Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/305

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Nidification. In India this bird breeds in April and May and sometimes in June, whilst in Burma its nest has been found from February to May. It breeds only in deep, wet tree-forest with ample undergrowth and preferably near some stream, making a massive nest of dead leaves, weeds and grass with an inner cup of leaves, roots and weeds compactly bound together and lined with roots. It may be placed in a clump of weeds, a low bush or in some fern-palm near the ground. The eggs number three to five and are very beautiful; the ground-colour varies from a very pale to a rich pale salmon-pink, whilst the markings consist of spots, blotches and lines of deep red-brown with paler spots of light red and neutral tint. In shape they are normal ovals and the texture is fine with a good gloss. They measure about 22.2 x l6.5 mm, but vary greatly in size.

Habits. Abbott's Babbler is a bird of the plains and the foot-hills, rarely being found much over 2,000 feet. It haunts deep forest where it is always humid and green and where the trees have an ample undergrowth of plants, weeds and bushes. In N. Cachar it was always to be found near rivers and streams and it is very partial to places where palm-ferns grow in great luxuriance. They have a pleasant whistling note but are very silent birds, creeping about in the dense undergrowth very quietly and stealthily. They are apparently entirely insectivorous.

Genus THRINGORHINA Oates, 1889.

The genus Thringorhina contains four species of peculiar coloration characterized by the very large operculum over the nostrils. The bill. is very strong, with the culmen curved gently

The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1) 305.jpg
Fig. 49.—Head of T. guttata.

throughout, and the rictal bristles are weak. The feathers of the forehead are harsh to the touch and those of the crown ample and erectile, possibly forming a short crest in life. This genus is very close to Stachyris and like that genus the birds contained in it all lay pure white eggs.

Key to Species.

A. Wings and tail barred with brown........ T. oglei, p. 262. B. Wings and tail plain........ ........ T. yuttata, p. 2(52.