518. Enicurus maculatus guttatus

(518) Enicurus maculatus guttatus.

The Eastern- Spotted Forktail.

Enicurus guttatus Gould, P. Z. S. 1865, p. 664 (Sikkim). Henicurus guttatus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 84.

Vernacular names. Oong-sam Ching-pho (Lepcha); Chuka-leka, (Bhut.).

Description. Differs from the Western form in having no white spots on the breast and in having those on the back smaller and rounder, with no terminal white bars on the lower back.

Colours of soft parts as in the last bird.

Measurements. Decidedly smaller than the last; wing 96 to 103 mm.; tail 118 to 132 mm.; tarsus 28 to 30 mm.; culmen 18 to 19 mm.

The young and Nestling only differ from those of the "Western Fork tail in being smaller.

Distribution. Sikkim, through Assam, North and South of the Brahmaputra, to Siam, Shan States and Yunnan. The Chinese bird is a much bigger race, the wing measuring 106 to 117 mm. and has been named E. on. omissus by Rothschild, whilst the Annam bird is equally large but has very few and small spots on the upper plumage. This is my E. m. robinsoni (Bull. B. 0. C, xlii, p. 19, 1922). Bangs' Yunnan bird, Henicurus bacatus, is nothing but Enicurus m. guttata*.

Nidification. The Eastern Forktail breeds between 2,000 ft. and 8,000 It. during the months April to July and I have seen eggs in August. The nest is, like that of the Western bird, a very neat but massive cup of living green moss, nearly always very wet and mixed with roots and some mud which make it very heavy. The lining in nine nests out of ten consists entirely of several layers of skeleton leaves ; in the tenth it may be all roots or roots and a dead leaf or two mixed together. It is generally placed on a ledge of rock, or in between boulders on the banks of streams but sometimes it may be built in amongst the roots of a tree or even in a hollow under the shelter of a bush. Nor is it always on the banks of a stream, for more than once I have taken it from banks inside forest a little way, perhaps fifty yards, from a stream, though even in these instances the site chosen was always a very damp one.

The eggs number three or four in a full clutch and are like those of the last bird but average decidedly smaller and, on the whole, are less boldly marked. A reddish egg with almost brick-red spots is not uncommon, a type I have not seen laid by the Western bird but which is very commonly laid by Leschenault's Forktail. One hundred eggs average 24.9 x 17.3 mm.: maxima 26.3 x 18.1 and 25.9 x 18.2 mm.; minima 23.5x 16.5 and 25.8 x 16.0 mm.

Habits. The Eastern Spotted Forktail differs in no way from its Western brother. It is extremely common on the hills South of the Brahmaputra and its fascinating little black and white person may he seen flitting and heard calling on every stream and damp forest-path near water from one year's end to another. It is very sedentary and each pair seems to have a well-defined area for nesting and feeding purposes, which they keep to winter and summer alike except in the highest portions of its range.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.2 1924.
Title in Book: 
518. Enicurus maculatus guttatus
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Eastern Spotted Forktail
Enicurus maculatus guttatus
Vol. 2
Term name: 

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith