Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/157

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SITTA. ] 23 sparse and confined to the larger end. They measure about 18-3xl4-U mm. Both parents, according to Hodgson, assist in incubation and in looking after the young.

Habits. The habits of most Nuthatches are very similar. In the non-breeding season they are to be found in family parties, sometimes in greater numbers, hunting all over the trunks and branches ot trees for insects; scuttling about upwards and doAvn- wards, now under, now over, peering into every cranny and every broken bit of bark as they restlessly work their way from the trunk of the tree to the highest branches, whence they take flight to the nearest tree likely to prove a profitable hunting-ground. They also feed on nuts, including the hardest, boring holes into them and extracHng their contents, and they sometimes eat seeds and fruits. Their note Ahen feeding is singularly like the cheep of a mouse and is frequently uttered. The flight is fairly strong and direct. (itj-') Sitta victorise. The Gill's Hills Nuthatch. Sitta victoricc Rippoii, Dull. B. O. C, xiv, p. 84 (1904) (Mt. Victoria).

Vernacular names. H net-}-)ya-clionlc (Burmese).

Description. Similar to the last bird, but has the chin, throat, upper breast and centre of the abdomen white; the sides of the face and neck pure white, the latter marked with golden chestnut.

Colours of soft parts. Iris red-brown; bill slaty-grey, black at the tip; legs dull yellowish brown.

Measurements. Wing 68 to 7- mm.; tail about 40 mm.; culmeu 14 mm. Female is appju'ently similar to the male.

Distribution. Chin Hills. Mt. Victoria.

Nidification and Habits. Nothing recorded, found at 9,000 feet. This bird should probably be placed as a subspecies of t^. Jiinndayeiisis, but until some connecting forms are discovered it must rank as a species.

(110) Sitta castaneiventris castaneiventris.

The Chestnut-bellieu Nuthatch.

Sitta castaneiventris Frank., P. Z. S., 1831, p. 121 (Vindhyan Hills)

Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 304.

Vernacular names. Sirl (Hind.); Chor-parl-i (Beng.).

Description. — ^Adult male. A black streak from the nostril