691. Petrophila cinclorhyncha.
The Blue-headed Rock-Thrush.
Petrocincla cinclorhyncha, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 172. Phoenicura cinclorhyncha ( Vig.), Gould, Cent. pl. xix. Monticola cinclorhyncha (Vig.), Blyth, Cat. p. 164; Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 320; Oates, B. B. i, p. 9 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 170. Orocetes cinclorhynchus ( Vig.), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 188 ; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 515; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. ii, p. 179. Petrophila cinclorhynchus (Vig.), Hume, N. & E. p. 227 ; id. Cat. no. 353 ; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 282; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 103.
The Blue-headed Ghat-Thrush, Jerd.; Krishen patti, Nepal.
Coloration. Male. Head, from the nostrils to the nape, and the lesser wing-coverts, the chin, throat, and cheeks cobalt-blue ; lores, under the eye, ear-coverts, sides of neck, back, and scapulars black; primaries black, all but the first two edged exteriorly with blue ; secondaries black, each with a white patch on the outer web; tertiaries wholly black; greater coverts black, edged with faint blue ; rump, upper tail-coverts, and lower plumage, with the axillaries and under wing-coverts, chestnut; tail blackish, edged faintly on the outer webs with bluish. In autumn most of the feathers of the black and blue portions of the plumage are fringed with pale buff and these fringes are dropped in spring and summer plumage.
Female. The whole upper plumage is olive-brown tinged with ochraceous, especially on the rump and upper tail-coverts, which are also barred with black; wings brown, the quills ochraceous on the outer web, and the tertiaries and later secondaries margined with white; chin and throat nearly white ; sides of the head mottled with white and brown; remainder of lower plumage white, tinged with ochraceous on the breast, and the whole, with the exception of the abdomen, barred with dark brown; under tail-coverts white with blackish streaks.
Bill brownish black, the gape bright yellow; tarsi dusky slaty ; the toes brownish black ; claws blackish horny (Scully).
Length about 7.5; tail 2.8 ; wing 4; tarsus 1 ; bill from gape 1.1.
Distribution. Found in summer throughout the Himalayas from Afghanistan and Kashmir to Bhutan ; in winter throughout the plains of India as far south as Coorg, the Nilgiris and probably to Cape Comorin. This species in the winter months is more fre¬quent on the hill-ranges of Western India than elsewhere, but it is known to occur in almost all parts of the peninsula from Sind to Bengal. Blyth records it from Arrakan.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Himalayas from 4000 to 8000 feet from April to June, constructing a cup-shaped nest of moss and dead leaves at the root of a tree, in a hole in a bank or in an old Mall. The eggs, four in number, are pinkish white, densely freckled with brown and rufous, and measure about .92 by .72.