931. Pitta cyanoptera.
The Lesser Blue-winged Pitta.
Turdus molucceusis *, P. L. S. Mull. Natursyst. Suppl. v. 144 (1776). Pitta cyanoptera, Temm. PL Col. pl. 218 (1823); Blyth, Cat. p. 157 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 183; Sclater, Cat. B. M. xiv, p. 420; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 283. Brachyurus cyanopterus (Temm.), Elliot, Mon. Pitt. pl. iv. Brachyurus moluccensis (Mull), Elliot, Ibis, 1870, p. 413; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 106. Pitta moluccensis (Mull.), Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 240 ; Hume, Cat. no. 345 bis; Oates, B. B. i, p. 415.
Coloration. Crown from the nostrils to the nape fulvous-brown ; lores, cheeks, ear-coverts, a stripe over the eye, and a broad band round the back of the head black ; a dark brown stripe over the head from the forehead to the nape ; back, scapulars, and tertiaries dull green ; rump, upper tail-coverts, and the smaller upper wing-coverts bright ultramarine-blue; chin immediately near the bill blackish, remainder of chin and throat white ; breast, abdomen, and flanks ruddy buff ; a broad stripe down the abdomen, the vent, and under tail-coverts bright crimson ; tail black, tipped with dull blue ; primaries black, each feather with a large patch of white ; secondaries black, edged with dull blue on the terminal half; tertiaries black, tipped and margined with bluish green; larger wing-coverts dull green, edged with bright blue; under wing-coverts black.
Young birds have the coronal streak broader, and the feathers of the crown are narrowly margined with black; the wing-coverts are dull blue, and the colours of the other parts of the body less bright than in the adult.
Iris dark brown; eyelid and ocular region plumbeous ; bill black; inside of mouth flesh-colour ; legs fleshy pink ; cla"ws horn-colour.
Length 8 ; tail 1.6 ; wing 4.9 ; tarsus 1.7 ; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. The southern portion of Arrakan; Pegu; Tenasserim. This Pitta is a seasonal visitor to the northern portion of its range, visiting Arrakan, Pegu, and Northern Tenasserim in April and May, and leaving in July. It appears to be a permanent resident in Southern Tenasserim. It ranges to Siam and down the Malay peninsula to some of the islands.
Habits, &c. Breeds in May, June, and July, constructing a large oven-shaped nest of leaves, roots, and earth, matted together on the ground or on a large branch or fallen tree near the ground. The eggs, usually five in number, are white, richly marked with red and purple, and measure about 1.05 by 0.87.
* This name conveys an erroneous impression of this bird's habitat, and has been very properly rejected by most authors.