The genus Certhia contains four Indian species which are, however, divisible into many geographical races. They are resident in the Himalayas and higher hills of Burma, moving vertically to some extent under varying conditions of temperature.
Certhia has only a single moult, in the autumn, Biddulph's opinion that ft himalayana. had both a spring and autumn moult being undoubtedly incorrect.
The young are coloured like the adult but have signs of crossbars on the lower plumage, especially on the sides of the breast and flanks, and are somewhat paler and duller.
In Certhia the bill is as long, or nearly as long, as the head, slender and curved downwards. The nostrils are long, narrow slits. The tarsus is scutellated and the toes and claws are extremely long.
The wing is rounded, the first primary being about half the length of the second, and the third a little shorter than the second. The tail and wing about equal in length and the former is composed of twelve very stiff pointed feathers and greatly graduated.
Key to Species.
A. Tail distinctly cross-barred C. himalayana, p. 429.
B. Tail without bars or with only faint ones.
a. Chin, throat and breast white; under tail-
coverts fulvous C. familiaris, p. 432.
b. Whole lower plumage earthy-brown .... C. discolor, p. 435.
c. Chin and throat white, remainder of lower
plumage deep ferruginous ............ C. stoliczka, p. 438.
Certhia himalayana is represented in India by four well-marked races, and is found from Baluchistan and Afghanistan to Yunnan and the Shan States. It is easily distinguished from all other forms of Tree-Creeper by its boldly barred tail.
Key to Subspecies.
A.Upper plumage blackish brown, strongly
suffused with ferruginous on the rump and upper tail-coverts.
a. Darker above; abdomen and flanks pale
smoky-brown tinged with fulvous .. C. A. himalayana, p. 430.
b. Paler above; abdomen and flanks pale
smoky-brown with no tinge of fulvous. C. h. taeniura, p. 431.
B. Upper plumage very dark, slightly tinged
with rufous on rump C. h. intermedia, p. 432.
C. Upper plumage with no tinge of rufous.. C. h. yunnanensis, p. 432.