182. Sittiparus castaneiceps.
The Chestnut-headed Tit-Babbler.
Minla castaniceps, Hodgs. Ind. Rev. 1838, p. 33; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 255; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 109. Leiothrix castaniceps (Hodgs.), Blyth, Cat. p. 100; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 307.Minla castaneiceps (Hodgs.), Hume, N. & E. p. 393 ; Wald. in Blyth's Birds Burm. p. 110; Davison, S. F. v, p. 459; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 372; Hume, Cat. no. 619; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 320; Oates, B. B. i, p. 146; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 608; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2) v, p. 601; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 249. Minla brunneicauda, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 609 (1883). Sittiparus castaneiceps (Hodgs.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 118.
The Chestnut-headed Hill-Tit, Jerd.
Coloration, Forehead, crown, and nape chestnut-brown, the feathers of the forehead with broad white streaks, those of the crown and nape with pale rufous streaks ; sides of the forehead, lores, a broad supercilium, the ear-coverts, and a patch under the eye white ; a spot in front of the eye, a broad streak behind the eye and over the ear-coverts, and a narrow moustachial streak black ; back, scapulars, rump, and the smaller wing-coverts olive-green, tinged with fulvous; greater wing-coverts and primary-coverts black ; winglet white on the outer webs, black on the inner; the earlier primaries edged with hoary grey, the others and the secondaries edged with chestnut on the base of the outer webs, with olive-green on the other parts ; tertiaries broadly edged with olive-green on both webs; chin, throat, breast, abdomen, and under tail-coverts pale fulvous white; sides of breast and body ochraceous; under wing-coverts white.
Upper mandible dusky; the lower livid, yellow at base; iris crimson (in one bird dark brownish red); gape yellow; feet dingy greenish yellow ; claws yellowish horny (Scully).
Length about 4.5; tail 1.6; wing 2.2; tarsus .8; bill from gape .55.
I cannot separate S. brunneicauda, and I believe that Sharpe himself does not now consider it distinct.
Distribution. Nepal, Sikhim, the Khasi and Garo hills, Manipur, Karennee and Muleyit mountain in Tenasserim.
Habits, &c. Davison says : - " This little bird was common on the slopes of Muleyit from 3500 feet and upwards, usually going about in flocks of twenty or more, and hunting in a systematic manner amongst the brushwood and trees, peering into every crack and cranny and keeping up the whole time a low twittering."
Two nests of this species were found by Davison on Muleyit mountain in February. In both cases the nests were constructed of green moss lined with fibres and dry leaves, and were cup-shaped. One nest was placed in a masss of creepers about five feet from the ground, and the other in the moss growing on the trunk of a large tree. The eggs were white minutely spotted with black, and three in number in each instance; they measured .73 by .57.