1028. Uroloncha jerdoni

(1028) Uroloncha jerdoni Hume.
THE RUFOUS-BELLIED MUNIA.
Uroloncha rufiventris Fauna, B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 88.
Uroloncha jerdoni, ibid. vol. viii, p. 651.
This little Munia is confined to the South-West of India from the Wynaad to the South of Travancore, being found both in the plains and in the lower hills. In the Nilgiris they ascend about as high as Kotagherry, where Miss Cockburn obtained many nests, and in Travancore they apparently are to be found at all elevations.
They are very confiding little birds in the Nilgiris, breeding in gardens and houses, but in Travancore Bourdillon and Stewart both record them as breeding either in forest or in the open.
Their nidification is very different to that of most Munias, for, though they make a nest which is the typical grass ball, they place them in very different situations. Some are built in the thatch of bungalows, others in, or partly inside, holes of trees and others on big boughs and branches of large trees.
Miss Cockburn, writing from Kotagherry, says:—“These little birds build in July and, like all of this species, construct a large nest. Many of them built in the eaves of a coffee store-house, which was thatched, attaching their nests to the thatch so far in as almost to be hid.
“The nest (sent) was found in a coffee estate, about 3,000 feet of elevation.
“The situation chosen was a large tree in front of the coffee godown on the side of a hill. The nest was built on one of the large outer branches, slightly concealed among the leaves, at the height of about twenty feet. The shape was perfectly round, about 7 or 8 inches in diameter. It had been commenced with long dried roots, to which was added the long leaves of a reed which grows near water. These leaves are from 3 to 4 inches long and about I inch broad. A large quantity of fine, soft, down grass-seed ears were accumulated, forming a completely round nest, with a small hole at one aide ; no lining. The number of eggs 8 or 10. Only one brood is reared here, during the two or three months the birds remain here.”
Bourdillon describes the nests taken By them in Travancore as “a large loose construction of fine creeping-grass, with, perhaps, a few feathers interwoven, deposited in a hollow stump, and contains 6 to 8 eggs, laid about June or July.”
Finally, Stewart, who took many nests, describes them as similar to those found by Miss Cockburn, but placed either in holes or in forks of the boughs of trees. No nest found by him had any feathers among the materials used. The breeding season is much longer than Miss Cockhurn thought, for though many birds breed in July, I have eggs taken as early as the 11th April and others obtained on the 17th August.
Thirty-six eggs, including those referred to in Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs,’ average 16.0 x 11.5 mm. : maxima 17.8 x 12.0 and 17.5 x 12.2 mm. ; minima 15.0 x 10.5 mm.

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: 
1028. Uroloncha jerdoni
Spp Author: 
Hume.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1028
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
23
Common name: 
Rufous Bellied Munia
M_ID: 
30139
M_SN: 
Lonchura kelaarti jerdoni
Volume: 
Vol. 3
Term name: 
id: 
14124

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