683. Geocichla wardi.
The Pied Ground-Thrush.
Turdus wardii, Jerd. J. A. S. B. xi, p. 882 (1842); id. Ill. Ind. Orn. pl. viii; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 453. Merula wardii (Jerd.), Blyth, Cat. p. 163; Horsf. & M. Cat. I, p. 402. Turdulus wardii (Jerd.), Jerd. B. I. i, p. 520 ; Hume, Cat. no. 357 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 172. Cichloselys wardii (Jerd.), Hume, N. & E. p. 231. Oreocincla pectoralis, Legge, S. F. iv, p. 244. Geocichla wardi (Jerd.), Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 178; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 97.
Ward's Pied Blackbird, Jerd.
Coloration. Male. The whole head, neck, breast, upper plumage, wings, and tail black; the lesser and median wing-coverts very broadly tipped with white ; the greater wing-coverts and quills tipped with white, except the earlier primaries, which, with the primary-coverts, are partially margined with white ; the rump and upper tail-coverts with crescentic white tips ; tail with a considerable amount of white, increasing in extent from the middle feathers to the outer; a white supercilium to the nape; abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts white; sides of the body and the axillaries white, each feather with a subterminal black bar; under wing-coverts black tipped white.
Female. Upper plumage and wings olive-brown, all the wing-coverts and tertiaries with buff tips, the outer webs of the quills suffused with russet, the longer feathers of the rump and upper tail-coverts tipped with dull white; tail olive-brown, the portion next the shafts darker, the four outer pairs of feathers tipped white ; a broad buff supercilium to the nape; sides of the head and of the throat mixed buff and black; chin nearly plain white ; middle of throat and the upper breast pale buffish white, each feather margined with dark brown; lower breast, upper abdomen, and sides of the body barred with olivaceous and suffused with ochraceous; middle of abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts white.
Iris brown; bill ochre-yellow, the tip of upper mandible black ; legs and feet fleshy ochre (Hume).
Length about 8.5 ; tail 3.3 ; wing 4.5; tarsus 1 ; bill from gape 1.15.
Distribution. Summers in the Himalayas from the Sutlej valley to Sikhim and the Bhutan Doars up to 6000 or 7000 feet; winters in Southern India and Ceylon. The chief winter-quarters of this species appear to be the Nilgiris and other hill-ranges down to Cape Comorin and Ceylon. It must necessarily occur over a great part of India when migrating, but it has seldom been observed at that period. Major Lloyd records it from the Konkan, and Jerdon from Nellore in the Carnatic.
Habits, &c. Brooks remarks that this species has a strange song of two notes and quite unmusical. It breeds in the Himalayas from May to July, constructing a nest of moss and fibres, with or without mud, in the branch of a tree, and lays four eggs, which are described as being pale green marked with purple and brownish red, and measuring about 1 by .72.