(1270) Aethopyga gouldiae isolata.
The Manipur Yellow-backed Sunbird.
Aethopyga gouldiae isolata Stuart Baker, Bull. B. O. C.. xlvi. p. 13
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Male. Similar to Mrs. Gould's Sunbird but with much paler yellow breast, lemon-yellow rather than deep yellow, with no red markings. It is also a rather smaller bird.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding bird.
Measurements. Wing 51 to 53 mm.; tail 62 to 69 mm.: tarsus about 14 mm.; culmen 13 to 15 mm.
Female. Not distinguishable except by its rather smaller size.
Distribution. Manipur, Cachar and one specimen from Mt. Victoria, in the Chin Hills. This latter was obtained at 5,000 feet, whereas all the red-breasted birds were obtained at 6,000 feet and over. Hume records Mrs. Gould's Sunbird from Tippera and Chittagong and I am informed that it is not uncommon in the higher Hill Tracts of these districts. These are sure to be of this race and probably extend through all the lower hills and broken country to the Chin Hills.
Nidification. Exactly the same as that of the last bird except that it breeds at low elevations, from 5,000 feet practically down to the plains. I found it not rare in the North Cachar Hills up to 5,000 feet; in the Khasia Hills it breeds between 3,000 and 5,000 feet wherever there is evergreen-forest. The nests are not distinguishable from those of M. g. gouldiae and the eggs only differ in being much smaller. The only two 1 have measured are both exactly 14.0 x 10.0 mm. and were taken on the 7th May. They lav between the 15th April and the 15th May, as I have found young birds as early as the 5th May and fresh eggs as late as the loth of that month.
Habits. Similar to those of the preceding bird. I found that when feeding they kept almost entirely to bushes and the lower half of small trees This was very noticeable when on one occasion I watched them feeding with s. seheriae, for though the lather were tempted by the flowers of some Bauhinias to hunt even the topmost branches, the Manipur birds kept strictly to the lowest- branches. They are resident birds but many wander farther afield a little in the Winter.