Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/498

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(464) Spelseornis longicaudatus longicaudatus.

The Assam Long-tailed Wrest.

Pnoepyga lun(jicaudata, Moore, P. Z. S., 1854, p. 7 (N. India, Kha&ia Hills).
Urocichla longicnudata. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 340.

Vernacular names. Tin-lin-rui (Kaclia Naga).

Description. Foreliead to hind neck olive-brown, each feather with a narrow dark brown or blackish margin; rnuip, upper tail- coverts and tail olive-brown w itli a rufous tinge; coverts and ■wing brown, with the greater part of the outer webs of the feathers chestnut-brown; lores, cheeks and ear-coverts deep ashy; the whole lower plumage ferruginous, the feathers of the throat and breast with numerous small brown specks, most conspicuous in newly moulted birds; middle of the abdomen white.

The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1) 498.jpg
Fig. 90.—Head of S. l. longicaudatus

Colours of soft parts. Iris red in adults, brown in the young; bill dark liorny-brown to blackish; legs and feet light brown.

Measurements. Length about 115 mm.; wing 49 to 60 mm.; tail 45 to 48 mm.; tarsus about 10 to 20 mm.; culmen about 12 mm.

Distribution. Hills South of the Brahmaputra, apparently not Manipur and not the extreme Eastern Naga Hills.

Nidification. This curious little Wren breeds in considerable numbers in the Ivhasia Hills 'but is much more rare in the adjoining Cachar and Naga Hills. It commences breeding in early April and eggs may be found to the end of June. The nests of this Wren and all others of the genus are sui generis and cannot be confounded with those of any other bird. The outer part consists of dead leaves, withered grass, a few roots and sometimes a few bamboo spathes, but all the materials are of a very damp and rotten description, falling to pieces directly the nest is moved from its original position. The lining, however, is quite water- proof and consists of a material exactly resembling ijcipier mdche, apparently made of skeleton leaves and some soft fibrous stuff worked into a pulp and then spread over the whole interior of the nest in a very neat cup. The nest itself is a long oval, generally completely domed, sometimes only partially so, and is placed on the ground on some sloping bank among weeds or scrub in damp, evergreen forest. The eggs number two to four and are pure, but dull white, sparsely speckled, chiefly at the larger end, with reddish-brown. The texture is fine and close and the shell fairly stout. In shape they are broad, obtuse ovals.