Alcedo bengalensis, Gm.
134; :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 230; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 456 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 383; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. III; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 61.
THE COMMON INDIAN KINGFISHER.
Length, 6 to 6.5; expanse, 9.5 to 10 ; wing, 2.75 to 2.9; tail, 11 to 1.3 ; tarsus, 0.4; bill from gape, 1.9; bill at front, 1.4.
Bill blackish on culmen, orange beneath towards base; irides dark brown; legs and feet orange-red.
Head and hind-neck dusky, the feathers edged with pale blue; a rufous band from the base of the nostrils to the end .of the ear-coverts'; below this, a dark band, extending down the side of the neck followed by a white patch; scapulars dull green; back, rump and upper tail-coverts pale blue ; wings and tail dull green-blue; the wing-coverts speckled with pale blue ; quills dusky on their inner edges; chin and throat white, the rest of the lower plumage bright ferruginous.
In young birds a bluish-green tinge is the prevalent tint; in adults a pure blue.
The Indian Kingfisher is commonly distributed throughout the district, but it occurs more rarely in Sind, where it is replaced by the next species; with this exception it is a permanent resident, breeding from March quite to the end of May and occasionally later; the nest-hole is pierced in the bank of a stream, invariably according to my experience over running water; the eggs, five or six in number, are broadish ovals, white and beautifully glossy. They measure 0.8 in length by 0.68 in breadth.