1308. Dicaeum erythrorhynchus erythrorhynchus

(1308) Dicaeum erythrorhynchus erythrorhynchus (Lath.).
THE INDIAN YELLOW-BILLED FLOWER-PECKER.
Dicoeum erythrorhynchum erythrorhynchum, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. iii, p, 432.
The distribution given in the 'Fauna' is complete and has not been added to since it was published. Northern India from Dehra Dun and Dharmsala to Dacca and Calcutta ; Northern Assam to Dibrugarh ; all Bengal and Bihar ; the United Provinces and the Punjab, South through the Bombay Presidency to the Palni Hills and Mysore ; Central Provinces. In the East it has been recorded from Arakan and Tenasserim and has also been obtained in the Shan Hills.
* Wait points out Birds of Ceylon,’ p, 150) that erythrorhynchus is a compound Greek name and should not alter its termination, whereas ceylonensis should be ceylonense to agree with Dicoeum.
Although Davidson found this bird breeding in some numbers on trees growing in ravines in dense, or rather dense, evergreen-forest in Kanara, it is far more a bird of open and cultivated country than of thick cover. Undoubtedly its favourite site is a Mango grove, in which it builds its nest in the thick foliage of the trees at heights between 10 and 20 feet, and very seldom at the great heights affected by some other Flower-peckers. It is really a bird of the plains, though it is also found in the low hills and broken country adjacent to them. In the Outer Himalayas it ascends only to some 4,000 feet and only exceptionally so high as this.
The nest requires no description, as it is exactly like those of the genus already described, Beavan, Butler and others have all said that the nest of this bird reminds them of that of Arachnechthra (=Leptocoma), but to me they bear little resemblance. The tiny white egg-shaped nest of Dicoeum, made of the finest cotton-down, which everywhere shows through the binding material of grass-stems, fibre etc., is very unlike the very untidy, almost shapeless ball or long purse-nest built by the Sunbirds, which is always more or less adorned with many oddments hanging about in all directions.
Mr. O, C. Ollenbach sends me a most interesting note on this bird’s breeding. After describing nests and sites, both agreeing well with what other writers have written, he goes on :—“Do you know if it is the habit of these Flower-peckers to build their nests near ants’ nests. The Dicoeum nests I have recently taken have been built almost alongside nests of the vicious red tree-ant. Curiously enough the ants do not molest the birds or their brood though they swarm over the nest itself.” This combination of nests, quite possibly because the birds seek the protection of the ants, has never before, I believe, been noticed of this genus.
The breeding season is from February to June, and many pairs have two broods, building a new home for each brood, often within a few paces or less of the last one.
Beavan took eggs at Barachabee in March and April ; Aitken took one at Poona on the 10th April, in which month Butler also took eggs in Belgaum. Cock says that in Oudh they generally breed in May, but Jesse took many nests with eggs at Lucknow in February and March. Davidson obtained eggs from February to June, while in Bihar Inglis and Coltart took nests with eggs from March to July.
The eggs number two only, very seldom three, and are quite typical.
Thirty eggs average 14.4 x 10.5 mm. : maxima 15..1 x 11.1 mm. ; minima 13.1 x 10.2 and 14.1 x 10.1 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1308. Dicaeum erythrorhynchus erythrorhynchus
Spp Author: 
Lath.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1308
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
244
Common name: 
Indian Yellow Billed Flower Pecker
M_ID: 
28736
M_SN: 
Dicaeum erythrorhynchos erythrorhynchos
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14406

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith