640. Siphia parva hyperythra

(640) Siphia parva hyperythra Cab.
Siphia parva hyperythra, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 212.
This fascinating little Flycatcher breeds in some numbers from the Afghan boundary and Gilgit to Garhwal and, probably, Western Nepal.
In Kashmir it breeds freely, and Osmaston thus sums up its habits (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxxi, p. 987, 1927) :—“This is a very common species in Kashmir in the summer, breeding in June in the side valleys, e. g., Sind and Lidar, at from 6,500 to 7,500 feet. They are very partial to mixed forest of hazel, walnut, cherry, willow, etc., especially where there is a dense growth of perottia.
“The nest is placed in a hole in a small tree at a height of from 5' to 20' from the ground. It is usually invisible from the outside and can only be obtained by enlarging the small entrance hole. It is composed of skeleton leaves, moss, strips of bark, etc., and is lined with finer strips of bark or with hair.
“The eggs, four or five in number, are very pale green in ground¬colour, marked, chiefly at the broad end, with pale pinkish-brown.”
Davidson (Ibis, 1898, p. 20) obtained nests in the neighbourhood of Gund and Kular between 6,000 and 7,000 feet. He describes the nests as generally “composed of dead leaves mixed with moss and lined with a few feathers and hair ; one, however, was composed exteriorly of dead leaves and interiorly of decayed pieces of wood and one or two horse-hairs.” Of the nine nests he took, all in holes of trunks and branches of trees, “two were within 6' of the ground, three from 10' to 15' and the others from 20' to 40'.”
They breed at higher elevations than 7,500 feet occasionally, as Livesey took them in the Rampur Fir forest above the Wolar Lake at 7,800 feet, whilst Buchanan took them at and near Pahlgaon from 7,000 to 8,000 feet.
They commence to lay in the end of May but most birds breed in June. They have a very restricted breeding season. Livesey took a clutch of five on the 18th May, but I have seen no others taken until the last week of that month, and there are no records of it laying in July.
The eggs number four or five and are typical of the species but, taking them as a series, they are not so reddish as those of the European Red-breasted Flycatcher, yet more red than the few supposed eggs of the Eastern race. The ground-colour is almost invariably a pale grey-green, occasionally a little brighter and bluer, the markings consisting of small specks of very pale reddish disposed rather densely in a zone or cap at the extreme larger end, and very sparse elsewhere. Occasionally the ground has a faint pink or buff tinge.
Fifty eggs average 16.1 x 12.3 mm. : maxima 17.3 x 12.3 and 17.0 x 13.1 mm. ; minima 14.9 x 12.4 and 15.0 x 11.9 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
640. Siphia parva hyperythra
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Red Breasted Flycatcher
Snowy-browed Flycatcher
Ficedula hyperythra
Vol. 2

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