1045. Halcyon pileata

1045. Halcyon pileata.

The Black-capped Kingfisher.

Alcedo pileata, Bodd. Tall. Pl. Enl. p. 41 (1783). Alcedo atricapilla, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 453 (1788). Halcyon atricapillus, Blyth, Cat. p. 47 ; Layard, A. M. N. H. (2) xii, p. 171; Horsf, & M. Cat. p. 124; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 226; Beavan, Ibis, 1867, p. 319; 1869, p. 409; Blanf. Ibis, 1870, p. 465; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 168; iv, p. 287. Halcyon pileata, Sharpe, Mon. Alc. p. 169, pl. 62 ; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 470; xi, p. 45; id. Cat. no. 130; Armstr. S. F. iv, p. 306; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 70; Wardl.-Rams. Ibis, 1877, p. 456 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xlvii, pt. 2, p. 14 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, pp. 74, 499; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 301; Bingham, S. F. viii, p. 193 ; ix, p. 154 ; tidal, S. F. ix, p. 49; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 83; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 100; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xvii, p. 229.

The Black-capped Purple Kingfisher, Jerdon.

Coloration. Crown, nape, and sides of head black, a few white feathers below the eye ; a broad white or buff collar round the neck, followed by a blackish band; scapulars, back, rump, upper tail-coverts, upper surface of tail, outer webs of secondaries and tertiaries outside, and greater primary-coverts deep blue, brighter on the lower back and rump; remainder of upper wing-coverts black ; primary-quills black at the tips, the first primaries for half their length, the inner primaries for less, basal portion white with the outer web pale lilac, a little of the outer web beyond the lilac part blue, secondaries black except on the dorsal surface of the outer web outside ; chin, throat, and middle of breast white ; sides of throat and breast and remainder of lower surface, with the wing-lining, ferruginous buff; tail black beneath.

In young birds and in many females the breast-feathers have dark borders, and there are black spots on the sides of the throat.

Bill deep red; iris dark brown; legs dark red (Oates). Length about 12; tail 3.25; wing 5; tarsus .6; bill from gape 2.8.

Distribution. A single specimen was obtained by Jerdon at Tellicherry, Malabar coast, and another by Layard in Northern Ceylon. The only other known locality in India is on the Ganges, where this Kingfisher has been found as high as Monghyr. It is more common in the Sundarbans and down the Burmese coast, being especially abundant in the Irrawaddy delta. It also occurs in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is seldom found inland, but Oates obtained a specimen on the Irrawaddy at Palow, below Thayet Myo, and it appears, according to Davison and Bingham, to wander up the Tenasserim rivers from September till February. It ranges through the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago to Celebes, also through Siam, Cambodia and China, to Corea.

Habits, &c. This Kingfisher, though chiefly found on salt-water creeks and mangrove-swamps, haunts fresh-water streams at times. It lives on fish and crabs and has, like most Kingfishers, a shrill cry.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
1045. Halcyon pileata
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Black Capped Kingfisher
Black-capped Kingfisher
Halcyon pileata
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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