(822) Cisticola exilis erythrocephala.
The Red-headed Fantail-Warbler.
Cisticola erythrocephala Blytli, J. A S B, , p. 523 (1831). (Nilgiris); Blanf. & Oates i, p. 371.
Vernacular names. Yedru-jitta (Tel.).
Description.— Male in Summer. Forehead and crown chestnut shading into dull rufous on the nape and hind neck; back and scapulars rufous boldly streaked with black; wing-feathers blackish edged with rufous-fulvous; rump and upper tail-coverts rufous-brown; tail black with whitish tips and very narrow rufescent edges, soon wearing off; underparts bright light ferruginous, paler on centre of throat and abdomen.
Colours of soft parts. Iris tan or light brown; bill above horny-brown, below pale yellowish brown; legs and feet fleshy-white to fleshy-brown.
Measurements. Wing 45 to 51 mm.; tail mm. in Summer, 44 to 46 mm. in Winter; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen 10 to 11 mm.
Female and Male in Winter. Head rufous, broadly streaked with black; tail with broad olive-brown edges; below rather less rufous.
Young are like the female but paler and less boldly marked and with the underparts yellow, the flanks dusky.
Distribution. The Hills of Mysore and Travancore, North to Sangar in the Central Provinces. It is also common on the Brahmagiris in Coorg and I have had it reported from the Western Ghats in Kanara but have not seen any skins from thence.
Nidification. Nothing recorded.
Habits. The Bed-headed Fantail-Warbler is only found where there are wide stretches of grass-land and is not found in forest or scrub unless it is in patches of the latter standing in grass. Mr. Howard Campbell found it common in small colonies in the Palni Hills but has recorded nothing about its Habits.