1115. Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus.
The Violet Cuckoo.
Cuculus xanthorhynchus, Horsf. Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii, p. 179 (1821) ; Walden, Ibis, 1876, p. 346. Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xi, p. 919; id. Cat. p. 73; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 706; Walden, Ibis, 1874, p. 137; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 165; Blyth, Birds Burnt, p. 80; Wardi. Ramsay, Ibis, 1877, p. 458; Hume, Cat. no. 211 bis; id. S. F. ix, p. 248; xi, p. 75; Oates, S. F. x, p. 193; id. B. B. ii, p. 114; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2) vii, p. 432. Chalcococcyx xanthorhynchus, Cab. Heine, Mus. Hein. iv, p. 16; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 191; in, p. 81; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, pp. 161, 506; Shelley, Cat. B. M. xix, p. 289. Chrysococcyx limborgi, Tweeddale, P. Z. S. 1877, p. 366; id. S. F. vii, p. 319 ; Hume, Cat. no. 211 quat.; Bingham, S. F. ix, p. 168 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 116. Lamprococcyx malayanus, Hume Dav. S. F. vi, p. 503. Chrysococcyx malayanus, Hume, Cat. no. 211 ter; id. S. F. xi, ap. 76.
Coloration. Male. Head and neck all round and upper breast with all the upper parts glossy violet; quills blackish brown; outer tail-feathers tipped white and the outermost pair with about three interrupted white bars; lower breast, abdomen, wing-lining, and under tail-coverts marked with alternating broad cross-bars of white and violet or green.
Female. Above greenish bronze with a coppery tinge, a little white on the forehead; tips of wing and tail-feathers greener; quills brown, their inner edges chestnut except near the tips ; all tail-feathers except the middle pair banded green and chestnut and tipped white, on the outer pair the chestnut on the outer web is replaced by white; lower parts with sides of the head and neck alternately banded white and bronze-green, the bands wider behind.
The nestling is rufous except on the breast and abdomen; the head and neck with broad dusky longitudinal streaks ; body above and below and the tail barred with dark brown, but not the quills. This passes into a phase of plumage that is barred throughout rufous and glossy green above, white and green below ; in some male specimens the upper parts are chiefly green, but usually some violet feathers appear. The plumage of the young is never the the same as that of the adult female, but at one stage the two sexes only differ in the barring on the lower parts being broader in males.
In males the bill is orange-yellow; iris red ; eyelids green, the edges red; mouth orange; legs brownish green ; claws black. In females and young birds only the base of the bill is orange, terminal portion dark brown (Oates).
Length about 6.5 ; tail 2.8; wing 4; tarsus .6 ; bill from gape .75.
The type of C. limborgi, now in the British Museum, has a broad pure white nuchal collar. It is probably an accidental variety, but may possibly belong to a distinct form. It was obtained at the base of Muleyit, Tenasserim.
Distribution. From Dibrugarh in Assam, Cachar and Tipperah, throughout Burma and the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra, Borneo, and Java, but nowhere common. Found also in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Habits, &c. According to Oates this Cuckoo is found in dense groves, and lives mainly on caterpillars; it is a silent bird and quiet in its movements. Its egg is unknown.