(588) Geocichla citrina cyanotis.
The White-throated Ground-Thrush.
Turdus cyanotis Jard. & Selby, 111. Orn., i, pi. xlvi (1828) (Nilgiris). Geocichla cyanonotus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 139.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description.— Adult male. Chin, throat, lores and fore-neck white; cheeks and centre of ear-coverts white; a broad brown line running from above the eye obliquely through the cheeks and turning to orange on the sides of the fore-neck; anterior ear-coverts dark blackish-brown, tipped with white.
Remainder of plumage like that of G. c. citrina, but the orange darker and duller and suffused with olive on the crown.
Colours of soft parts as in G. c. citrina.
Measurements. Wing 106 to 112 mm.; tail 62 to 69 mm.; tarsus 29 mm.; culmen 19 to 20 mm.
Female differs from the male in the same respects as does the female of the Orange-headed Ground-Thrush. Wing 104 to 109 mm.
Nestling similar to those of the other races but with the white throat and brown cheek-bars well defined.
Distribution. Oates gives this Thrush's distribution as India South of latitude 24°, but it seems to be confined almost entirely to Western India, where it is common from the South, of Travancore to North Kanara and thence to Nasik and Khandesh. Its Eastern limits still require working out.
Nidification. This Thrush breeds in Travancore in May and June. Davidson in Kanara found eggs from May to July; Vidal took them in the Southern Konkan m June, July and August and Mr. Morgan as late as August and September. The nest only differs from that of G. c. citrina in having a certain amount of mud used in its construction and the eggs only vary from those of that bird in being, on the whole, much less richly marked. Three eggs seem often to form a full clutch and two only are sometimes laid. Forty eggs average 25.0 x 18.5 mm.: maxima 27.0 x 19.1 and 25.1 x 19.2 mm.; minima 22.0 x 18.1 and 28.5 X18.0. They breed between about 1,000 and 5,000 feet. Many observers have remarked the pluck of these birds in defending their nests against marauders whether human, mammals or other birds.
Habits. Similar to those of the Orange-headed Ground-Thrush but it appears to be a much more familiar bird, haunting and even breeding in gardens and orchards as well as in deep forest. They are very crepuscular in their habits as are all Geocichlas and seem to rest through all the hotter hours of the day.