593. Niltava grandis.
The Large Niltava.
Chaitaris grandis, Blyth J. A. S. B. xi, p. 189 (1842). Niltava grandis (Blyth), Blyth, Cat. p. 174; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 288; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 476; Hume, N. & E. p. 215 ; Hume & Dav. S. E. vi, p. 232; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 464 ; Hume, Cat. no. 316; id. S. F. xi, p. 113 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 297; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 18.
The Large Fairy Blue-Chat, Jerd.; Margong, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. Forehead, crown, rump, upper tail-coverts, lesser and median wing-coverts, and a large patch on each side of the neck brilliant cobalt-blue; back and scapulars purplish blue; middle tail-feathers purplish blue, the others brown on the inner web and blue on the outer; greater coverts and quills black, narrowly edged with blue; feathers at base of upper mandible, lores, sides of the head, chin, throat, and upper breast black ; lower breast dull blue; abdomen bluish ashy, the under tail-coverts fringed with whitish.
Female. Forehead, lores, round the eye, ear-coverts, and checks fulvous, with pale shafts; crown and nape ashy brown ; a patch on each side of the neck bright blue; back and rump fulvous-brown ; tail and wings dark brown, with the outer webs suffused with deep rufous ; the whole lower plumage rich olive-brown, the feathers of the throat and breast with whitish shafts; the middle of the chin and throat clear buff, and of the abdomen ashy; under wing-coverts and axillaries buff.
The young nestling is dark brown, streaked with fulvous ; wings and tail as in the female.
Iris deep brown ; in the male the bill is black, the legs and feet black or very dark plumbeous ; in the female the bill is brownish black, the legs, feel, and claws fleshy-pink (Hume & Davison).
Length about 8.5; tail 3.6; wing 4.2; tarsus .9 ; bill from gape .1.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Nepal to the Daphla hills in Assam from 4000 to 7000 feet elevation; the Khasi and Naga hills; Manipur; Muleyit mountain in Tenasserim.
Habits, &c. Breeds from April to June, constructing a nest of moss in a cleft of a rock or of a tree-trunk, and laying four eggs, which are pale buff freckled with pinkish brown, and measure about .9 by .7.