541. Grandala coelieolor coelicolor

(541) Grandala coelicolor coelicolor Hodgs.
THE INDIAN BLUE GRANDALA.
Grandala coelicolor, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 89.
This magnificent Chat is a bird of the highest elevations in the mountains of Garhwal, Nepal and Sikkim, breeding close to the snows at heights over 16,000 and probably up to 20,000 feet.
The only collector who has ever obtained its nest and eggs (Whymper) writes as follows (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xx, p. 115, 1911) :—On July 15th we found a nest with two young at 16,700 feet ; it was placed under a ledge of rock at the top of a snow-bank and was very neatly built of fine moss with a lining of feathers : a rather large nest, 9 inches across, internally 3.1/4 inches. The eggs must have been laid by Juno 15th, when the place would have been inaccessible from snow. The nest was discovered by seeing the female catching little white moths in the grass and flying off with them, but it took several days, as she went up fully 1,500 feet to her nest, and the mist (which was incessant over 14,000 feet) made it very difficult to follow her. I kept the young alive for six days on white moths and ant-eggs, when they died very suddenly. One other nest with two young was seen. Up to June 25th these birds were about in small flocks of from five to ten, feeding at 14,000 feet, and some of them must have been building at that time fully 2,000 feet above their feeding- grounds, so it would seem they do not separate into pairs when building, and this makes the nest more difficult to find.”
In 1911 Whymper’s collector, Jowar Lal, at last succeeded in getting eggs (op. cit. vol. xxii, p. 196). Whymper records “in the Journal of May 20th, 1911, the finding of the nest with two young, and in June of that year my collector got a nest with two slightly incubated eggs from the same locality, securing both parent birds. The eggs are distinctly meruline in appearance, being greenish-white, spotted and marked with reddish-brown and with purplish under-markings ; they measure 1.06 x .81 and 1.12 x .75 of an inch and there is some dissimilarity in the eggs, the shorter one being greener and the more heavily marked. The markings are distributed all over, there being no ring or cap.. The nest and its position were similar to that formerly described by me.” This nest was taken on the 15th June at 16,000 feet. The two eggs, now in my collection, are very different to one another. One, a long narrow egg measuring 29.7 x 19.4 mm., has the ground¬colour a buffy clay and is marked with blotches of reddish-brown and with secondary blotches of pale purple-lavender. The second egg, much broader and shorter, which measures 27.3 x 21.0 mm., has the ground a distinct green and is much more heavily blotched with reddish-brown, the Underlying marks of lavender being almost obscured. This egg is very like many eggs of the Nilgiri Blackbird, whilst the other approaches more nearly the Missel-Thrush type of egg.
The texture is rather coarse and the surface almost glossless.

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: 
541. Grandala coelieolor coelicolor
Spp Author: 
Hodgs.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
541
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
80
Common name: 
Indian Blue Grandala
M_ID: 
27110
M_CN: 
Grandala
M_SN: 
Grandala coelicolor
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
13716

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