816. Orthotomus sutorius maculicoUis

(816) Orthotomus sutorius maculicollis Moore.
Orthotomus sutorius maculicollis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii. p. 413.
This Tailor-Bird occurs from Samkok and Bangkok, through peninsular Siam, to the Malay States and Southern Tenasserim. I can find no actual record of it breeding in Burma, though many collectors must have taken its nest, as it is a familiar and very common little bird in and around the villages and towns.
Herbert gives a very interesting account of its nesting in Siam which is worth quoting:—
“The Tailor-Bird is very common in Bangkok, and may be found nesting in any of the bigger compounds. It is not in any way shy, and in the early part of the rains it may be noticed flitting about from bush to bush and uttering its shrill cry, ‘too-whit,’ which is repeated several times.
“I have found it nesting in a variety of places, in young seedlings, not more than a foot from the ground and surrounded by long grass, in Brinjal plants in the vegetable gardens, also on the wild almond-trees at a height of from 15 to 20 feet off the ground, and occasionally on the very prickly palms which make such a formidable hedge round some of the fruit gardens, and which grow to 20 feet or so in height. In the compounds the nest will probably be found in some shrub with a large leaf, which, however, must be harsh enough (containing sufficient silicate) to hold the cotton when the leaf is pierced and the cotton is thrust through the little window. Sometimes a single leaf is used, and the edges are drawn together in the form of an inverted cone, but usually two are employed and occasionally three or more.
“The nest is built during the rainy season, and is generally placed beneath one or more of the other leaves in such a way that it is sheltered from the wet. The leaves are first drawn together by twining a few silk threads around them; probably obtained from some cocoon ; the edges are then pierced by the long sharp-bill of the bird and raw cotton is thrust through the puncture The cotton-fibre is held in the bird’s beak in such a way that, when it is pushed through the leaf, it forms a loop on the opposite side, which in turn makes the tiny knot when pulled against the serrated edges of the hole in the leaf. When the cone has been securely stitched in this manner it is lined with cotton, and a few pieces of fibre or hair are sometimes used to keep the inner form of the nest, but this is not invariably the case. I have watched the bird at work on the stitching through field-glasses and it is wonderful how quickly this is carried out. Nesting is carried on from early May to late August, though June and early July is the most general time.
“The usual number of eggs is four and the average measurements are 16.5 x 11.5 mm.
I can add nothing to the above, but I make the average of fifty eggs given to me by Herbert and Williamson to be 15.5 x 11.4 mm. : maxima 16.7 x 12.2 mm. ; minima 13.4 x 10.7 and 14.0 x 10.6 mm. The 16.5 given by Herbert is almost certainly a misprint for 15.5 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: 
816. Orthotomus sutorius maculicoUis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Siam Tailor Bird
Orthotomus sutorius maculicollis
Vol. 2

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