Genus MEGALURUS

The genus Megalurus contains one Indian species which occurs in a somewhat erratic manner over a considerable portion of the Empire. This bird appears to have little or nothing of a spring moult; its tail is not changed, and probably what little moult it has at that season is confined to some of the body-feathers. The young, however, are intensely and richly coloured, which shows the affinity of this species for the Warblers.

Megalurus frequents plains of grass and the banks of rivers, feeds on the ground a good deal, and is not so fond of hiding itself as some of its allies; in fact, I have found it an easy bird to observe. It has a fine song, loud and cheerful, uttered as the bird flies up into the air and descends with motionless wings some fifty yards from where it started.

In Megalurus the sexes are alike ; the bill is strong; the wing is less rounded than in most of the sedentary Warblers, the third primary reaching to the tip of the wing, and the first being of very large size. The tail is very much longer than the wing, pointed and much graduated. The rictal bristles are strong, there are no supplementary hairs, and the feathers of the forehead are remark┬Čably short and close. Hume has drawn attention to the curious formation of the foot: it is deeply cleft between the middle and inner toe, and this latter is partially reversible. This peculiarity explains the rapidity and ease with which the bird climbs about amongst reeds and reed-grass.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
Genus MEGALURUS
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1889
Page No: 
382
M_ID: 
23407
M_SN: 
Megalurus
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
541

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