Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/162

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SITTIDÆ.

little birds, and will often repair and again lay in a nest which has been pillaged. In North Cachar I found them breeding in trees, and iu these the nests were often very tlinisy and scanty, consisting of leaves and rubbish and perhaps a little mo?s and a few feathers or scraps of fur. They lay in April and May, but an occasioual nest may be seen as early as JNIareh or as late as June. The normal full complement of eggs is six, but sometimes only four or live are laid and sometimes as many as eight. They are of the usual white ground with red specks, but are more strongly and numerously marked than those of the last bird and in shape are much longer, narrower ovals. Sixty eggs average 19•8 X 14•1 mm. The maxima are 21•0 x 14•4 and 20•6 x 15 mm., and the minima are 17• x 13•6 and 18•8 x 13•2 mm.


Habits. This Nuthatch is most common between 4,000 and 7,000 feet and is not often fouud below 3,000 feet. It has much the same habits as the rest of the genus, but I have often noticed it on the ground feeding on ants and termites, and it seeuis very partial to hunting walls, cliffs and banks as the Rock-Nuthatches do. Its note is a continual cheep, very much like the squeak of a mouse. It is a very sociable bird, and I have seen flocks of this bird and Sitta frontalis hunting together in perfect amity.


(112) Sitta castaneiventris neglecta.

The Burmese Nuthatch.

Sitta negk'cta Wald., A. M. N. H., (4) v, p. 218 (1870) (Karen Hills);

Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 301.


Vernacular names. Pan-clie-Up (Kachin).

Description Differs from the preceding iu being smaller aud in having the throat and breast much paler than the abdomen aud flanks, whilst the white of the sides of the head blends with the rufous of the throat. The female differs iu the same way I'rom the female of the Cinnamon-bellied Nuthatch.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; upper mandible bluish, lipped black; legs and feet dark plumbeous, claws horn-colour.


Measurements. Length about 130 mm.; wing 75 to 78 mm.; tail about 38 to 42 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen about 17 mm.


Distribution. From Mulevit Mountain iu South Tenasserim, through the eastern hill-ranges of Burma to the Bhamo Hills, N. and N.W. Siam.


Nidification. Similar to that of S. c. castaneiventris, but this is a forest bird and its nest is found in the natural hollows of trees on the outskirts of forest or in dead trees in deserted clearings. The eggs are of the usual short, blunt type and measure from 16•2 X 13•4 to 18•3 X 14•2 mm.

They are apparently early breeders; Bingham found the young