(389) Microscelis psaroides ganeesa.
THE SOUTHERN INDIAN BLACK BULBUL.
Hypsipetes ganeesa Sykes, P. Z. S., 1832, p. 86 (Deccan); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 262.
Vernacular names. Kele Kondiya (Ceylon).
Description. Differs from all the other races in having no black line round the ear-coverts; the grey is darker than in the Himalayan form but the head is sharply defined from the back. There is little or no white on the abdomen.
Colours of soft parts. "Iris hazel dyed with lake-red; bill orange-vermilion; feet orange-yellow " (Fairbank).
Measurements. This is the smallest of dl the races except for some specimens from the extreme South of Burma. Wing 112 to 120 mm., tail about 100 to 105 mm.
Distribution. India South from Matheran and Ceylon. McMaster obtained it at Chikaldar on the Garwilgurgh Hills in Berar.
Nidification. The Southern Black Bulbul seems normally to frequent higher elevations for breeding purposes than do the other races and will not often be found breeding below 4,000 feet. It builds a nest similar to those of its relations elsewhere but makes a greater use of dead leaves in its construction. It is often placed at very great heights and seldom on saplings or bushes. The eggs are almost invariably two only and differ from those of the Himalayan form in being more weakly marked, less handsome eggs and also in being generally a shorter, blunter oval. Thirty eggs average 26.6 x 19.5 mm. and vary in length between 28.3 x 19.3 mm. and 25.0 x 19.2 mm. and in breadth between 27.0 x 20.8 and 26.3 x 19.0 mm. They breed from February to July.
Habits. Those of the genus. They are never found in the plains and seldom below 2,000 feet, even in winter. Mr. Rhodes Morgan records having seen these Bulbuls "migrating in vast flights, numbering several thousands, in the Bolumputty Valley in July. They were flying westwards towards Malabar."
They frequent both the outskirts of forests and heavily-wooded districts and also small spinneys and sholas standing in the hollows of grass-covered hills.