664. Cittocincla macrura.
Turdus macrourus, Gmel. Syst, Nat. i, p. 820 (1788). Kittacincla macroura (Gm.), Blyth, Cat. p. 165; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 279; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 116; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 197. Cittocincla macrura (Gm.), Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 437 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 22; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii. p. 86. Cercotrichas macrurus (Gm.), Hume, N. & E. p. 306; id. & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 333 ; Hume, Cat. no. 470. Cittocincla tricolor ( Vieill.), apud Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 85.
Shama, Hind.; Poda nalanchi, Tonka nalanchi, Tel.
Coloration. Male. Head and neck all round, breast, back, scapulars, and wing-coverts glossy black; rump and upper tail-coverts white; the median four tail-feathers entirely black, the others black at the base and then white ; quills, winglet, and primary-coverts dull black, with a slight gloss on the outer webs only; abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts bright chestnut; thighs white.
Female. In the female, which resembles the male in the distribution of colours, all those parts are slaty brown which are black in the male; the bright chestnut parts of the male are pale rufous in the female, and the quills and wing-coverts are narrowly edged with rufous. In other respects the sexes are alike.
The young vary a good deal. The general colour of the upper plumage is dark brown, the wing-coverts and some of the feathers of the back tipped with rufous ; the quills margined with rufous; the lower plumage is chiefly pale rufous, mottled with brown on the throat and breast. Young birds assume the adult plumage very soon after they are fully fledged.
The coloration of this bird is very constant to type throughout the large area of its distribution, the only variation apparent being in the darker coloration of some of the females in Tenasserim.
Bill black; legs pale flesh-colour; claws light horn-colour; mouth flesh-colour ; eyelids plumbeous ; iris dark brown.
Length about 11; tail about 6 ; wing 3.7; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape .95 ; the female has the tail about one inch shorter than the male.
Distribution. Ceylon ; the hills along the western coast of India from Cape Comorin to Khandala ; the Eastern Ghats, according to Jerdon; Orissa ; the Central Provinces; Chutia Nagpur; Western Bengal; the lower ranges of the Himalayas, from Nepal to Dibrugarh in Assam; the Khasi hills; Cachar; Tipperah ; Manipur; universally distributed over the whole of Burma and Karennee. The range of this common species is not well exhibited by the series in the Hume Collection, and it may be more widely spread over India proper than the above localities indicate. This bird is a permanent resident, and does not ascend the hills to any great height.
Habits, &c. Frequents thick jungle and is very shy ; a most excellent songster; breeds from April to June, constructing a nest of leaves and grass &c. in a hole of a tree at no great height from the ground, and laying four eggs, which are very similar in colour to those of Copsychus saularis, and measure about .85 by .62.