(288) Alcippe poioicephala poioicephala.
THE NILGIRI QUAKER-BABBLER.
Thimalia poioicephala Jerd., Madr. Jour. L. S., xiii, p. 169 (1844) (Nilgiris). Alcippe phaeocephala. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 158.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Head and neck brownish ashy-grey; ear-coverts hair-brown; back and upper parts brown, tinged grey on upper back, olive on lower back and rufous on rump and upper tail-coverts; outer webs of primaries and visible portions of tail chestnut; chin and throat greyish buff; breast, abdomen, flanks and under tail-coverts ochraceous buff.
Colours of soft parts. Iris slaty-grey ; bill horny-brown; legs and feet greyish-fleshy.
Measurements. Total length about 150 mm.; wing 66 to 70 mm.; tail about 65 mm.; tarsus about 17 to 18 mm.; culmen 13 mm.
Distribution. Hills of Southern India, Nilgiris, Coonoor, Wynaad etc. and Travancore.
Nidification. The Nilgiri Quaker-Babbler is said to breed from January to June, generally in May and June, in the hilly country from the lowest toot-hills upwards. The nest is a cup of leaves, grass and a little moss or lichen and lined with black roots. It is usually placed in a bush, 2 to 8 feet from the ground, standing in either dense forest or in scrub-jungle. The eggs are nearly always two only in number and vary in colour very greatly but the majority are of the clouded pink type described as one of the types of the Nepal Babbler. Thirty-eight eggs average 20.0 x 15.1 mm.
Habits. This Babbler is found from the level of the plains in broken country up to some 6,000 feet. In habits it appears to agree well with A. p. phayrei described further on.