575. Cyornis rubeculoides.
The Blue-throated Flycatcher.
Phoenicura rubeculoides, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 35 ; Gould, Cent. pl. 25, fig. 1. Cyornis rubeculoides (Fig.), Blyth, Cat. p. 173 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 289; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 466; Hume, N. & E. p. 211; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 227; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Ares, p. 619; Hume, Cut. no. 304 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 164; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 107 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 5. Siphia rubeculoides (Vig.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 445; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 424 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 287. Cyornis dialilaema, Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2) vii, p. 387 (1889).
The Blue-throated Redbreast, Jerd.; Chatki, Beng. Manzhil-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. Forehead and a streak over the eye glis tening blue; lores and the feathers at the base of the bill black; ear-coverts dusky blue; upper plumage dark blue, the tail with black shafts and the inner webs mostly brown ; wings dark brown, each feather narrowly edged with dark blue; lesser wing-coverts bright blue; chin, throat, cheeks, and sides of the neck dusky blue; breast and upper abdomen bright ferruginous; lower abdomen and under tail-coverts white; under wing-coverts pale ferruginous.
Female. Lores albescent; upper plumage olive-brown, tinged with ferruginous, especially on the forehead, round the eye, and on the upper tail-coverts; wings and tail brown, edged with ferruginous ; chin, throat, and breast ruddy ferruginous; abdomen and under tail-coverts white.
The young are brown, streaked above with fulvous, the coverts broadly tipped with fulvous ; throat and breast bright fulvous mottled with brown ; abdomen white.
Iris brown; bill black, flesh-coloured at the gape ; legs and toes pale flesh-colour ; claws pale horn-colour.
Length 5.7; tail 2.4; wing 2.7; tarsus .7 ; bill from gape .7.
All the males of this species throughout the continent of India, and from Assam to Manipur have the blue on the throat of considerable extent, and sharply defined from the red breast. In only a very few instances does the red of the breast run up into the blue for a short distance.
From Manipur to Tenasserim the males almost invariably have the red running up into the blue throat, but a considerable amount of blue is always left between the tip of the red and the angle of the chin. The amount and character of the blue on the sides of the throat also varies a good deal in this species. I am therefore quite unable to recognize the Tenasserim and Karennee race as distinct from the Indian, as the transition from one type to the other is very gradual.
Distribution. The whole extent of the Himalayas up to 6000 or 7000 feet; a considerable portion of the plains of India from the Himalayas to Ceylon ; I have failed to find any record of the occurrence of this species in Sind, the Punjab, Rajputana, Guzerat, and Cutch; the line of migration from Kashmir is apparently along the Himalayas to Nepal, and thence to the plains. In India proper this bird is by no means common, but to the east, throughout Burma down to the extreme south of Tenasserim, it is more abundant. It is found in the Himalayas during the summer, and in the plains during the winter ; but in some portions of the latter this Flycatcher appears to be a constant resident, Hume stating that it breeds in Manipur, and Davison having found the nest in Tenasserim near Ye at the end of March. In Pegu it appeared to me to be only a winter visitor. In the Malay peninsula this species is replaced by C. elegans, in which the throat is a bright blue.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Himalayas from April to June, constructing a nest of moss and lichens in a hole of a tree, bank, or rock. The eggs, three or four in number, are greenish or brownish stone-colour, marked with purplish brown, and measure about .73 by .6.