560. Copsychus saularis ceylonensis

(560) Copsychus saularis ceylonensis Sclater.
THE CEYLON MAGPIE-ROBIN.
Copsychus saularis ceylonensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 115.
So far as is known at present, this Robin is confined to Ceylon, but birds from the extreme South of Travancore are said to closely approach the Ceylon birds and, with more material for comparison, may have to be placed with that bird.
Although the Ceylon Magpie-Robin is just as familiar and humanity-loving a bird as its Indian relation, it seems sometimes to be found breeding inside light and even dense forest at consider-able distances from any village. Usually, however, its nest is built in gardens, parks, round about villages and often in the buildings themselves, either under the eaves or in some convenient hole in wall or post. Its favourite site, perhaps, is a natural hollow in a tree at no great height from the ground, more often under than over ten feet. Both Wait and Phillips have taken nests and eggs from sites not usually selected by Magpie-Robins. Wait has taken one and Phillips two nests from holes in termites’ mounds, while others have been taken from holes in the sides of borrow-pits beside roads through the jungle.
The nest is a rough, untidy cup or pad, fitting into the bottom of the hole in which it is placed, the depression for the eggs being often slight and sometimes practically absent. The materials, as usual with this species, may be of almost any kind of rubbish, though roots, grass and Cocoa-nut fibre form the staple article in most nests. Two nests taken by Jenkins in holes high up in Cocoa-nut palms seem to have been made entirely of the fibre torn from the trunks of the trees, one with no lining and one with a few scraps of paper picked up from the ground in the village in which the tree was growing. Sometimes the nest is very bulky, but often it is quite a slight pad of roots.
Wait has taken nests in every month from March to August and again, during the North-West Monsoon, in November and December. March and April, however, seem to be the two favourite months and, perhaps, two out of every three eggs are laid in these two months. As is the case with so many other Southern birds, the Ceylon Magpie-Robin lays much smaller clutches of eggs than the Northern races ; three is the normal full clutch, four being very seldom found, whilst two are frequently incubated.
In colour, shape and texture they do not vary from the eggs of the other subspecies, but I have seen no eggs of the unspotted or faintly marked blue type. As a series they are rather dark, rather dull eggs, few being at all boldly or handsomely blotched.
Fifty eggs average 23.1 x 17.3 mm. : maxima 25.4 x 16.3 and 24.2 x 18.0 mm. ; minima 21.0 x 17.1 and 21.4 x 16.0 mm.

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: 
560. Copsychus saularis ceylonensis
Spp Author: 
Sclater.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
560
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
101
Common name: 
Ceylon Magpie Robin
M_ID: 
27618
M_SN: 
Copsychus saularis ceylonensis
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
13734

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith