659. Notodela leucura.
The White-tailed Blue Robin.
Muscisylvia leucura, Hodgs. P. Z. S. 1845, p. 27. Myiomela leucura (Hodgs.), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 280 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 118; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xii, pt. ii, p. 161 ; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burnt, p. 100 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 334; Hume, Cat. no. 477 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 23; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 190. Notodela leucura (Hodgs.), Blyth, Cat. p. 166; Hume, N. & E. p. 306; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 23; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 70.
The White-tailed Blue Chat, Jerd.; Mangshia, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. Forehead, eyebrow, and the smaller upper wing-coverts near the bend of the wing bright cobalt-blue; the whole upper plumage black suffused with blue; lores, sides of the head and neck, and lower plumage deep black, with a few of the feathers of the abdomen fringed with blue; a concealed patch of white on the side of the neck; wings black with bluish edges; tail black, all the feathers except the outermost and the middle pair with a large patch of white on the outer web, increasing in size towards the middle of the tail; under tail-coverts fringed with white.
Female. The whole plumage rufescent brown, and the exposed parts of the closed wings and tail bright ferruginous ; no concealed white spot on the side of the neck; tail brown with white patches, as in the male, but smaller in extent; the feathers of the chin, throat, lores, and sides of the head with paler shafts; a ferruginous ring round the eye.
The young are reddish brown, with bright shaft-streaks and with ferruginous tips to the feathers of the upper wing-coverts; the white patches on the tail-feathers are present from the earliest, age ; in the young male the tail and wings are black, in the female rufous ; the adult plumage appears to be acquired by a moult when the young are about a year old.
Bill, legs, feet, and claws black ; iris deep brown (Hume & Davison).
Length about 7 ; tail 3 ; wing 3.8 ; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. Nepal, Sikhim, the Daphla hills in Assam, the Khasi hills, Cachar, Manipur, Karennee, Muleyit mountain in Tenasserim. Blyth, in his catalogue, recorded a specimen obtained by Hutton at Mussoorie, but no specimen is contained in the British Museum from any locality west of Nepal. This bird is found from about 4000 to 9000 feet, and appears to be a constant resident in the parts it affects.
Habits, &c. Breeds in April and May, constructing a cup-shaped nest of roots and leaves, sometimes hooded, on the ground under the shelter of a rock or on the face of a bank. The eggs are salmon-pink, very faintly freckled with grey all over, and measure about .91 by .65.