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Dendrocopus sindianus, Sind Pied Woodpecker
Coloration: Bill bluish plumbeous; irides dark maroon. Legs and feet greyish plumbeous (Butler); Irides crimson (Barnes). Male. Nasal plumes white with black tips; forehead white, sometimes buff or light brown; crown and occiput crimson. A malar band from lower mandible down the neck, back of neck, back, rump, and upper tail-coverts black. Lores, supercilia, sides of head and neck, scapulars and innermost median and greater wing-coverts, together with the lower parts from the chin to the abdomen, under wing-coverts and axillaries, white. Lower abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts crimson. Wings and tail similar to those of D. Himalayensis, except that the wing-feathers are brown, that the white spots on both webs are much larger, and the unspotted tips of the primaries shorter. In some specimens too the three middle pairs of tail-feathers are entirely black, The wing is differently shaped, being shorter and rounder. In the female the crown and occiput are black.
Size: Length 8.5; tail 3.1; wing 4.5; tarsus 0.8; bill from gape 1.1. Females slightly smaller, and with a somewhat shorter bill.
Distribution: Throughout Sind, Baluchistan, and the western Punjab as far north as Peshawar, Murree, and Sirsa, and westwards to Bampur in S.E. Persia. St. John obtained specimens, now in the British Museum, in the Khwaja Amran range north-west of Quetta.
Habits: This species is chiefly found in tamarisk scrub, which abounds in Sind and the neighboring countries. It breeds in holes in tamarisk and babul (Acacia arabica) trees in March and April.
Coloration: Upper mandible slaty black, lower grey horny; orbital skin plumbeous. Irides reddish brown to deep crimson; feet dingy green (Scully). Male. Nasal plumes black; forehead, lores, narrow supercilium, and sides of face, including the ear-coverts, whity brown. Sides of neck behind the ear-coverts the same, washed with orange or golden yellow; crown and upper surface generally glossy black, except the occiput and nape which are light crimson, and the innermost median and greater wing-coverts which are mostly or wholly white. Wing-feathers black with white spots on both webs; tail-feathers black, the median two pairs uniform, the others more or less barred with fulvous white. Chin whitish, ends of bristles black, throat light brown unstriped; breast and abdomen yellowish fulvous, with longitudinal black streaks, becoming bars on the flanks. Vent and under tail-coverts light crimson. In the female the occiput and nape are black instead of red. In a young male, described by Scully, all the feathers of the crown were tipped with dull crimson.
Size: Length 9.5; tail 3.75; wing 5; tarsus 0.9; bill from gape 1.5
Distribution: Himalayas in Nepal and Sikkim, from about 3000 to 12,000 feet elevation, and eastward to Moupin and western Sechuan. This Woodpecker was also obtained in the north Cachar and Anghami Naga hills by Godwin-Austen.
Habits: The breeding does not appear to have been recorded. This species was observed by Scully on moss-covered oaks, usually singly or in pairs high up on the trees.
Coloration: Bill bluish white; irides brown; legs plumbeous (Jerdon). Male. Upper parts glossy black with the following exceptions: the forehead is brownish white, the ends of the nasal bristles being black; the occiput, nape, and sides of the neck are crimson, and some of the innermost greater and median coverts are in great part white; quills black, with white spots on both webs and generally a spot at the tip; inner webs of primaries unspotted near the tip; tail-feathers black, the two median pairs unspotted, the remainder more or less barred with buff; sides of head buffy white; chin the same with some black mixed, a black malar band from lower mandible below ear-coverts and red of the neck to side of breast; throat uniform light brown, remainder of lower parts isabelline with longitudinal black streaks, that are broadest and most marked on the breast; feathers in middle of breast and under tail-coverts sometimes tipped with red; under wing-coverts black and white, axillaries white, The female has no red on the nape, but there is some on the sides of the neck, it is, however, fainter than in the male; rufous gorget generally faint or wanting.
Size: Length 7; tail 2.7; wing 4; tarsus 0.7; bill from gape 0.75. This species is very similar to D. darjilensis, but much smaller.
Distribution: Eastern Himalayas; not rare in Sikkim, where the range in elevation is similar to that of D. darjilensis, and extending into Nepal. This Woodpecker has only once been recorded from any locality out of the Himalayas; a single specimen was obtained by Godwin-Austen in the Naga hills.
Habits: The eggs, which are pure white and fairly glossy, and measure about 0.77 by 0.61, are laid in April, as usual in a hole excavated in a tree.
This only differs from D. cathpharius in having a distinct broad crimson gorget on the breast, and the under tail-coverts much more deeply tinged with red. The other differences prove to be merely individual. It was supposed from the only pair originally described that the sexes were alike and that both had the occiput crimson, but a female in Col Godwin-Austen’s possession from the same locality as the types has the occiput black as in D. cathpharius.
There appears to be a passage from true cathpharius into the present form, some specimens of the former from Sikkim and Bhutan having a considerable amount of red on the breast.
Bill leaden dusky, paler at base of lower mandible; irides lac-red; legs and feet dull sap-green in the male, dusky lavender in the female (Hume).
Size: Length 6.8; tail 2.6; wing 3.8; tarsus 0.65; bill from gape 0.8. Size rather less than that of D. cathpharius.
Distribution: Mr. Hume obtained two specimens (the types) at Aimole,
in the eastern Manipur hills. Col. Godwin-Austen also obtained a specimen at
Aimole and two others in the Anghami Naga hills. No others are known to me.
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