87. Melanochlora sultanea sultanea

(87) Melanochlora sultanea sultanea (Hodgs.).
Melanochlora sultanea sultanea, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 101.
The Sultan Tit is found throughout the lower levels of the outer Himalayas from Nepal to Eastern and Southern Assam and East to the Shan States, Arrakan and Karenni.
In spite of its being so common a bird, the only records of its breeding are my own (Journ, Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. viii, p. 48.) It is a bird of dense forests during the breeding season or of the scattered Oak forest growing in grass country. My nest was found in the latter on the 17th May, 1890. “I was out at the time after Gaur and was going through thinly scattered Oak forest with an undergrowth of young sun-grass. Whilst resting for a few minutes under a tree, I noticed a male of this species on a tree opposite carrying something in its mouth ; presently he flew into a tree about a dozen paces away and promptly disappeared into a long crevice which ran down one of the main boughs. Sending a man up to investigate, both male and female flew away and, to my delight, the man announced that there was a nest with seven eggs.
“Both nest and eggs were brought down for my examination. The former was a thick pad of very fine scraps of moss, compressed down until it formed an almost solid mass, in depth about 4" and about the same in diameter at the top, whence it gradually narrowed to a point in shape, the same as the hollow in which it was placed. The depression in which the eggs were laid was about 3" in diameter by hardly deep and this was almost filled with soft cotton down.
“The eggs are like those of Machlolophus spilonotus, differing only in size. The ground-colour is a chalky white, and the whole surface is thickly scattered with brownish-red spots of a bold character, others underlying of a pinkish grey and light neutral tint.”
In shape they are very broad ovals.
The eggs were almost hatching and two were quite unblowable. The average size of the five eggs saved is 19.0 x 15.3 mm.
Another clutch of six eggs, remnants of another just hatching clutch was brought to me by a hillman who said he had taken them from a “split branch” of a tree standing in a very wet heavy forest at about 3,000 feet elevation. These were exactly like those taken by myself but much larger, averaging about 21.7 x 16.5 mm. They were taken on the 28th of April.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
87. Melanochlora sultanea sultanea
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Sultan Tit
Melanochlora sultanea sultanea
Vol. 1

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith