(1280) Leptocoma asiatica brevirostris.
The Sine Purple Sunbird,
Nectarinia brevirostris Blanf., Ibis, 1873, p. 86 (Jalk, Baluchistan). Arachnechthra asiatica. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 359 (part).
Vernacular names. Dunbarg (Sind),
Description. Differs from the two preceding forms in its smaller bill and its less brilliant violet or purple upper parts, which are more often green than in the other races ; the pectoral tufts are in most cases small and less marked with red.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 55 to 57 mm.; tail 34 to 35 mm.; tarsus 15 to 16 mm.; culmen 13 to 15 mm.
Female. Generally rather paler and less richly coloured than in either of the other races of this species.
Distribution. Sind, Baluchistan, Afghanistan and the borderland of the North-West Frontier Province. It extends to Eastern Persia and to the districts East of the Persian Gulf.
Nidification. Pitman found this Sunbird breeding in great numbers in Dehra Ismail Khan in April and early May and Ticehurst says that in Sind it breeds from April onwards. It possibly breeds considerably later than this also, for he saw males assuming the post-nuptial plumage as late as October and the 5th November. In Bengal most males of L. a. asiatica assume the Winter plumage in July and August immediately after breeding in May and June, but those which breed early or late advance or retard the moult accordingly, so we may assume the Sind race does the same. The nest resembles that of Leptocoma a. asiatica and no description is necessary. The eggs, also, are like those of that bird but I have seen none with a red tint. Twenty-five eggs average 16.9 x 11.7 mm. : maxima 17.9 X 11.8 mm. and 17.8 x 12.1 mm.; minima 15.3 X11.7 and 17.8 x 11.0 mm.
The male bird is said sometimes to display perched on a twig.
Habits. Similar to those of the other races. A considerable number of birds seem to leave Upper and Central Sind in Winter and at that season the numbers correspondingly increase in Lower Sind. In the Frontier Province they are resident all the year round though doubtless they leave the higher hills in Winter. Whitehead found it common on the Samana in Summer, arriving in March and leaving again in September.