703. Leueocirca albicllis albicllis

(703) Leucocirca albicollis albicollis (Vieill.).
THE INDIAN WHITE-THROATED FANTAIL FLYCATCHER.
Rhipidura albicollis albicollis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 279.
Leucocerca albicollis albicollis, ibid. vol. viii, p. 634.
This form of White-throated Fantail Flycatcher ranges from Murree to Western Nepal and throughout the greater part of the Northern plains of India to Eastern Assam North and South of the Brahmapootra. It is found South in India as far as the Central Provinces wherever there is sufficient well-forested country. In the East it is common throughout Burma, in suitable parts, to the Indo-Chinese countries and Hainan. South it extends to the Malay States. In India it is not rare in the West, and is said to be even common round about Poona and still farther South. It breeds both in the plains and in the hills up to at least 7,000 feet, and has been recorded as a straggler up to 9,000. It is, however, rare above 6,000 feet, and about Murree, in the Kuman, Garhwal etc., 4,000 to 5,000 feet are its highest normal elevations, below which it is equally common right down to the foot-hills and the plains, being common even in the hot steamy districts of Eastern Bengal.
It is difficult to record any differences between the breeding habits of this species and the preceding. One point is, perhaps, that it is decidedly more of a forest bird, and often breeds well inside deep, humid, evergreen forest. At the same time it haunts thin deciduous forest, dark dry Pine forests, and is frequently found in gardens of towns and villages and in the open country found about them.
Like the White-browed bird, also, it is in many districts especially fond of Mango orchards, breeding on the lower horizontal boughs of the Mango-trees just as that bird does.
The nests of the two species are indistinguishable ; they may be shallow cups, deep wineglass-shaped affairs, inverted cones, or just deep cups. Like the White-browed bird, the White-throated often leaves a long tail hanging below the nest and, finally, the nest is built in exactly the same kind of positions and of the same materials.
Aitken (B.) speaks of the extraordinary familiarity of this little Flycatcher, and in the plains district around villages and in gardens it certainly is a most confiding little bird but, in the wilder areas, we found it by no means so tame and fearless.
Marshall (G. F. L.), writing of its nest, says : ā€”ā€œI found a nest of this species on the 5th June, near Bheem Tal, at about 4,500 feet above the sea. It was in a deep shady ravine choked up with briar bushes, the upper branches of which were all green and the lower boughs, shut out from the light, were all dead and bare. The nest was fixed on to one of the bare dead boughs about three feet from the ground.ā€
This kind of position seems a very favourite one in the hills where there are no Mango orchards, and I must have taken at least a dozen nests from brambles in Pine woods just as above described by Marshall.
The breeding season is May and June, but I have taken fresh eggs from March to July. My own earliest records are 28th March (Margherita) and 7th July (Simla), but I am informed that eggs have been taken up to 23rd July in the Simla States.
No separate description of the eggs of this species is required, as they differ in no way from those of the preceding species. In number, however, four eggs are often laid by this species, about one clutch in every three being of this number and the others threes. Rarely, except in Burma, two eggs only are laid.
One hundred eggs average 17.3 x 13.0 mm. : maxima 18.2 x 13.5 mm. ; minima 16.1 x 13.0 and 16.9 x 12.0 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
703. Leueocirca albicllis albicllis
Spp Author: 
Viell.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
703
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
247
Common name: 
Indian White Oated Fantail Flycatcher
M_ID: 
28255
M_CN: 
Taiga Flycatcher
M_SN: 
Ficedula albicilla
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
13848

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