(301) Pseudominla cinerea.
THE DUSKY-GREEN TIT-BABBLER.
Minla cinerea Blyth, J. A. S. B., xvi, p. 449 (1849) (Darjeeling). Sittiparus cinereus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 171.
Vernacular names. Dao-pere kashiba (Cachari).
Description. Upper plumage greyish green, the feathers of the forehead, crown and nape margined with black; a broad black band on either side of the crown from the forehead to the nape, terminating in a number of streaks on the upper back; a broad pale yellow supercilium from the back to the nape; a line through the eye black ; ear-coverts mixed grey and black ; cheeks yellow, tipped with black; wing and tail-feathers suffused on the outer webs with the colour of the back ; whole lower plumage yellow, the sides of neck, breast and abdomen olivaceous.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown or reddish brown; bill dark horny-brown to nearly black; legs fleshy or reddish-brown ; '' fleshy yellow '' (Jerdon).
Measurements. Total length about 110 to 115 mm.; wing 53 to 58 mm.; tail about 42 to 44 mm.; tarsus about 23 mm.; culmen 10 mm.
Distribution. Nepal, Sikkim and Assam North and South of the Brahmaputra.
Nidification. The Dusky-green Tit-Babbler breeds from 2,500 up to at least 6,000 feet but not often below some 3,500 feet. The nesting season commences early in April and continues up to the latter part of July. The nest is either a deep cup, semi-domed cup or a complete oval and is placed either low down in bushes, bamboo clumps, vines and creepers or, more rarely, very low down in amongst the roots of the same. The principal materials in all cases where bamboos are handy are bamboo leaves; elsewhere soft blades of grass but with these are mixed a certain amount of dead leaves, fern- and bracken-fronds and weeds; tendrils and roots are used to bind the materials together. The lining is of roots or bamboo leaves and sometimes a little moss is used inside and outside the nest. The sites selected may be either in bamboo and scrub or in deep forest. The eggs number two, three or four and have the ground-colour anything from pure white to pale sienna and the markings consist of tiny specks of dark sienna-brown, often forming a ring or cap but profusely scattered elsewhere also. A few eggs with white ground have the specks still darker and finer. The shape is generally a short oval; pyriform eggs not being rare. They are very fragile and have no gloss. Sixty eggs average 18.3 x 14.3 mm.
Habits. This is a still more cheerful, lively little bird than those of the genus Schaeniparus and when fluttering about a bush on which insects are plentiful remind one of Warblers of the genus Phylloscopvs. They do not, I think, ever feed on the ground nor on the other hand do they ascend any height into trees but I have seen them in grass and scrub occasionally and in bamboos often; when in deep forest, which they most affect, they prefer places where there are glades or breaks such as are made by streams, jungle-tracks etc. rather than the denser, darker portions. They keep up a soft twittering the whole time they are feeding.