1430. Thereieeryx zeylanicus caniceps

(1430) Thereiceryx zeylanicus caniceps (Franklin).
Thereiceryx zeylanicus caniceps, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 110.
The Northern Green. Barbet is found roughly North of the Bombay Presidency and of a line drawn South of Mt. Aboo to the months of the Cauvery. It occurs throughout the Himalayan Terai and as far East as Bihar and Western Bengal, straggling as far as Calcutta.
Where found this Barbet is the same familiar bird as the other races are, building in dead trees in avenues, gardens and the vicinity of towns and villages. Two notes, one by Jesse from Lucknow and one given me by Coltart from Bihar, suffice to illustrate the nesting habits of this very common bird. Jesse says : “These Barbets and the Copper-Smith are equally common bare and breed in similar places, generally in dead, or partly dead, trees beside the more jungly roads. The latter birds elects branches on the under-side of which she makes her tunnel, but the Green Barbet more often drills her nest-hole in the trunk of the tree or in one of the main upright branches.”
Coltart, however, says : “They seem to make their nest-holes here in any position and in any kind of tree, either by the roadside, in a tree in cultivated fields, or in a tree in an orchard or garden. The nest is seldom at any great height from the ground, most often between 10 and 12 feet,”
My own experience agrees with Col tart’s, but Hume says “we found no nest-hole at a less height than 20 feet, and one was at least 50 feet from the ground.”
Mango-trees in orchards are certainly a very favourite nesting site. I think they prefer such as are slightly decayed inside but comparatively sound outside, yet I have taken eggs in a stump so rotten that it seemed a touch would upset it. This particular stump was almost riddled with holes, at least half-a-dozen, all loading into the same hollow, evidently occupied year after year.
The breeding season lasts from March to May. Hume says generally March and April ; Beavan gives the same months for Manbhum and Cock for Oudh, though he also took three fresh eggs in early June, while Coltart took eggs as late as the 23rd July, these probably being second broods.
The usual full clutch of eggs is three, less often four and, occasionally, two only.Thereiceryx zeylanicus caniceps
The Northern Green Barbet . (Pachmarhi, 3. 7. 26.)
Thirty eggs average 29.3 x 22.3 mm. : maxima 30.1 x 23.0 mm. ; minima 27.3 x 20.7 and 29.3 x 20.1 mm.
Both sexes assist in boring the nest-entrance and tunnel. Cock says : “The holes are excavated in a wonderfully short time, considering the instrument the bird works with. I have watched the bird working continuously for some hours without stopping its work.”
Those I have watched only worked for short spells, the males and females relieving each other every ten minutes or so.

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: 
1430. Thereieeryx zeylanicus caniceps
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Norrn Green Barbet
Megalaima zeylanica caniceps
Vol. 3

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