1019. Xantholaema haematocephala.
The Crimson-breasted Barbet or Coppersmith.
Bucco haematocephalus, P. L. S. Mull. Natursyst., Anhang, p. 88 (1776). Bucco philippinensis, Cm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 407 (1788); Sundevall, A. M. N. H. (1) xviii, p. 397. Bucco indicus, Lath. Ind. Orn. i, p. 205 (1790). Megalaima philippensis, Blyth, Cat. p. 68. Xantholaema indica, Horsf. M. Cat. ii, p. 644; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 315; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 22; King, ibid. p. 214; Beavan, Ibis, 1869, p. 416; McMaster, J. A. S. B. xl, pt. 2, p. 209; Walden, Ibis, 1871, p. 162. Xantholaema haemacephala, Marshall, Mon. Cap. p. 101, pl. 42; Hayes Lloyd, Ibis, 1873, p. 407 ; Adam, S. F. ii, p. 466; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 460; ix, p. 387 ; Blanford, S. F. v, p. 245; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 155; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 206 ; Cripps, ibid. p. 264 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 218; Hume, Cat. no. 197; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 253 ; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 54; Reid, S. F. x, p. 26 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 136; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 329 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 122; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 69. Megalaema hasmacephala, Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 74; Fair-bank, S. F. v, p. 397. Xantholaema haematocephala, Shelley, Cat. B. M. xix, p. 89.
Kat-Khora, Tambayat, H.; Chota bussunt bairi, Chota-benebo, Beng.; Phouk Bussunt, Manbhum; Bussunta lisora, N. W. P. ; Juktuk, Mahr. ; Tokoji, Tel.; Kokoorupan, Tamil (Ceylon) ; Kotoruwa, Mal-Kotoruwa, Cing.; Hnet-padane, Burm.
Coloration. Lores black ; forehead and sinciput crimson, a black band across the vertex extending down each side of the head behind the eye to the malar region ; occiput and sides of neck greyish green, remainder of upper parts olivaceous green, varying to yellowish ; primary-coverts and quills blackish, the quills with pale yellow inner margins, and some primaries pale-edged outside near the tip ; a broad supercilium and a still broader streak below the eye, with the chin and throat, bright yellow ; fore neck crimson, fringed below by golden yellow; breast, abdomen, and under tail-coverts yellowish white, streaked longitudinally with olive or olivaceous green, especially on the flanks; tail faintly washed beneath with pale verditer-blue.
The young is duller in colour and wants the crimson and black on the head.
Bill black; irides dark hazel; nude orbital skin dull crimson; feet coral-red ; claws black (Jerdon).
Length about 6.5; tail 1.5; wing 3.2; tarsus .8; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. Common throughout the greater part of the Empire, with the exception of the Himalayas and the higher ranges of the Peninsula and Burma. Pare in the Punjab, Sind, and Cutch, in Southern Malabar (south of Patnagiri), and in the damper forests of Ceylon, in Assam, the hill-tracts south of the Assam Valley, and in Southern Tenasserim. This bird is only found in the valleys of the outer Himalayas up to 2000 or 3000 feet. It ranges to the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and the Philippines.
Habits, &c. One of the commonest and most familiar of Indian birds, the "Coppersmith " may be found in almost every garden, mango-grove or banyan tree, and its monotonous note took, took, took, resembling the tap of a hammer on metal, repeated at short regular intervals, is well known to most residents in the country. This bird, like other Indian Barbets, lives on fruit, but it takes insects occasionally. Captain Bulger (Ibis, 1866, p. 218) saw it feeding on flying termites. It breeds in Northern India in March, April, and May, earlier farther south, and in Ceylon from January to June, excavating a nest-hole of the usual kind and laying usually 3 or 4 eggs, which are white, fragile, with little or no gloss, and measure about .99 by .69.