(1186) Anthus hodgsoni hodgsoni.
The Indian Tree-Pipit.
Anthus trivialis hodgsoni Richmond, Blackwelder Res. in China, pt. ii. p. 493 (1907) (Nepal). Anthus maculatus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 304 (part).
Vernacular names. Liku-jitta (Tel.).
Description. Very similar to Anthus t. trivialis but with upper plumage strongly suffused with green and with the central black streaks much more narrow and ill-defined; the supercilium is fulvous in front and white over the ear-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown ; bill horny-black above, fleshy-brown below with a dark tip ; legs and feet flesh-colour or horny-fleshy.
Measurements. Wing 84 to 88 mm.; tail 58 to 66 mm.; tarsus about 21 to 22 mm. ; culmen about 11 to 12 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in the Himalayas, Afghanistan, Gilgit, Kuman, Kashmir, Garhwal. In Winter it is found over the whole of India and Ceylon ; birds occurring in Eastern Bengal and Assam are referable to the typical race but birds from Burma, more especially in the South and East, are nearer yunnanensis.
Nidification. Similar to that of the Tree-Pipit. It breeds at all elevations between 8,0(0 and 15,000 feet, making a bulky, rather compact nest of grass and roots, often mixed with leaves, bracken and other material and lined with fine grass or grass and hair. It is most often placed in a hollow under a stone or in a bank, sometimes in a shallow depression in the ground under a bush or tuft of coarse grass. The eggs number three to five, generally four, and resemble those of the Tree-Pipit but blotched eggs are exceptional, the great majority being finely speckled or spotted over their whole surface. Eighty eggs average 21.6 X 16.0 mm.: maxima 23.3 X 16.0 and 22.l X17.0 mm.; minima 20.0 X 15.4 and 21.9 X 14.5 mm.
They breed throughout May and June .md more rarely in early July at the higher altitudes.
Habits. In Summer this Pipit is found in the undulating meadow-lands of the Himalayas, from 7,000 feet upwards, in the vicinity of forests and well-wooded valleys. At this time of the year it is said to be wild and intolerant of observation but in Winter, when it resorts to the plains in vast numbers, it is very tame. When disturbed it flies into trees like the Tree-Pipit and its note and flight are also very like those ot that bird. In Assam the earliest birds arrive in the beginning of August and the latest departures take place at the end of April.