(1028) Uroloncha rufiventris.
The Rufous- bellied Munia.
Uroloncha rufiventris Stuart Baker, Bull. B. 0. C, xlv, p. 84 (1925) (Wynaad). Uroloncha pectoralis. Blanf. & Oates, ii. p. 187.
Vernacular names. Tinna kuravi (Tel.).
Description. Upper plumage chocolate-brown with pale shafts, forehead and crown darker; rump dark brown with broader streaks of fulvous; upper tail-coverts glistening rufous; tail blackish brown ; wing-coverts dark brown ; quills blackish; lores, cheeks, chin, throat and upper breast black, the lores and cheeks flecked with tiny rufous striae : remainder of underparts dark fulvous or pinkish brown, the feathers of the vent and under tail-coverts with wide dark brown, or blackish, margins.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill dark slate to practically black ; legs and feet dark slaty.
Measurements. Total length about 120 mm.: wing 55 to 57 mm.; tail 36 to 39 mm.; culmen about 11 to 12 mm.; tarsus 13 to 14 mm.
Young birds are all brown above, the wings and tail blackish ; below they are fulvous, each feather with a pale shaft widening to a pale spot near the tip and with the faintest possible dark margin.
Distribution. The Western coast of India from the Wynaad to South Travancore.
The name by which this bird has hitherto been known, U. pectoralis (Jerdon MS., Blyth, 3. A. S. B., xiii, 1844), is unfortunately preoccupied by A. pectoralis of Gould, P. Z. S. 1840, p. 127.
Nidification. The Rufous-bellied Munia breeds in the Nilgiris and other Hill districts of South India from July to September. In Travancore Stewart found eggs in March, April, June and July. The nest is similar to that of other Munias but more varied in material, whilst often there is a fair lining of the flowering ends of grasses. The eggs number four to seven, eight to ten according to Miss Cockburn. Thirty-six average 16.0 x 11.5 mm.: maxima 17.8 x 12.0 and 17.5 X 12.3 mm.; minima 15.0 x 10.9 and 15.5 x 10.5 mm.
Habits. This Munia is found in the Hills all the year round, in Summer up to some 7,000 feet, in Winter up to about 4,000 feet. In the lower levels it is resident throughout the year. It is found both in grass-lands, scrub jungle and in cultivation and villages, often breeding in and about the latter. They associate in small flocks and have the usual habits of the family.