909. Homochlamys acanthizoides brunnescens

(909) Homochlamys acanthizoides brunnescens Hume.
THE SIKKIM RUFOUS-BACKED BUSH-WARBLER.
Horornis acanthizoides brunnescens, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 505.
Homochlamys acanthizoides brunnescens, ibid. vol. viii, p. 645.
This Warbler is found from Sikkim to the Assam Hills, both North and South of the Brahmapootra, to Manipur and the Looshai Hills. It is, however, doubtful if it breeds in the two latter districts, and possibly only breeds on the higher Naga ranges from Kohima to the Patkoi ranges.
In Sikkim Stevens records it up to 10,000 feet but never found its nest, though he obtained the bird in “prong” bamboo-jungle at that elevation.
All that we know about its nidification is the note recorded by Osmaston, which runs :—“This species is found in the Maling bamboo forests which clothe the hillsides on the Singalila Ridge from 9,000 to 11,000 feet. It replaces II. fortipes at these elevations, the latter species being common from 5,000 to 8,000 feet. The note of this bird is without exception the most striking and peculiar of any I have yet come across. It consists of a series of four long-drawn whistles, each lasting several seconds, and each being in turn considerably higher in the scale than the one preceding it, This is followed by a quickly repeated series of up and down notes, resembling the call of Oreocorys sylvanus (a bird not found in these hills). I did not find the nest of this bird, but three eggs were brought to me by an intelligent Lepcha in my employ, whom I had sent up to Mount Tonghe in search of nests of lanthocincla ocellata. He brought me these eggs as being those of H. fortipes, which they evidently are not, firstly from the colour being quite different from that of the eggs of this bird, and secondly because H. fortipes is not found in the bamboo forests at 9,500 feet, where he obtained the eggs in question, whereas II. brunnescens is fairly common there."
The following year Osmaston took several nests himself, and confirmed the identity of the first three. Notes sent to me with a beautiful little series of the eggs describe the nests as domed structures of grass and dead bamboo-leaves, densely lined with, feathers, the entrance near the top. One nest had a few weeds incorporated with the grass and leaves. All were placed low down in bushes in the Maling forest between 9,500 and 10,500 feet, in most cases being between 18 and 24 feet from the ground.
All the nests found by Osmaston contained two eggs only, one clutch being well incubated, between the 20th May and 14th June.
Stevens also obtained nests and eggs which agree exactly with Osmaston’s, but are described as deep cups. They also were obtained in May and June, and contained two or three eggs.
These, the eggs, are much the same colour as those of Cettia, but without any gloss. The whole surface is a deep rich terra-cotta, red, varying very little in depth. Round the larger end there is nearly always a ring or cap of a deeper tint, probably formed by coalesced spots, though it is impossible to see these without a very strong magnifying glass.
Twenty eggs average 17.0 x 12.8 mm. : maxima 18.3 x 12.9 and 17.5 x 13.2 mm. ; minima 15.0 x 12.0 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
909. Homochlamys acanthizoides brunnescens
Spp Author: 
Hume.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
909
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
457
Common name: 
Sikkim Rufous Backed Bush Warbler
M_ID: 
22785
M_CN: 
Hume's Bush Warbler
M_SN: 
Horornis brunnescens
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
14019

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