258. Minla igneitincta.
The Red-tailed Minla.
Minla ignotincta, Hodgs. Ind. Rev. 1838, p. 33; Jerd. R. I. ii, p. 254 ; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 45 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. ii, p. 109; Hume, N. & E. p. 393; id. Cat. no. 618; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 319; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 606; Oates in Hume's N.& E. 2nd ed. i, p. 161. Leiothrix ignitincta (Hodgs.), Blyth, Cat. p. 99; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 366.
The Red-tailed Hill-Tit, Jerd.; Minla, Nepal; Megblim ayene, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. The forehead, crown, nape, and the middle of the upper back black; a very broad and distinct supercilium from the forehead to the end of the black point on the back, blending more or less with the supercilium on the other side of the crown, white; lores, ear-coverts, and a band extending nearly to the end of the white supercilium, black ; back, rump, and scapulars deep vinaceous; upper tail-coverts black; tail black, tipped and edged on the outer webs with crimson, the two middle feathers with a white streak at the base of the inner webs, the outer feathers suffused with red on the inner webs ; wing-coverts and tertiaries black, edged with white, the latter also broadly tipped white ; primaries and secondaries black, edged with crimson on the greater part of the outer webs, the earlier primaries margined with white near the tips, the later secondaries tipped with white; chin yellowish white; entire lower plumage yellow, sparingly and narrowly streaked with brown.
Female. Differs from the male in having the back, rump, scapulars, and upper tail-coverts uniform vinaceous brown; the crimson on the wing is replaced by pinkish white and on the tail by pale red.
The young bird of both sexes is probably like the female till the first autumn moult.
Legs and feet grey-brown to greenish leaden, with a wax-yellow tinge on toes (sometimes extending to the tarsi), more decided in males than in females ; soles wax-yellow; upper mandible and tip of lower blackish brown; rest of lower mandible horny-grey or bluish-greenish horny ; iris greyish or brownish white (Hume).
Length about 5.5 ; tail 2.2; wing 2.5 ; tarsus .85; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. Nepal: Sikhim ; Bhutan; the Naga hills; Manipur. Pound up to about 9000 feet.
Habits, &c Breeds, according to Hodgson, in Nepal in May and June, constructing a cup-shaped nest of moss in a bushy tree. The eggs are said to be blue, speckled with brownish red.