Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/391

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347
CHLOROPSIS.

on the wings including most of the lesser coverts, bright pale blue; edge of wing rather darker blue; concealed portions of wing-quills dark brown; lower aspect of tail plumbeous; remainder of plumage bright grass-green, lighter below and sometimes inclined to an emerald tint.

Colours of soft parts. Iris light to dark brown; bill black, gape and base of lower mandible horny; mouth bluish; legs clear pale to dark plumbeous, the younger the bird the brighter and clearer the colour.

Measurements. Total length about 190 mm.; wing 94 to 98 mm.; tail about 70 to 75 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen about 17 to 18 mm.

Female has the gold forehead less developed and the crown duller, the gold collar is obsolete; the blue of the throat is sometimes mixed with black.

Measurements. A smaller bird than the male; wing 90 to 94 mm.

Distribution. The Himalayas from Garhwal and Simla to Eastern Assam; the hilly country of North and North-East India from Chota Nagpur, Rajmahal, Santal Parganas etc.; the whole of Burma to South Tenasserim where it meets C. a. inornata; Shan States, North and Central Siam.

Nidification. The nest is a rather shallow cup, made of very fine twigs, moss roots, the tendrils of climbing plants, outwardly bound together and also interwoven with scraps of moss, grass and a tow-like material which seems to be the inner bark of a tree. The lining, if any, is of finest grass stems or moss roots. The nests are generally placed in horizontal forks at the extremity of a small outer branch near the top of a high tree in forest. As the nest is a small one, roughly about 3·7" (93 mm.) by under 2" (50 mm.) deep, it is very hard to find.

They breed from the middle of May to the end of July or even into August at all heights from 3,000 to 6,000 feet aud probably much lower, as a nest of a Chloropsis, probably of this species, was taken by natives in the foot-hills of Cachar at a few hundred feet elevation only and in Margherita, Assam, at about TOO feet this bird was quite common throughout the summer.

The normal clutch of eggs is two, three only rarely and in appearance they are very like long dull-coloured eggs of the Niltavas. The ground is cream or reddish cream and they are covered, usually profusely, with faint pale reddish-brown markings, equally numerous over the whole surface. They are long, often pointed, ovals in shape and the texture is glossless and fairly fine. Ten eggs average 23·5 x 15·5 mm.

Habits. The Golden-fronted Chloropsis is found in small parties, four to a dozen or so, throughout the non-breeding season, frequenting open but well-wooded country, and keeping much to the tops of the highest trees, especially the Cotton-tree (Bombax malabarica) when in flower. At other times it may be found in