955. Oriolus chinensis tenuirostris

(955) Oriolus chinensis tenuirostris Blyth.
Oriolus chinensis tenuirostris, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 9.
This Oriole breeds in the Lower Himalayas from Nepal to Eastern Assam between the foot-hills and 6,000 feet. It is found throughout all the hill-ranges of Northern Burma to the Shan States.
In Assam I found this beautiful bird breeding between 1,500 and 3,000 feet in some numbers, whilst odd birds bred practically in the plains and I took one nest at the quite exceptional height of 6,000 feet in the Khasia Hills.
In Burma Harington, Cook and Hopwood found nests between 3,000 and 4,000 feet in the Bhamo Hills.
It is a bird of well-wooded open country in Assam and occasionally breeds on the outskirts of true forest. In Burma it nests in similar country and is also very partial to trees in gardens. In North Cachar it was almost common in the park-like grass country in the North, where I obtained many nests. Here Che rolling hills were covered with grass which, in Spring, was anything between a few inches and a couple of feet high, while everywhere were great Oak-trees, for the most part growing singly but, sometimes, also, in clumps and sometimes more or less covered with creepers. It was in these last I found most nests, attached to pendent branches of the creepers, and generally more or less protected and concealed by foliage above it.
The nests were quite typical of those of the family—deep hammock nests, always built between the twigs of a horizontal branch of a tree, or hanging from creepers. Those I found were constructed entirely of grass-blades or soft tow-like fibre from the bark of trees looking just like jute. The lining was invariably of fine grass-stems. In some nests a few dead or skeleton leaves were built in among the grass at the base of the nests. They were fine substantial nests with thick sides and base, never flimsy and small, as is sometimes the case with the nests of Oriolus oriolus.
Roughly they measured from 5.1/2 to 6.1/2 inches in diameter by rather more than half that in depth, the cavity being about 3.1/2 inches across by 2 to 3.1/2 inches deep. Very often the lips of the nest were a little bent inwards, giving greater security to the contents in a wind-storm. They were built at any height from 10 to 40 feet from the ground, but usually under 25 feet. In Maymyo Harington found it exceedingly plentiful, building its nest in compounds at heights between 10 and 25 feet from the ground. He gives an interesting account of its breeding habits (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxi, p. 585, 1912) :—“They are extremely partial to nesting under the protection of Drongos of either kind. I noticed this more particularly in compounds, where, if there happened to be a King-Crow’s nest and any Orioles were heard in the vicinity, it was almost a certainty that their nest would be near that of the Drongos. Outside my gate I found both the Oriole and the Red- Turtle-Dove nesting in a tree next to that in which a pair of King-Crows had theirs. As a further illustration, a friend told me that he had a King-Crow’s nest near his house and an Oriole calling in his garden. On going to a clump of Oaks out flew an Oriole and we soon spotted the nest, suspended a good bit below that of the King-Crow’s.”
The breeding season is late everywhere. The earliest date I have recorded is the 10th May at Maymyo by Hopwood, while the latest is the 27th June in Cachar by myself. I have, however, seen just- hatched young late in July. The eggs are typical Oriole’s, but the ground is a beautiful pale pink and the markings are nearly all surrounded by a reddish halo as if they had run.
Two clutches taken by myself and, possibly, laid by the same bird, are a pale pink, with rather numerous light chestnut spots instead of black.
The full clutch consists of two or three eggs only, never four. In shape they are rather broad ovals, generally obtuse but, occasion¬ally, pointed.
Thirty eggs average 27.9 x 20.7 mm. : maxima 31.4 x 21.7 and 30.0 x 22.-0 mm. ; minima 26.1 x 19.3 and 27.3 x 19.0 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
955. Oriolus chinensis tenuirostris
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Burmese Black Naped Oriole
Slender-billed Oriole
Oriolus tenuirostris
Vol. 2

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