(1331) Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchus macrorhynchus.
The Black-and-Red Broadbill.
Todus macrorhynchus Gmel., Syst. Nat., i, p. 446 (1788) (Borneo). Cymborhynchus macrorhynchus. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 7
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Crown, lores, face, chin, a broad pectoral band, back and greater part of wings and tail black; ear-coverts, throat and lower plumage from the pectoral band to the under tail-coverts crimson; scapulars lengthened and nearly all white; edge of the shoulder of the wing orange ; a patch of white on the inner webs of the inner primaries nearly always concealed ; thighs black; under wing-coverts and axillaries mottled black and cream-colour, outer rectrices with a white spot near the tip of the inner web, always absent on the two central pairs and generally on the second and third pairs. In some Bornean specimens the whole of the tail is black ; in some the outermost feathers have white spots and in a Few the fourth pair are also marked with white. If this character is considered sufficient to separate the Bornean birds, our rare would then bear the name malaccensis of Salvadori. I find, however, such great variation in the amount of white even in birds as far North as Tenasserim that I feel it is unsafe to divide them.
Colours of soft parts. " Irides emerald-green, shot with gold ; upper mandible and a line bordering the edge of the lower mandible brilliant blue, remainder of the latter yellowish, edges of both transparent white; legs and feet ultramarine-blue ; claws horny " (Bingham) ; " inside of mouth bright blue " (Davison).
Measurements. Total length about 245 mm.; wing 96 to 103 mm.; tail 74 to 87 mm.; tarsus 24 to 26 mm.; culmen 22 to 24 mm. long and 19 to 20 mm. wide at the gape.
Young birds have the black replaced by dark brown ; the crimson of the rump is edged with black and nearly all the wing-coverts have small white spots at the tips; the ear-coverts and throat are brown and the black pectoral band obsolete.
In a few adult individuals the ruby-crimson of the throat is bordered by a very fine line of white next the black; individual variation in the colour of the lower parts is great, the crimson often being splashed with orange.
Distribution. Tenasserim, down the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra and Borneo ; Siam, Annam and Cambodia.
Nidification. The Black-and-Red Broadbill breeds from early March to June and Moulton took one nest as late as July in Borneo. The nests are quite typical of the Broadbills ; very large round or pear-shaped hanging structures built of twigs, stems of plants, moss, leaves and all kinds of vegetable rubbish, very carelessly put together and decorated with lichen, cocoons, spiders' egg-bags etc. all loosely fastened on with cobwebs The lining is fairly compact, inside of grass with a top layer of green leaves. The nest may be built at any height from 3 1/2 to 40 feet from the ground and is suspended from an outer branch of a bush or tree, nearly always over water. A favourite place for building is a mangrove swamp. The number of eggs laid is two or three and the colouring varies considerably. One type - the most common - has the ground-colour a pale dull salmon, freckled all over with dull pale reddish-brown, in a few eggs the freckles being larger and becoming small ill-defined blotches. A second type has the ground-colour white or nearly so, whilst the marks-are of claret or purplish-red. A third type has the ground white, the marks. less numerous and almost purple-black in colour. Twenty-four eggs average 26.8 x 18.8 mm.: maxima 29.3 x 18.8 and 25.7 x 20.7 mm.; minima 25.0 x 20.0 and 25.6 x 18.2 mm.
Habits. This is the most familiar of all the Broadbills, for though it sometimes frequents both light and heavy forest it is constantly to be met with in gardens both in and round about villages and even towns, such as Mergui, where it is very common. It is perhaps a rather more active, alert, bird than most Broad-bills but in other respects differs little from them. It is a bird of the plains, not frequenting hills of any height and being most common on the small islands and the coast.