(55) Parus major mahrattarum.
THE SOUTHERN GREY-TIT.
Parus major mahrattarum Hartert, Nov. ZooL, 1905, p, 499 (Ceylon). Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Similar to the Indian Grey-Tit or even darker, the nuchal patch hardly noticeable and the tail-feathers wholly black on both webs, with only narrow grey edges to the outer webs. The black central streak on the abdomen is generally very wide.
Measurements. Wing 63 to 74 mm,; tail 51 to 62 mm.
Distribution. The whole of Central and South India and Ceylon. It is found as far north as Northern Bombay across to Chota Nagpore and E. Bengal.
Nidification. Breeds throughout its range in the more hilly parts which are well wooded. In the northern drier countries it lays in February, March, and early April; in South India in March and April and in the higher hills in April to June, whilst in Poona Betham took eggs as late as August, possibly second broods. The eggs are more richly coloured, as a rule, than those of cinereus and the average size of 30 eggs is 17.4 x 13.6 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of cinereus. This little Titmouse is really more of a hills than a plains bird, though in the winter it wanders over a very wide extent of country. It prefers hills and broken country, more especially such as are fairly well covered with trees and forest, and it is found in the hills of Southern India practically up to their summits.