1086. Macropteryx coronata.
The Indian Crested Swift.
Hirundo coronata, Tickell, J. A. S. B. ii, p. 580 (1833). Macropteryx coronata, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 21; id. Cat. p. 87; Layard, A. M. N. H. (2) xii, p. 167 ; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 254; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 86; Wardl.-Rams. Ibis, [1877, p. 458; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 12; id. in Hume's N. & F. 2nd ed. iii, p. 36; Hartert, Cat. B. M. xvi, p. 512. Dendrochelidon coronata, Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 185; Beavan, His, 1865, p. 405; 1869, p. 405; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 169; Hume, J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 114; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 384; vii, p. 202 ; Hume & Dav. 8. F. vi, p. 51; Leyge, Birds Ceyl. p. 328; Hume, Cat. no. 104; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 48 ; Butler, ibid. p. 380; Parker, ibid. p. 476 ; Davidson, S. F. x, p. 294; Terry, ibid. p. 470; Swinhoe & Barnes, Ibis, 1885, p. 60; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 88; Littledale, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. i, p. 190.
Coloration. Male. Upper plumage and sides of neck, throat, breast, and flanks bluish ashy; sincipital crest and upper wing-coverts darker and glossed with bluish green; wing and tail-feathers dark brown with a green gloss; a very narrow white superciliary line ; lores velvety black; ear-coverts and a moustacbial stripe from them to the chin chestnut; chin the same but paler; abdomen and lower tail-coverts white, which passes gradually into the grey of the breast and flanks.
Female without any chestnut; ear-coverts blackish grey, bordered below by a narrow whitish stripe from the gape ; chin grey like the throat and breast.
Young barred; the feathers of the upper plumage with broad brownish-grey borders, white at the edge, those of the lower parts with brown subterminal bars.
Bill black; iris dark brown; eyelids plumbeous; legs pinkish brown (Oates).
Length about 9.5; tail 5.25 to end of outer, 1.75 to end of middle feathers; wing 6.2; tarsus .4.
Distribution. The better wooded parts of India and Ceylon, and throughout Burma, except in Southern Tenasserim; also in Siam. This Swift occurs along the base of the Himalayas as far west as Dehra Dun; it is wanting in the Punjab, Sind, and the parts of Rajputana, the Deccan, Carnatic, &c. that are deficient in trees, and is, even where common, very locally distributed.
Habits, &c. The Crested Swift is commonly seen in small parties about groves of trees and pieces of water in or near forest, flying elegantly but not very rapidly for a Swift, and frequently perching on dead branches at the tops of trees. It has a habit when perching of erecting its peculiar sincipital crest. It has, as Jerdon says, a loud parrot-like call, often uttered on the wing and also when perching. It makes a minute saucer-shaped nest, only about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, of flakes of bark and sometimes a few feathers cemented together, and attached to the side of a horizontal dead twig or branch with saliva. The nest is so small that it is with difficulty seen, and the Swift sits on the branch with its body over the nest. The breeding-season is from April to June, and a single egg is laid, white, without gloss, and elongately-oval in shape. An egg in Mr. Hume's collection measured .85 by .55 inch, but he looked on this as small.