(675) Alseonax latirostris poonensis.
The Indian Brown Flycatcher.
Muscicapa poonensis Sykes, P. Z. S., 1832, p. 85 (Poona). Alseonax latirostris. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 35 (part.).
Vernacular names. Zakki (Hindi).
Description. Similar to the preceding bird but very much more grey both above and below. This is the "ashy-grey" bird as described by Oates.
Colours of soft parts as in A. Z. latirostris.
Measurements. Wing 69 to 80 mm. (Japan to Himalayas), 66 to 72 mm. (birds from the plains of India).
Distribution. Breeding from Japan to Lake Baikal and throughout the sub-Himalayas and Himalayas and also in the plains of the Central Provinces, United Provinces and the Western Ghats to South Travancore and probably in Ceylon, where it has been recorded in June.
Nidification. This bird is probably resident and breeds, wherever round, from Japan, Northern China, the Himalayas to the plains of India. Nests were taken in Dagshai by Capt. R. A. Skinner, in Kanara by Mr. J. Davidson, in Mhow and the adjacent Ghats by Mr. B. Shelley, Mr. F E. Kemp, Genl. R. Betham and others. The nest is rather large compact cup made of moss and lichen and lined with roots, fibres and feathers. It is generally placed on a horizontal bough at its junction with the trunk bet, also, often well away from the latter. The height, selected may be anything from the to thirty feet from the ground.
The breeding-season everywhere seems to be May and June.
The eggs are like small Cyornis eggs; the ground-colour is a pale stone, sometimes tinged with red, sometimes with green and the markings consist of the finest freckles of reddish, generally covering practically the whole surface of the egg, at other tunes leaving part of the smaller end visible. Fifty eggs average 17.0 x 13.2 mm.: maxima 19.2 x l4.0 mm.; minima 15.0 X 12.4 and 16.2 x 12.3 mm.
Habits. This Flycatcher is a bird of the more secluded well-wooded country, especially where it is broken and rugged and is apparently not found m the more open level country. It is a very quiet little bird, singing an insignificant little song and more often uttering a soft vibrant churr. It feeds entirely on the wing and does not venture on to the ground to capture its insect-food. According to Scully, it is a sociable bird in winter, consorting with, but also fighting with, others of its kind.