163. Alcippe nepalensis.
The Nepal Babbler.
Siva nipalensis, Hodgs. Ind. Rev. p. 89 (1838). Alcippe nipalensis (Hodg.), Blyth, Cat. p. 148 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 226; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 18; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 103; Hume, N. & E. p. 240; Hume Dav. S. F. vi, p. 260; Hume, Cat. no. 388; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 237; Oates, B. B. i, p. 68; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 620; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 138 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 104.
The Nepal Quaker-Thrush, Jerd.; Sam-dayal-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, nape, and upper back ashy brown; sides of the head and of the neck paler ashy brown; a very conspicuous ring of white feathers round the eye ; lores grey ; a black supercilium commencing narrowly over the eye, widening gradually and extending to the upper back, where it becomes more or less streaky; lower back, scapulars, wing-coverts, rump, upper tail-coverts, and tail fulvous brown; wings brown, edged with fulvous on the outer webs; chin whitish; lower plumage pale buff or earthy brown, albescent on the abdomen.
Bill grey or livid horny, the base of the upper mandible and a line along the culmen black; iris hazel-brown; feet livid fleshy; claws grey-horny (Scully).
Length about 5 ; tail 2.4; wing 2.3 ; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .55.
This species can be easily separated from A. phayrii and A. phaeocephala by its smaller size, its conspicuous white orbital ring of feathers, and by its long well-marked black supercilia.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Nepal to the extreme east of Assam ; the Khasi and Naga hills ; Manipur ; the hilly portions of Tenasserim from Karennee and Toungngoo down to Nwalabo mountain. Hume records this bird from the northern portion of the Pegu hills, and Blyth from Arrakan. In the Himalayas it is found up to 5000 feet or more.
Habits, &c. This bird is found in thick jungle, feeding on the ground in small parties, and creeping among bushes in search of insects. It has a low twittering note. It breeds from March to May, constructing a small cup-shaped nest of bamboo-leaves and grass in the fork of a bush close to the ground. The eggs, three or four in number, are pinkish, blotched with maroon-red, and measure .77 by .58.