157. Trochalopteron phoenicium bakeri

(157) Trochalopteron phoenicium bakeri Hartert.
Trochalopterum phoenicium bakeri, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 169.
This handsome Laughing-Thrush is found throughout the Assam Hills South of the Brahmapootra, Manipur, Lushai Hills and Chin Hills, where it was obtained by both Mackenzie and Hopwood.
It is a bird of evergreen forests between 3,000 and 6,000 feet, being most common between 4,000 and 5,500 feet but ascending still higher than 6,000, as Mr. J. P. Mills observed it breeding between 7,000 and 8,000 feet near Kohima. I do not think it has any predi┬Člection for any particular kind of forest so long as it is moist, dense and shady. I have found it many times between 5,500 and 6,200 feet in the Khasia Hills in mixed forest of Rhododendron and Oak with a matted undergrowth of green bushes and bracken, broken up by great boulders covered with moss and ferns and everywhere with little tricklets of water wandering down to the stream which ran through it. Some nests I have taken in ravines running through Pine forest, but these only when the ravine itself has been covered with green trees and ample moist undergrowth ; where the Pines stand dry and sombre, with no undergrowth or merely sparse bracken and Daphne bushes, these Laughing-Thrushes never nest. In North Cachar we used to get them breeding in both the deepest and wettest forest and also, but not often, in more open forest bordering the bigger streams.
In the Chin Hills all the three nests taken by Mackenzie were, curiously enough, placed in clumps of bamboos in thick jungle of bamboos and scrub.
The nests are deep cups, deeper than hemispheres, constructed of dry leaves, grass, fine soft twigs, roots, bracken and bamboo-leaves. These last generally form the outer wrapping but are more or less mixed with the other materials and are themselves coveredoutside with moss to a less or greater extent. Some nests are so completely covered with green moss that they look like moss-nests with a lining of roots. If, however, they are pulled to pieces the other materials are exposed, and it is also seen that, besides the true lining of roots, there is nearly always an inner lining of dead leaves.
Most nests are built quite low down in brambles, bushes, or Raspberry and Blackberry vines, but occasionally they may be placed in small trees or saplings 5 or 6 feet from the ground.
Occasionally, also, they may be built in clumps of bamboos standing alone in forest, but I have not personally taken any from clumps standing in purely bamboo-jungle.
The eggs number two or three, very rarely four, and are exactly like those of the preceding bird.
One hundred eggs average 26.1 x 18.5 mm. : maxima 28.0 x 19.5 and 27.4 x 20.2 mm. ; minima 23.6 x 18.0 and 25.9 x 17.1 mm.
Most eggs are laid in May but I have taken nests all through June and again up to the 16th July and as early as the 18th April.
The birds sit close but slip away very quietly when disturbed.
Both birds take part in incubation and I have snared both males and females on the nests. Both sexes also assist in feeding the young and, I think, but am not certain, that both share in the building of the nest.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
157. Trochalopteron phoenicium bakeri
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Cachar Crimson Winged Laughing Thrush
Liocichla phoenicea bakeri
Vol. 1

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