127. Dryonastes galbanus

(127) Dryonastes galbanus (Godw.-Aust.).
THE YELLOW-THROATED LAUGHING-THRUSH.
Dryonastes galbanus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 145.
The Yellow-throated Laughing-Thrush is found breeding only in the Chin Hills and Manipur, extending from that State into the Jiri and Jennam Valleys in North Cachar, where, however, it is very rare.
The only nest taken by myself was in the Jiri Valley on the 18th June, 1900, at an elevation of about 2,800 feet. This nest was built in a high bush on the outskirts of dense evergreen forest. The nest was a deep cup, measuring nearly 8 inches wide by 4 inches deep exteriorly. It was composed of bamboo-leaves, creepers, small fine twigs and grass, well lined with roots. It contained three eggs.
In the Chin Hills it is very common and Hopwood and Mackenzie found numerous nests, the great majority containing eggs in May, whilst a few birds bred as early as the middle of April and a few others into early June. The birds seem to be most abundant in summer between 5,000 and 6,000 feet but breed both higher and lower than this.
Mackenzie (Journ. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. Vol. xxv, p. 76) thus describes the nest and eggs:—“The nest is generally built in the fork of a low bush or shrub, 2' to 10' high in fairly open jungle, and is not difficult to see. Outside it is roughly made of grass-stems, with the ends left sticking out untidily in all directions, and is lined with yellow grass-seed stems ; in shape it is a large flattish cup, and there are often a few moss-roots and small twigs mixed with the main structure of the nest (but not with the lining). The general effect is brown outside, lined yellow, as opposed to I. cineracea, which is browner outside, lined black.”
Hopwood and Cook, who also took many nests, give similar descriptions of them, though both say that they often found leaves, twigs and other materials in the body of the nest ; at the same time the bright yellow lining seems to be always a. distinguishing feature.
The eggs number two to four, the latter only exceptionally. They are nearly always white but occasionally very pale blue. Mackenzie says of blue eggs :—“ None of the eggs actually taken by either of us had the slightest trace of blue. Mr. Stuart Baker has a, blue clutch, and several nests of D, galbanus containing blue eggs were brought in to me in 1915, but I never got the bird off a blue clutch.” As, however, there is no other bird which breeds at 5,000 feet elevation which lays a glossy egg of this type, I do not think there can have been any faking of the eggs. A pair of eggs sent me by Harington are blue, like mine. The eggs of this Laughing-Thrush are exactly like those of Dryonastes sannio, except that they are less often tinged with blue.
Eighty eggs average 25.8 x 18.6 mm. ; maxima 28.0 x 19.7 and 27.0 x 20.1 mm. ; minima 23.5 x 18.7 and 24.5 x 16.5 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
127. Dryonastes galbanus
Spp Author: 
Godw.-aust.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
127
Year: 
1932
Page No: 
107
Common name: 
Austens Laughing Thrush
M_ID: 
24879
M_CN: 
Yellow-throated Laughingthrush
M_SN: 
Garrulax galbanus
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
13332

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