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Genus CYANOPS, Bonap., 1854.
Except the form of the bill, which is much shorter, with a less curved culmen, there is but little to distinguish this genus from the last. The culmen is not longer than the tarsus, or if longer, then very slightly so. The wing is much rounded, the 2nd primary being shorter than any other primary except the 1st, and the 3rd shorter than the 4th. The plumage is chiefly green, the head and neck being decorated with patches of bright colour, red, yellow, or blue.
Twelve species are known, distributed over the Oriental region; of these seven occur within Indian limits.
Key to the Species
Fig. 26 - head of C. asiatica
Coloration: Nasal plumes black; a broad black band, with a yellow anterior border, across the vertex. Anterior lores, forehead, and remainder of crown crimson, the occiput bordered with black on each side; remainder of upper surface grass-green. Sides of the head, extending all round the eye, chin, throat, and foreneck pale verditer-blue, a large crimson spot on each side of the foreneck, and a small crimson speck at each base of the lower mandible. Rest of lower parts yellowish green. Tail-feathers washed beneath with pale blue; quills blackish brown, their inner border and the wing-lining yellowish white. A narrow whitish line on the outer web of several primaries near the tip. In the young the colours of the head are indistinct. Males from the Cachar hills are said to have the mantle-feathers and upper tail-coverts tipped with maroon and the under tail-coverts splashed with vermilion.
Bill greenish yellow horny, black above; margins of eyelids orange; irides hazel-brown, brown, and reddish brown; feet dingy green, claws horny black (Scully)
Size: Length about 9.2; tail 2.7; wing 4.1; tarsus 1.05; bill from gape 1.4.
Distribution: Common throughout the lower Himalayas and sub-Himalayan forests up to 3500 or 4000 feet as far west as Chamba, also in lower Bengal, Assam, and the neighbouring countries as far as the Khakyen hills in Yunnan to the eastward, and south to Burma. This Barbet has been found by Oates in the Arrakan and Pegu hills, by Wardlaw-Ramsay in Karennee, and by Davison in northern Tenasserim about Pahpoon.
Habits: A noisy, active bird, living on fruit, and having a peculiar frequently-repeated trisyllabic call. It breeds in the Himalayas in April and May, and generally lays three eggs in a hole, which it excavates in the trunk or a branch of a tree. As a rule there is no lining, but in a very few instances a pad of vegetable fibres or some other substance has been found. The eggs are white, with little or no gloss, and measure about 1.09 by 0.83.
This species only differs from C. asiatica in smaller size, in having the band across the vertex verditer-blue instead of black and with a blue line from the vertical band between the crimson of the occiput and a black stripe that extends from above the blue supercilium to over the ear-coverts.
Size: Length 8.5; tail 2.5; wing 3.9; tarsus 1.05; bill from gape 1.3
Distribution: Hitherto only found in Tenasserim about the base of the main range of hills east and south-east of Moulmein.
Habits: Precisely similar to those of C. asiatica. The eggs were obtained by Major Bingham in March on two occasions. In each case two white, rather glossy eggs were found, measuring on an average 1.11 by 0.8.
Coloration: Lores, a narrow frontal band, a nuchal patch, and a spot on each side of the foreneck crimson; upper surface grass-green. Feathers of crown with pale bluish-green edges. Quills blackish brown, the inner borders and the wing-lining yellow, several primaries with a narrow pale outer border near the tip. Sides of head bluish green, a line of very small bright yellow feathers on the upper and lower eyelids, above these a black supercilium continued back above the ear-coverts, another black streak from the gape. Lower surface pale green, tinged with pale verditer-blue on the malar region, chin, and throat; lower surface of tail dusky, washed with pale blue.
Upper mandible and tip of lower dusky horny, remainder of bill paler; eyelids the same; irides nut-brown; legs and feet grass-green (Davison).
Size: Length about 8.8; tail 2.3; wing 3.9; tarsus 0.95; bill from gape 1.4
Distribution: Tenasserim from near Amherst and Myawadee on the north to Tavoy in the south. Rare and local.
Habits: Similar to those of C. asiatica.
Coloration: Broad forehead and a spot at each base of the lower mandible golden yellow. Whole upper plumage dark grass-green, the coronal feathers tipped with gold, and those of the occiput and back and sides of the neck with whitish shaft-stripes. Quills blackish brown, their inner margins and the wing-lining pale yellow; several primaries with a narrow pale outer border near the tip. Lores, supercilia, sides of head below eye, ear-coverts, chin and throat verditer-blue; remainder of lower surface of body pale green, the breast-feathers with well-marked emerald-green borders. Abdomen and flanks tinged with emerald-green; lower surface of tail-feathers blackish washed with pale verditer-blue.
Bill greenish horny, dusky at base of culmen; iris light red; tarsi and feet sickly green, the tarsi in some bluish (Legge).
Size: Length 8.5; tail 2.3; wing 3.6; tarsus 0.95; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution: Ceylon, chiefly in the hill-forests of the Kandyan province up to about 6400 feet, but found also locally in the low plains.
Habits: Very similar to those of other Barbets. This is an active, noisy, fruit-eating bird, with a peculiar monotonous call, monosyllabic according to Legge, who adds that this species makes a nest-hole usually in a soft-wood tree, such as the cotton-tree (Bombax) and lays two or three smooth white eggs, measuring on an average 1.11 by 0.81. It has apparently two broods in the year, the breeding-season lasting from February to September.
Size small, rictal bristles extending beyond end of bill.
Coloration: Feathers above nostrils white at base, those of lores and forehead black, all fringed with pale blue. Sinciput black: occiput cobalt-blue. Ear-coverts, chin, and throat light verditer blue, area below eye bright red, the feathers white at the base. A crimson patch above and another below the ear-coverts; a black malar stripe; remainder of upper and lower plumage bright grass-green except the bend of the wing, which is more or less blue, and the quills, which are blackish brown with whitish inner margins. The tail-feathers are sometimes bluish green above with brighter edges, and always washed with verditer below. Young birds are green throughout. In nearly adult specimens the black sincipital feathers are tipped with blue.
Bill black; base of lower mandible slightly tinged reddish horny; irides very dark brown; legs and feet dirty green; claws bluish black (Davison).
Size: Length about 6.5; tail 2.2; wing 3.25; tarsus 0.8; bill from gape 1. Tenasserim birds are a little smaller.
Distribution: Eastern Himalayas (Sikkim), Assam, and hills to the south, and throughout Burma. An allied but distinct species, C. duvauceli, inhabits the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo.
Habits: This is chiefly a bird of dense evergreen hill forest, and is usually seen on high trees. The note is peculiar, of two syllables, harsh and metallic. The eggs have been found in Tenasserim by Major Bingham in February and by Mr. Darling in April, two or three in number, white, and measuring about 0.93 by 0.67. In size, coloration, and long rictal bristles this species approaches Xantholaema, but it has a rounded wing.
Coloration: Forehead and a patch in the middle of the occiput crimson; vertex golden yellow; lores and area above and below the eye, with the sides of the crown growing broader behind, black. A bluish collar behind the black. Back, scapulars and rump grass-green; outer surface of wing the same near the back, passing into deep blue on the primary-coverts near the carpus. Many of the coverts and the outer primaries near the base with pale or bluish-green edges. Secondaries with green edges; wing feathers except on outer edges blackish brown, with pale yellow inner borders, wing-lining the same. Tail green above, washed with pale blue below; ear-coverts, malar region below them, and a broad connecting band across the throat pale silvery whity-brown. An orange spot at each base of the lower mandible; chin and upper throat golden yellow. Lower parts from throat green or yellowish green.
Bill blackish, plumbeous beneath; irides brown; orbital skin plumbeous; legs greenish slaty (Jerdon).
Size: Length about 9; tail 2.6; wing 4; tarsus 0.95; bill from gape 1.3.
Distribution: The eastern Himalayas as far west as Nepal, also the hills south of the Assam valley (Khasi, N Manipur), between 3000 or 4000 and about 8000 feet.
Habits: This Barbet also is said to feed entirely on fruit. It has a call which sounds dissyllabic at a distance, but is said by Hume to consist of three successive sounds, the first being lower in pitch and having less resonance. The eggs, 3 or 4 in number, and pure white, are laid, according to Hodgson, in April, but one was obtained by Mandelli in August. They are deposited in a hole bored in a tree as usual, and measure about 1.1 by 0.85.
This species only differs from C. franklini in having the area above the eye and on the sides of the crown above the ear-coverts mixed grey and black, the grey disappearing near the hinder border; the chin and throat, too, are paler yellow. soft parts and dimensions as in C. franklini.
Distribution: Discovered on the bills of Karennee by Wardlaw Ramsay, and found common above 3000 feet on the Muleyit range, east of Moulmein, by Tickell, Davison, and Fea. Also found at Perak, in the Malay peninsula, by Mr. L. Wray.
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