187. Myiophoneus temmincki.
The Himalayan Whistling-Thrush.
Myiophonus temminckii, Vigors, P. Z. 8. 1831, p. 171; Gould, Cent. pi. 21; Blyth, Cat. p. 159; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 500; Hume, N. & E. p. 221; Hume Henderson, Lah. to Yark. p. 187 ; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 331, iii, p. 105; id. Cat. no; 343 ; Sadly, S. F. viii, p. 281; Oates, B. B. i, p. 18; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 7 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 122 ; Oates in Hume's N & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 120. Myiophonus caeruleus (Scop,), apud Horsf. M. Cat. i, p. 199.
The Yellow-billed Whistling-Thrush, Jerd.; Kastura, of the Hills (N. W. Himalaya) ; Kaljit, of the Doon; Chamong-pho, Lepch.; Tetiman, Bhut.; Simtung, Khasi.
Coloration. Lores and base of forehead black, the forehead higher up bright cobalt-blue ; the whole plumage blue, each feather tipped with glistening blue; wings and tail overlaid with cobalt-blue on the outer webs ; lesser wing-coverts black, with broad margins of glistening cobalt-blue ; median wing-coverts tipped with white.
The young have the upper plumage and wings dull blue without the glistening tips ; the whole lower plumage dull black; tail like that of the adult.
Bill yellow, the culmen and the base of the upper mandible blackish; iris brown; feet and claws black.
Length about 13.5; tail 5.5; wing 7; tarsus 2.1; bill from gape 1.6.
Distribution. The Himalayas from the Hazara country and Gilgit to the Daphla hills in Assam; the hill-ranges south of Assam; Cachar; Manipur; Arrakan, and probably the whole country west of the Irrawaddy river; Karennee and the Karen hills, where this is found together with the next species. This bird also extends into Afghanistan and Turkestan.
In summer this species is found up to 11,000 feet, hut in winter it descends to lower levels and even to the plains. In Cachar it is said to be merely a winter visitor.
Habits, &c. This species frequents hill-streams and torrents, perching on rocks and snags and feeding largely on snails, the shells of which are frequently found accumulated on the ground where the bird has been in the habit of breaking them up. It has a loud and pretty whistling note. It breeds from April to June, constructing a massive cup-shaped nest of roots and moss in a crevice of a rock or in the root of some up-turned tree in the river-bed near or under a waterfall, and laying from three to five eggs, which are pale grey or green, speckled with pink and brown. The eggs measure 1.42 by 1.