389. Megalurus palustris.
The Striated Marsh-Warbler.
Megalurus palustris, Horsf. Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii, p. 159 (1820); Blyth, Cat. p. 139; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 330; Jerd. B. Ind. ii, p. 70; Hume, N. & E. p. 276; Ball, S. F. iv, p. 233 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi. p. 295; Hume, Cat. no. 440; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 639 ; Oates, S. F. x, p. 209 ; id. B. B. i, p. 106; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 123; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 175; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 249.
The Striated Marsh-Babbler, Jerd. ; Ial-aggin, H. ; Nul-claypee, Assam.
Coloration. Upper plumage fulvous-brown, the head rather rufous, and each feather with a dark brown or blackish stripe down the shaft, the feathers of the back and scapulars each with a broad black stripe down the middle; wing-coverts blackish brown, broadly edged with fulvous-brown; quills blackish brown, the primaries narrowly, and the other quills broadly, edged with rufous-brown; tail fulvous-brown, the shafts and the portions of feathers near them dusky; a broad supercilium, becoming indistinct near the nape, greyish white; chin and throat white; sides of the neck and all the lower plumage earthy brown, tinged with buff on the flanks, vent, and under tail-coverts; a few streaks of brown on the breast and under tail-coverts.
The young are very similar to the adult, but they have the supercilium and the whole lower plumage suffused with yellow; the adult plumage is assumed in February.
Iris pale brown; eyelids plumbeous ; bill horny brown, dark on the upper mandible, and rather pale on the lower; mouth dark bluish brown; legs pale pink; claws pinkish horn-colour.
Length up to 10 ; tail 4.9 ; wing 4; tarsus 1.4; bill from gape 1; the female is considerably smaller.
Distribution. This bird has rather a remarkable area of distribution so far as is known. Beginning on the west it is found at Hoshungabad on the Nerbudda; thence through Seoni to Sambalpur and in the valley of the Mabanadi in Orissa, where it has been procured at Boad and Sonepur. Jerdon records it from the banks of the Wainganga and Indravati rivers. It is again found in Dacca, and then in the Bhutan and Buxa Doars, extending up to Sadiya. Southwards from Assam it occurs in all suitable localities down to Central Tenasserim, being extremely common in Manipur and many parts of Southern Pegu. It appears to be absent from the Malay peninsula, but it is found again in Java.
Habits, &c. Breeds from April to June, or later, making a deep cup-shaped nest of grass-leaves in a tussock of grass and laying four eggs, which are white speckled with blackish and purplish brown ; they measure .9 by .63.