1020. Munia atricapilla rubronigra

(1020) Munia atricapilla rubronigra Hodg.
THE NORTHERN CHESTNUT-BELLIED MUNIA.
Munia atricapilla rubronigra, Tanna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 81.
The Northern race of this Munia is found as far West as Sambalpur, thence all along the Himalayan Terai to the extreme East. In the plains it extends into Bihar and Bengal North of the Ganges. In Burma it is found all over the plains and lower hills of the North about as far South as the central Arrakan Yomas and Karenni. East it extends into Yunnan, North Siam, Annam and South-West China.
In Assam this is a common bird up to about 3,500 feet, but extends sometimes much higher, and I have taken its nest at 4,500 feet more than once.
In its nidification it resembles the previous bird, but it is Some¬times found in scrub-jungle and even in bushes in forest. At the same time it undoubtedly prefers the vicinity of villages and cultivation and breeds in gardens of houses on Tea Estates. It also more frequently places its nest on trees and bushes than does the preceding race and is less exclusively a grass-breeder. I have taken its nests in bushes beside jungle tracts, in beans and other creepers growing over huts in cultivation, on trees in the open thirty feet from the ground and in coarse tufts of grass only a few inches above it. There seems to be little attempt at conceal¬ment ; the nest may be built well inside a bush with dense foliage but it is more likely to be built in a branch with few leaves, con¬spicuous from far away. The nests bear a very rough, unfinished appearance and are much larger than seems necessary. I have taken them measuring as much as 10 x 8 inches and they are seldom under six inches either way.
The breeding season everywhere is from the middle of June, when the rains break, to the end of September. A few eggs may be taken both earlier and later. Thus Scully says in Nepal they breed from May to the end of October ; I have myself taken a few eggs in both of these months in Assam, while in the Botanical Garden, Calcutta, where it is very common, eggs have been taken from late June to November,
The normal full clutch is five or six eggs, one as often as the other ; sets of seven are rare but four only are often incubated.
Sixty eggs average 16.3 x 11.5 mm. : maxima 17.8 x 11.9 and 17.0 x 12.2 mm. ; minima 14.9 x 10.2 mm.
Both sexes take part in incubation and both assist in building the nest and, after the young are fully fledged, both parents and young continue to use the nest for roosting purposes until the walls give way under the strain. While incubation is going on both male and female sleep in the nest and, even in the day, both may sometimes be found inside it.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1020. Munia atricapilla rubronigra
Spp Author: 
Hodg.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1020
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
16
Common name: 
Norrn Chestnut Bellied Munia
M_ID: 
30159
M_SN: 
Lonchura atricapilla rubronigra
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14115

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