(1298) Dicaeum cruentatum ignitum.
The Burmese Scarlet-backed Flower-pecker.
Nectarinia ignita Begbie, Malay Pen.", p, 518 (1834) (Malay Peninsula). Dicaeum cruentatum. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 370 (part).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Only differs from the preceding bird in being less buff on the lower surface, more especially in the females. The individual variation in this respect is very great, but in no females from Burma southwards does the under surface of the females approach the uniform deep buff of the few females available for comparison from the type-locality of D. c. cruentatum. As one works farther South the tone of the lower plumage becomes less buff and more grey, Javan and Sumatran birds being wholly grey below and generally easily separable.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding bird.
Measurements. Wing 45 to 50 mm.
Distribution. The whole of Burma except the Northern Chin Hills; Shan States, Malay Peninsula to Java and Sumatra.
Nidification. Oates found this Flower-pecker breeding in some numbers in Pegu, making their nests, similar to those of the Indian Scarlet-backed Flower-pecker, high up in trees, very frequently in Mango trees. He remarks on the skill with which the nest is concealed under the drooping leaves, a skill shown equally well by almost every member of this genus. Oates also says that in the Burmese bird the exterior of the nest is often, decorated with a few oddments such as excretae of caterpillars small dry blossoms etc. This is a feature I have never seen in the nest of the Indian bird. The breeding-season is from February to the middle of April. The eggs taken by Oates vary in length between 14.0 and 16.7 mm., and in breadth between 9*7 and 10.7 mm. One egg in my collection is still smaller and measures only 13.1 x 10.6 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of the preceding race and, like that bird, ascends the hills to about the same elevation.