979. Pyrrhopicus rubiginosus.
The Malay Bay Woodpecker.
Hemicircus rubiginosus, Swainson, Birds W. Afr. ii, p. 150 (1837). Picus melanogaster, Hay, Madr. Jour. L. S. xiii, pt. 2, p. 153 (1844). Gecinus rubiginosus, Blyth, Cat. p. 59. Venilia porphyromelas (Boie), Bonap. Consp. i, p. 128; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 143 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 40. Venilia melanogaster, Horsf. & M. Cat. p. 665. Lepocestes porphyromelas, Salvad. Ucc. Born. p. 48; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 319 ; Hargitt, Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 382. Blythipicus porphyromelas, Hume, S. F. vii, p. 520; id. Cat. no. 176 bis.
Coloration. Male. Whole head brown, paler in front all round the base of the bill; feathers on each side of the neck behind the ear-coverts tipped with bright crimson, forming blood-red patches ; some of the malar feathers tinged red in some specimens ; whole upper plumage from nape, including the edges of the quills, dull crimson; feathers of rump and upper tail-coverts, quills and tail-feathers very dark brown with narrow bars of pale rufescent brown, well marked on outer webs of all wing-feathers, but except on the tertiaries faint on the inner webs; lower plumage from throat very dark olive-brown, the breast with a reddish tinge.
The female wants the red patches behind the ears.
Bill chrome-yellow, tinged with green towards the base ; irides red; legs and feet dark, varying in shade, generally purplish or purplish brown (Davison).
Length 9 ; tail 3; wing 4.8 ; tarsus .9 ; bill from gape 1.45.
Distribution. Malay Peninsula, extending into Tenasserim as far north as Bopyin, south of Mergui, and also into Sumatra and Borneo. Common in the extreme south of Tenasserim.
Habits, &c Like P. pyrrhotis, this species is said by Davison to be very shy and to keep much to the underwood of the evergreen forests ; it avoids the larger trees, is generally found in pairs and utters incessantly a sharp metallic note.