Genus HALCYON

There is much difference of opinion as to the limits of the present genus. In the British Museum Catalogue it comprises the forms here referred to Callialcyon, Sauropatis, and Caridagrus, and contains 53 species, whilst by many writers it is restricted to the type H. senegalensis and its allies. I do not see any necessity for generically distinguishing H. smyrnensis and H. pileata from H. senegalensis; but the differences between Halcyon and Sauropatis, for instance, appear to me quite as great as those usually regarded as of generic importance in the present work.

In Halcyon the bill is red throughout, large, rather broad at the base, the culmen straight, rounded above and without any distinct groove at the side. The wing is rounded, the 3rd quill generally longest. Tail moderate, longer than culmen, slightly rounded at the end. One of the characteristic features in the plumage is the presence of a large white patch on the wing formed by the basal portions of the primary quills.

Key to the Species.

Head and neck above chestnut; no white collar………………………….H. smyrnensis, p. 132.
Crown black; a white collar………………………….H. pileata, p. 133.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
Genus HALCYON
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1895
Page No: 
131
M_ID: 
9100
M_SN: 
Halcyon
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
1441

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