930. Pitta cyanea.
The Blue Pitta.
Pitta cyanea, Blyth, J. A. 8. B. xii, p. 1008 (1843) ; id. Cat. p. 157 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 182; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 238; Hume, Cat. no. 344 ter; Sclater, Cat. B. M. xiv, p. 417; Oates in Hume's N. & B. 2nd ed. ii, p. 282. Brachyurus cyaneus (Blyth), Elliot, Mon. Pitt. pi. xiii; id. Ibis, 1870, p. 413; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 107. Eucichla cyanea (Blyth), Oates, B. B. i, p. 419; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. (2) v, p. 575.
Coloration. Male. The lores and a broad streak from the eye over the ear-coverts to the nape black; forehead and crown greenish grey, changing to red, and giving place entirely to red on the nape, where the feathers are long and form a crest; a black streak from the bill, over the centre of the crown, to the nape; the whole upper plumage and tail blue ; quills of the wing brown, each with a white patch at the base; cheeks and ear-coverts fulvous; below these a black moustachial stripe; chin and throat whitish, mottled with black; remainder of lower plumage light blue, barred with black, and the breast washed with yellow; the abdomen and lower tail-coverts paler blue, and barely barred at all.
Female. Differs from the male in having the upper plumage brown, tinged with blue, and the lower plumage yellowish brown, barred with black.
Bill black; inside of mouth dusky fleshy ; iris dark reddish brown; eyelids plumbeous; legs pinkish flesh-colour; claws whitish.
Length about 9 inches; tail 2.3; wing 4.5; tarsus 1.8; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. Bhutan; Hill Tipperah; Arrakan; Pegu; Tenasserim as far south as Tavoy ; extending to Siam.
Habits, &c. Breeds in May, constructing a massive globular nest of earth, leaves, and twigs on the ground. The eggs, four or five in number, are white, marked with various shades of purple, and measure about 1.07 by .84.