139. Pyctorhis sinensis.
The Yellow-eyed Babbler.
Parus sinensis, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 1012 (1788). Timalia hypoleuca, Franklin, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 118. Timalia bicolor, Lafr. Mag. de Zool. 1835, text to pl. 39. Timalia horsfieldii, Jard. & Selby, Ill. Orn. pl. 119. Chrysomma sinense (Gm.), Blyth, Cat. p. 150; Horsf. & M. Cat. i. p. 230. Pyctorhis sinensis (Gm.). Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 15; Hume, N. E. p. 237; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 637 ; Hume, Cat. no. 385; Oates, B. B. i, p. 46; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 510 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 174 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 136; Oates in Hume's N. E. 2nd ed. i, p. 95.
Gal-chasm or Bulal-chasm, H. in the South ; Bara-podna, H. in the N. W. P.; Yerra Kali-jitta, Tel.; Mullala, Sind.
Coloration. The whole upper plumage, ear-coverts, and sides of the neck rufescent brown, changing to cinnamon on the tertiaries and the outer webs of the other quills; lores, a short eyebrow the feathers on the eyelids, chin, throat, cheeks, and breast pure white ; abdomen, vent, flanks, and under tail-coverts pale fulvous ; tail very faintly cross-rayed.
Iris pale orange-yellow ; eyelids deep orange; bill black, yellowish at the nostrils ; legs pale orange-yellow; claws pinkish ; mouth yellow in winter, black in summer.
Length about 7; tail 3.4; wing 2.5; tarsus 1; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. Every portion of the Empire, in the plains and lower hills, except Ceylon and Tenasserim south of Moulmein, but extending into Siam. This bird appears to be found in the hills up to an elevation of 5000 feet.
Habits, &c. Frequents every description of jungle except thick forest, but is more abundant perhaps in heavy grass than elsewhere. This bird is generally seen singly or in pairs, creeping about the vegetation near the ground and occasionally mounting to the top of a stem of grass or a branch to look round and utter its note. It breeds from May to September, constructing a deep cup-shaped nest of blades of grass and fibrous bark, which is attached to a few stems of grass or placed in a branch of a low tree. The eggs, three or four in number, are pinkish white blotched with red, and measure .73 by .59.