(84) AEgithaliscus niveogularis.
THE WHITE-THROATED TIT.
Orites niveogularis Moore, P. Z. S., xxii, p. 140 (1855) (North India). AEgithaliscus niveogularis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 52.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Forehead and front of crown, cheeks, chin, throat and sides of neck white; lores and a very broad eye-band black; the two bands partially blending on the nape; ear-coverts hair-brown slightly streaked with whitish; hind crown and nape buffy brown; upper plumage, wing-coverts and edges of the wing-feathers ashy grey, all but the latter tinged with isabelline; tail brown, the outermost feather with the outer web white, the next two white along the shaft and at the tip ; lower plumage pinkish buff, divided from the white of the throat by a broad brown baud.
Colours of soft parts. Bill dark slaty; legs reddish; irides pale yellowish.
Measurements. Total length about 110 mm.; wing about 64 mm.; tail about 56 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen about 8 mm.
Distribution. From Garhwal and Simla to Gilgit, Chitral and Baluchistan, between 6,000 and 14,000 feet.
Nidification. The eggs of this bird were first taken by Whymper in June 1905 at Dumdar, Garhwal and more recently other nests by Messrs. B. B. Osmaston and P. Dodsworth. The nests are described as being like that of the Red-headed Tit but larger and densely lined with feathers. That first found by Whymper was placed in the fork of a willow about 6 feet from the ground and others as much as 30 feet from it, whilst Osmaston's was in the fork of a cherry-tree, both nest and tree being covered with lichen. The eggs appear to be four in number and are like those of the Red-headed Tit's but more spotted and less zoned with the markings.
They breed from May to June at elevations of 11,000 feet upwards.
Eggs sent me by Dodsworth from above Simla measure about 14.0 x 10.5 mm. These were taken from nests in small oaks.
Habits. Osmaston found this bird common in the Tons Valley, and Whymper equally so in Garhwal at elevations of some 11,000 or 12,000 feet. It seems to haunt both thick and sparse forest equally, and to go about in little parties like the rest of its tribe.
Whitehead likens its note to the " Wi" of the Goldfinch.