(300) Schceniparus rufigularis.
THE RED-THROATED TIT-BABBLER.
Minla rufigularis Mandelli, S. F., i, p. 416 (1873) (Bhutan Duars). Schaeniparus rufigularis. Blanf. & Oates, i. p. 170.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Forehead, crown and nape chestnut, bounded on each side by a black band, the two meeting on the nape; lores and supercilia white ; upper part of ear-coverts and a patch below the eye blackish ; lower part of ear-coverts rufous, connected together by a broad chestnut band across the throat; upper plumage, wings and tail olive-green, the outer webs of the feathers of wings and tail suffused with fulvous; chin, throat and centre of breast and abdomen white; remainder of the lower plumage olivaceous, tinged with rufous on the under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris reddish brown to lake-brown; bill black ; legs and feet yellowish brown, fleshy-brown or fleshy-livid.
Measurements. Total length about 140 mm.; wing 51 to 55 mm.; tail about 50 ram.; tarsus about 21 to 22 mm.; culmen about 10 to 11 mm.
Distribution. Bhutan Duars; Assam North and South of the Brahmaputra, Manipur and Eastern Bengal Hill tracts.
Nidification. This little Tit-Babbler breeds in great numbers all round the foot-hills of Margherita in E. Assam and probably up to some 3,500 feet. Dr. H. N. Coltart and I took many nests and had many brought to us, with the birds, from the central ranges. The nest is like that of the dubius group but perhaps more moss, roots, fern and bracken are used in its construction. It is always placed on the ground and quite as often in small scrub- and bamboo-jungle as in forest whilst occasionally we found it in small ravines running through tea cultivation. The eggs are similar to those of other birds of the genus but are decidedly greyer and less bold in coloration as a whole. One hundred eggs average 19.5 x 14.7 mm., the extremes being 21.1 x 15.7 mm. and 17.3 X 13.9 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus, but I think this bird feeds less on the ground than the other species and flies more freely and often without being frightened into doing so.