59(a). Parus montieolus lepcharum

(59 a) Parus monticolus lepeharum Meinertz.
Parus monticolus monticolus, Fauna B. I., 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 80 (part.).
Parus monticolus lepeharum, ibid. vol. viii, p. 597.
This Green-backed Tit breeds from Eastern Nepal and Sikkim through the sub-Himalayas to Eastern Assam. It also occurs throughout the hills of Assam South of the Brahmapootra to Manipur and the Chin Hills. It is a bird of the hill-ranges above 5,000 feet though it may be found breeding down to 4,000 and up to 10,000 feet. Meinertzhagen found it up to 8,800 feet in Sikkim even in winter.
In the Khasia Hills this Titmouse was extremely plentiful, commencing to nest in the end of March, laying from the first week in April and continuing through May into early June, though I think the later nests may have been second attempts, the first having been lost by accident or vermin. I have seen hard-set eggs in July, but these were the third laying in the same nest, made in a hole in the wall of my garden. The first clutch was destroyed by mice, the second, I think, by a snake or lizard and the third clutch was hatched and the young duly reared. The favourite nesting site is in one of the retaining walls which protect nearly all hill roads and I have myself found three nests of this Tit and two of the Grey Tit in one such wall only about 3/4 mile long. It is quite useless to hope to find these nests by frightening the birds off with a tapping stick, for the hen bird will never leave the nest until she is literally pulled out of it, more especially if she has begun to sit in earnest. One may sometimes accidentally spot a bird going in or out but the only systematic way is to watch during late March and early April for birds going about with nesting material. A skin with soft fur hung up near a likely nesting place is sure to attract them, as will a bit of sheepskin or a bundle of soft cotton wool. Two nests within a few yards of my own house in Shillong were built, except for a basal pad of green moss, entirely of cotton wool hung out for this purpose
Gammie, who took its nest in Sikkim in a Chinchona reserve found them in partially cleared country. In Assam they had to come more or less into the open to find road walls but, when they bred in trees, they often selected stumps and trees well inside heavy forest, even in the interior of the sombre pine forests which cover so much of the Khasia Hills.
Rarely will they build in the eaves or posts of a house or shed, but this is not so common with them as it is with the Grey Tit.
The full clutch of eggs is five or six and a larger or smaller number is unusual.
As a series they are much more heavily marked, with bigger, more richly coloured blotches than the eggs of the Grey Tits but they very closely approach those of the Northern Indian race. Occasional clutches may be met with which have the ground pure dead white with all the markings confined to the larger end, where they form dense caps or rings.
One hundred and fifty eggs average 17.1 x 12.8 mm. : maxima 18.8 x 13.9 mm. ; minima 15.3 x 12.3 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
59(a). Parus montieolus lepcharum
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Eastern Green-backed Tit
Green-backed Tit
Parus monticolus
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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