595. Niltava macgrigoriae.
The Small Niltava.
Phoenicura macgrigoriae, Burton, P. Z. S. 1835, p. 152. Niltava macgrigoriae (Burton), Blyth, Cat. p. 174 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 288; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 475 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 214 ; Wold, in Blyth, Birds Burnt, p. 102 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 231; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 465; Hume, Cat. no. 315 ; id. S. F. xi, p. 113; Oates, B: B. i, p. 299; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 21.
The Small Fairy Blue-Chat, Jerd.; Phatt-tagrak-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. Upper plumage bright purplish blue; forehead, supercilium, rump, upper tail-coverts, and a patch on each side of the neck cobalt-blue; lesser wing-coverts brown, tipped with blue; median coverts entirely blue; greater coverts and quills dark brown, edged with blue; median tail-feathers entirely blue, the outer webs of the others blue, the inner dark brown; lores, feathers at base of the upper mandible and those in front of and below the eye black ; cheeks, ear-coverts, chin, throat, and breast purple; the breast occasionally ashy like the abdomen; remainder of the lower plumage ashy, becoming albescent on the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; under wing-coverts ashy white.
Female. Upper plumage olive-brown, tinged with rufous; tail rufous-brown ; wing-coverts and quills brown, edged with rufous-brown ; forehead and sides of the head mixed brown and fulvous; a patch of brilliant blue on each side of the neck; lower plumage ochraceous buff, paling on the abdomen and under tail-coverts ; under wing-coverts and axillaries pure white.
The young nestling is streaked with fulvous.
Bill black; legs reddish black; iris dark brown (Jerdon).
Length nearly 5; tail 2.1; wing 2.6; tarsus .7 ; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Garhwal to Assam from about 3000 to 5000 feet elevation ; the Khasi hills; North Cachar hills ; Manipur ; Karennee; Northern Tenasserim.
Habits, &c. Breeds from April to June, constructing a nest of moss, sometimes, it is said, on the ground, at other times in the hole of a trunk of a tree. The eggs are described as being white or stone-coloured, freckled with brownish purple or brownish pink, and measure about .76 by .53.