189. Myiophoneus horsfieldi.
The Malabar Whistling-Thrush.
Myiophonus horsfieldii, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 35; Gould, Cent. pi. 20; Blyth, Cat. p. 159; Horsf. M. Cat. i, p. 200; Jerd. B. 1. i, p. 499 ; Blanf. J. A. 8. B. xxxviii, pt. ii, p. 179 ; McMaster, J. A. S. B. xl, pt. ii, p. 211; Hume, N. & E. p. 221; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 406, iii, p. 292; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 469 ; Bourdillon, S. F. iv, p. 398 ; Davidson Wenden, S. F. vii, p. 81; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 212; Hume, Cat. no. 342 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 373; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 10 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 168; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 124.
Coloration. The whole head and neck deep black, with a crescentic band of bright cobalt-blue on the anterior portion of the crown ; upper plumage black, each feather broadly edged with blue; tail blue, with black shafts ; lesser wing-coverts cobalt-blue; middle coverts black, tipped with cobalt-blue ; greater coverts black, edged with blue: outer webs of the quills chiefly blue, inner webs black; breast and abdomen black, fringed with cobalt-blue; vent and under tail-coverts dull blue.
The young have the wings and tail like the adult, but all the other parts of the plumage dull black.
Iris deep brown ; legs and bill black (Davison).
Length about 12; tail 4.5; wing 6.2; tarsus 1.9; bill from gape 1.6.
Distribution. The Indian peninsula. To the north-west this species has been noticed as far as Mount Abu and to the north-east as far as Sirguja and Sambalpur; it extends down to Travancore. It has not, however, been recorded from the Eastern coast of India.
Habits, &c. Inhabits forests in the neighbourhood of hill-streams, and is found from near the level of the sea up to 6000 feet. Breeds from March to July, constructing a massive cup-shaped nest of roots, dead leaves, and vegetable matter on some rock in a mountain-torrent or on a ledge of a cliff, or very frequently in a hole of some tree a considerable height from the ground. The eggs, three in number, are salmon-coloured or pink marked with pinkish brown, and measure about 1.3 by .95. The note of this bird is a fine whistle.