959. Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis

(959) Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis Blyth.
THE CEYLON BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE.
Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd, ed. vol. iii, p. 12.
This race is confined to Ceylon, possibly extending into South Travancore, but where it merges into the preceding bird has not been defined.
It is very common in many of the low parts of Ceylon, but does not ascend the hills to any height. The nest is exactly like that of the Indian bird and is built in similar positions in similar country, but both Tunnard and Phillips describe the nest as generally containing many leaves among the other materials. In some, dead and skeleton leaves form the bulk of these ; in others they are merely mixed in with the tow-like bark-fibre or with grass.
Rubber-trees seem to be very favourite nesting-sites, the nests being placed here, as in other trees, between 10 and 20 feet from the ground.
Wait says that the breeding season in the drier parts is "from October, when the weather is wet and favourable, but if the rains have not broken the nesting is delayed. They continue to breed to the end of May.”
Round Anasigalla Phillips found many nests from February to the middle of April, while in the North-West Provinces Tunnard found them in November and December.
Two eggs only are laid, never three, but one egg is sometimes incubated.
The eggs are not like those of the Indian bird but have a pure white ground, and I have only seen two or three clutches with the faintest touch of pink. They are marked in the same manner but still more scantily.
Forty eggs average 27.0 x 19.4 mm. : maxima 29.4 x 21.0 and 29.3 x 21.2 mm. ; minima 23.5 x 18.9 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
959. Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis
Spp Author: 
Blyth.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
959
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
504
Common name: 
Ceylon Black Headed Oriole
M_ID: 
19531
M_SN: 
Oriolus xanthornus ceylonensis
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
14059

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