1047. Sauropatis chloris.
The White-collared Kingfisher.
Alcedo chloris, Bodd. Tabl. Pl. Enl. p. 40 (1783). Alcedo collaris, Scop. Del. Flor. et Faun. Insub. ii, p. 90 (1786). Todirhamphus collaris, Blyth, Cat. p. 48; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 228; Walden, P. Z. S. 1866, p. 554; Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 221; Beavan Ibis, 1867. p. 319; 1869, p. 409. Halcyon collaris, Horsf. & M. Cat. p. 127. Sauropatis chloris, Cab. Heine, Mus. Hein. pt. 2, p. 160; Walden, Ibis, 1873, p. 302 ; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 71; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2), vii, p. 433. Halcyon chloris, Sharpe, Mon. Alc. p. 229, pl. 87; Ball, S. F. i, p. 58; Hume, S. F. i, p. 451; ii, p. 170; vii, p. 168; id. Cat. no. 132; Armstrong, S. F. iv, p. 306 ; Hume Dav. S. F. vi, p. 78; Vidal, S. F. viii, p. 414; ix, p. 50; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 85 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 100; Davison, Ibis, 1885, p. 332; Sharpe, Cat. B. xvii, p. 273, pl. vii, fig. 3. Halcyon armstrongi (subspecies of H. chloris), Sharpe, t. c. p. 277, pi. vii, fig. 1. Halcyon vidali (subsp. of H. chloris), Sharpe, t. c. p. 278. Halcyon humii (& H. davisoni, subsp.), Sharpe, t. c. p. 281, pl. viii.
Coloration. Crown, nape, and sides of head to below the eye bluish green; a white streak above the lores occasionally extending back above the eye; ear-coverts black in some varieties, and with a black band round the nape, separated from the green of the crown by an ill-defined white space (these black and white bands are often entirely wanting); a broad white collar; upper back and scapulars dull bluish green to greenish blue; lower back, rump, and upper tail-coverts bright blue; upper surface of wings and tail deeper blue, sometimes with a greenish tinge; quills, except on outer webs outside, black; lower surface of tail the same; lower parts white, sometimes tinged with buff, especially on the flanks.
Upper mandible, tip and edge of lower mandible greenish black; rest of lower mandible pinkish white ; irides deep brown; legs plumbeous (Davison).
Length 9.5; tail 2.75; wing 4; tarsus .6; bill from gape 2.3.
Distribution. Though represented by a variety (H. abyssinica) in the Red Sea, this Kingfisher has only been obtained in the Indian Peninsula near Ratnagiri; it is, however, common in the Sundarbans and throughout the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal, more abundantly to the southward, in the Andaman Islands (it appears to be replaced in the Nicobars by H. occipitalis), and throughout the Malay Archipelago to the Philippines and Celebes.
In the British Museum Catalogue Dr. Sharpe has divided this type into several species and subspecies, all the Indian forms of which appear to me to be races varying considerably amongst themselves and passing into each other. These races' are:—
H, chloris typical, from the Malay Archipelago, a greenish bird with black ear-coverts and a well-marked black nuchal band.
H. armstrongi: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, North Borneo, Burmese coast, and Sundarbans. Ear-coverts green, and generally no black nuchal band.
H. vidali, from Ratnagiri, like H. armstrongi but greener.
H. humii inhabits the Malay Peninsula with Southern Tenas serim and Sumatra, and is described as a distinct species. It is a very blue form, some birds having scarcely any green tinge on the back even, but others show a complete passage to H. armstrongi, which inhabits the same countries. There is no nuchal band.
H. davisoni, the Andaman race, is blue like H. humii, but has black ear-coverts and a black nuchal band.
Habits, &c. An inhabitant of sea-shores and of tidal waters, living chiefly on Crustacea, but partly on insects, centipedes, small lizards, &c. Hume mentions observing birds of this species hammering shells that contained hermit-crabs against stones in order to break the shells. They are noisy birds. The nest is said to be sometimes made under a stone or bush, but Davison found one in a deserted ants' nest tenanted by hornets (from the description much like a termites' nest, a pile of hard clay against a tree trunk) at Mergui. The eggs are said to measure about 1.4 by 1.