818. Orthotomus atrogularis nitidus

(818) Orthotomus atrogularis nitidus Hume.
THE BURMESE BLACK-NECKED TAILOR-BIRD.
Orthotomus atrigularis nitidus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 415.
The range of this subspecies is throughout the Lower Himalayas from Sikkim to Eastern Assam and thence throughout the hill-ranges of Burma to North and Central Tenasserim. In the Assam Hills South of the Brahmapootra I have taken its nest up to 6,000 feet elevation but it is more common below 4,000 feet, while in Lak¬himpur we found the bird common in the plains and foot-hills.
Mandelli obtained one nest in Sikkim on the Great Ranjit River at about 3,000 to 4,000 feet, on the 18th July, containing three fresh eggs.
This is far more a forest bird than the common Tailor-Bird and in Shillong it never bred in gardens, however large and full of bushes and trees these might be. It was, in fact, the forest representative, whilst the other species was the town-bird. It. was very common wherever there were evergreen forests, haunting the fringes of these and never wandering far from them or entering very far inside ; most of all it seemed to like dense bracken and bush- cover where there were enough broad-leaved plants to furnish suitable leaves for its nests to be sewn into. The nests were like those of its village cousin but I have never seen a nest made with more than three leaves, and nine out of ten were sewn into a single leaf of some ground-plant or broad-leaved bush, a few inches to a couple of feet from the ground. I have never seen the nest in big trees or, indeed, in small trees, at any height from the ground, but I saw one nest in a stunted Oak-bush, built into a single leaf, two of the side-pieces being drawn together to include the nest, and the bottom piece then drawn up to form the base. The principal article used for sewing purposes is the down of the Cotton-tree (Bombax malabaricum) ; which is often mixed with cobwebs. The inside of the nest has roots in it more invariably than has that of the common Tailor-Bird and, when these are extra coarse and stiff, there is a hning of fine grass or the feathery ends of seeding grass.
The breeding season is May and June but I have taken eggs from the 20th March, a most exceptional date, up to the 24th August. Possibly some birds have two broods.
The number of eggs laid varies from three to five, generally four, while I do not remember ever seeing a six. They are quite indis¬tinguishable from those of sutorius and run through the same range of variations. In proportion I think eggs with a pure white ground are more common than among the eggs of that bird.
One hundred eggs average 15.4 x 11.4 mm. : maxima 16.2 x 11.2 and 16.0 x 12.5 mm. ; minima 14.6 x 11.6 and 15.6 x 10.8 mm.
I have snared both sexes on the nest, so both take part in incuba¬tion, but I can say nothing about the building of the nest. The birds are so shy and so secretive that they are most difficult to watch and, on the two occasions I tried to watch them, they deserted.
The common Tailor-Bird, though he flits about inside bushes and trees, has no objection to being watched at very close quarters, nor will he or she desert the nest unless it is actually handled, and not always even then. Again, the common Tailor-Bird is so proud of the fact that she has a nest and eggs that she proclaims it to the whole world, the loud “too-weet, too-weet” attracting attention even if her excited actions do not. The forest bird keeps very quietly hidden and her soft little trill passes unnoticed and, often I expect, unrecognized.

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: 
818. Orthotomus atrogularis nitidus
Spp Author: 
Hume.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
818
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
376
Common name: 
Burmese Black Necked Tailor Bird
M_ID: 
24073
M_SN: 
Orthotomus atrogularis nitidus
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
13952

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