590. Geokichia citrina andamanensis

(590) GEOKICHLA CITRINA ANDAMANENSIS WALD.
THE ANDAMAN ORANGE-HEADED GROUND-THRUSH.
Geocichla citrina andamanensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 152.
Geokichla citrina andamanensis, ibid. vol. viii, p. 624.
This Thrush is restricted to the Andamans.
The only record I can find of this bird’s breeding is that of Osmaston (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xii, pp. 556-7, 1899). He writes :—
“This handsome Ground-Thrush is fairly common near Port Blair. It is most often met with feeding among dead leaves in jungle. When approached quietly it does not fly, but works away from the intruder with long, bounding hops. It does not, however, by any means confine itself to forest, and is often seen on roads, manure-heaps etc., far from any jungle. I have counted as many as seven feeding together and all looked like old males, which, I think, collect together more or less when the hens are engaged in the duties of incubation.
“They very often breed, if not in ‘colonies,’ at least in very close proximity. On May 16th I found the following nests, all within 100 yards of each other, in a young clearing of padouk saplings :—
“(1) Nest 15 feet from ground on bamboo boughs bending down horizontally ; one fresh egg.
“(2) 8 feet from ground in fork of padouk sapling ; two young.
“(3) Ditto.
“(4) 10 feet from ground ; 3 eggs.
“(5) 5 feet from ground in a soft fleshy-stemmed plant ; one broken fresh egg.
“(6 & 7) Apparently new nests in padouk sapling, but in which the birds never laid.
“(8) 8 feet from ground in a teak sapling ; two fresh eggs ; this last nest was about 200 yards away from the others.
“There seemed to be no other nests near the spot, although there was a lot of similar cover.
“I have another note of three nests within about 20 yards of each other.
“Besides these, I have found many single nests, mostly with young, some of them in small trees in the open at some distance from jungle.
“The nests are composed of a foundation of dead and skeleton leaves mixed with a good deal of earth or mud and a hning of roots and black hair-like fibres. They are, as a rule, conspicuous at 20 yards ; much easier to find than the bird is to shoot. The bird is very shy when nesting, slipping away off eggs or young before you are near the nest, and not putting in an appearance again as long as you are in the neighbourhood. When you catch a fledged young bird, however, their natural shyness is forgotten in their distress and both birds flutter round and round you within a few feet until their offspring is restored to them.”
Other nests and eggs taken by Wickham and Anderson agree in description with those taken by Osmaston.
The breeding season is May, June and early July. The earliest-taken clutch in my collection is one obtained by Wickham on the 14th May and the latest is one of Osmaston’s found on the 3rd July.
The full number of eggs laid seems to be almost invariably three, though very rarely two only may be laid.
A wonderful series of this bird’s eggs now in my collection, and taken by the gentlemen named above, show that they are similar to those of the other races but, if examined as a series, they are intermediate in richness of colouring between the eggs of true citrina and Cyanotis. One is also struck by the number of clutches in which the eggs are handsomely blotched with chestnut. I have one clutch in which the ground-colour is very pale cream, the whole surface very richly marked with large and small blotches of chestnut, denser and coalescing at the larger end. A second clutch has the ground a pinkish-buff and is similarly marked, but with smaller blotches.
In shape and texture etc. they are quite typical of the genus.
One hundred eggs average 25.1 x 18.5 mm. : maxima 27.0 x 18.0 and 25.7 x 19.3 mm. ; minima 23.0 x 18.6 and 25.0 x 17.2 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
590. Geokichia citrina andamanensis
Spp Author: 
Wald.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
590
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
133
Common name: 
Andaman Orange Headed Ground Thrush
M_ID: 
27015
M_SN: 
Geokichla citrina andamanensis
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
13757

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