(321) Actinodura egertoni egertoni.
THE NEPAL BAR-WING.
Actinodura egertoni Gould, P. Z. S., 1836, p. 18 (Sikkim) ; Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 201.
Vernacular names. Ramnio-pho (Lepcha).
Description. Crest rich ashy-brown; forehead, lores, round the eye, cheeks and chin rufous; ear-coverts, sides of the neck and mantle brown, paler than the crest; smaller wing-coverts, rump, back and upper tail-coverts reddish brown; primary-coverts almost entirely black; greater coverts chestnut; inner webs of primaries and outer secondaries brown, the outer webs ashy with chestnut bases and black bars; inner secondaries silky-brown, narrowly barred with black; outer tail-feathers brown, barred with black and tipped with white ; the middle pair reddish brown, obsoletely barred and the intervening ones gradually changing from the one to the other ; throat and upper breast pinkish-fulvous ; remainder of lower plumage fulvous, the centre of the abdomen whitish and the under tail-coverts tipped with white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown or reddish brown; bill pale horny-brown, darker on culmen, paler on gonys; legs and feet pale sienna or pale brown.
Measurements. Total length about 220 to 230 mm.; wing 80 to 85 mm.; tail about 105 to 115 mm.; tarsus about 28 mm.; culmen about 15 mm.
Distribution. Nepal, Sikkim and Dana Hills.
Nidification. The Nepal Bar-wing breeds between 4,000 and 8,000 feet in May and June, making a compact cup-shaped nest of grass, leaves and bamboo leaves mixed with roots and tendrils and lined with finer roots and rhizomorph. Outside there is always a certain amount of moss and often a great deal, whilst in some instances this material is largely used in the nest itself. It measures between 4 and 6 inches in diameter and is almost as deep as wide, though occasionally a more shallow-shaped nest may be taken. It is placed in saplings, small trees or high bushes 10 to 25 feet from the ground and most often in fairly dense forest. The eggs number two or three, very rarely four, and are a pale blue-green in colour with rather smeary lines, blotches and smudges of reddish brown with secondary markings of pale lilac-grey. The texture is fine but not very glossy, the shape an obtuse oval and twenty-five eggs average 22.8 x 17.5 mm. in measurement.
Habits. In habits these birds differ little from those of the genus Leioptila. Hume remarks that they go about in small parties and are quite tree-birds, clambering about and poking into every hole and cranny and foraging about much like Tits in the huge bunches of orchids and other parasites. They are rather noisy birds but most of their notes are mellow and pleasant. They are mainly insectivorous in their diet, perhaps wholly so.