Columba leuconota Vigors, 1831
Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London Pt1 no.2 p.23
The Snow Pigeon (Columba leuconota) is a species of bird in the Columbidae family.
Snow Pigeon has a blackish head contrasting with white neck collar and white underparts shading into ashy on the abdomen. Back is brownish grey with a white patch on the lower back. Wing is pale grey with three brown bands. The black tail has a clear white band in the middle which narrows and curve forward to reach the tip of outermost tail features. Young birds have narrow pale buff margins to the feathers of the upper parts and wings. The white of the underparts is sullied with buff.
Taxonomy and systematics
Two races are recognized:
* leuconota described by Vigors in 1831 is found in Himalayas from West Afghanistan to Sikkim; summer visitor to Alay Mts and Pamir.
They are resident birds in rocky hills of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
Behaviour and ecology
They frequent rocky hill sides and sequestered valleys, seen up to the snow line. They frequently feed in the fields during the day, but roost in the cliffs. They are generally shy and wary. Gatherings of 150 or more occur in winter, often in company of Hill Pigeon and in some areas with Rock Pigeon too.
In the summer, they descent to lower heights and are found in pairs or small flocks. They breed in colonies. The nests are placed in crevices or caves in the face of cliffs or ledges of rock. Nest is an untidy interlaced structure made of sticks, grass, straw, feathers etc. The nests are generally reused every year with minor repairing. Generally two eggs are laid.
They feed on berries, grain, buds and shoots.
1. ^ Rasmussen PC & JC Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions. p. 204.
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