(230) Dumetia albigularis albigularis.
THE SMALL WHITE-THROATED BABBLER.
Malacocercus albigularis Blyth, J. A. S. B., xvi, p. 453 (1847) (Mysore). Dumetia albigularis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 134.
Vernacular names. Pandi - jitta (Tel.); Batitchia (Ceylon).
Description. Similar to the last, but with a pure white throat.
Colours of soft parts. Iris white to pale grey; bill fleshy, horny-brown on culmen; legs and feet pale fleshy or livid fleshy, claws horny.
Measurements. Total length about 150 to 155 mm.; wing 52 to 56 mm.; tail about 57 to 64 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen about 12 to 13 mm.
Distribution. Ceylon and South-West India as far North as Belgaum.
Nidification. In Ceylon this little Babbler has two breeding seasons, and Mr. Wait has taken eggs from November to March and again in June and July, but in S. India it appears to breed principally in the two latter months. It is found from the level of the plains up to at least 3,000 feet, making a little ball-shaped nest, of grass about 4 to 5 inches in diameter and without any lining. It may be placed on any kind of grass, weed or scrub-jungle, the first being the favourite and either on the ground or, more often, wedged in amongst thorns and grass. The full clutch is either three or four and the eggs are miniatures of those of Timalia and hardly distinguishable from those of the last bird. Fifty eggs average 17.8 x 13.5 mm.
Habits. The White-throated Babbler may be found in almost any kind of cover other than actual forest. Like the last bird, it associates in small parties, which feed either on the ground or low down in the bushes and grass, skulking about much in the same way as Turdoides and Argya, constantly uttering a low chattering call with an occasional louder whistle or chirp. Like the others of the genus, they are almost entirely insectivorous, and are peculiarly fond of ants and termites. Their flight is weak and ill-controlled.