(671) Anthipes monileger leucops.
Sharpe's White-gorgeted Flycatcher.
Digenea leucops Sharpe, P. Z. S., 1888, p. 246 (Shillong). Anthipes leucops. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 33.
Vernacular names. Inrephatki (Kacha Naga).
Description. Differs from A. m. monileger in having the forehead and eyebrow white, the lores mixed white and brown and the sides of the head more grey.
Colours of soft parts. Iris very dark brown ; bill black; legs and feet fleshy-white, the claws paler still.
Measurements. As in A. m. monileger; culmen 11 to 12 mm.
The Young bird is dark brown on the upper plumage streaked with fulvous; below dull fulvous, the breast mottled with dark brown.
Distribution. Mountains of Assam South of the Brahmaputra, Manipur, Lushai, Chin Hills and hills of Central Burma to Karenni.
Nidification. This little Flycatcher breeds in the hills south of Assam from the end of April to early June, most eggs being laid during the first fortnight of May. The nests are globular, roughly put together affairs of grass, bamboo-leaves and a few other dead leaves, thickly lined with the finest grass-stems. Outwardly the nests average about 6 1/2 by 5 inches and inwardly about 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches. Most nests are placed actually on the ground on a bank, among grass or scrub, but occasionally they are placed in bushes two or three feet above it. In these latter cases, however, the scrub is always very dense and the nest well hidden. The eggs number three or four, rarely live, and are quite unlike those of any closely allied genera. The ground-colour varies from pure white to pale pink, and they are sparsely speckled everywhere and rather more numerously at the larger end with pinkish red and reddish brown. In shape they are broad-ovals and the texture is fine and close, though they have little gloss. Twenty eggs average 18.0 x 13.0 mm. and the extremes are 19.7 x l4.0, 19.1 x 14.1, 17.2 X 13.9 and 17.3 x 13.2 mm. The birds breed between 3,000 and 6,000 feet.
Habits. This is nowhere a very common bird and is so shy and retiring in its habits that one sees little of it. It is found quite as often in light as in the heavier evergreen forest but it is partial to thick scrub or grass undergrowth and feeds close to the ground. Its usual perch is one some two to three feet high from which it makes little sallies after insects, usually capturing these in the air but occasionally taking them on the ground. During the breeding-season it has a weak but pleasant little song and at the commencement of that season it is rather more conspicuous than usual from its courting antics, flying into the air and then sailing down to its perch with its feathers all fluffed out, its head thrown back and its pure white throat with its black border visible from a considerable distance. It has a habit, like Siphia, of spreading and jerking its tail up and down wheu perched. It is not migratory, though it may move vertically to some extent with the seasons.
Key to Subspecies.
A. General colour of lower plumage white, more
or less tinged with buff on breast and flanks……………...A. o. olivaceus, p. 246.
B. General colour of lower plumage orange- buff …………A. o. poliogenys, p. 247.