17. Dendrocitta leucogastra.
The Southern Tree-pie.
Dendrocitta leucogastra, Gould, P. Z. S. 1833, p. 57 ; id. Trans. Z. 8. i, p. 89, pl. 12; Blyth, Cat. p. 91; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 570; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 317; Hume, N. & E. p. 424; id. S. F. iv, p. 402; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iii, p. 79; Hume, Cat. no. 678; Davison, S. F. x, p. 400; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 22.
Coloration. Forehead, anterior half of crown, sides of the head, chin, throat, upper breast and thighs black; hinder part of crown, nape, hind neck, lower breast, abdomen, and upper tail-coverts white ; back, scapulars and ramp chestnut-bay ; under tail-coverts chestnut ; wings black, the primaries with a large patch of white at their base; central tail-feathers grey, broadly tipped black ; the next pair half grey and half black; the remainder nearly entirely black.
Bill black ; legs and feet dull black; iris deep brown (Davison).
Length about 19; tail 12; wing 5.6; tarsus 1.2; bill from gape 1.1.
The young resemble the adult very closely.
Distribution. Southern India, chiefly along the western coast. The southernmost point from which I have seen a specimen is Mynall in Travancore, and the most northern, the Wynaad; but McMaster (J. A. S. B. 1871, pt. ii, p. 214; states that he procured a specimen in May at Chikalda in the Gawilgurh hills. He is hardly likely to have made a mistake about so well-marked a form as this, but the occurrence of this bird so far north is extra¬ordinary.
Habits, &c. According to Davison this Tree-pie is found only in evergreen forest below about 5000 feet. On the Assambu hills it is found from 1500 to 3000 feet. Bourdillon, in the latter locality, found two nests, composed of twigs roughly put together, and built in a bush or sapling. One nest was found in March with eggs, and one in April with young birds. The only egg preserved measured 1.13 by .80.