164. Alcippe phaeocephala.
The Nilgiri Babbler.
Thimalia poioicephala, Jerd. Madr. Journ. L. S. xiii, p. 169 (1844). Alcippe poiocephala (Jerd.), Blyth, Cat. p. 148 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 18; id. Ibis, 1872, p. 298; Hume, N. & E. p. 240; id. Cat. no. 389; Davison, 8. F. x, p. 374. Alcippe brucei, Fairbank MS.*, Hume, J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, . p. 122 (1870) ; id. S. F. i, p. 8; Jerd. Ibis, 1872, p. 298. Alcippe phaeocephala (Jerd.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 622; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 106.
The Neilgherry Quaker-Thrush, Jerd.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, and nape ashy brown; the whole upper plumage olive-brown tinged with fulvous, the wings, tail, and upper tail-coverts decidedly ferruginous ; sides of the head ashy brown, the shafts of the ear-coverts paler; the entire lower plumage fulvous, paler on the centre of the abdomen.
Iris slaty grey; legs, feet, and claws greyish fleshy; bill horny brown (Davison).
Length about 6 ; tail 2.6 ; wing 2.8 ; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .7.
Birds from the Nilgiris and Travancore have the head very much darker than the rest of the upper plumage; birds from more northern localities have it very little darker than the upper parts in general.
Distribution. The western coast of India from Khandala to Travancore, ascending up to 6000 feet of elevation. This Babbler also occurs at Pachmarhi in the Central Provinces. In the British Museum there is an Alcippe from Pareshnath Hill which I am inclined to identity with the present species rather than with A. phayrii; but the two species run very close to each other, and it is not always easy to separate them.
Habits, &c. There appears to be nothing distinctive in the habits or nidification of this species worthy of note. It breeds from January to June, and the eggs measure .85 by .63.
I cannot discover where this name was published ; the first mention of it, so far as I know, is by Hume (l, c.),