1284. Leptocoma flammaxillaris flammaxillaris

(1284) Leptocoma flammaxillaris flammaxillaris (Blyth).
THE BURMESE MAROON-BREASTED SUNBIRD.
Leptocoma flammaxillaris flammaxillaris, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii. p. 403.
This bird, which may be called the Maroon-breasted Sunbird, from its very conspicuously maroon-banded underparts, quite unlike those of the jugularis group, is found over the greater part of Burma from Arakan on the West to the extreme South of Burma and into the Malay States. On the East it is found in Siam and Cochin China, These Sunbirds frequent gardens, orchards, open country round villages and, less often, open glades and the outskirts of thin forest or thin scrub-jungle.
Oates found this Sunbird breeding in Pegu, and says :—"All the nests I have met with have been placed in secondary jungle on shrubs and bamboos, seldom more than four feet, occasionally only two, and in one instance about six feet from the ground.
“The nest is generally pear-shaped, the upper part tapering up to the point of attachment. Occasionally the shape is more that of a long cylinder. The total length varies from 6 to 8 inches and it is 3 at its widest part. The entrance, by I, is centrally situated and is overhung by a rude porch, an inch wide and about 1.1/2 long. The walls are half an inch thick, but at the base fully an inch.
“The materials are chiefly fine grasses mixed up with scraps of dead leaves, moss, bark and cobwebs. The interior is entirely of very fine grass, and the egg-chamber has usually a few feathers in it. Pieces of bark are suspended from the nest by cobwebs, occasionally extending a foot down.”
Darling obtained a similar nest hut suspended from a thin bough of a tall bush 10 feet from the ground, while a second was attached to a bamboo at the same height.
Herbert, who took a wonderful series of the eggs in Siam, says that they usually place their nests 10 to 20 feet up in the outer boughs of trees but that he has also taken one 2 feet from the ground in a hush. The nests he describee as similar to those found by Oates, giving a beautiful photo of one in the 'Journal of the Siam Natural History Society’ (vol. vi, plate 15).
In Burma the birds seem to have two nesting seasons, January to March and again July and August, but in Siam, where the bird is extremely common, Herbert says : “The nesting season is almost continuous throughout the year, and I have records for every month. Nests are plentiful by early February, and continue as freely up to the end of August ; a fair number may be found in January and September, and occasional ones in other months.”
The number of eggs laid is in variably two and I have no record of three.
Herbert describes the eggs well :—“The eggs are moderate ovals in form and are often considerably pointed towards one end. In colouring there are two extremes with numerous variations between them. One type has the whole surface closely freckled with yellowish or greenish-brown, more dense at the large end, the greenish-white ground-colour being only discernible at the smaller end. There ore generally a few scattered black specks or hair-lines to be seen on these eggs, though they are not always present. The other type has a greenish or yellowish-white ground-colour, which is clouded or thickly speckled about the large end with a purplish hue, often forming an irregular zone, and on this there are blurred spots of a dark purplish-brown.”
To this I can merely add that a few eggs have the blotches and clouds almost entirely confined to the larger end, where they form dense caps.
Thirty-eight eggs average 15.4 x 11.1 mm. : maxima 16.2 x 11.8 and 16.1 x 12.0 mm. ; minima 14.4 x 10.9 and 16.0 x 10.5 mm.
The nests are built in a very short time. Oates records that “on the 3rd July I observed a female attaching a piece of grass to a twig. On the 8th the nest looked quite finished, and on the 14th I took two eggs from it.”

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: 
1284. Leptocoma flammaxillaris flammaxillaris
Spp Author: 
Blyth.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1284
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
221
Common name: 
Burmese Yellow Breasted Sunbird
M_ID: 
29161
M_SN: 
Cinnyris jugularis flammaxillaris
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14373

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