259. Napothera roberti

(259) Napothera roberti guttaticollis (Ogilvie-Grant).
THE NORTHERN ASSAM SHORT-TAILED WREN-BABBLER.
Turdinulus roberti guttaticollis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 254.
Napothera roberti guttaticollis, ibid. vol. viii, p. 603.
This Wren-Babbler has so far only been found in a very small area. It occurs East of the Dihing in Lakhimpur District and round to the North bank of the Brahmapootra through Sadiya and thence along the lower hills and plains immediately adjourning as far as Tezpur. West and East of these points its limits of extension are not yet known. Stevens obtained specimens in the plains of North Lakhimpur three miles from the foot-hills but, normally, it is only found within about a mile of the hills and thence up to 5,000 feet. Dr. Coltart and I found it breeding in some numbers in the foot-hills round Margherita but the Trans- Dikku Nagas brought in specimens to us from these hills taken at elevations probably nearer 5,000 than 4,000 feet.
Except that it sometimes breeds at lower elevations than the South Assam bird ever does, its nidification is in all respects like that of that bird.
Around Margherita we found it breeding in the very dense ever¬green forest all round the coal mines. Its favourite sites for the nests were wedged in among boulders of rock at the sides of the many tiny streams which trickled or raced, according to the weather, through rocky gorges down to the Dihing and other streams. Although the ground was nearly all boulders and rocks, a very dense vegetation of ferns, shrubs and palm-ferns managed to find growing room between them and to form one of the most humid and hot forests I have ever been in.
They are very early breeders, our nests being all taken from the end of March to the end of April. Four eggs seem to be the normal clutch but I have one five. As a series they differ from those of N. r. roberti in being much more profusely marked and less glossy, this latter character being due to less of the hard glossy white ground showing.
Forty-five eggs average 19.4 x 14.8 mm. : maxima 21.6 x 15.1 mm. ; minima 18.5 x 14.6 and 19.0 x 14.5 mm.
This little bird is just as tame as others of the genus. Stevens says it is a very hard bird to get specimens of, “as it stays almost at your feet turning over the leaves and absolutely ignoring your presence.”

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
259. Napothera roberti
Spp Author: 
Ogilvie-grant.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
259
Year: 
1932
Page No: 
218
Common name: 
Norrn Assam Short Tailed Wren Babbler
M_ID: 
24499
M_SN: 
Napothera epilepidota roberti
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
13459

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith