1259. Chaleostetha chalcostetha

(1259) Chalcostetha chalcostetha Jardine.
Chalcostetha chalcostetha, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2ud ed, vol. iii, p. 373.
This beautiful Sunbird extends from Tenasserim to Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo, Java (type-locality), Palawan, and other islands. It also occurs in Siam and Cochin China (Delacour).
This species is resident and must breed wherever found, but its nests and eggs have not yet been taken within our limits. It is a bird of evergreen-forests in the plains and lower hills up to some 3,000 feet, but is said also to frequent flower-gardens and open country round villages. Where rubber-plantations have been opened out these are said to be very favourite resorts.
In Java Mr. T. Houwing found this bird breeding in great numbers, and the following is a summary of his remarks sent mo with a fine series of the eggs:— "In nine nests out of every ten found by me the nest has been built in a rubber-plantation, generally hanging pendent from a small outer branch of a rubber-tree or less often on some small shrub or sapling at the edge of the jungle adjoining the rubber-trees. The nest is a lovely pear-shaped structure, roughly about 6" long by about 4.1/2" at the widest point, but sometimes these measurements are exceeded by an inch or so, especially in length if the neck of the pear is much drawn out. The materials consist of bits of leaves, moss, grass-roots and feathers all well interwoven and mixed with Kapak” (down from seeds of Bombax malabarica) “which is felted in with the rest. Over the entrance there is a porch which comes down to the lower edge, completely protecting it from rain. This and the outside of the nest are often decorated with spiders’ cocoons, caterpillar excretae etc. The lining is of cotton-down or vegetable silk, sometimes mixed with hair or feathers, but sometimes all Kapak, The full clutch of eggs is invariably two.”
The breeding season lasts from early April to the end of September, most eggs being laid in May and June.
In ground-colour the eggs are pale grey, olive or buff-stone colour, mottled all over with pale sepia or purplish-brown, and with spots and small blotches of black or deep purple, with the edges paler and looking as if the colour had run. In some eggs the latter markings are absent, and I have one pair mottled with grey instead of brown.
In shape the eggs are short, blunt ovals, the texture is fine, very fragile and glossless.
Thirty eggs average 15.0 x 11.1 mm. : maxima 16.1 x 10.7 and 15.4 x 11.9 mm. ; minima 12.9 x 11.1 and 15.0 x 10.3 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: 
1259. Chaleostetha chalcostetha
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Copper Breasted Sunbird
Copper-throated Sunbird
Leptocoma calcostetha
Vol. 3

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