810. Tribura thoraciea thoraciea

(810) Tribura thoracica thoracica (Blyth).
THE NEPAL SPOTTED BUSH-WARBLER.
Tribura thoracica thoracica, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 405.
This race of Bush-Warbler breeds within our limits in Kashmir, Tehri-Garhwal, Nepal and Sikkim to Bhutan and, possibly, in the hills of Northern Assam at all heights from 8,000 to 12,000 feet and possibly higher. Occasionally they breed a little lower ; Otto Muller took one at about 7,000 feet near Darjiling, while Macdonald took one on the Nepal-Sikkim boundary at about 7,500 feet. Gammie also took one at 5,000 feet. Hodgson’s supposed nest and eggs of this bird were certainly wrongly identified.
In Sikkim and Nepal this species breeds in comparatively open land covered with grass, bracken and low bushes and never seems to enter the forest, although they keep close to them. Rather steeply sloping hill-sides with strips of open between two forests are very favourite places in Sikkim and I had several nests and eggs sent me, with the birds, taken in such positions. Whymper found them also in open country in Garhwal, but at much higher elevations, nearly all his nests being taken in valleys at about 12,000 feet, though Osmaston took one nest at 9,500.
Whymper’s nests were found built both on the ground in tufts of green grass, in low bushes, a few inches to two feet from the ground, or in tangles of grass, weeds and bush. In Sikkim they were found in quite similar positions but, generally, where there was bracken growing among the bushes and grass. Always they seem to be very well hidden and, though the birds sit close, they slip away very quietly and generally get on to the ground and race away for a few yards before taking to flight, or else hide almost at once in the nearest thick cover.
The nests are sometimes domed and sometimes, deep cup-shaped. In Sikkim they seem to be equally often the one as the other but in Garhwal all the nests found by Whymper were domed, though, that found by Osmaston was a deep cup. The nests were made throughout of grass, rather coarse and also roughly and loosely put together on the outside, though more compact inwardly. There was no true lining in any that I have seen ; in a few the grass inside is a little finer than the rough stems and blades on the outer walls but in others there is no difference. A curious characteristic of this species is the use of one or, rarely, two feathers in the lining, probably merely as a decoration, for there is no possible other use for it. Whymper remarks on this curious idiosyncrasy of the bird, and the Sikkim one has just the same habit as has the Garhwal bird.
The breeding season is June and July, though I have had two clutches of eggs sent me from Sikkim which were taken on the 19th and 27th May.
The number of eggs laid is three or four.
Each individual egg or clutch can be matched by those of the preceding bird and by those of Tribura luteoventris but, as a series, they are much paler. Many clutches have a pure white grouns, lightly freckled with pinky red or brick-red. There is also, perhapd a rather more definite tendency for the specks to form rings or caps.
Curiously enough, the eggs of Nepal and Sikkim birds are deeper coloured and more densely marked than those laid in Garhwal.
In texture they resemble the eggs of the other species but in shape they average rather longer ovals.
Fifty eggs average 18.4 x 13.9 mm. : maxima 19.1 x 14.9 and 18.8 x 15.1 mm. ; minima 17.0 x 12.8 mm.
There is nothing on record as to which sex incubates or as to which builds the nest.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
810. Tribura thoraciea thoraciea
Spp Author: 
Blyth
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
810
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
365
Common name: 
Nepal Spotted Bush Warbler
M_ID: 
23313
M_CN: 
Spotted Bush Warbler
M_SN: 
Locustella thoracica
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
13944

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