(297) Schaeniparus dubius dubius.
THE TENASSERIM TIT-BABBLER.
Proparus dubius Hume, P. A. S. B., 1874, p. 109 (Muleyit). Schaeniparus dubius. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 168.
Vernacular names. Prep-dor (Kachin).
Description. Forehead, crown and nape reddish brown, each feather obsoletely margined darker and the forehead tinged with chestnut; lores and a band on each side of the crown, blending on the back, black; a white supercilium from the eye to the nape ; ear-coverts and sides of neck pale fulvous-brown; upper plumage olive-brown, tinged with rufous on exposed parts of wings and tail; lower plumage pale fulvous, whitish on the chin and throat and olivaceous on the flanks and under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris yellowish red, pale yellow to slaty-pink ; bill dark brown to dull black; legs and feet fleshy.
Measurements. Total length about 135 mm.; wing 53 to 58 mm.; tail about 60 mm.; tarsus 25 mm.; culmen 12 mm.
Distribution. Northern and Central Tenasserim.
Nidification. The Tenasserim Tit-Babbler makes a domed nest of bamboo leaves and grass, which it places either on the ground or close to it. The lining, always very slight, is of roots and fibres and occasionally these are made use of in the body of the nest. The sites selected seem to be generally in forests with amp undergrowth and, less often, bamboo-jungle. The eggs number from two to four. In colour they are white or creamy-white, smudged and blotched with yellowish brown and with a few darker, almost black, spots and lines. The breeding season is from February to May. Thirty eggs average 20.5 x 15.9 mm.
Habits. The birds of this genus are more typically Timaliine in their habits than Alcippe, less so than Rhopocichla. They collect in small flocks of five to ten birds, haunt brushwood and low forest and feed wholly on insects which they obtain principally on the ground. Davison says that their note is like " chir-chit-chit-chit," constantly repeated.