Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/174

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Subfamily TIMALIINÆ.

This subfamily, as now constituted, contains Oates's Crateropo- diiice and the Timaliince,, which 1 find quite impossible tu differ- entiate by any satisfactory character one from the other. The great majority of the Timaliince are ery gregarious and go about in flocks of considerable size, a few consort in small liocivs, whilst fewer still are only found singly or in pairs. They feed principally on the ground or in bushes and long grass close to it, but some of them also haunt trees in their quest for the insects which form their main diet. Some of the genera comprise birds as noisy as any known, whilst others are birds with sweet notes or are silent. The most prominent characteristics are the very powerful legs and the weak, rounded wings. The head is frequently fully crested, and is generally covered with somewhat erectile feathers even where there is no definite crest. The bill is of almost every conceivable shape. In habits they are non-migratory, though some of the hill forms move up and down the hills under climatic stress and, whilst some species are very bold and haunt freely tiie vicinity of villages, others are among the most shy. In ttie following key an attempt has been made to discriminate berween the genera in a way which will be easy for the field naturalist to work out; size ^nd plainly visible features in con- struction being made use of. Key to Genera. A. Tail more than 88 mm. loug. a. Bill not so long as head. a' . Nostrils ahnost hidden by bristles .... Dryonastks, p. 138. h' . Nostrils visible and only partly concealed by bristles G.a.rrul^x, p. 145. c' . Nostrils not hidden by bristles but some- times with a few long hairs. a". Bill not toothed at the extremity. a'". Tail tipped with white or brown . lAXTH0CiNCLA,p.l55. U" . Tail with no white or brown tip. n^. Bill long and slender. a^. Wing longer than tail STACTOCiCHr,A,p.l86. ft Wing shorter than tail. u Shafts of feathers of forehead short and not ghstening . . Turdoiues, p. 190. i". Shafts of feathers of forehead long and glistening. a' . Upper parts uniform, not streaked. ff^. Feathers of breast not spinous Argya, p. 196. i"*. Feathers of breast spin- ous ACANTHOPTILA,p.203. h~. Upper parts striated .... Babax, p. 187. i Bill short and thick Grammatoptila, [p. 184.