Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/327

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SCHŒNIPARUS.

Genus SCHŒNIPARUS Hume, 1874.

With the genus Schœniparus we enter on a group of small birds essentially Timaliine both in characteristics and in habits. They possess the typical short, rounded wing and strong tarsi and feet but differ from all the rest in having short, blunt bills very Tit-like in their superficial appearance. In nidification and habits they resemble many other genera, building ball-shaped nests placed on the ground, whilst they seek their food at least as much on the ground as on the lower bushes.

The nostrils are covered by a membrane and not overhung by hairs aud the rictal bristles are small; the wings and tad are about equal in length and the latter is well graduated.

Key to Species and Subspecies.

A. No chestnut band across breast. a. Sides of neck not striped or only obsoletely so. a'. Above olive-brown tinged ocora- ceous S. diibius dubius, p. b'. Above olive-brown with no ochra- ceous tinge , S. d. genestieri, p. 285. b. Sides of neck boldly striped S. d. mmidelUi, p. 284. B, A chestnut band across breast »S'. riijiyularis, p. 286.

(297) Schœniparus dubius dubius.

The TENASSEraM Tix-Babbler.

Proparus dubius Hume, P. A. S. B., 1874, p. 109 (Muleyit).
Schcemj}a7-ns dubius. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 168.

Vernacular names. Prep-dor (Kachin).

Description. Forehead, crown and nape reddish brown, each feather obsoletely margined darker and the foreliead tinged with chestnut; lores and a band on each side of the crown, blending on the back, black; a white supercilium from the eye to the nape; ear-coverts and sides of neck pale fulvous-brown; upper plumage olive-brown, tinged with rufous on exposed parts of wings and tail; lower plumage pale fulvous, whitisli on the chin and throat and olivaceous on the flanks and under tail-coverts.

Colours of soft parts. Iris yellowish red, pale yellow to slaty-pink; bill dark brown to dull black; legs and feet fleshy.

Measurements. Total length about 135 mm.; wing 53 to 58mm.; tail about 60 mm.; tarsus 25 mm.; culmen 12 mm.

Distribution. Northern and Central Tenasserim.

Nidification. The Tenasserim Tit-Babbler makes a domed nest of bamboo leaves and grass, which it places either on the ground or close to it. The lining, always very slight, is of roots and fibres and occasionally these are made use of in the body of the nest. The sites selected seem to be generally in forests with amp