1282. Leptocoma ornata ornata

(1282) Leptocoma ornata ornata*.

The Malay Yellow-breasted Sunbird.

Cinnyris ornatus Lesson, Dict. Sci, Nat. i, 1788, p. 474 (Java). Arachnechthra pectoralis. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 361.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. - Male. "Forehead, fore-crown and cheeks metallic blue; lores dusky black; sides of head and neck, upper plumage, lesser and median wing-coverts olive-yellow, the rump and upper tail-coverts brightest; tail very dark brown, edged with green and the lateral feathers narrowly tipped with white; chin, throat .and fore-neck metallic violet bordered by metallic blue, more broadly on the breast where it is edged with a narrow broken band of maroon; pectoral tufts orange-yellow; lower plumage bright golden yellow; axillaries and under wing-coverts pale yellow.

Colours of soft parts. Iris very dark brown ; bill, legs and feet black.

Measurements. Wing 50 to 55 mm.; tail 34 to 36 mm.; tarsus 14 to 15 mm.; culmen 16 to 18 mm.

Female. Upper plumage olive-yellow, the feathers of the head with concealed darker centres; below bright yellow, less golden than in the male, and suffused with green on the breast and, flanks ; wings and tail as in the male.

Distribution. Tenasserim South to Java, Sumatra, Borneo,, Lombok, Flores, Nicobars and Malay Peninsula.

Nidification. The nests are very similar to those of the Indian Purple Sunbird and are attached to slender twigs of bushes a few feet from the ground. They have more grass used in their construction than is employed by the Purple Sunbird, but they have similar porches and similar untidy decorations which conceal the outlines of the nests and make them blend better with their surroundings. The eggs, two or three in number, have a pale yellowish-grey ground and are marked with blotches, lines and mottlings of reddish-brown, many looking as if they had run at the edges ; the secondary marks are of grey or yellowish-grey and the general tone of these eggs is brown rather than grey as in asiatica eggs. The few eggs I have seen measure between 14.8 x 11.1 and 17.0 x 12.1 mm.

In the Nicobars they breed, so far as is known, in January and February. I have a nest and eggs taken in the Malay States in May and I am informed that they breed in Java and Sumatra from February to June or even July.

Habits. Those of the genus. In the Nicobars this is a forest bird keeping to the outskirts and thinner tracts but elsewhere this Sunbird is as much a frequenter of gardens and compounds as are the other species. It is very common in the Nicobars and equally so in Java and Sumatra and in some parts of the Malay States, though elsewhere it is said to be less so. Hume and Davison say that this Sunbird has a post-nuptial plumage acquired after the breeding-season in the same way as that of the Purple Sunbird by a moult of the body-feathers.

* The name Cinnyris pectoralis Horsf. 1821 is preoccupied by Cinnyris pectoralis Vieill. 1819, and cannot therefore be used. Oberholser (Smiths. Misc. Coll. 60, p. 18, 1912) shows that Lesson's name ornata is the earliest available name which can be used.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.3 1926.
Title in Book: 
1282. Leptocoma ornata ornata
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Malay Yellow Breasted Sunbird
Cinnyris jugularis ornatus
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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