(333) Siva strigula strigula Hodgs.
THE NEPAL STRIPE-THROATED SIVA.
Siva strigula strigula, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 313 (part.).
According to the present distribution of the races of this Siva, the typical form is found only in Nepal and Sikkim. Meinertzhagen, however, includes one specimen from the Dafla Hills under the name victorias, though we should expect it to be the same as the Sikkim bird.
Meinertzhagen gives its Summer range (i. e., breeding range) as up to 9,000 feet and its Winter range of elevation down to 2,800 feet. Stevens, however, never found it nearly as low as 3,000 feet in Winter, whereas in Summer he found it “plentifully distributed from 5,500'-10,200' on the Singile La Ridge above Darjiling.” He also obtained it at 10,000', Maikola, E. Nepal.
In Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs’ there is only Hume’s own summary of Hodgson’s notes in regard to nests taken by him in Nepal and Sikkim, but in this there is nothing as to the elevation at which they were taken. He writes :—•
“The nest of the Stripe-throated Siva is placed, according to Mr. Hodgson, in the slender fork of a tree at no great elevation from the ground. It is composed of moss and moss-roots, inter-mingled with dry bamboo-leaves, and woven into a broad compact cup-shaped nest. One such nest, taken on the 27th May, with three eggs in it, measured exteriorly 4.25 in diameter and 3 inches in height, with a cavity (thickly lined with cow’s hair) about 2.5 in diameter and 2.25 in depth. The birds lay in May and June.”
W. P. Masson obtained one nest and two eggs for me in the Singile La Ridge at what he estimates as 7,000 feet. Stevens took two nests and eggs, which he sent me, taken in May and June, each with two eggs, in Native Sikkim at “not under 8,000 ft.” and, finally, Osmaston took one near Darjiling at about the same elevation.
The nests sent me agree fairly well with those described by Hodgson. They are small deep cups, neatly and compactly made of moss, dead leaves and a few bamboo-leaves, thickly lined with hair and, in one case, with a few hair-like roots or rachides. They measure approximately 4 inches across by about 3 or a little more in depth. Stevens’s nests were both taken from “high bushes in dense evergreen forest” and Masson’s from “the fork of a small sapling growing in evergreen forest.”
It appears to be a bird both of forest and scrub and to breed alike in both, but Osmaston, who also took a nest of this bird near Darjiling on the 4th June, 1904, obtained his in open forest. The nest, he observes, was just like those of simlaensis described more fuller later on (see next subspecies).
The breeding season is May and June and the bird lays two or three eggs only, if we are to judge from the few nests taken up to the present. Like all Siva eggs, they are a deep blue or blue green, rather darker, yet softer in tint than an English Thrush’s egg or the well-known Indian eggs of the Streaked Laughing- Thrushes. They lose their colour quickly if left exposed to the light, or even when much incubated. They are very lightly spotted or freckled with black or with light red at the larger end, and the black-spotted eggs are very like many eggs of the smaller Rose- Finches and could probably not be distinguished from them.
Ten eggs average 20.4 x 15.3 mm. : maxima 21.2 x 16.0 mm. ; minima 19.4 x 14.7 mm. Hodgson’s eggs are described as measuring between 20.3 and 22.9 in length and between 15.2 and 16.5 mm. in breadth.
* In the Bull. B. O. C. vol. xlvi, pp. 128-130, 1926, Meinertzhagen reviewed this race and separated the N.W. birds under the name simlaensis. His distributions are accented here.
333. Siva strigula strigula
(333) Siva strigula strigula Hodgs.