Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/323

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ALCrppE. 279 ochraceous. The exposed portions of primaries and tail are yellowish brown.

Colours of soft parts. Iris pearly-white to grey; eyelids slaty; upper mandible brownish-horny, darker at base and on culmen, lower paler and yellowish; legs and feet pale dull fleshy, or fleshy-white.

Measurements. Wing 66 to 72 mm.; culmen 12 to 13 mm.

Distribution. Assam and Western Burma from the Chin Hills to the South of Arrakan. Birds from Assam and others from W. Burma differ in some respects, more especially in the tint of the grey on the head and again in the amount of rufous on the lower plumage. However, though material from Assam is plentiful, from Burma it is very scanty and more must be obtained before the value of the difi^erences can be estimated.

Nidification. The nest of this bird is merely a rather larger edition of that of the Nepal Babbler and is placed in cjuite similar positions. It breeds in great numbers in all the hills South of the Brahmaputra, not only at elevations up to 2,000 feet but also freely in the plains themselves. I have myself taiien eggs ais early as March and as late as September but May and early June is the principal breeding time. The eggs only differ from those of the Nepal Babbler in being larger, but the great majority are in colour of the clouded and smudged type described as No. 4 in that bird. One hundred and fifty eggs average 19-6 x lo'O mm.

Habits. The larger Quaker-Babblers of this group {poioicepliala) are rather more Timaliine in their habits than those of the previous (nepaJensis) group. More shy and retiring, they are also less quick and active in their moven.ients. They use their legs more, yet are not so Tit-like in their actions and though they take readily to flight, ttiey do not make the constant little sallies into the air, both in play and for food, like the Nepal Babblers do. I do not think they ever actually descend on to the ground to feed except for a second or two.

(291) Alcippe poioicephala davisoni.

The Tenasserim Quaker-Babbler.

Alcippe ph(eocephala davisoni Harington, B. N. H. S. J., xxiii, p. 453 (1915)(Tavoy).

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. Very similar to A. p. brucei from S. India but much darker. The head and neck are brownish-ashy well defined from the back; in some specimens there are faint indications of the coronal stripes but in most these are quite absent.

Colours of soft parts. Iris slaty-grey to slaty-yellow; bill, upper mandible horny-brown, lower yellowish.

Measurements. Wing 68 to 73 mm.; culmen 13 to 14 mm.