1038. Alcedo grandis.
Alcedo grandis, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiv, p. 190 (1845); id. Cat. p. 49 ; id. Ibis, 1865, p. 30, 1866, p. 348; Sharpe, Mon. Alc. p. 19, pl. 3; Jerdon, Ibis, 1872, p. 4; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xlv, pt. 2, p. 69; xlvii, pt. 2, p. 14 ; Hume, Cat. no. 135; id. S. F. xi, p. 47; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 4; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xvii, p. 156. Alcedo euryzona, apud Blyth, Cat., Addenda, p. xxviii; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 231; nec Temm.
The Great Indian Kingfisher, Jerdon.
Coloration. "Whole cap and nape black, with small bluish-white transverse bars; a ferruginous spot on the black lores; a pale patch in front of the eye, another behind and below it; cheeks and ear-coverts blackish, spotted and streaked with bright greenish blue; a white longitudinal stripe on each side of the neck; middle of back and rump bright pale blue, becoming deeper blue on the upper tail-coverts ; scapulars and wings dull green outside, with some bright bluish-white specks on the coverts; quills brown, some of the secondaries with greenish-blue edges; tail deep blue above, dark brown below; lower parts deep ferruginous, whitish on throat and chin. Sexes, so far as is known, alike.
Bill black, red at the base of the lower mandible; feet red (Jerdon).
Length about 8; tail 1.8; wing 3.8; tarsus .42; bill from gape 2.5.
Distribution. This Kingfisher has only been obtained at low elevations in the Sikhim and Bhutan Himalayas, in the Dafla hills east of Bhutan, and in some of the hills south of the Assam valley.
Habits, &c. These were unknown until an excellent account of them was given in the 'Asian' newspaper by " Rekab " (Mr. Steuart Baker). He found the bird very shy, keeping to streams in dense jungle, and feeding chiefly or wholly on fish. It is a silent bird, its note, only uttered on the wing, resembling that of A. ispida, and its flight is exceedingly rapid. The eggs, taken on three occasions in April, were from 2 to 6 in number, laid on fishbones at the end of a burrow, varying from 1 to 6 feet in length—in two cases in dark ravines through which a little water trickled in the rains, and in the third on the slope of a hill amongst the roots of a tree.