1040. Ceyx tridactyla.
The Indian Three-toed Kingfisher.
Alcedo tridactyla, Pallas, Spic. Zool. vi, p. 10, pl. ii, fig. 1 (1769). Alcedo erithaca et purpurea, 67m. Syst. Nat. i, p. 449 (1788). Ceyx tridactyla, Jerdon, Ill. Ind. Orn. pl. 25; id. B. I. i, p. 229; Horsf. & M. Cat. p. 391; Layard, A. M. N. H. (2) xii, p. 172; Sharpe, Mon. Alc. p. 119, pl. 40; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 173; iii, p. 51; iv, p. 287; v, p. 19; xi, p. 45; id. Cat. no. 133 ; Butler, S. F. ii, p. 455 ; v, p. 503; ix, p. 383; Walden, Ibis, 1874, p. 137 ; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 71; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, pp. 80, 499; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xlvii, pt. 2, p. 14; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 303 ; Bingham, S. F. viii, p. 193; ix, p. 155 ; Parker, S. F. ix, p. 478; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 80; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2) iv, p. 587 ; vii, p. 433 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 101; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 13 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xvii, p. 174. Ceyx microsoma, Burton, P. Z. S. 1837, p. 89. Ceyx erythaca, Blyth, Cat. p. 50.
The Three-toed Purple Kingfisher, Jerdon; Dein-nygeen, Arrakan; Punchi Mal-pelihuduwa, Cing.
Coloration. A spot, pointed behind, at base of forehead black, washed with purple; crown, nape, hind neck, lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts orange-red, with a ruddy violet gloss, especially over the eye and on the rump and upper tail-coverts ; a black spot before the eye; lores, cheeks, ear-coverts, and lower parts from the throat orange-yellow; chin and throat white; a deep blue spot behind the ear-coverts bordered behind by white; scapulars and interscapulary region deep purplish blue; wing dark brown outside, coverts tinged with deep blue; edge of wing and smallest coverts, under wing-coverts, outer edge of first primary, and inner borders of all quills rufous; tail orange-red.
Bill and feet bright vermilion-red; irides brown (Davison). In the young the bill is paler and shorter.
Length about 5.5; tail 1; wing 2.2; tarsus .3; bill from gape 1.55.
Distribution. Ceylon, rare ; Carnatic and west coast of Southern India according to Jerdon, but very rare; also some of the Sahyadri forests near Bombay. I find no other localities recorded in the Indian Peninsula, but Jerdon says this species is scattered, though far from common, over all India. To the eastward this Kingfisher is found in Lower Bengal, the Sikhim and Bhutan Terai, Assam, Cachar, and the Burmese countries generally, with the Malay Peninsula, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Habits, &c. A forest bird, usually found singly or in pairs by hill-streams, but sometimes away from water. It has a shrill piping note, and its food, so far as is known, consists of small fish perhaps also of water-insects. It breeds from May to August, often away from water, in a hole dug by itself, and it lays 4 to 6, or even 7, very small white eggs, less rounded than those of Alcedinidae in general.