(333) Siva strigula strigula.
THE STRIPE-THROATED SIVA.
Siva strigula Hodgs., Ind. Rev., 1838, p. 89 (Nepal) ; Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 208.
Vernacular names. Megblim (Lepcha).
Description. Forehead, crown and nape bright orange-brown; a ring of yellowish feathers round the eye; sides of head grey, mottled with whitish and dusky; upper plumage slaty-green ; middle pair of tail-feathers chestnut-red on half the inner and one-third the outer webs at the base, the remaining two-thirds black tipped with white; the next pair black with a trace of red at the base and tipped yellow; the other feathers black with increasingly broad yellow tips, the outermost pair being all of this colour; wing-coverts and winglet like the back; primary-coverts black; primaries and outer secondaries black, the outer webs edged with orange, changing to yellow near the tips, inner secondaries chiefly slaty-grey on the outer webs and black on the inner and tipped with white; chin orange-yellow; throat pale yellow, with narrow crescentic black cross-bars; a narrow moustachial stripe and a patch on the side of the neck black; remaining lower plumage bright yellow, tinged with olivaceous on the sides of the breast and abdomen.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark reddish-brown; upper mandible dark brown, lower mandible light greyish-brown, tip white; legs and feet grey, claws light brown.
Measurements. Total length about 165 mm,; wing 64 to 69 mm.; tail about 70 to 72 mm.; tarsus about 25 mm.; culmen 12 to 13 mm.
"The young appear to have the crown light golden yellow intermingled with grey, and to have the bars on the throat less developed'"' (Oates).
Distribution. The Himalayas from the Sutlej Valley to Eastern Assam North and South of the Brahmaputra Valley.
Nidification. The Stripe-throated Siva breeds in May and June at heights between 4,000 and 9,000 feet or higher, making a neat cup-shaped nest of moss, roots and bamboo leaves, sometimes with a few other dead leaves and reed-stems and lined with roots.
It is placed either in a high bush or a small sapling in forest, either pine, fir or other kinds. The eggs vary from two to four and are a bright pale blue in colour with a few specks or spots of black, or reddish, or reddish brown. They measure according to Hodgson between 20.0 to 22.8 in length and between 15.2 to 16.5 in breadth but nine eggs in my own collection measure only 19.6 x 14.9 mm.
Habits. This bird, like others of the genus, goes about in small flocks, haunting both the higher trees and scrub- and bush-jungle, though it keeps more to the former than the latter.