16. Dendrocitta rufa.
The Indian Tree-pie.
Lanius rufus, Scop. Del. Faun, et Flor. Insubr. ii, p. 80 (1786). Coracias vagabunda, Lath. Ind. Orn. i, p. 171 (1790). Crypsirhina pallida, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 30 (1846). Dendrocitta rufa (Scop.), Blyth, Cat. p. 92; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 505 Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 314; Hume, N. & E. p. 421; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iii, p. 70; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 501; Hume, Cat. no. 674; Oates, B. B. i, p. 402; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 252; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 259; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 19. Dendrocitta pallida (Bl.), Blyth, Cat. p. 330; Horsf. M. Cat. ii, p. 508; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 315; Hume, Cat. no. 675.
The Common Indian Magpie, Jerd.; Maha-lat, Hind., Kotri, Hind, in Bengal; Takka-chor, Handi-chucha, Beng.; Mahtab and Chand, Sind; Gokurayi, Konda-Kati-gadu, Tel.; Mootri, Lucknow ; Kashkussi, Cachar ; Kola Khoa, Assam.
Coloration. The whole head and neck with the breast sooty brown ; remainder of the body-plumage bright fulvous, darker on the back and scapulars; wing-coverts greyish white; wings dark brown, the outer webs of the tertiaries and later secondaries grey; tail ashy grey, broadly tipped with black.
The young are duller in colour than the adults, the head is lighter brown, and the tail-feathers are tipped with light buff.
Iris reddish brown; bill slaty horn-colour, albescent at the base; mouth flesh-colour; eyelids plumbeous ; legs dark brown; elaws horn-colour.
Length up to about 18 ; tail up to 12.5 ; wing up to 6.7 ; tarsus 1.3 ; bill from gape 1.3. Himalayan birds are much larger than those from other parts.
Distribution. The whole of India and Burma from Kashmir to Travancore and from Assam to Tenasserim as far as Mergui. This bird ascends the Himalayas and hill-ranges up to 7000 feet, and it inhabits the plains at the level of the sea.
Habits, &c. Breeds from April to July and probably later in the year, constructing a cup-shaped nest, near the top of a large tree, of thorny twigs lined with grass. The eggs, usually five in num¬ber, vary much in colour, being salmon-colour or pale greenish white marked with bright red, brownish red, purple or olive-brown ; they measure 1.17 by .87.