Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/165

This page needs to be proofread.


SITTA. 129 head, chin and throat greyish white changing to darker grey on breast and to dull chestiuit on lower flanks, thighs, vent and under tail-coverts, the latter broadly tipped with white; under wing- coverts black and the under surface of the primaries with the typical white patch. Colours of soft parts, Iris brown or hazel-brown; bill slaty- blue, darker on terminal half; legs and feet pale yellowish brown.

Measurements. Length about 200 mm.; wing 114 to 119 mm.; tail about OS to 70 mm.; tarsus about 23 mm.; culmen about 25 to 28 mm. The female is like the male but has a more decided tinge of buff or chestnut- buff on the breast, the chestnut of the flanks, thighs, etc., may not be quite so deep and the head also is greyer in some individuals.

Distribution. Hills of Central Burma, Shan States and Yunnan, apparently from about 3,000 feet upwards.

Nidification and Habits. There is nothing on record about this fine Nuthatch, now represented b}'^ good series from Rippou, Thompson and Craddock in the British Museum. It has been found so far between 4,000 and G,000 feet and seems to be a forest bird.

(116) Sitta neumayer tephronota.

The Turkestan Rock-Nuthatch.

Sitta tephronota Sbarpe, A. M. N. H., (4) x, p. 450 (1872) (Ferghana, Turkestan); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 305.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. Whole upper plumage, wing-coverts and second- aries ashy-blue; the usual black eye-baud; primaries pale brown; central tail-feathers pale ashy-blue, the others brown broadly edged with pale ashy on the outer webs, this colour gradually changing to pale fulvous, the outermost feather having the inner web brow^n with a fulvous tip and the outer web fulvous with a brown tip; sides of the head and lower plumage fulvous, darker and becoming strongly tinged with pink on the flanks, lower abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts, these last having ashy centres.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill horny-brown or slaty- brown, darker at the tip; legs clay-slate.

Measurements. Length about 160 to 170 mm.; wing 75 to 90 mm.; tail about 50 to GO mm. • tarsus '21 to 24 mm.; culmen 20 to 23 mm.

Distribution. Baluchistan and Afghanistan to Ferghana in Turkestan and the Tianschan. Birds from the Tianschan seem to have more of a dull ruFous tinge on the breast and lower tin-oat as well as being rather bigger, and should possibly be kept separate; I cannot, however, distinguish S. n. ohscura from North, and East Persia. VOL. I. K