310. Heterophasa picaoides

(310) Heterophasa picaoides picaoides Hodgs.
Sibia picaoides picaoides, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 295.
Heterophasa picaoides picaoides, ibid. vol. viii, p. 600.
This Sibia extends throughout the hills and mountains of Nepal, Sikkim, Assam and practically the whole of Northern Burma to Tenasserim. In Assam it frequents forests between 3,000 and 6,000 feet ; in the Chin Hills it occurs up to at least 7,000 on Mt. Victoria ; whilst in Sikkim, according to Stevens, it is a low-level bird, and he considers Oates’s estimate of 5,000 feet as too high for this Sibia. He observed it in the Teesta Valley at 1,800 feet and nearly as low at Namsoo, but this was in Winter and it may breed much higher. In North Lakhimpur it should be noted that Stevens observed it in the foot-hills and plains in Winter, but did not come across it in the breeding season. It frequents forests and especially coniferous forests, where it breeds in the Pines, placing its nest high up in thick bunches of needles, making it a very difficult nest to find even after one has located the birds and know that they are breeding.
The eggs and nest recorded by Hume as being those of this Sibia are certainly not the eggs of this species or any other bird of this group, as Hume evidently thought when he wrote about them. Since then Stevens has taken several nests, and these, as we would have expected, show a very close likeness to those of its nearest relations. They were all taken in the Rangbong Valley at low elevations, i. e., somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 feet, nearer the lower than the higher . Of the nests, of which I have notes by Stevens, one is described as “cup-shaped, as deep as wide, made entirely of green moss and lined with rhizomorph, measuring about six inches in diameter by about the same in depth externally. Placed high up on horizontal branch of fir tree and well and compactly put together. It could not be seen from the ground and was most carefully hidden.”
Two other nests are described as rather wide, shallow saucers of green and brown moss, in one case mixed with a few tiny twigs, and both lined with rather coarse moss-roots, in one nest all black, in the other black and red. Both nests were built in tufts of needles and quite concealed from sight, almost on the tops of the Pine-trees. Two of the sets given to me were taken in April and one in May, whilst others, now in Mr. Stevens’s own series, were taken in the same months.
The eggs are exactly like those of the Grey Sibia and, as with those of that bird, there is a not very uncommon erythristic type.
In the ordinary form the ground-colour is a very pale grey-green and the whole surface is rather freely marked with small blotches of light reddish-brown, slightly more numerous at the larger end. None of the blotches are of any size, most of them being tiny freckles with rather a longitudinal character. The erythristic eggs are white tinged with pale pink, and are marked in exactly the same manner as the other eggs but with pale red instead of reddish-brown. About one clutch in every three appears to be erythristic, as Stevens has several in his own series. The five eggs given to me by him are ordinary to broad ovals, all rather pointed at the smaller end. They average 24.5 x 18.1 mm.
The texture is soft and fine, very smooth but without any gloss.
* The height of 8,000 feet given in the ‘Fauna’ is a misprint for 3,000.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
310. Heterophasa picaoides
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Nepal Long Tailed Sibia
Long-tailed Sibia
Heterophasia picaoides
Vol. 1

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