(842) Hippolais scita.
The Booted Tree-Warbler.
Sylvia scita Eversm., Add. Pall. Zoogr. Rosso-Asiat., iii, p. 12 (1842) (Ural Mts.). Hippolais caligata. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 393.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Similar to Hippolais rama, but smaller and with a different wing-formula, the second primary being always shorter than the 7th, or even the 8th, whereas in H. rama it is always longer than the 7th.
Colours of soft parts as in H. rama.
Measurements. Wing 56 to 61 mm.; tail 45 to 50 mm.; tarsus about 20 to 21 mm.; culmen about 9 to 11 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in East Russia to the Kirghis Steppes and West Siberia to the Altai, Turkestan and Transcaspia. Extending in Winter to India and Ceylon, there being three specimens of this species in the Ceylon Museum killed in Ceylon.
Nidification. The Booted Tree-Warbler breeds in May and June, making a neat little cup-shaped nest of grass, weed-stems, roots, etc., lined with grass and, generally also, with hair, wool, feathers or some similar soft material. It is placed either low down in a bush or on the ground itself in rank herbage. The eggs number four to six and are like those of H. pallida but almost always a much deeper tint of rose-lilac, salmon or pink. Sixty eggs (45, Jourdain) average 15.8 x 12.5 mm.: maxima 17.2 X 13.0 and 15.0 x 13.5 mm.; minima 14.0 X 11.3 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus. A shy skulking little bird haunting bushes, reeds and cover in the vicinity of water.