647. Cyanecula suecica.
The Indian Blue-throat.
Motacilla suecica, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 336, part. (1766). Motacilla caerulecula, Pall. Zoogr. Ross.-Asiat. i, p. 480 (1811). Cyanecula suecica (Linn.), Blyth, Cat. p. 167; Horsf. M. Cat. i, p. 311; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 152; Hume & Henders. Lah. to York. p. 214; Anders. Yunnan Exped. p. 614; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 443; Hume, Cut. no. 514; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 304; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 209. Erithacus caeruleculus (Pall.), Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 308; Oates, B. B. i, p. 15.
Huseni-pidda, Hind.; Nil kunthi, Hind, in the N.; Gunpigera, Gurpedra, Beng.; Dumbak, Sind.
Coloration. Male. Whole upper plumage with wings brown, the feathers of the head and back with darker centres ; chin and throat bright blue, with a chestnut spot in the centre of the throat; below the blue a band of black and below this a broader band of chestnut; lores black; a stripe from the nostrils to the eye fulvous ; cheeks and ear-coverts mixed fulvous and black; belly, flanks, vent, and under tail-coverts buffish white ; middle tail-feathers brown, the others chestnut on the basal half and brown on the terminal half.
Female. The whole lower plumage buffish white, with a broad brown-spotted gorget across the breast.
It is seldom that the male is in the full plumage described above. The amount of blue and chestnut on the throat varies much ; and sometimes only the presence of a few blue feathers serves to indicate that the bird is a male.
The nestling is blackish above streaked with fulvous, and fulvous below, each feather edged with black.
Bill black, the base flesh-colour ; iris brown; eyelids plumbeous ; inside of mouth yellowish ; legs dusky fleshy; claws brown.
Length 5.9 ; tail 2.3 ; wing 2.9 ; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape .75.
Distribution. A winter visitor to almost every portion of the Empire and Ceylon. The only parts from which this species has not yet been recorded are the Nicobar Islands and the portion of Tenasserim south of Tavoy, but even in these it probably occurs.
In summer this species is found immediately north of the Himalayas and thence through Asia to the Arctic Circle, extending west throughout Europe and east to the Pacific. In winter it is found not only in India but in North Africa on the one hand and in Southern China on the other.