559. Copsychus saularis amoenus

(559) Copsychus saularis amoenus Horsf.
THE MALAY MAGPIE-ROBIN.
Copsychus saularis musicus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 114.
Copsychus saularis amoenus, ibid. vol. vii, p. 113.
The Malay Magpie-Robin occurs within our limits in peninsular Burma throughout Southern Tenasserim. Outside the confines of the Empire it is found throughout peninsular Siam, the Malay States, Sumatra, Borneo and Java.
This Magpie-Robin is the same familiar, habitation-haunting bird in Southern Siam and Burma as its cousin is in India. Messrs. Mackenzie, Hopwood and others found it breeding in Tenasserim in much the same positions as the Indian bird selects, while the nests themselves are also very similar, except that they do not show that the birds have any fancy for cast snake-skins as a material for the lining. In Southern Siam both Williamson and Herbert found it very common, and both of these gentlemen obtained fine series of their eggs for me. Herbert writes of their breeding habits (Journ. Nat. Hist. Soc. Siam, vol. vi, p. 114, 1923) :— “It may be seen in every private garden and is essentially a resident of the compound. It is confiding and very fearless and has many of the pugnacious habits of the home Robin. It is definitely ‘cock o’ the walk’ in its own domain and will challenge all comers.
“The nesting site is usually a branch hole in a hollow tree, though it is not uncommon for the birds to build in the little spirit (“Pi”) houses *, which make very excellent nesting boxes. Another nesting site which has been adopted year after year by presumably the same pair of birds or their offspring, for I never came across another instance of it. was the cup-shaped end of a bamboo, which was left standing when the top half had been cut away. The nesting season is from early April to the end of July.”
* The little “Pi” houses are put up by the superstitious for wandering spirits to come and dwell in. They consist of a one-roomed house, measuring about fifteen inches by ten, all very neatly finished and erected on a stick at about four feet from the ground.
In Tenasserim they appear to breed principally in May and June and in Borneo Moulton obtained eggs, apparently hard set, on the 18th May.
The normal full clutch of eggs is three or four, and in colour they go through exactly the same range of variation as do those of the Indian bird ; even the abnormal unspotted blue and other types are found in the eggs of the Siam bird as in those of the Indian.
Herbert made out the average of his eggs to be 21.0 x 17.0 mm. ; but a bigger series, seventy eggs, give an average of 22.5 x 16.8mm. : maxima 29.1 x 18.1 and 23.0 x 18.3 mm. (Borneo) ; minima 19.3 x 15.2 mm. (Tenasserim).

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
559. Copsychus saularis amoenus
Spp Author: 
Horsf.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
559
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
100
Common name: 
Malay Magpie Robin
M_ID: 
27627
M_SN: 
Copsychus saularis amoenus
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
13733

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