Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/286

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244 TIMALTIDJE.

Distribution. Assam soutli of the Brahmaputra and in the extreme north-east, where it has heen observed in Sadiya. Stevens also obtained it in N. Lakhimpur, west of the yubansiri,so it may extend a good deal further west than hitherto recorded.

Nidification. The Assamese Babbler breeds from 5^,000 feet up to at least 5,500, and possibly much higher, the breeding season commencing in May and lasting until the end of July. The nest is made of grasses and bamboo leaves, lined with the former. It is smaller, better and more compactly made than most nests of this genus and very often is a deep cup in shape, rather than domed. It also differs from the nest of other species of Pellornenm in being placed well above the ground, in bamboo clumps, tangles of vines or in bushes, and never on the ground. The eggs number three or four, sometimes two only, and are pale pink in ground- colour, with freckles of rather dark brownish red profusely scattered over the whole surface, but sometimes even more numerous at the larger end, where they may form a cap or ill- detined zone. In shape they are regular ovals and the texture is fairly close and smooth, there is but little gloss and the shell is rather fragile in comparison with the size. Tw'O hundred eggs average 20-0 x 15"1 mm.; niaxima 22"8x 15-5 and 21-1 X 15'9 mm.; minima 18'2x 14*1 mm.

Habits. This is a shy, quiet little bird, found either in small flocks or in pairs. Its notes are low and soft, and its alarm ami call-note is a low, ri|jpling whistle. It is most common between 3,000 and 5,000 feet, but wanders much higher in summer and descends prattically to the plains in winter. In this latter season it shows a marked fondness for bamboo-jungle, especially such as has a little undergrowth, but in summer it keeps more to thin scrub and brushwood and even to thicker forest. It is an extraordinarily close sitter and will remain blinking at one from its nest until almost touched.

(218) Pellorneum ignotum cinnamomenm.

lilPPON*!^ Babbler.

Dft/DiocafnpJius ciinnnnomeus Rippoii, IjuU. B. O. C., xi, p. 12 (1900) (Loi Mai, S. Shan States).

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. Differs from the last bird in having the upper parts olive-brown and not rufescent, the breast n)ore rufous and the chin and throat whitish ith arrow-shaped tips.

Colours of soft parts. Iris orange-red; bill dark horn, the lower mandible paler; legs pale horn (ffarinr/ton).

Measurements. A^ing 51 to 57 mm.; tail about ";0 to 55 mm.; tarsus about 24 mm.; culmen about 12 mm. Distribution, Shan States and Bhamo Hills above 5,000 feet to S. Ann am.

Nidification. Similar to that of the Assamese Babbler but th-,^