(420) Iole virescens virescens Blyth.
THE ARRAKAN OLIVE BULBUL.
Iole olivacea virescens, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 406.
Iole virescens virescens, ibid. vol. viii, p. 615.
This Bulbul, which was first found in Arrakan, extends North through the plains and foot-hills of the Chin Hills to the Cachar Hills, Sylhet and Tippera, whilst South it is found throughout the plains and lowest hills of the Pegu Yomas.
It does not, so far as I know, occur in the Khasia Hills, nor along the various Naga Hills ranges to Lakhimpur.
I have no information about the nidification of this bird beyond my notes in ‘The Ibis’ for 1895, p. 332, which I quote :—
“I have seen very few nests of this, the Olive Bulbul, and those which I have seen have all been so precisely alike that a description of any one would do equally well for any of the others. They are of the same type of nest as that of Molpastes bengalensis, but are stouter, compacter, and much more bulky, owing to more material being used in their construction and, of the five nests I have seen, none have been in the least degree transparent, as the nests of that bird so often are. The chief article used in each nest consisted of long, tough strips of the inner bark of a dark-coloured tree, mixed with a few scraps of the outer bark, and a good many twigs, the latter all being very fine and elastic. In four nests there were a good many small dead leaves fastened into the outside of the base and walls, and in all five nests numerous cobwebs were used, both to attach the nest to its, support and to hold the materials together. The lining in each nest is formed of black fern-roots and of long reddish fibres, the tendrils of some creeper, probably the convolvulus already alluded to elsewhere. In three nests the fern-roots form the greater part of the lining, in the others the tendrils. Outwardly the nests average in diameter about 4.1/2 inches and in depth about 2.2", the measurements of the egg cavity being about 2.5" x 1.1".
“The first two nests I took were placed in forks formed by a number of twigs sprouting horizontally from a thin branch which stretched well out and away from the parent bushes, very tall and straggly ones, the nests being some 4.1/2 feet above the ground. Both nests were very firmly affixed to the twigs, a considerable portion of these being well covered by the materials of which the nests were made ; both nests were visible from some yards away. Another nest was found in much the same position, and a fourth differed only in that it was placed in among a vertical bunch of twigs. A fifth, which was brought to me, looked as if it had been placed in a stout upright fork.
“All the nests were taken in the interior of low-lying forests, in most places rather scanty and with a considerable amount of straggling undergrowth, here and there interrupted by long stretches of sun-grass. The most noticeable thing about the nests was the extreme neglect of all concealment, they not only being built on branches devoid of foliage but bushes being selected which stood in comparatively open ground, in two cases just beside Well-worn gaur and buffalo tracks.” In fact the first nest was found when, whilst tracking up a wounded gaur, a bird flew out almost at my head and, looking up, I saw the nest. Waiting a few minutes, the bird returned and settled on her nest within a few feet of me. Every gaur and buffalo which passed along the path must have brushed against the nest, and it seemed impossible that it could escape destruction. I would have knocked my own head against it had I not been stooping low, examining the tracks.
Three eggs is the complement laid and these are very much like the small, speckly type of Molpastes egg and are half-way between these and Iole icterica eggs but, apparently, never of the pinky-red type of the latter.
All my eggs were given away except one clutch of three which measure 23.1 x 16.3, 22.2 x16.5 and 22.4 x 16.2 mm.
* Kloss considers the form of goiavier (Philippines) found in Java and Borneo, and known as analis, separable from the Sumatran (Achin) form, which extends North to Tenasserim. Accordingly our bird must bear Hume’s name personatus (‘Stray Feathers,’ vol. i, p. 457, 1873).
420. loIe virescens virescens
(420) Iole virescens virescens Blyth.