120. Dryonastes ruflcollis

(120) Dryonastes ruflcollis Jard. & Selby.
Dryonastes ruficollis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol i, p. 139.
This Laughing-Thrush is very common at low elevations in Sikkim, where both Gammie and Mandelli took numerous nests between the foot-hills and 4,000 feet elevation. In Bhutan and the hills of Assam North of the Brahmapootra it is not nearly so common but in the hills South of that river it is the most common of all the Laughing-Thrushes from the Plains up to about 2,000 feet. Above that height it is almost a rare bird, though it straggles up to 4,000 feet. In the Chin Hills it seems to be quite an uncommon bird, though it has been recorded from still further East in the Bhamo Hills.
The birds breed in all kinds of cover. I have myself seen nests built in a small patch of scrub-jungle just outside the kitchen of one of the rest-houses on the Shillong-Gowhati Road and I have seen others built in the deepest parts of humid, evergreen forest. Either extreme is, however, unusual and, above every other kind, these Laughing-Thrushes love scrub, secondary growth in deserted cultivation, or mixed scrub and bamboo-jungle. If such cover is dotted about with little open spaces so much the better, for the flocks can then indulge in a noisy game of “follow-my-leader” across these spaces, each venture into an opening being a good and sufficient reason for an outburst of raucous cackling and an appearance of the greatest anxiety, which temporarily subsides when the opposite cover is gained.
The nests are always placed low down and, of the hundreds I have seen, none has been placed over 20 feet and very few over 10. Most nests are placed 3 to 5 feet up in bushes, brambles, cane-brakes or bamboo-clumps and I have known some almost resting on the ground in dense tangles of creepers and bracken.
The nests, according to Mandelli, are neat cups, but most of those I have found I should call rather untidy exteriorly, as the ends of the materials are seldom tucked in at all neatly. They are rather deep cups, the inner cup somewhere about 4 inches in diameter by about 2 inches deep, almost true hemispheres. Outwardly they may measure, exclusive of odd ends, about 6 inches wide by 3 inches deep. The outer materials consist of leaves, grass, roots, weed-stems, occasionally dry moss and lichen, all bound together with long weed-stems and tendrils. Some nests are composed principally of bamboo-leaves but in these the outermost materials are generally long tendrils which keep these loose slippery leaves together. As a rule the nests are rather well concealed and, when the eggs are incubated, the hen slips off them and goes away with stealth but, when fresh, she often makes so much commotion that it is impossible not to see and hear her.
In Sikkim they breed mainly in May but in Assam they seem to be breeding almost equally all through April, May and early June and I have taken eggs from the middle of March to the middle of August.
The eggs are a very pale skim-milk blue, very rarely pure white or almost so, equally rarely a rather darker blue. The surface is highly glossed and the texture very hard, close and fine, but the shells are not thick in proportion to the size. In shape the eggs range from a short stumpy oval to one slightly peg-top-shaped or rather longer and pointed.
I have one clutch of three eggs, quite abnormal, of which one is spotted at the larger end with red-brown pigment, whilst a second has a few hardly discernible specks of reddish.
Two hundred eggs average 25.7 x 20.0 mm. : maxima 28.2 x 21.0 and 25.9 x 21.1 mm. ; minima 22.8 x 19.1 and 23.8 x 19.0 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: 
120. Dryonastes ruflcollis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Rufous Necked Laughing Thrush
Rufous-necked Laughingthrush
Garrulax ruficollis
Vol. 1

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith