693. Hypothymis azurea styani

(693) Hypothymis azurea styani (Hartl.).
THE NORTHERN INDIAN BLACK-NAPED FLYCATCHER.
Hypothymis azurea styani, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 271.
This little Flycatcher has an enormous range, embracing the whole of Northern India North of the range of the preceding subspecies ; thence it extends East and is found over the whole of Burma to Tenasserim, where it is resident and breeds. It also occurs through¬out the Indo-Chinese countries to Hainan.
Over the Outer Himalayas it breeds, wherever found, up to 3,000 feet and, probably, a good deal higher. In Sikkim Stevens says it occurs up to 4,300 feet, whilst in the Khasia Hills one of my collectors took a nest at about 4,600 feet and a second at about 4,000. Both in these hills, however, as well as in the Cachar and Naga Hills, it rarely nests above 3,000 feet, and is most common between the foot-hills and 2,500 feet. In Margherita it was a very common resident both in the foot-hills and the plains, wherever there was dense evergreen forest or thick bamboo cover, the latter being a favourite resort. I do not think this race ever breeds in the open or round villages or gardens. Even in Burma it keeps to forest. Darling found it breeding in Tavoy in heavy forest at the foot of Nwalalo Hill ; Mackenzie and Hopwood found it in similar forest near Prome and again in the North of Burma in the Chin. Hills.
As regards its methods of nidification, there is little to add to what has been said of the Southern Indian birds. It may be noted that few nests are built more than 10 feet from the ground, and I cannot remember a single instance of a nest over 20 feet from it. The nests themselves only differ in being, I believe, rather smaller, a point referred to also by Hume. The external measurements of all my nests would be about, or under, 2.1/2 inches in diameter, though the depth varies greatly. Some nests are inverted cones, deeper than broad ; others are deep cups, as deep as wide, while others are true hemispheres.
The breeding season is from the last ten days of April up to the end of June in the North. In Burma it breeds throughout April and to the end of May, occasional nests being taken later, while Mackenzie found one with three fresh eggs at Prome on the 20th June, though most birds in Tenasserim laid in April and early May.
Both sexes incubate and both take a share in the work of building the nest. The male was snared on the nest in North Cachar quite as often as the female, at all times of the day.
Incubation, I believe, takes twelve days.
The birds are much more shy than the Southern form and desert their nests on little provocation, though once the eggs are hatched, or nearly hatched, they sit very close. They, normally, only have one brood in the year.
The usual clutch of eggs is three, though four is not uncommon ; but, while I have seen two incubated, I have never seen a set of five, as recorded by Hume. In Amherst, Mepak and other places in South Tenasserim Mackenzie found two to be the normal full clutch and three quite exceptional. They cannot be distinguished in appearance from those of H. a. sykesi, either individually or as a series.
Seventy eggs average 17.0 x 13.25 mm. : maxima 18.3 x 13.2 and 18.0 x 14.1 mm. ; minima 15.9 x 12.1 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: 
693. Hypothymis azurea styani
Spp Author: 
Hartl.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
693
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
238
Common name: 
Norrn Indian Black Naped Flycatcher
M_ID: 
19854
M_SN: 
Hypothymis azurea styani
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
13840

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith