Genus CERCOMELA

The genus Cercomela contains one Indian species, the position of which is somewhat doubtful. The only young bird I have been able to examine resembles the adult, but, oil the other hand, the habits and colour of the egg of this species ally it to the Saxicolinae. It is probable that the position of Cercomela is among the Brachypteryginae.

The Rock-Chat seems to have the habits of Saxicola, frequenting stony tracts of land and breeding in holes of rocks and old build¬ings. The sexes are alike, the plumage is very dull, and there is little or no seasonal change of plumage.

In Cercomela the bill and rictal bristles resemble those of Saxicola; the wing is blunt and the first primary is about half the length of the second ; the tail is entirely of one colour and much shorter than the wing, and the tarsus is short.

Cercomela melanura (Temm.) occurs in Palestine, Arabia, and North-east Africa, and has been met with at Aden. This species was included among the birds of India by Jerdon, on the authority of Blyth, who identified it by a drawing in the possession of Sir A. Burnes. The bird, from which the drawing was taken, is stated to have been killed in Sind. I do not propose to include this species in my list, as I do not consider its occurrence in India sufficiently well authenticated. The general colour of the plumage is grey, paler beneath, and the tail and upper tail-coverts are black; tail 2.3; wing 3.1.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
Genus CERCOMELA
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1890
Page No: 
79
M_ID: 
28493
M_SN: 
Oenanthe
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
856

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