(641) Cyornis cyanea.
The White-tailed Blue Flycatcher.
Muscitrea cyanea Hume, S, F., v, p. 101 (1877) (Muleyit). Cyornis cyaneus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 13.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description.— Adult male. Lores and narrow frontal line black, remainder of forehead, crown, nape and lesser wing-coverts cobalt-blue, brightest over the eye; remaining wing-coverts and upper plumage deep blue; wing-quills dark brown edged with blue; tail, four central feathers dull blue, the third pair broadly white on both webs almost to the tip, the white decreasing in extent on each pair, and confined to a broad line on the edge of the base of the inner web of the outermost pair ; sides of head, chin, throat and breast dull blue fading to grey on the flanks and lower breast, and to white on the abdomen, vent and lower tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown ; bill black; legs and feet fleshy-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 175 mm.; wing 91 to 93 mm.; tail 66 to 72 mm.; tarsus about 23 to 24 mm.; culmen about 18 to 19 mm.
Female. Lores and forehead next the bill mottled white and fulvous; upper plumage olive-brown tinged with rufous, mostly so on the rump and least so on the crown; wing-feathers dark brown edged with bright rufous; tail like that of the male, but brown, not blue; ear-coverts olive-brown pale-shafted, a bold patch of white on the throat; remainder of lower plumage dull rufous-brown paling to white on the abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts as in male.
Measurements rather smaller than male; wing 89 mm. Young are probably brown, richer in colour than the female, spotted above with fulvous and squamated below. Not quite adult specimens show traces of this plumage, but there appear to be no really juvenile specimens in any museum.
Distribution. The mountains of Tenasserim down the Malay Peninsula as far as Perak. A single specimen was also obtained by Dr. H. N. Coltart through the Nagas from the higher ranges of hills, over 5,000 feet, above Margherita.
Nidification. Nothing on record except that a nest was brought to Dr. Coltart, with the bird above referred to, containing a single egg. The remains of the nest were those of a deep cup made almost entirely of moss, which had, according to the Nagas, been placed in a hollow in a rocky bank in deep forest. These Nagas came from a range well over 5,000 feet. The single egg is a pale yellow-grey stone-colour, freckled all over with innumerable tiny specks of reddish brown. It measures 23.9 x 18.0 mm., and was taken on the 25th June. Other eggs subsequently obtained, and believed by Dr. Coltart to be those of this Flycatcher, arc, I find, referable to Cyornis unicolor.
Habits. According to Davison this is a bird of deep forests, never descending to the ground, but catching its prey on the wing like most other Flycatchers. "When resting it has a habit of expanding its tail to show the white pattern just as Siphia does.