326. Sibia nipalensis nipalensis

(326) Sibia nipalensis nipalensis (Hodgs.).
Ixops nipalensis nipalensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 307.
Sibia nipalensis nipalensis, ibid. vol. viii, p. 606.
This bird is one of a group about which very little is known, either in regard to its habitat or its nidification. This subspecies is confined to Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan.
Stevens, who is the only collector other than Hodgson (if his are correct) who has taken the nest and eggs, says this Bar-wing is “more or less numerous at elevations between 7,000 and 10,200 feet on the outer ranges. It frequents the tops of the trees in parties at high elevations. 4,000' as its lowest limit, as recorded by Oates, is entirely erroneous for Sikkim.”
Stevens gives it as occurring in Winter up to 10,000 feet on Kabo Pokhari and again at 10,160 feet on the 22nd March.
Hodgson records it as breeding from April to June in Sikkim and the Central region of Nepal, where the nest is said to be placed in holes or in crevices between rocks and stones. Its measurements are given as 3.62" x 2" outside ; 2.5" x 1.37" for the egg-cavity. In construction the nest is described as being composed of fine twigs, grass and fibres, adorned with little pieces of lichen and lined with fine moss-roots. The eggs are said to be pinky-white but a copy of one of Hodgson’s plates in the British Museum gives “a white egg with ferruginous spots.”
None of. these agree in the least with Stevens’s nest and eggs but, unfortunately, he did not manage to kill either of the parent birds, so the matter is still in doubt. On the other hand, his description of the nests he took, three in number, are just such as we would expect a Bar-wing’s to be, whilst the eggs are distinctly like the erythristic type of Leioptila egg. Again, in each case Stevens saw the birds and identified them, though he did not shoot them and there were no other species of this group frequenting the forest.
The nests are neat, compact, cup-shaped nests well put together but small for the size of the bird, one sent to me measuring 3 by 1.1/4 inches only. They are made of fine grass-bents with lichen woven into the exterior and a lining of roots. In the nest sent to me there is also some moss among the materials of the outer wall. This particular nest is lined with coarse reddish-yellow roots. It was built on a small sapling in evergreen forest.
The two eggs are very pale pinky-white, marked at the larger end with bold blotches of reddish-brown and secondary blotches of inky-grey, forming fairly well-defined broad rings. Elsewhere there are a few scattered smaller blotches of both types. The eggs are moderately long ovals, the texture smooth, not very fine and quite glossless. They measure 27.1 x 18.7 and 25.2 x 18.8 mm. They and the other two nests, each containing two similar eggs, were taken in early June.
Hodgson’s eggs, which measured roughly 21.6 x 14.0 mm., would be tiny for a bird the size of this Bar-wing.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
326. Sibia nipalensis nipalensis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Nepal Hoary Bar Wing
Hoary-throated Barwing
Actinodura nipalensis
Vol. 1

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