(692) Hypothymis azurea sykesi.
The Madras Black-naped Flycatcher.
Hypothymis azurea sykesi Stuart Baker, Bull. B. O. C., xl, p. 6 (1920) (Deccan). Hypothymis azurea. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 49.
Vernacular names. Kala Kat-katia (Beng.).
Description.— Adult male. A line across the forehead, point of chin, a large patch on the nape and a crescentic bar across the fore-neck black ; crown and sides of black patch on the nape brilliant azure-blue ; upper plumage and edges of wing- and tail-feathers a rather duller, darker blue ; throat and breast the same blue but a little brighter, gradually becoming pure white on abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts; flanks suffused with grey-blue; edge of wing underneath blue; axillaries and remaining under wing-coverts white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel to dark brown; eyelids plumbeous-blue, more brilliant blue in the breeding-season; bill blue, the edges and tip black ; the bill also is a brighter blue in the breeding-season ; legs and feet pale plumbeous to dark slaty-blue.
Measurements. Total length about 160 to 170 mm.; wing 67 to 73 mm.; tail 70 to 82 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen about 11 to 12 mm.
Female. Forehead and point of chin black; crown of head azure-blue, changing to brown on back and upper plumage ; tail-feathers washed with blue on their outer webs, and wing-coverts and quills edged with the same; chin, throat and upper breast ashy-blue fading to white on the abdomen and under tail-coverts,
Colours of soft parts the same as those of the male in winter.
Measurements. Same as those of the male.
Distribution. India, South of lat. 22° on the West and lat. 18° on the East. Birds from Khandesh and the Berars on the "West of India [should bo placed with this race, but material from Eastern India is very scanty and it is difficult to define the limits.
Nidification. This Flycatcher breeds in Southern India princi¬pally in July and August but also a good deal earlier than this, as Mr. J. Davidson found nests with big young on the 12th July and others from which they had already flown. Mr. Howard Campbell also took eggs as early as April in Gooty. The nests are tiny deep cups, beautifully made of strips of fine grass, thin bark and odds and ends of moss etc. all welded together with many spider-webs. The walls are very thin, not more than 5 mm. thick. The nests are placed either in a vertical or horizontal fork or on a small horizontal branch without any side-supports. The site chosen may be deep jungle or forest, open country or even a tree in cultivated land or in a garden and it may be at any height from the ground between four and forty feet. The eggs are of t he same type as those of Terpsiphone but var}r from this to one more approaching the eggs of Stoparola. The ground varies from pale cream or yellowish pink to a warm salmon and the markings consist of specks and small blotches of red-brown or liver-brown, generally sparsely scattered over the larger end, sometimes forming a definite ring. Twenty eggs average 17.5 x 13.5 mm.
Habits. This Black-naped Flycatcher is found both in the plains and in the hills up to about 3,000 feet wandering some 2,000 feet higher than this on rare occasions in Summer. It is an active little bird on the wing, but does not descend to the ground, nor does it move about in the branches after insects. It is resident wherever found.