135. Dumetia hyperythra.
The Rufous-bellied Babbler.
Timalia hyperythra, Franklin, B. Z. S. 1831, p. 118.Dumetia hyperythra (Frankl.), Blyth, Cat. p. 140; Jerd. B. 1. ii, p. 26; Hume, N. & E. p. 246; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 213; Hume, Cat. no. 397 ; Sharpe,Cat. B. M. vii, p. 515 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 176; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 92.
Coloration. Forehead and anterior half of the crown reddish brown, the feathers of the former part rigid, pointed, with large fulvous streaks, and with the shafts black when viewed in certain lights; feathers round the eye white; upper plumage, tail, and exposed parts of wing olive-brown, the tail cross-rayed; cheeks and near the eye fulvous with paler shafts; ear-coverts somewhat paler than the upper plumage and with pale shafts ; entire lower plumage bright fulvous.
Legs and feet very pale fleshy; bill livid pale horny ; iris light brown (Hume Coll.).
Length about 5.5; tail 2.6; wing 2.2; tarsus .7; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. This bird has a large range. In the south it is found at Khandala on the west and throughout the Godavari valley on the east. Thence, going north, it is spread throughout the Central Provinces, Central India, Chutia Nagpur, the North-West Provinces, and part of Bengal up to the lower valleys of the Himalayas from Kumaon to Sikhim. Specimens have been collected at Pareshnath hill and in Midnapur and Birbhum, but not in Lower Bengal. Its western limits are not traceable with any accuracy, but it occurs at Mhow, and probably Delhi will prove another point on its western boundary.
Habits, &c. This species occurs in small parties and has much the habits of Argya, frequenting bushes and feeding on the ground.
It breeds from June to August, constructing a ball-shaped nest of grass on or near the ground in bushes. The eggs, four in number, are white speckled with red and measure .67 by .53.