(1299) Dicaeum cruentatum siamensis.
The Siam Scarlet-backed Flower-pecker.
Dicaeum cruentatum siamensis Kloss, Ibis, 1918, p. 216 (Lat Bua Kao, Eastern Siam).
Vernacular names. Nok-a-chip-suan (Siam).
Description. The male differs from each of the other forms in its very pale lower parts, almost pure white without any trace of buff.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. The same as in the other races.
Distribution. Siam and Annam. A few specimens from Eastern Tenasserim must be referred to this race.
Nidification. Herbert found the Siam Scarlet-backed Flower-pecker breeding abundantly in the fruit groves and flower gardens round about Bangkok. The nest is much like that of the other races but seems to have more fibre and cobweb in its construction and to be even more freely decorated externally with various scraps, chiefly the " woody refuse from the entrance-holes of wood-boring caterpillars." The breeding-season is January and February and in the latter month of 1920 Herbert saw no less than ten of their nests in the Bansukai Gardens. Like the other races they lay two or three eggs, quite indistinguishable in any way from those already described. Ten eggs average 14.1 x 10.6 mm.; maxima 15.0 x 11.1 mm.; minima 13.6 x 10.0 mm.
Herbert records that this race breeds most often on fruit-trees between 15 and 20 feet from the ground, whilst he has also taken a nest from a lime-bush within four feet of it.
Habits. Those of the species, but they seem to keep more entirely to cultivated and open lands rather than forests.