(632) Hemichelidon sibirica cacabata.
The Sooty Flycatcher.
Muscicapa-sibirica cacabata Penard, Proc. N. E. Zool. Club, vii,p 21 (1919) (Nepal). Hemichelidon sibirica. Blanf. & Oates, i. p. 5 (part.).
Vernacular names. Dang-chin-pa-pho (Lepcha).
Description. Above sooty-brown, the feathers of the head with obsolete dark centres and the wing-coverts and secondaries margined pale rufescent or whitish; a ring of buff or white round the eye; lores and sides of the head mottled white or brown; centre of throat and a patch on lower throat white; sides of chin and throat, breast and flanks smoky-brown, marked on the two latter with white to a varying degree; abdomen and vent white; under tail-coverts white often centred with brown. The colour of the upper parts varies considerably individually, possibly with age but, as far as I can see, independent of habitat. In some it is more brown, in others almost slaty-brown and a few birds, probably young, are rufous-brown.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; upper mandible dark brown; lower mandible yellowish; legs and feet brownish black or black.
Measurements. Total length about 140 to 145 mm.; wing 70 to 75, in one specimen 76 mm.; tail 50 to 55 mm.; tarsus about 13 mm.; culmen about 8 to 9 mm.
Young are dark brown, well streaked above with rufescent and the wing-feathers broadly edged with the same; the lower plumage is mottled and streaked with blackish brown and dull white or fulvous-white.
Distribution. Nepal to Eastern Assam; Tibet to Kansu; Manipur, Lushai Hills and hills of N. E. Burma down to the Malay Peninsula and Siam.
Nidification. Hodgson figures the nest as a massive, rather shallow pad with a cup-shaped cavity composed of moss and lichens, lined with black moss-roots. It was said to have been placed on the stump end of a broad broken branch. The egg is described as similar to the better-known eggs of the next subspecies.
Habits. This Sooty Flycatcher seems to be more migratory than the Kashmir Sooty Flycatcher, coming well into the plains of Assam in Winter and also visiting the Terai below the Sikkim Hills. In Summer it is apparently found between 6,000 and 14,000 feet, and, in Tibet, may wander occasionally higher even than this.