Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/339

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SIBIA.

V . The two outer pairs only of tail-feathers graduated Siva, p. 312. a. Tail square and not graduated. c'. Bill slender, gently curved and both mandibles of the same length 1l uhina, p. 310. d'. Bill stout and straight, the upper man- dible longer than the lower one, with the tip bent down. e" . Depth of bill at nostrils less than breadth IxuLus, p. 321. d" . Depth of bill at nostrils more than breadth Erpornis, p. 324. Genus SIBIA Hodgson, 1836. The genus Sibia contains but one species, which is remarkable for the extraordinary length of its tail, which is twice as long as the wing and greatly graduated. The bill is shorter than the head, slender and curved, and the nostrils are covered by a large membrane. The rictal bristles are moderate in length. The bill is similar to that of Ze?o/jr;7rt, figured below.

(310) Sibia picaoides picaoides.

The Long-tailed Sibia.

Sibia picaoides Hodgs., J.A.S.B., viii, p. 38 (1839) (Nepal); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 195.

Vernacular names. Matcheo-plw (Lepcha).

Description. Whole upper plumage, wings and tail deep slaty- brown, the tail tipped with white and the wings with a white patch formed by a spot on each outer web of four of the secondaries; forehead and lores blackish; throat and breast slaty-brown; remainder of lower plumage ashy-grey, becoming albescent on the abdomen.

Colours of soft parts. Iris red or crimson, occasionally brown; bill black or horny-black; legs dusky grey, claws horny-black.

Measurements. Total length about 340 mm.; wing 120 to 125 mm.; tail about 210 to 220 mm.; tarsus about 30 mm.; culmen about 24 mm.

Distribution. Nepal and Sikkim to Assam North and South of the Brahmaputra; Chin Hills, Kachiu Hills, Shan States and Ivarenni to Tenasserim.

Nidification. A nest taken by Mr. H. Stevens in Sikkim at about 8,0U0 feet elevation, where this Sibia was common and no others were present, was assuredlj^ ot" this bird though the owner of it was not shot. It was a compact nest made entirely of moss, lined with moss roots and was placed at the end of the branch of a pine-tree. The one egg it contained measured 24*5xl8*3mm. and is exactly like those oi Leioptila r/yacilis, described further on.