1586. Harpactes erythrocephalus erythrocephalus

(1586) Harpactes erythrocephalum erythrocephala Gould.
Pyrotrogon erythrocephalus erythrocephalum, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 316.
Harpactes erythrocephalum erythrocephala, ibid, vol. viii, p. 680.
This fine Trogon is found in the sub-Himalayas from Nepal and Eastern Assam and thence through Manipur, Lushai, the Hill-Tracts of Eastern Bengal, and over the whole of Burma as far South as Tenasserim.
This Red-headed Trogon is common, though but seldom seen, in most deep evergreen forest between 1,000 and 2,500 feet, but it is also resident in the plains next the foot-hills and in the hills themselves up to 4,000 and exceptionally up to 5,000 feet. I never found it breeding in thin bamboo-jungle, but Gammie found a breeding-hole in thin mixed bamboo and small tree-forest in Sikkim at about 2,000 feet elevation. Oates in Pegu and Bingham in Tenasserim also found their nests in forest only.
I took many clutches of eggs in the hills South of the Brahma¬pootra and it was equally common in Lakhimpur, It almost invariably selects as a breeding site a natural hole in some very rotten tree, not too big or too small to be both warm and comfortable. The entrance is generally a wide one but, occasionally, the birds will enlarge an entrance which is too small to suit them, or, still more occasionally, they will make a nest-chamber for themselves but, in such cases, they choose a tree so rotten that one can tear it to pieces with the fingers. Two or three times I have known deserted Woodpeckers’ or Barbets’ nest-holes taken possession of, and Coltart also found a similar instance on one occasion. The hole selected is most often between 5 and 15 feet from the ground, sometimes a little higher, rarely a little lower. There is no nest, and the eggs lie on the chips of touchwood or on any debris which may have been blown into the hole.
The breeding season is generally May and June, but I have taken eggs from the 14th of April to the 17th July and one on the 4th August. They are not double-brooded so far as I know but, if the eggs be taken, they will at once lay again and, usually, in the same hollow. They sit close, both sexes incubating and both sometimes being found in the nesting-hole together. In the dark woods one often fails to notice the bird as it slips silently out of the hole, though attention is generally attracted by its little mewing cry as it flies off.
They lay three or four eggs, one number as often as the other ; these are the usual buff in colour, and are typical in shape and texture.
Eighty eggs average 28.6 x 24.0 mm. : maxima 33.0 x 23.2 and 29.5 x 25.7 mm. ; minima 26.1 x 24.5 and 29.0 x 22.0 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1586. Harpactes erythrocephalus erythrocephalus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Burmese Red Headed Trogon
Harpactes erythrocephalus erythrocephalus
Vol. 3

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