(647) Cyornis superciliaris superciliaris.
The White-browed Blue Flycatcher.
Muscicapa superciliaris Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S., xi, p 16 (1840) (N, Indian Ghats). Cyornis superciliaris. Blanf, & Oates, ii, p. 17.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description.— Adult male. Whole upper plumage and wing-coverts rather dull, but not very dark blue; lores and edges of forehead black; a broad white supercilium from the front of the eye to the nape; tail blackish brown, edged with blue and with white bases to all but the central pair pi feathers; wing-quills blackish brown edged with blue; sides of head, neck, and breast blue, a little darker than the back, sometimes extending as a collar across the breast but generally broken in the centre; remainder of lower plumage white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown: bill black; legs and feet deep brown or "purplish black" (Hume).
Measurements. Total length about 110 mm.; wing 61 to 64 mm.; tail 43 to 45 mm.; tarsus 16 to 17 mm.; culmen about 10 mm.
Female. Above olive-grey, more or less tinged with brown; forehead fulvous and lores mixed fulvous and white; rump just showing a tinge of blue and upper tail-coverts quite blue; tail blackish edged with blue; lower plumage dull buff, tinged with brown on the breast and albescent on the centre of the abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in male.
Nestling. Above ashy-brown, the feathers centred with fulvous and with black edges; tail and upper tail-coverts showing a good deal o( blue; below fulvous-white squamated with black. The white marks on the tail of the male are present from the earliest stage.
The young male breeds in a plumage rather like that of the female, but with much more blue above.
Distribution. The Himalayas from the Afghan Frontier to Garhwal and Western Nepal.
Nidification. In the Himalayas this Flycatcher does not breed much below 7,500 feet though, m the hills South of the Brahmaputra, I found Q. s. astigma breeding in small numbers at about 5,000 feet. It commences breeding at the end of April and continues until the middle of June, making a nest of moss, lined with roots or fibres and placed in some small hole in a tree between ten and thirty feet from the ground. Mr. J. Davidson took a nest from a Woodpecker's nest-hole in Kashmir and Mr. B. B. Osmaston found it appropriating the deserted nest of a Wren. The eggs number four or live and in colour are a very pale olive-yellow or olive-green dusted over with fine reddish freckles, sometimes over the whole surface, sometimes over the larger end only where they form a ring or cap. In the former case they look almost unicoloured reddish buff, in the latter olive-green with a reddish cap or ring. One hundred eggs average 16.0 x 12.2 mm.: maxima 17.2 X 12.2 and 17.1 X 13.0 mm.; minima 14.2 x 11.9 and 14.5 x 11.5 mm.
Habits. The White-browed Blue Ely catcher is found up to at least 10,000 feet in Summer, wandering in Winter as far South as the Central Provinces and to Khandesh in the Bombay Presidency. They are typical little Flycatchers m all their ways! In Summer rather shy and retiring, frequenting forests, in Winter they come far more into the open and even into gardens when they are very fearless and confiding. The song is sweet and like that of the Slaty-blue Flycatcher but stronger and better sustained.