204. Lioptila capistrata.
The Black-headed Sibia.
Cinclosoma capistratum, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 56. Sibia nigriceps, Hodgs. J. A. S. B. viii, p. 38 (1839). Sibia capistrata (Vig.), Blyth, Cat. p. 98; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 210 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 54; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 38; Cock & Marsh. S. F. i, p. 354; Hume, N. & E. p. 267; Brooks, S. F. iii. p. 238. Malacias capistratus ( Vig.), flume, Cat. no. 429 ; S, F. viii, p. 292; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 403. Lioptila capistrata (Vig.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 133.
Sambriak-pho, Lepch, Sesigona, Bhut.; Sibya, Nep.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, crest, nape, and sides of the head black, the ear-coverts sometimes dark brown ; the whole lower plumage, rump, upper tail-coverts, and a broad collar round the neck bright rufous; back and scapulars greyish brown; median tail-feathers rufous for three quarters of their Length, then with a black band and a bluish tip; in the other feathers the rufous portion diminishes rapidly and the black increases, but the blue tips remain constant in size; lesser wing-coverts rufous; primary-coverts black ; greater coverts white at base, forming a broad band, the exterior feathers blue tipped with black, the others white, tipped with rufous ; tertiaries chestnut, edged with blue ; the other quills dark brown, the primaries with the outer webs pale blue, the secondaries dark blue.
Bill black ; iris reddish brown ; feet fleshy brown ; claws brown-horny (Scully).
Length nearly 9 ; tail 4 ; wing 3.7; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 1.
Birds from Sikhim are intensely rufous on the lower plumage, as compared with birds from other localities, and the colour of the back is also liable to much variation.
Distribution. Throughout the Himalayas from the Hazara country to Bhutan at elevations of from 5000 to 8000 feet.
Habits, &c. Frequents high trees, feeding on fruit and inseets. Breeds from May to July, constructing a cup-shaped nest of moss and fibres in a branch of a tree up to 50 feet from the ground. The eggs, two or three in number, are pale green, marked with reddish and purplish, and measure about .98 by .69.