235. Liothrix lutea.
The Red-billed Liothrix.
Sylvia lutea, Scop. Del. Flor. et Faun. Insubr. ii, p. 96 (1786). Bahila callipyga, Hodgs. Ind. Rev. 1838, p. 88. Leiothrix luteus (Scop.), Blyth, Cat. p. 99; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 364; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 250; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. ii, p. 169 ; Oates, B. B. i. p. 142; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 247. Leiothrix callipyga (Hodgs.), Hume, N. & E. p. 390; Gammie, S. F. iii, p. 266; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 629. Liothrix lutea (Scop.), Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 109; Hume, Cat. no. 614 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 644; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 147.
The Red-billed Hill-Tit, Jerd.; Nanachura, Dehra Doon; Rapchil-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. The whole upper plumage and sides of the neck olive-green, the forehead and crown tinged with yellow and the longer tail-coverts tipped with white ; middle pair of tail-feathers and the outer webs of the others black; the inner webs brown; the primaries edged with yellow and later on with crimson ; the secondaries black, with a patch of orange-yellow at the base of the outer web of each ; tertiaries olive-green tinged with rufous ; lores orange-yellow; a ring round the eye yellow; ear-coverts silvery grey ; a narrow moustachial streak dusky green; chin and throat bright yellow, turning to deep orange-yellow on the lower throat; centre of breast and abdomen and the vent and under tail-coverts yellow; sides of breast and abdomen slaty green.
Female. The crimson on the primaries of the male is replaced by orange-yellow. No other difference.
Bill coral-red at tip, black at base ; legs yellow-brown (Cockburn); iris brown (Jerdon).
Length about 6; tail 2.3; wing 2.75 ; tarsus 1 ; bill at gape .6.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Simla to Bhutan ; the Khasi hills ; the Kakhyen hills near Bhamo in Upper Burma; Arrakan. This bird is found from 5000 to 8000 feet or lower. It extends into China.
Habits, &c. Dr. Jerdon states that this species usually associates in small parties of five or six, frequenting the dense thickets and underwood that springs up wherever the forest is partially cleared. It is a shy bird, and avoids observation in general. Its food consists of berries, fruits, seeds, and insects. Its usual note is a chattering call; but in the spring the male has a very pleasing song.
This bird makes a cup-shaped nest of dry leaves and moss bound together with grass and roots, and generally placed in a leafy bush, at no great height from the ground. The number of eggs is usually three ; they are pale green, spotted and otherwise marked with red, purple, and brown ; they measure about .85 by .62.