(648) Cyornis superciliaris astigma.
The Little blue-all-white Flycatcher.
Muscicapa astigma Hodgs., in Gray's Zool.' Misc, p. 84 (1844) (Nepal). Cyornis astigma. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 19.
Vernacular names. Tuni-ti-ti (Lepcha).
Description.— Adult male. This race is a little less deep a blue in colour than the preceding race but differs principally in having no white supercilium. In a few specimens from Nepal and Sikkim there is just a trace visible of white above and behind the eye, but there is never a broad conspicuous white streak as in C. s. superciliaris. Birds from Assam and farther East never show any white.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in the White-browed Blue Flycatcher but with a smaller bill. Wing about 62 to 68 mm.; culmen about 9 mm.
Female. Very similar to that of the preceding race but usually has the upper tail-coverts more tinged with fulvous and less with blue.
The young male, like that of the preceding bird, acquires a semi-adult plumage at the first moult, retaining the brown head of the female, which grades into the blue of the male on the lower back and wings. The rusty throat and breast of the younger nestling is also retained as well as the broad pale margins to the wing-feathers. At this stage the two races are quite indistinguishable.
Nestling similar to that of C. s. superciliaris.
Distribution. Nepal and Sikkim to the East of Assam; hills of South Assam, Manipur and Lushai; Chin and Kachin Hills, Karenni, Yunnan. A nestling in Col. Stevenson Clarke's coll. from Yunnan labelled Muscicapa blythi (=melanoleuca) is obviously not that bird but is probably this.
Nidification. This little Flycatcher breeds at much lower elevations than the preceding bird; in the Khasia Hills I found it breeding at 5,000 feet, whilst in North Cachar I took a few nests even lower than this. Neither nests nor eggs can be distinguished from those of the last race.
The breeding-season seems to be from the end of April to early June. In North Cachar the males were all breeding in the semi-adult plumage and in the Khasia Hills there were very few birds in the full blue plumage of the old male.
Habits. Those of the last bird.