160. Turdinus abbotti.
Malacocincla abbotti, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiv, p. 601 (1845). Trichastoma abbotti (Blyth), Blyth, Cat. p. 147; Horsf. M. Cat. i, p. 405; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 17 ; Oates, S. F. v, p. 151; Tweedd. Ibis, 1877, p. 452, pl. xi, fig. 2; Hume &; Dav. S. F. vi, pp. 250, 513; Cripps, S. F. vii, p. 277; Hume, Cat. no. 387; id. S. F. xi, p. 138. Malacopteron olivaceum, Strickland, A. M. N. H. (1) xix, p. 132 (1847); Hume, S. F. ix, p. 108. Turdinus abbotti (Blyth), Oates, B. B. i, p. 58; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 541; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 103.
The Brown-backed Tit-Babbler, Jerd.
Coloration. Whole upper plumage rich olive-brown, the forehead with fulvous streaks, the shafts of the feathers of the other parts pale; outer webs of the quills of the wing like the back ; upper tail-coverts and tail deep rufous; lores, round the eye, and a short supercilium dark grey; ear-coverts rufous with fulvous shafts; chin, throat, and cheeks pale grey; sides of neck and of the breast and body earthy ferruginous; centre of breast and abdomen whitish; under tail-coverts bright ferruginous.
Iris reddish brown; eyelids deep plumbeous; upper mandible dark brown, except the tip and the terminal third of the margins, which, together with the lower mandible, are pale bluish ; mouth yellow ; legs and feet pinkish fleshy; claws pale horn-colour.
Length about 6.5; tail 2 ; wing 2.9; tarsus 1; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. The lower hills and valleys of Nepal and Sikhim ; the eastern portion of Bengal; the Bhutan doars; Assam, and the whole of the countries to the south to Arrakan and Tenasserim, extending down the Malay peninsula.
Habits, &c. This bird must be looked for in the very thickest of brushwood in evergreen tracts of forest; consequently there are large areas of country in which it is absent. It occurs singly or in pairs, but in suitable places the birds are so common that they appear to be gregarious, though in reality they are not so. They creep about bushes and low trees and also feed on the ground. Their note is very pretty and constantly uttered during the breeding-season in May and June. The nest is a cup made of dry leaves and placed in low bushes near the ground. The eggs, three in number, are very beautiful, being pinkish white, streaked and spotted with brownish red. They measure about .85 by .65.