Subfamily TIMELIINAE

The second subfamily of the Crateropodidae comprises a number of small birds which have close affinities for each other.

The Timeliinae agree in being solitary in their habits, or rather they are less gregarious than the Crateropodinae. Some of them are said to go about in small flocks, but this is by no means a general or usual character with them. They are above all things skulkers, frequenting the ground or underwood, and being seldom found many feet above the ground. They are not remarkably noisy, and they evade observation to the best of their power.

All the Timeliinae lay spotted eggs, so far as is known, except Stachyrhis, the birds of which genus have their eggs unspotted white. The removal of these into the Crateropodinae hereafter may be possible when the colour of the eggs of all the other genera is known; but at present the position of the genus is uncertain, and I have placed it in the present subfamily provisionally.

In none of the Timeliinae is the head crested; the feathers of the crown are frequently Lengthened and erectile, but in no case do they form a full crest.

In the Timeliinae the sexes are invariably alike. They possess to the fullest degree the characters of the typical Crateropodidae, namely the short, rounded wing and the strong feet. The young birds resemble the adults from the earliest age, more closely so, indeed, than any other group of birds I am acquainted with.

In India this subfamily is represented by 25 genera, of which four are now proposed to be separated for the first time, and by 53 species.

Key to the Genera.

a. Tail much longer than the wing.
a1. Shafts of feathers of crown rigid and glistening.
a2. Bill as long as head, deep and black……………..TIMELIA, p. 131.
b 2. Bill shorter than head, slender and pale coloured……………..DUMETIA, p. 133.
b1. Shafts of feathers of crown soft and not separable from webs.
c2. Wing about three and a half times Length of tarsus; bill notched……………..GAMPSORHYNCHUS, p. 134.
d2. Wing about two and a half times Length of tarsus; bill entire……………..PYCTORHIS, p. 137.
b, Tail equal to, or shorter than, wing, but always much longer than half the wing,
c1. Bill stout and straight; base of culmen straight; closed bill deeper at middle than at nostrils.
e2. Nostrils long, protected by an overhanging membrane.
a .Rictal bristles weak or moderate.
a4. Wing and tail about equal in Length……………..PELLORNEUM, p. 139.
b4. Tail much shorter than wing.
a5. Rictal bristles shorter ; upper plumage plain……………..DRYMOCATAPHUS, p. 144.
b5. Rictal bristles longer; upper plumage squamated……………..CORYTHOCICHLA, p. 148.
b3. Rictal bristles long and strong,
c4. Tail shorter than wing by not more than Length of hind toe……………..GYPSOPHILA, p. 149.
d4. Tail shorter than wing by much more than Length of hind toe.
c5. Wing more than three times Length of tarsus……………..MALACOPTERUM, p. 150.
d5. Wing less than three times Length of tarsus.
a6. Tail more than twice tarsus……………..ERYTHROCICHLA, p. 152.
b6. Tail equal to twice tarsus……………..TRICHOSTOMA, p. 153.
f2. Nostrils small ovals, exposed, pierced in anterior corner of membrane……………..TURDINUS, p. 153.
d1. Bill stout and curved; culmen regularly curved from its base; bill deepest at nostrils.
g2. Nostrils long, overhung by a large and prominent membrane.
c3. Nostrils not overhung by hairs……………..THRINGORHINA, p. 155.
d3. Nostrils overhung by hairs .... ALCIPPE, p. 156.
h2. Nostrils oval, exposed, pierced in anterior corner of membrane……………..RHOPOCICHLA, p. 159.
e1. Bill slender and pointed; its Length from forehead to tip longer than hind toe.
i2. Nostrils long and covered by a large membrane.
e3. Culmen very gently curved throughout……………..STACHYRHIS, p. 161.
f3. Culmen quite straight throughout……………..STACHYRIDOPSIS, p. 164.
g3. Basal half of culmen straight, terminal half slightly curved……………..CYANODERMA, p. 166.
k2. Nostrils oval, exposed, pierced in anterior corner of membrane……………..MIXORNIS, p. 166.
f1. Bill short and blunt; its Length from forehead to tip less than hind toe.
l2. Nostrils not overhung by hairs. h3. Tail and wing about equal in Length ; bill stout ……………..SCHOENIPARUS, p. 168.
i3. Tail considerably shorter than wing; bill slender……………..SITTIPARUS, p. 171.
m2. Nostrils overhung by hairs.
k3. Bill narrow; rictal bristles short; hind claw very large, as long as hind toe……………..PROPARUS, p. 173.
l3. Bill broad; rictal bristles long; hind claw moderate, shorter than hind toe……………..LIOPARUS, p. 174.
c. Tail less than half the wing.
g1. Bill as long as or longer than head, curved downwards……………..RIMATOR, p. 175.
h1. Bill half Length of head, straight……………..TURDINULUS, p. 176.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
Subfamily TIMELIINAE
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1889
Page No: 
129
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
173

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