PARADOXOKNITHIDjE. 103 Family PAEADOXORNITHID^. "Wliea Blanford and Gates wrote the ' Avifauna of British India' very little had been recorded about the habits and nidification of this group of birds and it was, perhaps, on account of this that they were placed by them as a Sub-family of the Corvidce. When Hariiigton in 1914 wrote his " Thneliides" in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, he incorporated the Paradoxornitliidce in this so-called Order. I can, however, see no reason for raising the Timcdiidie to the rank of an Order, and though it appears that in many respects these curious birds do form a link between the Titmouses and Babblers, it appears prefer- able to give them the rank of a family between the two. The genus Panurus is undoubtedly a close relation of some of our Indian Parrot-Bills, and will have to be incorporated in the same famil3 The Farado.vornitliidce differ from the Paridce in having a much longer first primary, the plumage very soft and lax, and in having a thick, soft crest of feathers arising from the whole crown. From the Timaliidce they differ in having the nostrils completely covered with bristles. They are very gregarious in their habits and build cup-shaped nests in reeds, bushes, etc., whilst their eggs are of several types. The bill is very deep, being greater in depth than length in all but Conostoma. The culmen is veiy rounded transversely and the margins of the mandible in most species are curiously sinuate. Key to Genera. A. Tail longer than the wing. a. Tail h'ss graduated; outermost pair of feathers fully f len^rth of tail Conostoma, p. 10;3. b. Tail more graduated; outermost pair of feathers not more than § length of tail. a'. Height of bill more than length. Commissure ureatly curved Paradoxornis, p. 105. b' . Height of bill less than length. Commissure very slightly curved . . . . ■ Suthora, p. 107. B. Tail no longer, or shorter, than wing. c. Wing well over 3 inches or 76 mm Psittiparus, p. 116. d. Wing well under 3 inches or 76 mu] Neosuthora, p. 115. Genus CONOSTOMA Hodgson, 1841. The genus Conostoma contains only one species, the largest mendjer of the family. It is characterized by a tail longer than the wing, but with the feathers considerably less graduated than in the following genera. Th.e bill is proportionately much longer.
Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/135
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