636. SipMa strophiata strophiata

(636) Siphia strophiata strophiata Hodgs.
Siphia strophiata strophiata, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 208.
The breeding range of this little Flycatcher extends from Kashmir to Assam North of the Brahmapootra. It has been recorded also from North Borneo (? subsp.) and from Western China. I also noticed it in May and June, at about 6,000 feet, in the Barail Range, but I failed to find any nest, and they may not have been breeding birds.
Osmaston, who has taken many nests of this Flycatcher, found them breeding in Chakrata and the upper valley of the Tons River at about 9,000 feet and near Darjiling at about 10,000 feet. Whymper took a nest in Garhwal at about the last-mentioned elevation.
Osmaston, who was the first collector to find its nest, thus describes it (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. ix, p. 190, 1894) :—“On May 23rd I noticed a bird fly into a hole, about eight feet from the ground, in a dead Yew-branch, which I found, on examination, contained a nest with two freshly hatched young and an addled egg.
“I watched the parent birds for some time with binoculars. They were very wary and would not again visit the nest. However, I saw sufficient to satisfy myself as to their identity.
“On the following day I found a second nest of the same species in a rift in a Karshu Oak, about five feet from the ground. It contained three much incubated eggs, exactly similar to the egg found on the previous day. The nest was rather a loose structure, cup-shaped, composed of moss and maidenhair rachis, lined with the latter chiefly, but also with a few feathers and some yellow papery substance resembling birch-bark. I shot one bird, the male, for identification.
“The eggs were pure white, elongated ovals, and fairly glossy.
“The above nests were both found at an elevation of about 9,000 feet.”
Other nests found by Osmaston were in most cases like the above, but one, also found in a rift in a Karshu Oak, was made almost entirely “of paper-like bark, fibre and roots, lined with two or three feathers.”
Another nest was built in among the moss on a rock-face. Whymper’s nest was made, as usual, with moss, “lined thickly with hair and wool and three Koklas-feathers next the eggs,” and was built “among the exposed roots of a tree.”
This lining of a few feathers, often of some size, seems to be a characteristic of this Flycatcher’s nest, though one would imagine them to make a most uncomfortable bed.
They invariably breed in forest and, generally, in pretty thick cover. In the lower elevations this consists of Silver and Spruce Firs, passing, as one works North, into Karshu Oak, Birch, Rhodo¬dendron, Juniper and then, at 12,000 feet, into open grass-land.
The normal clutch of eggs is three, though once Osmaston found four. They are all pure white, slightly glossy, with stout shells for so small eggs. In shape they are rather long ovals, often much, pointed at the smaller end.
Twenty-three eggs average 18.1 x 13.5 mm. : maxima 19.2 x 14.0 and 19.1 x 14.3 mm. ; minima 17.0 x 13.2 and 17.2 x 13.0 mm.
They are early breeders, one nest with three eggs having been taken by Osmaston on the 27th April, and from thence onwards all through May to the 9th June.

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: 
636. SipMa strophiata strophiata
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Himalayan Orange Goegeted Flycatcher
Ficedula strophiata strophiata
Vol. 2

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