Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/195

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IANTHOCINCLA.

Colours of soft parts. Iris pale buffish yellow to orange-yellow; lids pale lavender, edged dusky; bill horny-brown, tipped paler and with whole lower mandible pale horny-yellow; legs and feet pale dull fleshy.

Measurements. Total length 22-5 to 235 mm.; wing 86 to 89 mm.; tail about 100 mm.; tarsus about 32 mm.; culmen about 20 mm.

Distribution. Naga Hills, Kbasia and N. Cachar Hills, Manipur, Lushai and Chin Hills. Does not apparently extend eastwards to Lakhimpur.

Nidification. Numerous nests were taken by Col. Tytler in the Naga Hills in May and June and by Messrs. Mackenzie, Hopwood and others in the Chin Hills in March and April. They are composed of ferns, leaves, roots and grass, lined with finer roots and often bound round with tendrils and stems of plants; they are rather more compact than most nests of this group and are placed in bushes or small saplings in forest. The eggs are generally two only in number, sometimes three; the texture is very fine and close and the surface smooth and silky to the touch, not hard and glossy as in D. ruficollis. In colour they are pure unspotted blue-green. 150 eggs average 25.3 x 18.6 mm.

Habits. This is not a very gregarious bird, and though it may sometimes be found in small family parties, it more often wanders about in pairs, scratching on the ground amongst the fallen rubbish for insects or clambering through the undergrowth and bracken. It constantly utters conversational notes, some sweet and some harsh, but never breaks out into a paroxysm of sound like some of the other Laughing-Thrushes do. It haunts elevations of 6,000 feet upwards and is rare below 5,000 feet.

(142) Ianthocincla cineracea styani.

Styan's Laughing-Thrush.

Trochaloptervm styani Oustalet, Bull, Mus. Par., 6, p. 226 (1898) (Ta-tsien-lu).

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. This race differs from the preceding in having the head dark ashy instead of black and the ear-coverts rufous instead of black and white. The upper plumage is browner and the breast is tinged with vinous.

Colours of soft parts as in I. c. cineracea.

Measurements. Wing 94 to 98 mm.; tail 106 to 118 mm.; tarsus about 38 mm.; culmen 22 to 25 mm.

Distribution. Yunnan and the E. Shan States.

Nidification. A single egg from the Styan collection measures 28.1 X 19.8 mm.

Habits. Not recorded.