648. Muscicapula supereiliaris aestlgma

(648) Muscicapula superciliaris sestigma Gray.
Cyornis superciliaris astigma, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 223.
Muscicapula superciliaris oestigma, ibid. vol. viii, p. 628.
The present bird, which is undoubtedly only the Eastern form of the White-browed Blue Flycatcher, breeds in the Outer Himalayas from Nepal to Eastern Assam both North and South of the Brahma¬pootra. Further East it occurs in the Chin, Kachin and Bhamo Hills to Karenni and to Yunnan.
In Sikkim Stevens only found this Flycatcher from September to April, between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, but never in the breeding season.
In the South Assam Hills it breeds between 5,000 feet and the higher hills, whilst in Cachar I twice found it breeding at elevations under 5,000 feet.
The only known nests are those taken by Bailey in Tibet and by myself in Cachar and the Khasia Hills. Here I found it breeding both in dense evergreen forest and once in Pine forest. In two cases the nests were built in small natural hollows low down in dead stumps of trees, one standing on the edge of a little-used foot-track through evergreen forest and the other in a mixed forest of Pine and Oak. In each of the other instances the nests have been built in holes or rifts in Oak or Rhododendron-trees between 5 and 8 feet from the ground.
The nests are the same compact, neat little cups as those made by its Western cousin, composed of well-matted moss, more or less mixed and solidified with cobwebs, vegetable down and cotton and lined either with fine roots or with fur. I have never seen any feathers used in the hning of this nest and the fur in one nest was that of a bamboo-rat and in another that of a monkey.
The nests were all found between the 10th and 30th May but they certainly breed in June, though I failed to find nests in that month.
The nest found by Bailey was taken by him at Su Lungba, 10,800 feet, on the 25th June : “Nest of moss lined with fine moss and a little hair, in a cleft of a tree four feet from the ground ; four eggs, hard set.”
The eggs number three or four and are quite indistinguishable from those of the Western race, though I have none of the palest green type.
Twelve eggs average 15.6 x 12.2 mm. : maxima 16.2 x 12.4 and 15.0 x 12.9 mm. ; minima 14.6 x 12.3 and 15.6 x 12.0 mm.
Both sexes take part in incubation and both assist in building the nest, though the male may restrict himself to bringing the material, whilst his wife does the actual building.
They are not shy birds and, when their nests are discovered and robbed, both flutter round with great excitement and noise. The male breeds in semi-full dress and, possibly, in the Assam Hills at all events, seldom acquires the full plumage. Of the breeding males I have seen, shot or trapped not one has been in full dress.

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: 
648. Muscicapula supereiliaris aestlgma
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Little Blue And White Flycatcher
Ficedula superciliaris aestigma
Vol. 2

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