374. Orthotomus sutorius

374. Orthotomus sutorius.

The Indian Tailor-bird.

Motacilla sutoria, Forst. Ind. Zool. p. 17 (1781). Motacilla longicauda, Gm. Syst. Nat. i, p. 954 (1788). Orthotomus longicauda (Gm.), Blyth, Cat. p. 144; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 317 ; Jerd. B. 1. ii, p. 165 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 331. Orthotomus sutorius (Forst.), Sharpe, Ms, 1877, p. 109; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 642; Hume, Cat. no. 530; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 305; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 517; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 214 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 231. Sutoria sutoria (Forst.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 215; Oates, B. B. i, p. 107.
Phutki, H.; Tuntuni, Beng.; Patia, Nep.; Likku-jitta, Tel.; Tavik, Cing.

Coloration. Forehead and anterior half of crown rufous, shading off 'into ashy on the remainder of the crown and nape; lores greyish white; ear-coverts very pale rufescent ashy, with the shafts white; cheeks and lower plumage dull white, tinged with yellowish and washed with olive-grey on the sides of the body; back, rump, scapulars, and upper tail-coverts yellowish green; middle tail-feathers coloured like the back; the others greenish brown, each feather narrowly tipped white and with a patch of brown in front of the white tip ; wings and coverts brown, narrowly edged with yellowish green ; thighs rufous. There is a concealed black spot on each side of the neck.

Iris reddish yellow; eyelids plumbeous, the edges reddish yellow; upper mandible dark horny, the lower pale flesh-colour; legs reddish flesh-colour; claws pale horn.

Length about 5 ; tail 2; wing 1.9: tarsus .8; bill from gape .6.

The above are the dimensions of the male and female in winter plumage and of the female in summer plumage. In summer the male acquires very elongated middle tail-feathers and the pair nest to them are also long. At this season the total Length of the male is 7.5 and the tail 4.5.

The female differs but slightly from the male, merely having the rufous on the head paler.

Tenasserim birds are noticeably smaller, having the wing 1.5 to 1.7, and the nape is tinged with lilac.

O. maculicollis, which occurs in the Malay peninsula, may be recognized by the white streaks on the ear-coverts.

Distribution. A permanent resident throughout the Empire and Ceylon, ascending the Himalayas and other hill-ranges up to 4000 feet of elevation. This species is no doubt rare in Sind and portions of the Punjab, but it appears to be found in all parts of those Provinces. In Burma its range ceases at Mergui according to Davison, who failed to procure it south of that town. It extends into Siam and China.

Habits, &c. In Habits well-wooded tracts, low jungles, gardens, and also grass-lands where interspersed with bushes. Breeds from May to August, constructing its nest in a receptacle formed by sewing the edges of a leaf, or sometimes two leaves, together. The nest is composed of cotton-down, hair, and fine grass. The eggs, three or four in number, are either reddish white or bluish green, boldly marked with brownish red. They measure about .64 by .46.

This bird is generally found solitary or in pairs, and it has a remarkably loud note for its size. When the bird utters this note, the black marks on the sides of the neck become distinctly visible.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
374. Orthotomus sutorius
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Tailor Bird
Common Tailorbird
Orthotomus sutorius
Vol. 1

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