693. Petrophila cyanus.
The Western Blue Rock-Thrush.
Turdus cyanus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 296 (1766). Petrocincla pandoo, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 87 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 186. Petrocincla cyaneus (Linn.), Blyth, Cat. p. 164. Petrocincla affinis, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 177* (1843); id. Cat. p. 164; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 187. Petrocossyphus cyaneus (Linn.), Jerd. B. I. i, p. 511; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 190. Cyanocincla cyanus (Linn.), Hume, N. & E. p. 226; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 247 ; Hume, Cat. no. 351. Monticola cyanus (Linn.), Anders. Yunnan Bxped., Aves, p. 611 ; Leyye, Birds Ceyl. p. 460; Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 316; Oates, B. B, i, p. 11; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 169. Petrophila cyana (Linn.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 105.
The Blue Rock-Thrush, Jerd.; Shama, Hind, in the South; Pandu, Mahr.; Poda kachi pitta, Tel.; Ningri-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the whole plumage is bright blue, most of the feathers with white fringes and sub-terminal dark bars; a supercilium, the cheeks, throat, and ear-coverts brighter than the other parts ; lores blackish; wings and tail dark brown, the quills all tipped with white and edged with bluish. In summer most, if not all, of the whitish fringes and subterminal bars are cast, and the bird is nearly uniform blue.
Female. After the autumn moult the upper plumage, together with the wings and tail, resemble the same parts in the male, but are of a very dull blue; the lower plumage is pale buffy white, each feather subterminally margined with black, the under wing-coverts, axillaries, and under tail-coverts barred with black. In summer most of the whitish fringes and black bars are lost.
The nestling closely resembles the adult female, but has the white fringes to the feathers broader.
Iris hazel; eyelids plumbeous ; bill blackish horn ; mouth yellow; feet black ; claws dark horn.
Length about 9.5; tail 3.4; wing 4.9; tarsus 1.2; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. This species, without any admixture of red in the lower plumage, is found in the winter throughout the whole Empire. It extends to Southern Europe and Northern Africa. The birds which are found_ in India and Burma appear to breed in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and probably other parts of the Himalayas, Turkestan, Tibet, and Western China.
Habits, &c. This Rock-Thrush frequents open, and by preference rocky, country, and it is not unfrequently found near buildings. Colonel C. H. T. Marshall found a nest of this bird at Murree in a low stone wall in June. The eggs are described as pale blue speckled with brownish red, and measured about 1.1 by .75.