1075. Tachornis batassiensis.
Cypselus balasiensis (batassiensis), Gray, in Griffith's An. Kingd., Aves, ii, p. 60 (1829); Blyth, Cat. p. 86. Cypselus batassiensis, Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 108; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 180; Blyth, Pais, 1866, p. 340; Holdsworth, P. Z. S. 1872, p. 420; Davidson & Wenden, S. F. vii, p. 77; Davidson, ibid. p. 172; Ball, ibid. p. 202; Cripps, ibid. p. 257; Hume, Cat. no. 102; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 44; Butler, ibid. p. 379 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 322; Hume, 8. F. x, p. 348; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 87; Cripps, 8. F. xi, p. 31; Oates in. Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 25; St. John, Ibis, 1889, p. 156. Cypselus palmarum, Gray in Hardw. Ill. Ind. Zool. i, pl. 35, fig. 1 (1832); Jerdon, Mad. Jour. L. 8. xi, p. 236; Hume, N. & E. i, p. 87; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 454. Tachornis batassiensis, Hartert, Cat. B. M. xvi, p. 466.
Tari ababil, Tal-chatta, Patta deuli, H.; Batassia, Chamchiki, Beng.; Ambattan Katthi, Tamul; Waehaelaniya, Cing.
Coloration. Dull brown above, head slightly darker, wing and tail-feathers much darker; beneath pale greyish brown, chin and throat palest.
Bill black ; irides reddish ; feet dusky brown.
Length about 5.25 ; tail 2.6; wing 4.5 ; tarsus .4; tail deeply forked, outer rectrices about 1.2 inches longer than middle pair.
Distribution. Peninsula of India and Ceylon wherever there are fan-palms (Borassus flabelliformis). Wanting in the Punjab and Sind, and found in Rajputana only at Mount Abu. Common throughout Bengal and as far east as Dibrugarh in Assam (Cripps), but replaced in the Assam hills and in Burma by the next species.
Habits, &c. This Swift keeps to the neighbourhood of the palms on which it builds its nest. The flight is, as Jerdon says, rather irregular and not very speedy. The nest is attached to the underside of a palm-leaf, usually to one of those that hang bent downwards, and consists of a small pocket-like cup, inserted in one of the furrows of the leaf, and made of vegetable down or small feathers glued together by the salivary secretion of the bird. Usually the nest is on the fan-palm (tar or toddy tree), but occasionally on the betel-nut (Areea). This bird breeds probably twice in the year, about March and July in Northern India, but from October to April in Ceylon. The eggs are generally three in number, white, long ovals, measuring on an average .71 by .46.