137. Gampsorhynchus rufulus.
The White-headed Shrike-Babbler.
Gampsorhynchus rufulus, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiii, p. 371 (1844); id. Cat. p. 150; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 171; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 14; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 109; Wald. Ibis, 1875, p. 460; Godw.-Aust. J. A. 8. B. xlv, pt. ii, p. 73; Hume, Cat. no. 384; Oates, B. B. i,p. 40; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 386 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 135.
The White-headed Shrike-Thrush, Jerd.; Chongto-phep-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. The whole head, neck, and breast white; the anterior rictal bristles black with white bases, the hindmost one entirely white; upper plumage, tail, and exposed part of wings golden brown, except the lesser and median coverts and the edge of the wing which are white ; quills dark brown ; tail edged interiorly and tipped with yellowish buff; lower plumage pale fulvous.
Bill dusky horny above, pale beneath; legs reddish horny; iris orange-yellow in some, straw-yellow in others (Jerdpn).
* Here should he noticed the Thamnocataphus picatus, Tick., of Jerdon (B. I. ii. p. 13), which turns out to be a well-known South-African Bush-Shrike (cf. Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 324, note). Tickell appears to have received the skin from some European correspondent, to have got it mixed up with his Indian collection and then to have described it as Himalayan.
Length about 10; tail 4.7; wing 3.9 ; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 1.
The young bird has the forehead, crown, nape, hind neck, and sides of the head and neck bright chestnut; the eye with a ring of white feathers round it; the fulvous of the lower parts extends up to the breast and frequently to the throat; the white on the wing is wanting and the tone of the whole plumage is more rufous.
The young bird commences to assume the white head in January by the gradual acquisition of new feathers, and the white head of the adult does not appear to be entirely acquired till May, or when the birds are about one year old. The white wing-patch comes on last of all, and there is no sign of it till the head is nearly wholly white.
There is a young bird in the British Museum which was just able to fly and was killed in Sikhim in July.
Distribution. The lower ranges and valleys of Sikhim; Sadiya and Tippook in Assam ; the Daphla hills; the Garo hills; Arrakan.