(121) Dryonastes nuchalis.
Garrulax nuchalis Godw.-Aust., A. M. N. H. (4) xviii, p. 411 (1876) (Dibrugarh, Assam).
Dryonastes nuchalis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 74.
Vernacular names. Pak-chi-loka (Trans-Dikku Nagas).
Description. Forehead, upper portion of cheeks and round the eye black; crown and nape slate-grey: a few pointed white feathers in front of the crown; hind neck and upper back chestnut; remaining upper plumage olive-brown, the outer webs of the quills tinged with paler grey and tips of tail-feathers broadly black; lower parts of cheeks, ear-coverts and sides of neck white; chin and throat black; breast light ashy; remainder of lower plumage olive-brown.
Colours of soft parts. Iris blood-red to brick-red; bill black; legs and feet pale fleshy or fleshy-grey, toes the same or a shade darker.
Measurements. Total length about 135 mm.; wing 106 to 112 mm.; tail about 110 mm.; culmen about 25 mm.
Distribution. Hills South of the Brahmaputra from Naogang to the extreme east of Lakhimpur from the foot-hills up to some 3,000 feet. This Laughing-Thrush probably does not occur in Manipur, certainly not in the Cachar Hills adjoining.
Nidification. Ogle's Laughing-Thrush has so far only been found breeding by Dr. Coltart and later by myself round about Margherita in the extreme east of the Assam Valley. It is a common bird in the higher foot-hills from about 500 feet up to about 3,000 feet during the breeding season, which is from April to June. The nest is like that of the Rufous-necked Laughing-Thrush hut bigger and more massive. It is generally placed in scrub-jungle in ravines or broken country. The eggs number two or three and are a rather darker blue than the eggs of the last bird and not so glossy as a rule, though one set of pure white eggs taken by Dr. Coltart are very highly glossed. Forty eggs average about 28.5 x 20.7 mm.
Habits. At present there is nothing recorded about this bird, but from what we saw of it at Margherita it differs little from the rest of the genus. Perhaps not quite so noisy as ruficollis, it indulges in much the same games of follow-my-leader through scrub and bamboo-jungle, each bird every now and then clambering up to the top of a bush and shouting loudly to the others, who in turn emulate both his climbing feats and his cackling laugh, a chorus from the rest urging each to do his best. They are not very shy, but from their habit of feeding on the ground in thick scrub are more often heard than seen. They appear never to be found in the plains and probably never over about 3,000 feet.