(1020) Munia atricapilla rubronigra.
The Northern Chestnut-bellied Munia.
Munia rubroniger Hodgs., As. Bes., xix, p. 153 (1836) (Nepal). Munia atricapilla. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 183 (part).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Similar to the Malay Chestnut-bellied Munia but larger; the black on the belly well developed and much greater in extent; the upper parts are, perhaps, more richly chestnut and there is never any silvery edging to the feathers of the upper-back.
Colours of soft parts as in the preceding bird.
Measurements. Wing 53 to 59 mm., generally about 55 ram. ; culmen 11.5 to 13 mm.
Distribution. From Sambalpur, along the Sub-Himalayan Terai to E. Assam, Bihar and Bengal; Arakan; Chin and Kachin Hills ; Yunnan, Shan States, Annam, Northern Siam to Samkok and Central Burma to Karenni etc.; Western China.
Nidification. Similar to that of the last bird but keeps more to bushes and to very high sites, often building quite high up in comparatively lofty trees. They breed almost all the year round but the majority from June to September, laying four to eight eggs. Fifty eggs average 16.3 x 11.7 mm.: maxima 17.8 x 11.9 and 17.0 x 12.2 mm. ; minima 14.9 x 10.2 mm.
Habits. This bird ascends the Himalayas up to at least 4,000 feet, at which height I have obtained it in the Khasia and Cachar Hills. Although it seems to prefer the vicinity of villages and cultivation, I have seen it in swamps and grass fields far removed therefrom.