The genus Dryonastes, of which D. ruficollis is the type, contains those Laughing-Thrushes which have the nostrils almost completely hidden by bristles. They are very closely allied to some of the Corvidae in structure and they might almost be placed in the same family. They differ, however, in laying spotless eggs and in their habits.

The Habits of all the birds of this and the following five genera are so similar that they may be disposed of now once for all. All are without exception gregarious, and are found in troops of from six to twenty or more individuals. They feed principally on the ground, their strong feet and bills enabling them to turn over leaves, and they are also found on trees, on which they take refuge when disturbed. On being alarmed, or frequently without any apparent cause, they break out into a chorus of notes resembling laughter or loud chatter. They are also in the habit of going through various amusing performances on the ground, erecting their crests, drooping their wings, and expanding their tails, dancing and capering about all the time. They are all found in forest or amongst trees and bushes, and although cautious and sometimes very shy, yet on some occasions they seem careless of observation, and they are difficult to get rid of when once their curiosity has been excited.

They eat almost every sort of insect and the smaller reptiles, and they no doubt partake also of fruit. They construct large cup-shaped nests in trees and lay eggs which, with the exception of those of some species of Trochalopterum, are spotless white or blue. In Dryonastes the eggs, so far as is known, are pale blue.

Key to the Species.

a. Chin and throat black
a1. Ear-coverts black……………….D. ruficollis, p. 73.
b1. Ear-coverts white.
a2. Back chestnut……………….D. nuchalis, p. 74.
b2. Back olive-brown……………….D. chinensis, p. 74.
b. Chin and throat white.
c1. Tail plain……………….D. carulatus, p. 75.
d1. Tail tipped with white……………….D. subcaerulatus, p. 76.
c. Chin and throat chestnut-brown……………….D. sannio, p. 76.
d. Chin black, throat yellow……………….D. galbanus, p. 76.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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