1436. Cyanops asiatica asiatica

(1436) Cyanops asiatica asiatica (Lath.).
Cyanops asiatica asiatica, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 116.
This Blue-throated Barbet extends from Kashmir and Kuman, through the Simla States and Garhwal, whore it is rare, to Eastern Bengal and Assam. Thence it extends East to Siam and South to the hilly country of Northern Tenasserim,
This is a Barbet of forest or very heavily wooded country, rarely breeding in trees in open cultivation. It breeds from the foot-hills up to about 4,000 feet in South Assam, but in the true Himalayas North of the Brahmapootra it occurs at much higher elevations, probably up to 8,000 feet.
I have seen an immense number of nest-holes of this Barbet, which is extraordinarily common in the Surrma Valley bills. These were all quite typical Barbet nest-holes in trees, cut out by the birds themselves, generally in the larger limbs or the trunks of trees at heights varying from 5 to 25 feet from the ground. Sometimes the holes are drilled in smaller branches at greater heights, hut these are exceptional. If drilled in branches the entrance is always on the underside and, in most eases, trees are selected in which the trunk or some of the branches are more or less decayed inside, The entrance is roughly 2 to 3 inches wide, while the tunnel may be anything from 4 inches to a foot in length, leading into a wider chamber from 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The eggs are always in my experience laid on the bare wood or on a bed of chips of touch¬wood, collected as they fell during boring operations. I have never seen a lining of any kind in the holes, but Hume writes of some nest-holes :—“The one first mentioned had a large pad of shavings, apparently taken off by a plane and collected by the birds.
“Another nest-hole found in July, containing three eggs, had also in it a large pad consisting almost exclusively of coarse fibre, apparently strips of bark of some herbaceous plant, but a few pieces of grass, a piece of red wool, and one or two similar miscellaneous scraps are intermingled in the pad.”
I should imagine that in both these instances the Barbets’ residence had been temporarily occupied by Magpie-Robins or some other bird.
Unlike most Barbets, this species is, I think, double brooded, rearing two broods in the same nest-hole and returning, like all Barbets, year after year to the same chamber, but often making a new entrance.
In the higher elevations the breeding season seems to be restricted to May and June, a few birds breeding in July. In Assam we found eggs regularly from March to June and, but rarely, as late as. August.
The normal full clutch of eggs is three or four, occasionally five.
Forty eggs average 27.8 x 20.5 mm. : maxima 30.0 x 20.8 and 28.1 x 22.1 mm. ; minima 25.0 x 20.0 and 27.1 x 19.8 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: 
1436. Cyanops asiatica asiatica
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Bengal Blue-throated Barbet
Megalaima asiatica asiatica
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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