(371) Chloropsis hardwickii hardwickii.
THE ORANGE-BELLIED CHLOROPSIS.
Chloropsis hardwickii Jard. & Selby, 111. Orn. Add., p. 1 (1829) (Nepal); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 236.
Vernacular names. Dao-gurrum-ho-gatang (Cachari).
Description. Whole upper plumage and inner secondaries bright green; forehead, above the eye and down the neck, strongly tinged with yellow; lores, ear-coverts and a patch behind them black; chin, throat and upper breast velvety black, glosse4 -with purplish blue ; moustachial streak bright cobalt; tail above purplish blue, the inner webs dusky-black; lesser wing-coverts verdigris-blue; other coverts black edged with purple; flanks green; remainder of lower plumage bright, deep orange.
Colours of soft parts. Iris bright red-brown to black-brown; bill black; legs plumbeous blue, dull and dark in old birds, bright and dear in the young.
Measurements. Total length about 188 mm.; wing 93 to 99 mm.; tail about 75 to 78 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen 17 mm.
Female. A moustachial streak pale cobalt; primaries and outer secondaries brown, the former narrowly, the latter broadly, edged with green ; centre of breast and abdomen and under tail-coverts orange, paler than in the male.
The young are wholly green and take over the year to acquire their full plumage.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Simla and Mussoorie to Eastern Assam, South through Manipur, Lushai Hills to Tenasserim, East to the Shan States and North and Western Siam. It also occurs in the Malay Peninsula.
Nidification. The Orange-bellied Chloropsis breeds throughout its range during the rains, occasionally in May, making a nest quite indistinguishable from that of aurifrons but which is some¬times placed lower, rarely within 8 or 10 feet of the ground. It breeds more exclusively in forest and less in the more open parts than does the previous species. The eggs cannot be separated from those of the aurifrons group. Twenty eggs average 22.8 x 15.9 mm.
Habits. The Orange-bellied Chloropsis is found from the foot¬hills and the plains adjoining up to about 6,000 feet; it, is much more a forest bird than most members of the genus, but haunts the thinner parts near rivers, glades and openings rather than the, deeper parts. It may be seen either in pairs or small parties, and is very active and quick on its legs and flies well. It is a redly beautiful songster and has a wonderful range of notes in addition to great powers of mimicry. It is a very favourite cage-bird in Assam and is easily taught tricks and becomes very tame. In a wild state it lives principally on insects, though it also eats some seeds and most fruit; in captivity, however, it is almost exclusively frugivorous.