(545) Calliope tschebaiewi.
The Tibet Ruby-throat.
Calliope tschebaiewi Przewalski, Mongol i. Stran. Tang., ii, p. 44 (1876); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 104.
Vernacular names. Daogulugajao (Cachari).
Description. Differs from all races of pectoralis in having a broad white moustachial streak; the forehead is black or only narrowly white, and the white supercilium, though narrower, extends to the back of the ear-coverts; the white on the base of the lateral tail-feathers is not so wide; the upper parts are generally more olive-brown, less slaty.
Colours of soft parts as in the other species.
Measurements. Total length about 160 mm.; wing 73 to 81 mm.; tail 58 to 66 mm.; tarsus 33 mm.; culmen 14 to 15 mm.
Distribution. Breeding Ladakh, Tibet and Kansu; Sikkim, Bhutan Dooars, Assam and North Burma. In Winter it extends throughout the Burmese Hills, Yunnan, Siam and into the plains of Bengal and Assam.
Nidification. The nests of this Ruby-throat are the usual domed, grass structures placed in hollows on the ground under shelter of tufts of grass or bushes. Eggs taken by Przewalski on the 17th May are like those of C. calliope and measure 20.5 x 15.0 to 15.5 mm. Eggs taken at Phoulbiang, Ladak, for Col. Ward and sent to me with a skin are very pale blue and measure about 24.1 x 16.2 mm. These were taken on the 11th June at about 12,000 feet.
Habits. This bird appears to be less of a skulker than others of the genus. It is common in Assam in Winter and may then be seen much in the open and in thin scrub, hunting for its insect-prey quite as much amongst the grass and bushes as,on the ground. It has the same funny little habit of running a few paces and then flicking its tail hard over its back. It has a sweet little song of four or five notes only, but may be heard singing this often before it leaves the plains in late Spring.