(1333) Serilophus lunatus lunatus.
Eurylaimus lunatus Gould, P. Z. S., 1833, p. 133 (Rangoon). Serilophus lunatus. Blanf. & Oates, iii, p. 9.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Male. Forehead pale ashy-grey changing to ashy-rufous on the crown and nape ; a broad black supercilium reaching to the nape; back and scapulars darker ashy-brown, changing gradually into chestnut on the rump and upper tail-coverts ; tail black, the outer three or four pairs of feathers with broad white tips ; wing-coverts black; primaries black, a broad speculum of blue on the base of all but the first primary and a broad patch of white at the base of the inner webs of all; third and fourth primaries bluish-grey on the end of the inner web and with broad white tips, primaries on either side showing traces of the white; inner truncated primaries and outer secondaries with broad pale chestnut tips to the inner webs and narrow tips of bright blue; innermost secondaries all pale chestnut; lores and sides of head pale dull chestnut; lower plumage grey, almost white on the throat and abdomen and pure white on the under tail-coverts; thighs black; axillaries and under wing-coverts mixed black and grey.
Colours of soft parts. " Iris dark brown: bill light blue, paler on the culmen, gape and base of both mandibles orange; eyelids greenish-yellow; legs greenish-orange; claws light blue" (Oates).
Measurements. Total length about 175 mm.; wing 83 to 91 mm.; tail 61 to 65 mm.; tarsus 20 to 21 mm.; culmen 14 to 15 mm. long and 13 to 14 mm, wide at the gape.
Female. Differs from the male in having a gorget of silvery-white feathers across the upper breast and sides of the neck.
Distribution. Evergreen forests of Pegu and Karenni to South Tenasserim; South Shan States and Siam. Hopwood also obtained this species at Heinsein in the South Chin Hills. La Touche's S. L elisabethae from Yunnan is very close to the typical form but, perhaps, darker as is the case with most Yunnan birds. Many forms of this species extend to Hainan and down the Malay Peninsula.
Rubropygius and lunatus have generally been considered to be races of the same species but the totally different structure of the outer primaries renders it imperative that they should be treated as full species. Moreover, though the general superficial appearance is much the same there are many minor differences in colour which are quite constant and which are not bridged over by intermediate conditions.
Nidification. At Heinsein Hopwood found this bird breeding in May and he and Mackenzie found many nests in Tenasserim from March to May ; Oates, Bingham and Darling also found nests in these months but Davison had eggs brought to him as late as the 11th July. The nests are similar to those made by other Broadbills but smaller and neater. The nests are made of grass, twigs and plant-stems, lined with bamboo-leaves and grass with a layer of green leaves over them. In size they vary from 10 x 4 inches (Darling) to others measuring as much as 15 x 8 inches or, if the tail and neck are included, as long as two feet or more. They are often built on quite low bushes but more generally on small trees up to 25 feet or so from the ground and, like all Broadbills, they seem to prefer building over water. The eggs number four or five and are white, very faintly tinged with cream, sparsely speckled at the larger end with tiny spots of reddish-purple ; at the smaller end the specks are even less numerous. Thirty eggs average 23.7 x 17.2 mm.: maxima 25.0 X 17.0 and 23.7 x l7.8 mm.; minima 22.25 x 17.25 (Mackenzie) and 22.6 x 16.3 mm.
Habits. Gould's Broadbill is resident wherever found and its habits do not differ from those of the next and, perhaps, better known bird. Davison considered it to be one of the most stupid birds be knew and said that a flock once found, the members could be shot one by one without the rest taking to flight.