(844) Hippolais languida.
Curruca languida Hemp. & Ehr., Symb. Phys., Aves, cc. (18331 (Syria).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Upper plumage rather greyish brown ; wing-quills and tail dark brown, edged paler; the outer web and tip of the outermost tail-feathers all pale; lores dusky ; a line above the lores to back of eye whitish; whole lower surface white, tinged with buff on the breast and abdomen and rather more strongly so on the flanks, vent and under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; legs and feet dark brown.
Measurements. Wing 73 to 79 mm.; tail 58 to 65 mm.; tarsus 21 to 22 mm.; culmen 14 to 16.5 mm.
Distribution. From Syria and Palestine to Persia, Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Turkestan. In Winter to Egypt and Abyssinia,. and thrice to India, one specimen having been obtained in Quetta and sent to me for identification in 1908. Meinertzhagen (Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. Journal, xxiii, p. 362) records it as a breeding-species near Quetta and has two specimens in his collection.
Nidification. Similar to that of other species of Hippolais, but the nest is placed in bushes and low trees in gardens, wooded ravines, or in bushes in semi-desert or open bush-clad plains. The eggs are like those of H. pallida but larger and generally a much brighter, clearer pale rose-pink. Twenty-eight eggs (17, British Museum) average 18.9 x 13.6 mm.: maxima 19.9 x 14.5 mm. minima 17.6 x 13.l mm. The birds breed during May and June up to some 5,500 feet elevation.
Habits. Those of the genus, though they are not so fond of frequenting water as some of the species are but, like rama, are often found in plains and semi-desert as long as there are sufficient bushes. Dresser calls the note "a sharp cry like tschick tschick" and it is said to have a sweet little song like that of H. p. elaeica.