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Gecinus squamatus, West-Himalayan Scaly-bellied Green Woodpecker
Coloration: Male. Crown and occipital crest crimson. Mantle,
including sides of neck, back, scapulars, and secondary wing-coverts, green.
Rump and upper tail-coverts strongly tinged with yellow; a broad
yellowish-white supercilium extending to the nape with a black line above
continued across the forehead, and another black line below from the eye to
the nostril; a black spot behind the eye; another broad yellowish-white
streak from the base of the bill below the eye, below this streak the malar
region is black mixed with greenish white; ear-coverts greenish grey; wing-
feathers brownish black, inner webs of all with imperfect white bands, in the
primaries towards the base only; outer webs of primaries with equidistant
yellowish-white spots; outer webs of secondaries and tertiaries greenish
dusky barred with whitish; primary-coverts dusky, with white spots;
tail-feathers above brownish black with white bars rather narrower than the
inter-spaces; below, the dark bars are pale and the whole feathers tinged
with yellow; throat and breast pale greyish green, some times varying to pale
ashy; abdomen and flanks with lower wing- and tail-coverts greenish white,
each feather with a black intra marginal band producing a scale-like marking,
and with sometimes a black shaft-stripe. Female. Crown and occiput
black instead of crimson, the bases of the feathers leaden grey, and the
sides of the frontal and coronal feathers greenish grey.
Iris a circle of darkish pinkish red surrounded by a second ring of light pink; upper mandible horn-colored at the base, the tip and the whole lower mandible brightish yellow (Beavan); legs greenish plumbeous (Jerdon).
Size: Length 14; tail 5.3; wing 6.5; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 1.9.
Distribution: The Himalayas from Gilgit and Kashmir to Kumaon and probably western Nepal, at elevations from about 5000 to 9000 feet. A skin was obtained in Afghanistan by Griffith.
Habits: This Woodpecker is often seen feeding on the ground. It lays
generally five, sometimes six eggs in a hole excavated in the stem of a tree,
in March, April, or May. The eggs are white and very glossy, and measure on
an average 1.28 by 0.93. The nest hole is generally placed at a considerable
height from the ground, as a rule more than 20 feet.
Distribution: South Afghanistan. Only known from two specimens, one from Quetta, the other from the Helmand river. Sir 0. B. St. John saw G. gorii on the Kwaja Amran hills, and probably in the juniper forests of Ziarat. I suspect that this is merely a pale variety of G. squamatus.
Fig. 10 - head of Gecinus striolatus
Coloration: Male. Crown and occipital crest crimson, posterior crest-feathers sometimes orange; mantle olivaceous green; rump bright gamboge-yellow or sometimes orange; a greyish-white superciliary stripe bordered with black above, beginning above the eye and extending back to the nape, the black extends forward to the base of the forehead and to the brownish-black plumes over the nostrils; lores and a stripe under the eye and ear-coverts brownish white; ear coverts grey, faintly streaked with whitish; malar band white streaked with black; wing-feathers as in G. squamatus brownish black with white spots; tail-feathers brownish black, imperfectly barred towards the base with light brown, outermost pair but one barred throughout; lower parts greenish white, breast greener and with a yellowish tinge; chin and throat striped; feathers of remainder of lower parts with intramarginal bands and occasional shaft-stripes of olive or brown. Female. The crown and occiput black, the sides of the crown-feathers brownish ashy. Otherwise like the male.
Iris red, surrounded by white; eyelids plumbeous; upper mandible and tip of lower horn-colour, remainder of lower mandible yellow; legs olive-green (Oates).
Size: Length 11.5; tail 3.8; wing 5.2; tarsus 1; bill from gape 1.40
Distribution: The range of this Woodpecker is somewhat peculiar. It is found throughout the Himalayas as far west as Mussoorie, and is generally distributed throughout the countries south of the eastern Himalayas as far south as the Irrawaddy delta and Toungngoo. Anderson obtained it at Momein. There is also in the British Museum a skin from Siam. It also occurs, though sparingly, throughout the forest country between the Ganges and Godavari, east of longitude 80° East, and in the forests of Malabar and of the Western Ghats as far north as the neighborhood of Belgaum in Mysore, and in other forest-clad tracts of Southern India; also, but rarely, in Ceylon. In the Bombay presidency north of Belgaum and in Central and North-western India it is excessively rare or wanting except on the Aravalli Range near Mount Abu.
Habits: Breeds from March to May, in holes in the stems or branches of trees, laying generally five glossy porcellanic white eggs, that measure on an average 1.05 by 0.8.
Very similar to G. striolatus, but larger, the bill and tail longer, the malar band much more marked, owing to the feathers having much broader black median stripes, the scale-like markings on the lower parts much broader, so that the lower coloration is altogether darker, the greenish brown predominating over the white on the abdomen and especially on the lower tail-coverts, whilst the reverse is the case in G. striolatus. As a rule in the present species the rump is greenish yellow, not clear yellow or orange The upper parts are generally green as in G. striolatus, but are sometimes darker and sometimes bronzy green.
Irides dull lake; bill above dark, below yellowish, orbits slate lavender; legs greenish (Wardlaw Ramsay).
Size: Length 13; tail 4.2; wing 5.6; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 1.6.
Distribution: Throughout Arrakan, Pegu and Tenasserim, and down the Malay peninsula to Salanga and into Siam.
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