1110. Hierococcyx nisicolor.
Cuculus nisicolor, Hodgson, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 943 (1843). Hierococcyx nisicolor, Jerdon, B. 1. i, p. 330; iii, p. 871; id. Ibis, 1872, p. 14; Blyth,Ibis, 1866, p. 361; Hume, S. F. v, pp. 96, 347; xi, p. 72; id. Cat. no. 206; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 157 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 109; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 383. Hierococcyx fugax, apud Shelley, Cat. B. M. xix, p. 236, partim ; nec Cuculus fugax, Horsf.
Coloration. Whole upper plumage, except the tail, uniform dark ashy; quills browner, with white bars on the inner webs; tail with alternating bands of brownish grey and black, the last black band broad, the last but one very narrow and close to the last one'; extreme tip of tail rufous; sides of head and neck and the chin dark ashy ; throat and front of neck white, sparingly streaked with ashy; breast, abdomen, and flanks ferruginous,streaked with pale ashy and frequently mixed with white ; vent and under tail-coverts white.
In the young birds the upper plumage, sides of head and neck, chin, throat, and upper breast are very dark brown, with narrow rufous edges to the feathers, the quills are barred on both webs with rufous; tail as in adults; the breast, abdomen, and flanks white with broad black spots. The blackish brown of the throat and breast is soon lost, and the upper parts become barred with rufous, as in the young of H. varius and H. sparverioides, and there is the same gradual change to the adult plumage. At no time are there any cross-bands on the abdomen.
Upper mandible horny black, lower mandible and around nostrils pale green, gape greenish yellow; iris orange-red; eyelids, legs, feet, and claws bright yellow.
Length about 11.5 ; tail 5.6 ; wing 6.7 to 7.4 ; tarsus .75 ; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. The Himalayas as far west as Nepal, and throughout Assam and Burma to the Malay Peninsula, but not apparently in the Malay Archipelago, where this species is replaced by H. fugax, a form with a larger bill and the bands on the tail as in H. varius.
Habits, &c. Apparently a resident species. Nothing is known of its breeding except that an egg, extracted from the oviduct of a female by Mandelli on June 5th, was olive-brown and measured .89 by .64.