637. Microcichla scouleri.
The Little Forktail.
Enicurus scouleri, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 174; Gould, Cent. pl. xxviii; Blyth, Cat. p. 159 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 347 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 214; Hume, N. & E. p. 377. Enicurus nigrifrons, Hodgs., Gray, P. Z. S. 1859, p. 102 ; Jerd. B. J. ii, p. 215; Hume, Cat. no. 588. Henicurus scouleri, Vigors, Elwes, Ibis, 1872, p. 255; Hume, Cat, no. 587 ; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 311; Biddulph, Ibis, 1882, p. 279. Microcichla scouleri (Vigors), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 322 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 62.
The Short-tailed Forktail, The Black-fronted Forktail, Jerd.; Oong-sumbrek-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. Forehead and anterior half of crown white; the whole head, neck, upper part of breast, back, lesser and median wing-coverts, primary-coverts, and winglet black; scapulars and greater coverts black tipped white ; primaries black ; secondaries and tertiaries black with broad white bases, the later quills also with white margins; rump and upper tail-coverts white, with a broad black band across the former; the two outer pairs of tail-feathers white; third pair white, with a black tip ; the others progressively with less white and broader black tips ; lower plumage white, the breast and the sides of the body mottled with black.
The young have the forehead and anterior half of the crown black like the rest of the upper plumage; the chin and throat white and the breast more mottled than in the adult.
Bill black; iris dark brown; feet and claws pure fleshy white (Scully).
Length 5; tail 1.9 ; wing 2.9 ; tarsus .95 ; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. The whole of the Himalayas, from Gilgit to the Daphla hills in Assam; the E. Naga hills. This species is found up to 11,000 feet in summer. It extends into Western China.
Habits, &c. This Forktail appears to differ from all the other Forktails in its habit of plunging into the water. The nest does not appear to have been found yet.