Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/356

This page needs to be proofread.

312 TIMALIID.5;.

Distribution. Sikkim to Assam North and East, of the Brahma- putra, Abor and Miri Hills. The eastern limits are not yet known, but Harington obtained it in the Kachin Hills.

Nidification. Similar to that of the previous two birds. Kound about Margherita we found its nests on banks and sides of cuttings through the jungle, made of soft tow-like material mixed with moss, leaves and rubbish, more or less filling the base of the hole in which it was placed. The eggs were generally three only, rarelv four and they differed from those of the Chestnut-headed Btapiiidia only in being a little more richly marked. One hundred eggs measured on an average 16-6xl3-3mm. and the extremes were 180 X 13-2 mm., 16-2 x 13-7 mm. and 14-7 X 12-4 mm. The breeding season lasts from March to June.

Habits. This little Staphidia is found in parties throughout the cold weather, according to Stevens sometimes numbering as many as thirty individuals. It haunts trees and brushwood alike both in forest and in the secondary growth and has the usual restless habits of its tribe. It is not a shy bird. It probably ascends as high as 4,000 feet in summer but is more a low^-level bird, keeping for the most part from the foot-hills up to about 2,000 feet. Genus SIVA Hodgson, 1838. The genus Siva contains two species which occur within our limits, these being divided into several well differentiated geographical races. They are distinguishable at a glance from other genera by their peculiar tail-feathers, the ends of which are obliquely truncated. The four central pairs are of equal length and the two outer pairs graduated. The bill is about half the length of the head, gently curved and notched; the rictal bristles are long and the nostrils are covered by a membrane; the head is crested and they are birds of hand- some plumage. Key to Species and Subspecies . A. Primtaries edged with orange. n. Central tail-feathers red on only half their lenotli >S'. strigula strignla, p. 313. b. Central tail-feathers red on five-sixths of their length S.s. castaneicauda, p. 314. B. Primaries edged Avith blue. c. Under plumage vinous-grey. a'. Upper plumage light ochraceous; fp- 314. secondaries tipped with white .... *S'. cyaji. cyanouroptera, b'. Upper plumage fulvous olive-brown; no white tips to secondaries S. c. wincjatei, p. 315. d. Under plumage white. c' . Forehead blue, indistinctly striped. a". Upper plumage fulvous olive- brown S. c. oatesi, p. 316 b' Upper plumage dusky olive-brown. S. c. sordida,^. '■'AQ.