121. Dryonastes nuchalis

(121) Dryonastes nuchalis Godw.-Aust.
THE CHESTNUT-BACKED LAUGHING-THRUSH.
Dryonastes nuchalis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol i, p. 140.
Ogle’s Laughing-Thrush, as this bird has hitherto been called, breeds in the hills South of the Brahmapootra from the Naga Hills to E. Lakhimpur, but does not occur in any of the hills of the Surrma Valley or in Manipur.
The first known nest of this Laughing-Thrush was brought in to Dr. H. N. Coltart by Patkoi Nagas, together with the eggs and one parent bird, trapped on the nest. This was on the 28th June, 1901. From that year up to 1906 Dr. Coltart and I annually found a few nests round about Margherita, where the birds bred in thick scrub-jungle in the broken ground of the foot-hills. They were most common in the rocky, scrub-clad ravines running into the Dining, where the thick bush and grass undergrowth contained a fair number of small saplings, the nests being always placed in densely foliaged bushes between one and three feet from the ground. The nests are replicas of those of the Rufous-necked Laughing-Thrush but are bigger and, on the whole, neater and more compact. A great many nests had a good deal of bracken used in the outer part and
I have seen no nests made chiefly of bamboo-leaves as is sometimes the case in the nests of the Rufous-necked Laughing-Thrush. Most nests had a definite inner lining of dead leaves and broad grass-blades, inside which came the true lining of moss and fern- roots, rachides and fibre. In many nests the outer part is so sodden and wet that it falls easily to pieces and will stand little handling.
The eggs number two or three, generally the latter in a full clutch, and in colour are a very pale blue with an occasional aberrant clutch of pure white or a rather deeper blue. The texture is fine and fairly close but normally without any gloss. One clutch of pure white eggs taken by Dr. Coltart has a glossy surface, but this is quite exceptional and the gloss, as well as the absence of all blue pigment, may both be considered abnormal. In shape they are rather broad ovals but with the smaller end distinctly compressed and sometimes rather pointed.
Forty eggs average 28.5 x 20.7 mm. : maxima 29.9 x 21.6 mm. ; minima 27.5 x 21.0 and 29.3 x 19.4 mm.
They are late breeders and nearly all our nests were found between the middle of May and end of June, though we got a few in March and April. The birds sit close, but slip very quietly into the low jungle when one gets within a yard or two of the nest, giving just a low chuckle as he or she disappears, for both sexes share in incubation.

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: 
121. Dryonastes nuchalis
Spp Author: 
Godw.-aust.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
121
Year: 
1932
Page No: 
102
Common name: 
Ogles Laughing Thrush
M_ID: 
24870
M_CN: 
Chestnut-backed Laughingthrush
M_SN: 
Garrulax nuchalis
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
13326

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