(563) Kittacincla macroura indica, nom. nov.
The Indian Shama. Cittocincla macrura.
Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 118 (part.).
Vernacular names. Poda nalanchi; Tonka nalanchi (Tel).: Shama (Hind, and Beng.); Shama-sorai (Assam); Daobulip-rajah (Cachari); Tai-tha-laik-swe (Burm.).
Description.— Adult male. Differs from the Malayan Shama only in being generally a richer chestnut below and often in having rather more black on the lateral tail-feathers.
Colours of soft parts as in K. m, macroura.
Measurements. Much the same for and as in K. m. macroura.
Female. Similar to the female of K. m. macroura but paler both above and below; the upper parts are more brown or less slaty.
Nestling and young male as in the Malayan Shama.
Distribution. Ceylon, practically the whole of India and Burma as far South as the North of Tenasserim; Siam, Yunnan and N. Cochin China.
The type of this race is in the British Museum, No. 188.8.131.529. Bhutan Duars, Dec. 1876.
Birds from N. W. China have the females rather pale hut are hardly divisible from the Indian and Burma birds.
Nidification. Similar to that of the last bird but in the Assam Hills Dr. Coltart and I often found its nest built well inside bamboo-clumps among the rubbish which always collects there in masses. In these instances the nest was always flimsiest, just a little pad of grass on the dead bamboo-leaves and protected from above by the rubbish collected on the numerous twigs jutting over it. Occasionally the nest in these hills is made of moss but generally of dead leaves, bamboo and others, lined always with grass. The eggs number four or five and are just like those of the last bird. In shape they are not quite such broad ovals as those of the "Dayal"' nor are they quite so highly glossed. Fifty-five eggs average 22.3 x l7.2 mm. and the extremes are: maxima 24.1 x 17.1 and 22.0 x 18.0 mm.; minima 20.2 x 16.7 mm.
Habits. This charming bird is an inhabitant of jungles and forests wherever there is broken ground or low hills up to some 2,000 feet and also the plains in their immediate vicinity. It is very partial to bamboo or mixed bamboo and tree forest, but may be found in almost any forest which is not too dense or which borders streams and open glades. Like the last bird it is a beautiful songster, with a fuller, more varied series of notes than the Magpie-Robin but it confines its singing almost entirely to the mornings and evenings. It is a very late bird and may sometimes be heard singing its loudest and sweetest as the rapid dusk of the tropical evenings fades into night. I have seen this Shama at heights over 4,000 feet but it is most common in Assam between the foot-hills and 2,500 feet.