 and 9,000 feet as far East as Eastern Assam, where, however, they are quite common, down to 3,000 feet and, occasionally, much lower. They seem to keep more exclusively to evergreen forest than do most Green Pigeons and they very rarely breed in scrub or secondary growth. Another trait peculiar to it is that of placing its nest higher from the ground than do other Green Pigeons. Hume speaks of nests 50 and 60 feet from the ground, and I have myself once or twice seen nests between these heights and more often between 30 and 40 feet. All the same, the great majority of birds prefer to place their nests in saplings and small trees some¬where between 20 and 30 feet and, occasionally, even lower than this. Dodsworth records a nest built on a large bough some 40 feet from the ground, and I have seen others so placed but, more often, they are built on smaller branches or tangles of branches.
The principal breeding months in Assam are April, May and June, but many birds breed in July and August and not a few in March. Here the birds are resident and are equally numerous at all heights all the year round, with the exception that during the Winter they wander further into the plains. In the North-West they are said to be merely breeding visitors for the months of April to August and to breed, or rather to lay, almost exclusively in May and June, and to have only one brood in the year instead of two or more as in Assam and Bengal.
Hume notes: “To the Himalayas West of the Ganges they are merely summer visitants” ; Hutton adds : “Within the moun¬tains of the North-West not one remains, neither are they to be found in winter in the warmer region of the Dehra Doon. Leaving us, as it does, as soon as the summer heat decreases, it evidently seeks a warmer chmate.”
Hume also (in ‘Lahore to Yarkand,’ p. 119) draws attention to the fact that “vast multitudes of a large and conspicuous species, tenanting during the summer a zone of hills varying from 20 to 100 miles in width and stretching from the borders of Afghanistan to the banks of the Ganges, absolutely desert us during the winter” ; and then he goes on to say that he has come to the conclusion that they migrate East to Assam and Bengal. I cannot think this is the case, for there is no inrush these Pigeons at any season into these two provinces.
Here we still have one of the mysteries of bird life to work out.
Two hundred, eggs average 31.5 x 23.1 mm. : maxima 35.8 x 24.4 mm, ; minima 28.0 x 22.0 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: 
1841. Sphenocercus sphenurus sphenurus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Wedge Tailed Green Pigeon
Treron sphenurus sphenurus
Vol. 4
Term name: 

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