(841) Hippolais pallida elaeica.
The Olivaceous Tree-Warbler.
Salicaria elaeica Lindermayer, Isis, 1843, p. 342 (Greece). Hypolais pallida. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 391.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Whole visible upper plumage grey-brown; concealed parts of closed wing and tail dark brown, the latter edged paler; a line above the lores and round the eye white or pale-fulvous ; lores mottled white or dusky ; whole lower plumage dull fulvou3-white.
This form differs from typical H.p. pallida in being more grey, less brown above. The latter appears to be restricted to Egypt and adjoining countries, not including Palestine.
Colours of soft parts as in H. rama.
Measurements. Total length about 155 mm.; wing 64 to 69 mm.; tail 50 to 5S mm.; tarsus about 20 to 22 nun.; culmen 12.5 to 14.5 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in South-East Europe, Cyprus, all Eastern Asia (? Arabia) to Turkestan, Persia, Baluchistan, Afghanistan. The occurrence of this bird in India has hitherto rested wholly upon Dresser's statement that he had seen a specimen collected in Sind. In a letter to me he said that he was quite certain of his identification but I never heard from whom he received it. Meinertzhagen also records this as a breeding-species near Quetta and there are two specimens from that place in his collection.
Nidification. This little "Warbler breeds in immense numbers both in Palestine and in Persia as well as in intermediate countries, making a neat little cup of grasses and other fibrous material, lined with finer grasses and placed in a bush or small tree between one foot and seven feet from the ground. The eggs, three or four in number, are pale pink or lilac-grey, sparsely speckled or spotted with blackish and with an occasional line of the same. One hundred eggs average 16.9 x 13.0 mm.: maxima 19.0 X 12.6 and 18.8 x 14.2 mm.; minima 15.4 X 13.0 and 15.9 x 12.0 mm. They breed from early April to late June.
Habits. Very similar to those of H. rama.