505. Campophaga melanoschista.
The Dark-grey Cuckoo-Shrike.
Volvocivora melaschistas, Hodgs. Ind. Rev. i, p. 328 (1837) ; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 415; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xiv, pt. ii, p. 202 ; Hume, S. F. v, p. 205; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 210 ; Hume, Cat. no. 269; Sadly, S. F. viii, p. 266; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 149. Ceblepyris lugubris, Sundev. Physiogr. Sallsk. Tidskr. vol. i( 1887-88); id. A. M. N. H. (1), xviii, p. 109 (1846). Campophaga fimbriata (Temm), Blyth, Cat. p. 191; Horsf. & M. Cat. l, p. 176. Volvocivora melanura, Hartl, J.f. O. 1865, p. 162. Campephaga lugubris (Sundev.), Sharpe, Cat. B. Af. iv, p. 65. Campophaga melanoschista (Hodys.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 345.
Coloration. Male. The whole plumage dark bluish grey ; wings and tail black, the latter tipped with white.
Female. When fully adult similar to the male, but rather paler. Fully adult females are, however, seldom met with, the lower plumage generally showing traces of the cross bars of the young stage, the ear-coverts being frequently streaked with white and the edges of the eyelids more or less white. The under tail-coverts of the female are often paler than the abdomen, and birds in which this is the case might be confounded with C. melanoptera were it not for the general dark colour of the plumage.
Legs and feet plumbeous ; bill black ; iris dark brown (Hume).
Length about 9 ; tail 4.5; wing 4.7; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .9.
No great variation takes place in this species throughout its extensive range, and it is unmistakably distinct at all ages from C. melanoptera.
Distribution. The Himalayas, from Murree to Dibrugarh in Assam up to 7000 feet; the plains of India from the Himalayas to about latitude 16°, except apparently in the Punjab, Sind, Rajputana, and Guzerat; the valley of Assam and the country south to about the latitude of Manipur. This species is said to be a summer visitor to the Himalayas and a winter visitor to the plains.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Himalayas from April to July, constructing a small and shallow nest of fine twigs coated with cobwebs and lichens in a branch of a tree. The eggs, two or three in number, are greenish white marked with brown and purple, and measure about 1 by .7.
* I find it impossible to introduce the young of C. neglecta and C. sykesi into the Key. They vary so much.