633. Henicurus immaculatus.
The Black-backed Forktail.
Enicurus immaculatus, Hodgs. As. Res. xix, p. 190 (1836) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 159; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 346; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 213; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 141. Henicurus immaculatus, Hodgs., Elwes, Ibis, 1872, p. 254; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 610 ; Hume, Cat. no. 585 ; Sharpe, Cut. B. M. vii, p. 314; Oates, B. B. i, p. 25; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 228 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 62.
Coloration. Forehead and the feathers above and behind the eye white; the plumes at the base of the bill, the lores, sides of the head, sides of the neck, chin, throat, crown, nape, and back black; lesser and median wing-coverts black ; primary-coverts and winglet black ; scapulars and greater coverts black, tipped with white; primaries black ; secondaries and tertiaries black, the bases broadly white and tipped white; rump, upper tail-coverts, and the lower plumage white, the feathers at the side of the breast tipped with black ; axillaries white ; the two outer pairs of tail-feathers white, the others black, with broad white bases and narrower tips.
The young have the head, neck, back, and breast sooty black, and there is no white on the forehead and about the eyes. The nestling is probably spotted.
Bill and inside of mouth black; iri3 brown ; feet and claws pale yellowish white.
Length nearly 10; tail 5.3; wing 4; tarsus 1.2; bill from gape .95.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Garhwal to Dibrugarh in Assam; Cachar; Sylhet; the Garo and Khasi hills; Manipur; the neighbourhood of Bhamo; Arrakan; Pegu, probably not extending to the east of the Sittoung river. This species is found at low elevations chiefly.
Habits, &c. I found the nest of this Forktail placed on a bank at the side of a nullah in the Pegu hills on the 20th April, and containing three fresh eggs.
* Hume assures us that he procured the nest of this species in Kumaun (N. & E p. 376), and I accordingly give the range as extending westwards to this State, but I have seen no specimen from any locality west of Nepal.