291. Alcippe poioicephala davisoni

(291) Alcippe poioicephala davisoni Harington.
THE TENASSERIM QUAKER-BABBLER.
Alcippe poioicephala davisoni, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 279.
The Tenasserim Quaker-Babbler is found from Moulmein South to Tavoy and Mergui.
The nests and eggs of this Quaker-Babbler have been taken by a good many collectors from the time of Bingham and Darling to that of Mackenzie and Hopwood and it appears, according to them, to be found both in “heavy” or “evergreen” forest and in bamboo-jungle. The nest appears to be placed in very varied situations. Bingham, on the 25th February, found his “a firm little cup, borne up some two feet above the ground, on the fronds of a strong-growing fern, to three of the leaf-stems of which it was attached. It was made of vegetable fibres and roots and lined interiorly with fine black hair-like roots.”
Darling’s nest, which was found in heavy jungle on the 9th April, “was built in a small bush 4' from the ground (hanging between two forked twigs), of bamboo and other leaves, moss and a few fine twigs, and lined with moss and fern-roots, 2 inches in diameter and 1.1/2 deep” (? internal cup).
Davison took his nest on the 1st March “in a little bush about two feet above the ground, the bird seated on a little moss-made nest and utterly refusing to move off until I almost touched her, when she hopped on to a branch a few feet off and disclosed three naked little fledglings struggling or just struggled out of their shells.”
Hopwood and Mackenzie each took a nest built on bamboos and agreeing with the nests of other Quaker-Babblers. Neither of these two mention moss as one of the materials used, though all three of the first-described nests contained some. Their nests were made of the usual bamboo-leaves and grass outside, with the little cup of roots and fine grass-stems inside. These will probably be found to be the normal materials of most nests. Hopwood took his nest on the 25th February, whilst Mackenzie took his two on the 19th April and 21st May. In addition to these I have two nests and eggs, one taken by Major Harris on the 19th January and one by W. Partridge on the 1st June. Of the eight nests therefore taken, so far as is known at present, two were obtained in each of the months of February and April and the others, one in each of the remaining months from January to June.
The eggs seem to number two and but rarely three, whilst in coloration they generally agree with the salmon, blotched and smudged type common to all the races of poioicephala, except that they are unusually deep in tint. A single egg taken by Mackenzie has a pale cream ground dotted sparingly with brick-red and with little secondary blotches of grey. Two clutches of two each have a white ground with purple spots, numerous at the larger end but sparse elsewhere. This is a very common type with the White-eyed group but exceptional in the present species.
The average of twenty-one eggs is 19.1 x 14.7 mm. ; maxima 20.8 x 15.0 mm. ; minima 18.2 x 14.0 mm.
In shape and texture they are quite normal.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
291. Alcippe poioicephala davisoni
Spp Author: 
Harington.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
291
Year: 
1932
Page No: 
248
Common name: 
Tenasserim Quaker Babbler
M_ID: 
24444
M_SN: 
Alcippe poioicephala davisoni
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
13488

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