Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/292

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.
250
TIMALIIDÆ.


Birds in intermediate plumage have the forehead and a varying amount of the sides of the head white; the chin and throat become pure white, and even the upper breast loses many of the streaks.

The adult plumage seems to take some time to acquire, and probably, as in Gampsorhi/nchus, the wholly pure white head and under parts are not acquired until the bird is two years old.


Distribution. The limestone ranges of Tenasserim, such as those at Wimpong, the Toungsha Gyne Eiver and Momenzeik.

Nidification unknown.


Habits. Davison says that they wander about the limestone rocks in pairs, singly or in small parties. They are excessively lively, sprightly birds, keeping up a continuous twittering, chattering note, and occasionally one will perch itself on some point of a rock and, with lowered wings and erected tail, pour forth a fine and powerful song. They feed principally on insects and land-shells, but also in part on seeds. They are not shy and are easy to watch and procure. He observes that this bird is "really a little Thrush."

Genus TURDINULUS Hume, 1878.

The genus Turdimdus of Hume, with which I unite Cori/thocichla, contains a small group of Babblers which are extraordinarily Wren-like in appearance, habits and even nidification, and at one time I felt convinced that they should be removed en bloc to the Troglodytidæ. Closely connected, however, with this genus are the birds of the genus llimator, which seems to serve as a connecting link with other forms of Timaliidce. Robinson and Kioss's recently-described Eimator danjoui seems to still further strengthen these links and, though >vith some reluctance, I leave them in this sub-family.

They are all birds with tails very much shorter than the wing; the plumage is soft, lax and squamated; the bill like that of Drymocataphus but with longer rictal bristles. The nostrils are exposed and are mere slits with no overhanging membrane. The tarsus is very stout and long and the feet large.

Key to Species and Subspecies.

A. Tail more than lialf length of wing. a. Tips of wing-feathers white. a' . Sides of breast and flanks chestout. [cmidatus, p. 251. a" . Wing 65 mm. or under T. brevicaudatus hrevi- b". Wing over 65 mm T. b. venningi, p. 252. h'. Sides of breast and flanks reddish brown T. b. striatus, p. 251. B. Tail less than half the length of wing. h. Feathers of the throat spotted with black. c'. Colour brown washed with rufous, [P- -^2- especially on flanks T. roberti roberti,