Cercomela fusca, Blyth.
494. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 134 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 477 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, p. 125.
THE BROWN ROCKCHAT.
Length, 6.5; expanse, 10.5 ; wing, 3.5 ; tail, 2.75 ; tarsus, 1; bill at gape, 0.8 ; bill at front, 0.5.
Bill black ; irides deep-brown; legs black.
Above light fuscous-brown or rufous-olive, tinged with fawn color on the back; tail dark sepia-brown, oboletely banded, as seen in a strong light; beneath rufescent-fawn or dull ferruginous.
The Brown Rockchat is very common at Mount Aboo, but does not occur in the plains below; it is also very common at Neemuch, and in the surrounding districts.
It is a permanent resident breeding from March to July or even later, rearing at least two broods in the season. The nest is usually built in holes in rocks, buildings, walls, wells, and banks. Should the site selected not be suitable, they make an embankment of small stones, pellets of dry mud, &c, extending several inches beyond the nest.
The eggs, generally three or four in number, are moderately broad oval in shape, of a pale blue-color, more or less spotted with reddish-brown; these spots occasionally form a nimbus round the large end. They measure 0.82 in length by 0.62 in breadth.
During the time of incubation, and while rearing their young, they are extremely pugnacious, attacking any small bird, squirrel, or lizard that ventures near.