(132) Garrulax pectoralis pectoralis.
THE INDIAN BLACK-GORGETED LAUGHING-THRUSH.
Ianthocincla pectoralis Gould, P.Z.S., 1835, p. 186 (Nepal). Garrulax pectoralis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 80.
Vernacular names. Ol-pho (Lepcha); Bura Penga (Bengali).
Description. Forehead to tail and wing-coverts fulvous olive-brown; a broad collar on the hind neck brighter fulvous; tail like the back, the outer feathers broadly tipped with white and with subterminal bands of black; the middle tail-feathers uni-coloured and the next two pairs with black bands only; primary-coverts black edged with hoary; exposed parts of quills olive-brown, the earlier primaries edged with hoary; lores and a narrow supercilium white; ear-coverts black and white or almost entirely white or entirely black; a cheek-stripe from the gape, continued round the ear-coverts to the upper part of the eye, and a broad pectoral band, black; chin and throat whitish ; the remainder of the under parts fulvous, albescent on the abdomen.
Colours of soft parts. Upper mandible dark horn-colour; the lower bluish-horn at the base and tip, dark brown in the middle; mouth bluish; iris yellow, orange-yellow or orange-brown ; eyelids and orbital skin dusky blue, edges of the eyelids orange-yellow; legs light to dark slaty-grey, claws pale horn.
Measurements. Total length about 330 to 340 mm.; wing 142 to 150mm.; tail about 130 mm.; tarsus about 49 mm.; culmen about 30 mm.
Distribution. Nepal to E. Assam, North and South of the Brahmaputra, N. Burma and N. Shan States.
Nidification. Breeds from the end of March to early June, many birds having second broods in July and August. The nests are large, loosely-built cups of leaves, bamboo leaves, grass, roots and stems of weeds, sometimes with moss added, and lined with finer roots, tendrils and fern stems. They may be placed in any thick bush, sapling or clump of bamboos, sometimes quite close to the ground, at other times 20 feet from it. The eggs are generally four in number, sometimes three and rarely five. In colour they are a rather deep blue-green, but quite pale ones are not un¬common ; rather long in shape, the texture is smooth and there is very little gloss. 200 eggs average 31.4 x 22.7 mm. The extremes of size are 33.8 X 22.7; 29.2x24.1; 28.7x21.6 and 30.2x20.9 mm.
Habits. This Laughing-Thrush is a bird of low elevations; it is common in the plains near the hills and breeds principally below 2,500 though it may be found up to 4,500 feet. It is very gregarious, and may often be seen associating with other Laughing-Thrushes, especially with the Neck laced Laughing-Thrush. They are not shy, but from their habit of keeping much to dense undergrowth they are less often seen than heard, for they are as noisy as the rest of their family. They indulge in the same dances during the early part of the season and not infrequently at other times also, hopping about the ground, flirting and spreading their wings, bowing and performing like circus contortionists, all the time loudly applauding their own performances.