198. Drymochares nepalensis.
The Nepal Short-wing.
Brachypteryx nipalensis, Hodgs., Moore, P. Z. S. 1854, p. 74; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 397; Jerd. & Blyth, P. Z. S. 1861, p. 201; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 494; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 102; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 100; Hume Dav. S. F. vi, p. 236; Hume, Cat. no. 330 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 19; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 29 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 121. Drymochares nepalensis (Hodgs.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 130.
The White-bellied Short -wing, Jerd.
Coloration. Male. The lores and a frontal band dark blackish blue; a partially concealed white eyebrow; the whole upper plumage, sides of the head and neck, cheeks and the visible portions of the closed wings and tail dark slaty blue ; chin, throat, and the central portion of the abdomen white, somewhat mottled with brown specks ; remainder of lower plumage smoky brown.
Female. The whole upper plumage and sides of the head and neck ferruginous olive-brown, the space round the eye ruddier than the other parts ; a partially-concealed white eyebrow similar to that of the male; chin, throat, and central portion of the abdo¬men whitish ; remainder of the lower plumage fulvous.
The young resemble the female; the young males assume the adult plumage in the first spring.
Bill dark brown; gape whitish ; legs and feet dark purplish fleshy; iris dark brown (Davison).
Length nearly 5; tail 1.4; wing 2.3; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape .7.
Hume and Davison have already noticed the strange fact that all the males the latter procured in Tenasserim are similar to the female in plumage. I find that the same is the case with all the sexed males from Shillong and Manipur. In Sikhim, on the other hand, blue males appear to be common enough.
Distribution. Sikhim; the Khasi hills; Manipur; Muleyit mountain in Tenasserim. It is very doubtful whether Hodgson's specimens in the British Museum came from Nepal.
This species has been found on the mountains of Perak in the Malay peninsula.
Habits, &c. The nest of this species appears to be always globular or domed, constructed of dry flags and dry skeleton leaves, and placed in brushwood or on a fallen tree a short distance off the ground. The eggs are pale stone-colour, marked with pale reddish brown, and measure about .8 by .6.