1582. Upupa epops ceylonensis

(1582) Upupa epops ceylonensis Reichb.
The Ceylon Hoopoe.
Upupa epops ceylonensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 312.
This, the smallest and darkest race of Hoopoe, is found in Ceylon and in South India south of the imaginary line drawn as the southern limit of orientalis.
In its habits it is the same confiding bird of open country, culti¬vated fields, gardens, parks and orchards and, like other Hoopoes, it breeds in the vicinity of human beings and often in their houses.
The birds build in the same kinds of places as those already mentioned. Packard also took five eggs from an empty box which the birds entered through a hole in the side. There was no nest, the eggs laying on the bare wood, Williams also found one nest in an unusual place, the birds having laid their eggs, five in number, in a hollow in between the great bifurcating boughs of a large tree. Another bird was found by Dr. Percy Rendall breeding in the Royal Courts of Justice at Madras, laying six eggs in a hole in the brickwork of the outside gallery.
The breeding season is from the end of February to early April.
Four or five eggs are laid and but rarely six. These go through the same range of variation as do those of all the other races, I have really rather a poor series of these eggs in my collection, yet the following shades of colour are represented : very pale grey-white, equally pale fawn-white, bright pale blue, rather deep grey-blue, deep fawn-brown and deep olive-grey.
Forty eggs average 24.3 x 16.3 mm. : maxima 26.0 x 16.4 and 24.5 x 17.3 mm. ; minima 21.7 x 15.5 mm.
I have no Ceylon eggs, but Wait gives the average of these as 24.4 x 16.7 mm. and says that the breeding season lasts from November to April ; but it must be noted that Layard shot young birds in August. It may be that Ceylon, birds have two broods, though it is more likely that Ceylon Hoopoes, like many other Ceylon birds, have a very long and very irregular breeding season.
* Ticehurst says the Dame should be nigripennis Horsf. & Moore, Cat. ii, p. 725. This, however, was published 1856-8, whereas ceylonensis of Reichb, was published in 1853, or three years earlier.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1582. Upupa epops ceylonensis
Spp Author: 
Eeichb.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1582
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
446
Common name: 
Ceylon Hoopoe
M_ID: 
9539
M_SN: 
Upupa epops ceylonensis
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14731

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