Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/227

This page needs to be proofread.
189
BABAX.


Distribution. Chin Hills.

Nidification. Nests taken by Venning and Grant in the Chin Hills are described as open cups made of dead leaves and coarse grass stems lined with roots and placed in low tliorny bushes on open hillsides or near swamps. They were found in April and May, and contained from two to three eggs similar to those of the preceding subspecies and measuring about 27"5x20'4 mm.

Habits. This Babax is found from 5,000 to at least 9,000 feet, haunting the same kind of country as the last bird, which it closely resembles in all its habits.

(182) Babax waddelli.

The Giant Tibet Babax.

Babax ivaddelli Dresser, P. Z. S., 1905, i, p. 54 (Tsang-po, Tibet).

Vernacular names. 8ono, Teh-teh (Tibet); Ki/u-mo (Gyantse, Tibtet).

Description. Whole plumage ashy-grey; above with broad streaks of blackish brown edged with dull chestnut; below with narrower streaks but with the chestnut brighter; centre of belly, vent, under tail-coverts and thighs cinereous ashy without stripes; on the ear-coverts the central marks are obsolete, but on the cheeks form a broad, bhick moustachial stripe.

Colours of soft parts. Iris yellow; bill black; legs dark brown.

Measurements. Wing 132 to 140 mm.; tail 148 to 160 mm.; tarsus 40 to 43 mm.; culmen 33 to 37 mm.

Distribution. South Tibet and the extreme north-east of Sikkim *.

Nidification. The Giant Babax breeds freely in South Tibet from 11,000 to 14,000 feet, or higher, during May, June and July, a few odd birds breeding both earlier and later. The nest is a large, rather rough cup of grass, dead leaves, fern fronds, roots, wool, etc., lined with finer roots and fern stems or fine grass. It measures externally some 7 inches in diameter by 3 to 4 deep, and has an internal cup of about 4" by 2" or rather less. It is placed low down in the small thorny bushes which cover parts of the Tibetan plateaus or in willow-trees and small saplings. The eggs are two or three in number and similar to those of the last but averaging about 33-1 x21-6 mm.

Habits. This is a very common Babax over the greater portion of South Tibet, going about in small parties of five or six birds and having all the habits of the true Laughing-Thrushes. They are great skulkers, keeping much to the grouiid or to the lower bushes and scrub, and though they come close to dwelling-houses.

  • Bubcuc koslou'i, an all rufous bird with obsolete streaks only, is found on

the Mekong watershed and is sure to enter parts of IV. Burma.