Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/285

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Measurements. Total length about 160 mm.; wing 62 to 68 nun.; tail about 64 to 69 mm.; tarsus about 26 mm.; culnieu about 15 mm.

Distribution. Assam, South of the Brahmaputra and N. Lak- himpur, North of that river.

Nidification. I found the .bird breeding in the North of N. Cacliar in the wide stretches of upland grass. In the hollows water stood for the greater part of the year, but the nests were built on the higher lands, tucked in amongst the roots of grass or under the protection of some small shrub or weed. Later I found them breeding in Cachar and tSylhet Plains and again in Lakhim- pur where the nests were all built in reeds and ^rass on the banks of rivers and edges of swamps. April to June appear to be the breeding months, and the nest and eggs are similar to those of P. r. mandelUi, but the latter measure only about 20-6 X 15"7 mm.

Habits. The Marsh Spotted Babbler is found principally in the pUiiiis, but wanders up to at least 2, .500 feet. Jerdou obtained it both in long grass and reeds and in " bushes and low tree-jungle," but I have never seen it in cover other than grass and reeds, though this may vary from short sun-grass in N. Cachar, not 2 feet high, to the dense elephant-grass of the plains, over 12 feet high. The note is a sharp double chirp, syllabefizcd by Stevens as " chi-chew," constantly repeated. They are rather noisy but very skulking little birds, and one seldom sees them under ordinary circumstances, but when beating for game they may often be seen flitting in a rather lop-sided manner from one patch of grass to another.

(247) Pellorneum ignotum ignotum.

The Assamese Babbler.

Fellomeiim /(/iiotum Hume, S. F,, v, p. 839 (1877) (Sadiya, Assam); Blanf. & Oate,-^, i, p. 1J4.

Vernacular names. Dao-clnld (Cachari).

Description. Whole upper plumage, tail and exposed parts of the wing rufesceiit olive-brown; wings and tail rather more rufescent than the back; lores and over the eyes greyish brown; eai*-coverts brown with paler shafts; sides of neck like the back; chin, throat, centre of breast and abdomen dull white, very slightly mottled with rufescent brown; remainder of lower plumage rusty-brown.

Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill pale bluish-horny, p:der still on lower mandilde; legs and feet light sienua-grey to fleshy.

Measurements. Length about 150 mm.; wing 56 to 59 mm.; tail 51 to bD mm.; tarsus about 23 mm.; culmen about 12 to 13 mm. b2