(177) Grammatoptila striata striata.
THE STRIATED LAUGHING-THRUSH.
Garrulus striatus Vigors, P. Z. S., 18S0, p. 7 (Himalayas, Naini-Td). Grammatoptila striata. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 103.
Vernacular names. Nampiok-pho (Lepcha); Kopiam (Bhut.). Description. Whole upper plumage, sides of head and neck, chin and throat umber-brown, darkest on the crown, shading off into pale brown on the lower plumage; every feather of the whole plumage including inner secondaries but not other quills, with a long median white streak, the streaks larger but less defined on the abdomen and under tail-coverts; quills dark brown, the outer webs of the first few primaries hoary, of the others pale chestnut; tail chestnut, the outer feathers with a minute white tip,
Colours of soft parts. Iris lake or reddish brown; bill black; legs dull slate or slaty-brown.
Measurements. Length about 300 to 310 mm.; wing about 140 to 150 mm.; tail about 132 to 136 mm.; tarsus about 42 mm.; culmen about 25 mm,
Distribution. Himalayas from the Sutlej Valley to Bhutan.
Nidification. The Striated Laughing-Thrush breeds throughout its range at heights varying between 3,500 and 7,000 feet, but is not often found nesting below 4,500 feet. The nest is a large, rather deep cup, about 9 to 10 inches in diameter by some 4 to 5 deep and is composed largely of moss with grass, leaves, roots and tendrils mixed and a compact lining of roots. It is generally placed some 6 to 12 feet up in small saplings and other trees. The eggs are almost invariably two in number and are long ovals of pale blue, in nearly every case spotless, but rarely with a few tiny specks of blackish or reddish. They average about 33.8 x 23.2 mm.
This is a very favourite fosterer for the Red-winged Cuckoo (C. coromandus). The breeding season lasts from April to July.
Habits. This bird is a true Laughing-Thrush in its habits but is more arboreal than most, frequenting both bush and the lower trees alike. It is found in pairs and small parties and is very loquacious, some of its notes being likened by Jerdon to those of a hen which has laid an egg. It feeds on insects and fruit and seeds, the latter to a greater extent than most of the family.