27. BLUE THRUSH.
Monticola cyanus, (Linn.) Syst. Nat. i. p. 296 (1766) ; Naumann, ii. p. 341, Taf. 72, figs. 1, 2 ; Gould, B. of E. ii. pl. 87 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit, ii. pl. 43 ; Dresser, ii. p. 139, pl. 18 ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 163 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 316 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 147.
Melro azul, solitario, Portug. ; Solitario azul, Span. ; Passera solitaria, Ital. ; Blaumerle, German ; Goluboi-Drozd, Russ.
Male ad. (N. Africa). General colour dull cobalt blue, the head and neck glossed with silvery blue ; abdominal feathers and under tail-coverts with obsolete white margins ; axillaries and under wing-coverts blackish blue bill and legs blackish ; iris dark brown. Culmen 1.0, wing 4.9, tail 4.4, tarsus 1.15 inch. Female greyish brown, mottled with paler brown above the rump, washed with blue ; under parts warm buff, barred and mottled with dark brown. In winter the upper parts of the male have the feathers with paler margins, and the under parts with dull, white margins.
Hab. Southern Europe, wintering in Africa as far south as Abyssinia ; Asia Minor and Asia through Persia, Turkestan, Afghanistan, Tibet, and China, wintering in India and southern China ; of very doubtful occurrence in Great Britain.
Frequents rocky and desert places, ruins, etc., and feeds on insects of various kinds, and will also eat berries and fruit ; its song is melodious but plaintive, and it is highly esteemed as a cage-bird. Its nest, which is loosely constructed of rootlets and grass-bents, is placed in a crevice in the rocks, in ruined buildings, and even, in rare cases, in a low bush, and from April to June, according to latitude, 4 to 5 eggs are deposited, which are pale blue, sometimes marked with a few pale reddish dots at the larger end, and measure from 1.10 by 0.76 to 1.13 by 0.77.
27. Monticola cyanus
27. BLUE THRUSH.