290. Alcippe poioicephala phayrei

(290) Alcippe poioicephala phayrei.


Alcippe phayrei Blyth, J. A. S. B., xiv, p. 601 (1845) (Arrakan; Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 158.

Vernacular names. Dao-pere-gadeba (Cachari).

Description. The head and neck in this form are brownish grey gradually changing into the olive-brown of the back; the chin and throat are greyish and the rest of the under parts are rufescent ochraceous. The exposed portions of primaries and tail are yellowish brown.

Colours of soft parts. Iris pearly-white to grey; eyelids slaty ; upper mandible brownish-horny, darker at base and on culmen, lower paler and yellowish ; legs and feet pale dull fleshy, or fleshy-white.

Measurements; Wing 66 to 72 mm.; culmen 12 to 13 mm.

Distribution. Assam and Western Burma from the Chin Hills to the South of Arrakan. Birds from Assam and others from W. Burma differ in some respects, more especially in the tint* of the grey on the head and again in the amount of rufous on the lower plumage. However, though material from Assam is plentiful, from Burma it is very scanty and more must be obtained before the value of the differences can be estimated.

Nidification. The nest of this bird is merely a rather larger edition of that of the Nepal Babbler and is placed in quite similar positions. It breeds in great numbers in all the hills South of the Brahmaputra, not only at elevations up to 2,000 feet but also freely in the plains themselves. I have myself taken eggs as early as March and as late as September but May and early June is the principal breeding time. The eggs only differ from those of the Nepal Babbler in being larger, but the great majority are in colour of the clouded and smudged type described as No. 4 in that bird. One hundred and fifty eggs average 19.6 x 15.0 mm.

Habits. The larger Quaker-Babblers of this group {poioicephala) are rather more Timaliine in their habits than those of the previous (nepalensis) group. More shy and retiring, they are dso less quick and active in their movements. They use their legs more, yet are not so Tit-like in their actions and though they take readily to flight, they do not make the constant little sallies into the air, both in play and for food, like the Nepal Babblers do. I do not think they ever actually descend on to the ground to feed except for a second or two.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.1 1922.
Title in Book: 
290. Alcippe poioicephala phayrei
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Arrakan Quaker Babbler
Alcippe poioicephala phayrei
Vol. 1

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