1283. Sphenocercus sphenurus.
The Kokla Green Pigeon.
Vinago sphenura, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 173. Vinago cantillans, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 166 (1843) (caged variety). Sphenocercus cantillans, Blyth, Cat. p. 230; id. Ibis, 1865, p. 45. Sphenocercus sphenurus, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 453; Beavan, Ibis, 1868, p. 372 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 65; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 111; xiv, pt. 2, p. 203 ; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 270; Hume, N. & E. p. 494; Hume & Oates, S. F. iii, p. 163; Wald. in Blyth's Birds Burm. p. 144; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 415 ; Hume, Cat. no. 778 ; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 339; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 304; Marshall, His, 1884, p. 421 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 292 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 377; Sharpe, Yarkand Miss., Aves, p. 114; Salvadori, Cat. B. M. xxi, p. 8. Sphenocercus minor, Brooks, S. F. iii, p. 255 (1875).
Kokla, Kokila, H.; Kuhu, Lepcha.
Coloration. Male. Head, neck, and lower plumage yellowish green, tinged with rufous on the crown, and with orange and a wash of pink on the upper breast; upper back greyish, passing into maroon-red on middle of back and lesser wing-coverts ; rump, upper tail-coverts, median and larger wing-coverts and exposed portion of tertiaries olive-green; primaries and secondaries blackish, both they and the greater wing-coverts narrowly bordered outside with yellow; upper surface of iail olive-green like rump, the outer feathers more and more grey; lower surface of wings and tail dark grey ; lower flanks and thigh-coverts dark green with pale yellow edges; lower tail-coverts varying from pale cinnamon to buff.
The female lacks the orange on the crown and breast and the maroon on the back and wings, the latter parts being dark green like the rump; under tail-coverts dark green with broad buff borders.
In birds that have moulted in confinement, the green is replaced by pearl-grey. A bird thus coloured was described by Blyth as Treron cantillans.
Bill dull smalt-blue, horny portion pale blue ; orbital skin pale smalt; irides with an inner ring of pale bright blue and an outer ring of buffy pink (Davison).
Length about 13; tail 5 ; wing 7 ; tarsus .85 ; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. The Himalayas as far west as Murree at elevations between 4000 and 7000 feet, west of Nepal only in summer; also the Assam and Manipur hills and the hill-forests of Pegu and Tenasserim as far south as Mooleyit.
Habits, &c. This is a somewhat less gregarious bird than most of the Green Pigeons, and is generally seen in pairs or small parties. It feeds on fruit, and has a peculiarly agreeable note, more prolonged and melodious than that of Crocopus, and it is often kept caged by natives for the sake of its song, which though sweet is monotonous. It breeds from April to July, and lays two white eggs on the usual platform-nest in a tree. The eggs measure about 1.18 by .89. After the breeding-season, the bird leaves the Western Himalayas and apparently migrates eastward, for it remains throughout the year in Nepal and farther east.