1042. Pelargopsis leucocephala.
The Nicobar Stork-billed Kingfisher.
Alcedo leucocephala, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 456 (1788). Pelargopsis leucocephala, Sharpe, P. Z. S. 1870, p. 64 ; id. Mon. Alc. p. 99, pl. 31. Pelargopsis fraseri, Ball, S. F. i, p. 57; nec Sharpe. Pelargopsis intermedia, Hume, S. F. ii, p. 166 (1874); id. Cat. no. 127 ter; Sharpe, S. F. ii, p. 489; id. Cat. B. M. xvii, p. 99.
Coloration. Whole head, neck, and lower parts, including wing-lining, deep ochreous (brownish yellow); the crown spotted irregularly with brown from some of the feathers having dark brown centres, but there is no distinct cap ; upper back, scapulars, wings above, longer upper tail-coverts, and tail above deep blue, slightly greenish on the upper back, scapulars, and wing-coverts ; primaries, except the outer webs near the base, inner webs of secondaries, and lower surface of quills and tail-feathers dark brown ; middle of back, rump, and anterior upper tail-coverts bright pale cobalt-blue.
Bill coral-red, dusky towards the tip ; irides deep brown; orbital skin and feet bright orange-vermilion (Davison).
Length about 15 ; tail 4; wing 6 ; tarsus .65; bill from gape 3.75.
Distribution. Borneo and the Nicobar Islands. Specimens from the latter were distinguished by Hume under the name P. intermedia on account of being deeper in colour, especially on the back, and wanting the whitish throat. I find, however, that fine Bornean skins are not distinguishable.
Habits, &c. A salt-water form, occasionally seen on the sea-shore, and haunting tidal creeks like P. amauroptera. Nidification unknown.