124. Diyonastes cserulatus subcaerulatus

(124) Dryonastes caerulatus subcaerulatus Hume.
TEE Shillong Grey-sided Laughing-Thrush.
Dryonastes coerulatus subcoerulatus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 142.
This bird has only been recorded from the Khasia Hills in Assam, where it breeds between 4,000 and 6,000 feet during May and June.
This is one of the few species which keep almost entirely to Pine forests for breeding purposes, though I have occasionally found a nest in the mixed Oak and Rhododendron forest growing at almost 6,000 feet. In Pine forest they almost invariably select a small sapling, other than Pine, a high bush, or tangle of creepers or rasp¬berry vines in which to place their nest. All these grow in the many ravines which run through the Pine woods, making, here and there, little oases of growth greener and less sombre than the Pines all round them.
Most of the nests taken by me personally were placed between 4 and 7 feet from the ground, one at about 10 feet and one about 14 up in a Rhododendron-tree. No deliberate attempt is made to conceal them but some may be fairly well hidden by the surrounding foliage. The birds are quiet—for Laughing-Thrushes—and slink off their nests without giving them away and, even when the eggs are much incubated do not wait for the close approach of a dis¬turber.
The nests are broad, bulky cups, being somewhere between 6 and 7 inches in outer diameter and between 3.1/2 and 4 inches in depth, though odds and ends sticking out everywhere make them look larger still. They are built of leaves, twigs, roots etc., bound and compacted together with tendrils and weed-stems. Most nests have some grass among the other materials, some have bamboo-leaves and a few have a little moss, green or dried. The lining is nearly always of fine moss and fern-roots, sometimes of fibre. This is one of the few birds which use pine-needles as material for their nest and most nests have a certain number of these incor¬porated with the other materials.
The eggs vary a good deal in colour. The palest is as pale a blue as those of Dryonastes nuchalis, whilst the darkest is darker than any other eggs I have seen of this genus. They are never spotted and the texture is intermediate between the highly glossed eggs of the Rufous-necked Laughing-Thrush and those of the Chestnut-backed species. In shape they are nearly always long ovals, short broad ovals being quite exceptional.
Forty eggs average 29.3 x 20.8 mm. ; maxima 31.6 x 20.8 and 30.1 x 21.8 mm. ; minima 25.9 x 20.4 and 26.0 x 20.1 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
124. Diyonastes cserulatus subcaerulatus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Shillong Grey Sided* Laughing Ush
Garrulax caerulatus subcaerulatus
Vol. 1

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