829. Franklinia rufescens austeni

(829) Franklinia rufescens austeni Stuart Baker.
Franklinia rufescens austeni, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 427.
This Warbler extends from Kuman to Eastern Assam, both North and South of the Brahmapootra. It is also the form which occurs in Manipur, while Mackenzie records it from the Chin Hills.
It is a resident bird from the foot-hills up to 6,000 feet but, in Assam at all events, most numerous between 1,500 and 4,000 feet. Mandelli obtained it in Sikkim at Yendong breeding on the 1st May. It must, however, be rare in Sikkim, as Stevens seems only once to have met with it, when he got two males out of a small party in the foot-hills of the Eastern Dooars, whilst he obtained no specimens in Sikkim itself.
The only thing I can say of its nidification which I have not already said of Franklinia gracilis is that it is more of a forest bird, for though it seldom breeds inside forest it is often found on its fringe and is especially fond of the edges of those which border the patches of rice-cultivation where weeds, bracken and brambles grow in rank profusion, while there is but little overhead tree-growth. I have also seen many nests in the secondary growth which springs up so quickly when once cultivation is abandoned.
The nests exactly resemble those of Franklinia gracilis and are not distinguishable from them, unless it be that they are a trifle bigger.
The breeding season is principally May and June, while a good many birds also breed in July ; few breed in April and equally few after July, but I have taken eggs from the 4th April to the 23rd September.
Individually no description of the eggs can be given other than what has already been given for F. gracilis but, if series are compared, the eggs of the present bird appear to be in proportion more often blue than white, while the blue itself is deeper in colour. The markings, perhaps, are also a trifle larger in some specimens. The size, however, is at once noticeable, the eggs of rufescens being much bigger than those of gracilis. The very great majority of eggs are blue or have a blue ground, those with a white ground numbering about one in four.
The texture is much the same but the shape is, on the whole, a longer oval.
Two hundred eggs average 16.1 x 11.8 mm. : maxima 17.4 x 12.1 and 16.6 x 12.3 mm. ; minima 14.2 x 10.6 and 14.6 x 10.5 mm.
With the eggs of this species I can find no connection between unspotted eggs and early laying, nor does there seem to be any difference in the size between the two types.
The habits of the two birds, gracilis and rufescens, in regard to incubation, nest-building etc., appear to be identical.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
829. Franklinia rufescens austeni
Spp Author: 
Stuart baker.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Assam Wren Warbler
Iduna aedon rufescens
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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