887. Aethopyga ignicauda.
The Fire-tailed Fellow-backed Sunbird.
Cinnyris ignicaudus, Hodgs. Ind. Rev. ii, p. 273 (1837). Nectarinia ignicauda (Hodgs.), Blyth, Cat. p. 223. Aethopyga ignicauda (Hodgs.), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 734; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 365 ; Wold. Ibis, 1870, p. 36; Blanford, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 44; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. ii, p. 156; Shelley, Mon. Nect. pp. xx, 45, pl. 15; Hume, Cat. no. 228; Gadow, Cat. B. M. ix, p. 25.
The Fire-tailed Red Honey-sucker, Jerd.
Coloration. Male. Forehead and crown metallic blue ; sides of the crown, nape, hind neck, sides of the neck, back, scapulars, upper tail-coverts, and middle pair of tail-feathers crimson; remainder of tail brown, margined with crimson or rufous exteriorly; rump yellow; wings brown, each feather edged with olive-yellow; scapulars greenish ; chin and throat purple, changing to steel-blue at the sides; lores and ear-coverts dull black; breast yellow suffused in the middle with crimson; remainder of lower plumage dull greenish yellow.
Female. General colour green, the crown-feathers with concealed dark centres, the rump and upper tail-coverts margined with greenish yellow; wings dark brown margined with yellowish; middle tail-feathers yellowish brown, the others blackish on the inner web and green on the outer, and obsoletely tipped pale; throat and breast tinged with ashy; middle of abdomen rather bright yellow.
Bill and legs black; iris dark brown (Hume Coll.)
Male: length about 8; tail 5 ; wing 2.3 ; tarsus .65 ; bill from gape .85 ; the middle pair of tail-feathers are 2.7 longer than the next pair. Female: length about 5; tail 1.6 ; wing 2.2; the outermost tail-feathers fall short of tip of tail by -5.
Distribution. Nepal; Sikhim ; Bhutan ; the Khasi hills ; the Naga hills; Manipur. Hume records this species from Kumaun and Garhwal and also from Sylhet and Cachar ; but I have seen no specimens from these localities. Blanford observed this bird in Sikhim at 11,000 feet.