1540. Alcedo meninting coltarti

(1540) Alcedo meninting coltarti Stuart Baker.
The Assam Blue-eared kingfisher.
Alcedo meninting coltarti, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv. p. 256.
The Assam Blue-eared Kingfisher extends from Sikkim on the West to the hills of Northern Burma on the West and about as far South as latitude 10° in Burma and about the same in Siam and thence into Cochin China.
It occurs from the plains and foot-hills up to about 6,000 feet and is, perhaps, most common at 2,000 to 3,000 feet.
There is nothing on record about the breeding of this bird, but I found many nests in North Cachar and the Khasia Hills and, later, Coltart also obtained it in Lakhimpur.
It is a bird of forest of any deseription and also of bamboo-jungle, but seems to keep almost entirely to deep gloomy ravines with steep broken sides and plenty of bush and tree cover. The actual nest-holes are, of course, drilled in the banks where they arc more or less free from roots, but I have seen bushes overhanging the entrances, and one tunnel I saw was cut into the face of a mossy bank, the moss having to be cut through or pulled out before the work of excavation could be started. The first nest-hole I ever found was in a deep, precipitous gorge running through bamboo- jungle, the sides thinly clad with bushes and small trees. About 5 feet below the overhanging top and nearly 50 from the stream at the bottom a great rock jutted out and attracted my attention. As I looked at it a tiny Kingfisher flew out from under it and, on climbing up, I found the entrance located a few inches below the rock. The bird soon returned and was caught in the noose which had been set for it. The tunnel, barely 2 inches wide, proved to be some 24 inches deep, with a small chamber at the end measuring about 5 inches either way, and here reposed seven eggs on the bare earth. This tunnel was bored in mixed clay and loam, but in sandy soil the galleries may run up to 4 or 5 feet and even 6 feet in length. I have found small amounts of fish and insect remains both in the tunnels and chambers and, occasionally, a good many in the latter, on one occasion two good handfuls being around and under the six eggs.
The principal breeding months are May and June, but I have eggs in my collection taken by myself from the 14th April to the 7th August, and I think many birds breed twice.
The eggs number four to eight, but the smaller numbers may be incomplete clutches.
Fifty eggs average 20.3 x 17.6 mm. : maxima 21.7 x 18.0 mm. ; minima 19.2 x 17.3 and 20.0 x 15.3 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1540. Alcedo meninting coltarti
Spp Author: 
Stuart baker.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1540
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
410
Common name: 
Assam Blue Eared Kingfisher
M_ID: 
9294
M_SN: 
Alcedo meninting coltarti
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14686

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith