842. Anthus nilgiriensis.
The nilgiri Pipit.
Anthus rufescens, Jerd. Madr. Journ. L. S. xi, p. 34 (1840). Anthus montanus, Jerd., Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 435 (1847); id. Cat. p. 136; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 461; id. Cat. no. 598; Davison, S. F. x, p. 397. Pipastes montanus (Jerd.), Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 230; Hume, N. & E. p. 383; Fairbank, S. F. v, p. 407. Anthus nilghiriensis, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 550 (1885); Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 211.
The Hill Tree-Pipit, Jerd.
Coloration. Upper plumage fulvous, tinged with olivaceous, each feather broadly streaked or centred with black, except on the rump, where the marks are brown and less distinct; wings blackish margined with fulvous; tail black, edged with olivaceous, the two outer pairs of feathers dull white on the terminal half or third of their length, the next pair with a dull white tip; a light rufous supercilium ; lores brown ; sides of head mixed rufous and brown ; lower plumage tawny fulvous, the sides of the neck, the whole breast, and the sides of the body with short, narrow, but very distinct and well-defined black streaks.
Upper mandible dull black, apical half of lower mandible dark fleshy; iris deep brown ; legs and feet fleshy; claws pale brown (Davison).
Length nearly 7; tail 2.6 ; wing 3.1; tarsus 1; bill from gape .7 ; hind claw about .35.
Distribution. The higher parts of the Nilgiri and Palni hills in Southern India, where this Pipit is a permanent resident.
Habits, &c. Breeds on the Nilgiris above 6000 feet in May, making a nest of grass under shelter of a tuft or bush. The eggs are greenish brown mottled with a darker shade, and measure about .85 by .6.