392. Chaetornis locustelloides.
The Bristled Grass-Warbler.
Dasyornis locustelloides, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xi, p. 602 (1842) Megalurus striatus, Jerd. Madr. Journ. L. S. xiii, p. 169 (1844) Sphenura striata (Jerd.), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 330; Jerd. B. I. ii, v, p. 416; Cripps, S. F. vii, p. 279; Hume, Cat. no. 441; Barnes. Birds Bom. p. 183. Chaetornis locustelloides (Blyth), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 130; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 252.
The Grass-Warbler, Jerd. ; Genta-pitta, Tel.
Coloration. The newly moulted bird in autumn has the lores and a supercilium, white; the whole upper plumage fulvous brown, boldly streaked with black ; wings and coverts dark brown, very broadly edged with fulvous; tail fulvous-brown, each feather barred with black, the bars continent at the shaft and not reaching to the edges of the feather; the tips fulvous-white, preceded by a black patch; sides of the head mottled fulvous and brown; chin, throat, and middle of abdomen white; remainder of the lower plumage pale ochraceous.
Alter May the plumage becomes very dull, owing to the wearing away of the edges of the leathers, and the lower plumage becomes nearly uniformly white.
Legs and feet brown ; iris hazel; bill black, the lower mandible tipped horny-blue (Butter, September).
Legs fleshy : iris light chocolate-brown ; bill fleshy at base, the rest horny (Cripps, March)
From April to September the bill is black, at other times pale as described by Cripps.
Length about 8.5 tail 3.9 ; wing 3.5; tarsus 1.15; bill from gape .75 The sexes are of much the same size, contrary to what is usually assorted.
Distribution. This species appears to be spread over a considerable portion of the peninsula of India. Jerdon procured it on the Nilgiris and at Nellore Ball at Sambalpur and Kalahandi. In the Hume collect ion there are specimens from Deesa, Sauger, Seoni, Raipur, and Sambalpur. Further north this bird occurs at Etawah, Jhinjhak (Cawnpore), Dinapur, and in Oudh. I have seen a specimen which is labelled Darjiling. Jerdon states that C. locustelloides is common all over Lower Bengal,and Cripps records it from Furreedpore. Godwin-Austen inserts it in his list of Khasi-hill birds, but docs not state the precise locality where he obtained it. It is a permanent resident in all parts of its range.
Habits, &c Breeds from May to September, constructing a globular nest of grass, with the entrance at the .side, in a clump of grass or in a bush or even on the ground. The eggs are white speckled with purplish brown and inky purple, and measure .8 by .6.