477. Cinclus cinclus cashmeriensis

(477) Cinclus cinclus cashmeriensis.

The Kashmir Dipper or "White-breasted Asiatic Dipper.

Cinclus cashmeriensis Gould, P. Z. S., 1859, p. 494 (Kashmir). Cinclus kashmiriensis. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 162 (1890). Cinclus sordidus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 165.

Vernacular names. Daodui-di (Cachari).

Description. Forehead, lores, crown and upper back chocolate-brown; edges of eyelids with white feathers ; remainder of upper plumage slate-colour, each feather centred and edged with black; on the back the slate and brown grade into one another; wing-feathers brown, edged with slate and the secondaries edged with white ; tail slate-colour, faintly cross-rayed; chin, throat, cheeks and breast pure white; remainder of lower plumage chocolate-brown, darker than the head and deepening to dark chocolate on flanks, vent and under tail-coverts.

Colours of soft parts. Iris bright hazel; bill black or blackish brown ; legs and feet dark brown, slaty-brown or almost black.

Measurements. Total length about 190 to 200 mm,; wing 90 to 100 mm.; tail 48 to 56 mm.; tarsus 27 to 29 mm.; culmen 18 to 19 mm.

Young birds after the first spring moult are like the adults but the feathers of the abdomen, vent, posterior flanks and under tail-coverts are streaked with white.

Nestlings have the whole upper plumage slate-grey, the feathers edged with dark brown; wing-coverts grey, with dark centres and broad white tips which form two wing-bars; wing-quills dark brown with broad terminal edges of white and the outer webs broadly edged with grey ; the whole lower plumage is white, the dark bases of the feathers showing through here and there, with numerous narrow bars of black or blackish brown.

The birds hitherto known as Cinclus sordidus, which have the whole throat and breast brown like the head, are generally accepted as nothing more than aberrant specimens of the Kashmir Dipper. They occur over exactly the same area and intermediate forms are not very rare. The types of sordidus and cashmeriensis were both obtained at the Tso Morari Lake, Ladak.

Distribution. Kashmir, Murree Hills, Garhwal, Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet East to Kanni. Northern Assam as far East as Tezpnr, not East of the Dibong or Brahmaputra and not South of that river. West to the Khagan Valley, and the whole N.W. Frontier.

Nidification. The Kashmir Dipper breeds in Kashmir from early April to the end of June at all heights from the lowest valleys up to 12,000 feet and possibly much higher. In the Khagan and Kurram Valleys on the extreme N.W. Frontier, Major C. H. T. Whitehead took two nests in the end of June at 12,000 feet. The nests are large domed structures, much the size and shape of a football and are built of moss, roots, grass and leaves well matted together and lined with soft moss and grass. They are generally placed on a rock, small island or stranded log in the middle of a stream, sometimes on rocks or between boulders on banks and often, wherever it may be placed, it is a moat con¬spicuous object, though in appearance it is so like a lump of rubbish, left by the -flood, that it escapes detection. The eggs number four or five and are pure white with soft glossless texture and fragile shell. In shape they are normal or pointed ovals. Fifty eggs average 25.9x18.5 mm.: maxima 21.1 x 18.9 and 26.3 x 19.5 mm.; minima 22.8 x? and ? x 16.4 mm. {Hume).

Habits. This Dipper is found both in summer and winter at very high levels and is one of the hardiest of birds. It has been seen at 15,000 feet in midwinter and Walton recorded it. as common at Chumbi at 14,000 feet at that season. It spends all its time on fast-running streams, sometimes hunting the rocks and shallows for insects, etc., at other times pursuing its prey under water. It prefers rapids and turbulent waters to the more placid pools and is extraordinarily active under the most difficult of con¬ditions whether above or below water. It flies with speed and directness, skimming along close to the surface, notifying both start and stop to its flight by its shrill whistle.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.2 1924.
Title in Book: 
477. Cinclus cinclus cashmeriensis
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Kashmir Dipper Or "white Breasted Asiatic Dipper
Cinclus cinclus cashmeriensis
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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