1046. Callialcyon lilacina.
The Ruddy Kingfisher.
Alcedo coromanda, Latham, Ind. Orn. i, p. 252 (1790). Halcyon coromanda, Steph. Shaw's Gen. Zool. xiii, pt. 2, p. 100; Sharpe, Mon. Alc. p. 155, p. 57; Ball, J. A. S. B. xii, pt. 2, p. 277 ; Hume, S. F. ii, pp. 169, 494 ; xi, p. 44; id. Cat. no. 131; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 70 ; Wardl.-Ramsay, His, 1877, p. 456; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 75; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 81; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xvii, p. 217. Halcyon lilacina, Swains. Classif. B. ii, p. 335 (1837); Bonap. Consp. Av. i, p. 156. Alcyon calipyga, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 82 (1844), descr. nulla. Halcyon coromander, Blyth, Cat. p. 47. Halcyon coromandelianus, Horsf. & M. Cat. p. 126; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 227. Callialcyon coromanda, Walden, Ibis, 1873, p. 302.
Coloration. Upper parts, with the wing and tail, and sides of the head and neck light chestnut or cinnamon, more or less overlaid with a red-violet gloss ; middle of lower back and rump white, mixed with pale blue and occasionally with violet: lower parts rufous, varying in depth, paler on the throat and chin.
Young with dark edges to the breast-feathers.
Bill red, blackish at the base ; iris brown; legs and claws red (Oates).
Length about 10.25; tail 2.6; wing 4.3; tarsus .65; bill from gape 2.5.
Skins from the base of the Himalayas and from Burma, even from Tenasserim, are paler above and below, and much less suffused with violet gloss than Andaman specimens, and the latter are rather larger. The difference appears greater than in the case of H. smyrnensis and the variety H. saturatior. Andaman birds resemble those from the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago (true H. lilacina). Indo-Burmese birds are more like Japanese (H. schlegeli).
The specific name coromanda, although the oldest, cannot be applied to a bird that is not found in the Peninsula of India.
Distribution. Lower Himalayas up to about 5000 feet, in Eastern Nepal, Sikhim, and farther East; Assamese and Burmese countries, generally distributed but rare; also the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes, the Philippines, Eastern China, and Japan.
Habits, &c. A shy bird, generally found in forests and not unfrequently near the coast in mangrove-swamps.