887. Muscitrea grisola grisola

(887) Muscitrea grisola grisola (Blyth).
Muscitrea grisola grisola, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 484.
This curious bird, whose systematic position may even now be wrongly given, occurs in the Andamans, Arrakan, Pegu, Tenasserim, Annam, Siam, Malay Peninsula and islands, Java, Sumatra and Borneo.
It is probably resident and breeds wherever found but, up to now, its nest and eggs have only been taken in the Andamans, where Osmaston obtained a fine series and Wickham and Anderson also found nests and eggs.
The only account of its nidification is that of Osmaston, who writes (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xvii, p. 159, 1906) :— "This bird occurs throughout the islands but is not common, though fairly numerous in open jungle and clearings near Port Blair, especially between Haddo and Navy Bay. It has a fine, loud and clear whistle, repeated three or four times, or prolonged and drawn out, followed suddenly by a higher (or lower) note in a different key, reminding one somewhat of the call of Aegithina tiphia, and unlike that of any Flycatcher. It is a quiet, unobtrusive bird, usually seen alone or in pairs. It frequents mangroves and other small trees and catches insects sometimes on the wing and at other times on the branches or trunks of trees. I found five nests between May 17 and June 10. The nest is a rather thin,flimsy, cup-shaped structure made of roots, which are attached by means of cobwebs to the twigs supporting it. The eggs could be seen from below the nest, which was unlined and something like that of a Bulbul. The nests were all in small trees 6 to 12 feet from the ground. The eggs are slightly glossy, dark cream or pale cafe-au-lait spotted with dark yellowish-brown and sepia. The spots are rather small and not numerous, and they tend to form a zone towards the big end. The eggs remind one a little of those, of Rhipidura albicollis. They vary very little in size, the mean of eight eggs being 0.85" x 0.62". I brought up a nestling of this species but it died just as it was about to fly. It never showed any vestige of spotted plumage at any stage. Even when in the nest the breast was pure spotless white and the back and wings a warm reddish-brown. This looks as if it had been wrongly placed in the Muscicapidoe, and I would suggest that it may have more affinity for the Sylviidoe.”
Later Osmaston took many more nests and eggs, as did Wickham and Anderson, whose notes merely confirm Osmaston’s, but con¬siderably extend the breeding season. Osmaston himself took eggs in 1907 as early as the 17th April and as late as the 8th July in the same year.
The ground-colour of the eggs varies very little. I have one pair taken by Osmaston which has it nearly white, but all the rest are a pale creamy buff to a warm creamy buff or pale cafe-au-lait.
The primary markings are spots of brown, ranging from sepia to deep blackish-brown, with almost equally numerous secondary spots of lavender. Both markings are fairly numerous in zones round the larger end and sparse elsewhere. The texture is fine, with a fair gloss, and the shape rather long oval, seldom pointed.
Twenty-six eggs average 21.7 x 15.7 mm. : maxima 23.0 x 15.3 and 21.9 x 16.2 mm. ; minima 20.3 x 15.1 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
887. Muscitrea grisola grisola
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Grey Flycatcher Warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Muscicapa striata
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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