(909) Horornis acanthizoides brunnescens.
Horornis brunnescens Hume, Ibis, 1872, p. 109 (Darjeeling); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 435.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Differs from H. a. acanthizoides only in being more rufous above with no olive tinge, and also in being less richly coloured below.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in the preceding race. Wing 50 to 54 mm.
Distribution. Nepal and Sikkim to Eastern Assam, both North and South of the Brahmaputra, Manipur and Lushai Hills.
Nidification. Mr. B. B. Osmaston describes eggs, supposed to be of this bird, as dark chestnut. These may be eggs of Neornis. Eggs taken by Mr. W. P. Masson and sent to me with the nest are, as one would have expected, just like others of the genus— chocolate eggs sometimes with darker marks showing faintly at the larger end. These were taken in June on the Singalila ridge above Darjeeling, at about 9,000 feet, above the nesting-area of H. fortipes and are probably correct. Eggs taken by Mr. H. Stevens agree with these. They measure between 15.8 x 12.9 and 18.2 x 13.5 mm.
The nests are described as very deep cups, practically domed, made of rather coarse grass-blades and densely lined with feathers. All were placed low down in small thick bushes in forest and were taken in June.
Habits. This is a bird of high elevations, being found between 7,000 and 11,000 feet in Summer, wandering down to 4,000 or 5,000 feet in Winter. Possibly it is only a Winter visitor to the South of the Brahmaputra but may breed on the higher ranges.
Mr. Osmaston describes its notes as a series of four long-drawn whistles, each higher than the last, followed by a quick series of up and down notes. It inhabits both forest and the thick growth of bamboo which is found above 9,000 feet in certain places.