142. Pellorneum mandellii.
Mandelli's Spotted Babbler.
Hemipteron nipalense, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 83 (1844, desc. null.) ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 493. Pellorneum mandellii, Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 165, pl. Vii (1872); Hume, S. F. i, p. 298 note; id. S. F. xi, p. 144; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 99. Pellorneum nipalense (Hodgs.), Hume, N. & E. p. 248; Blanf. S. F. viii, p. 181; Hume, S. F. viii, p. 188; id. Cat. no. 399 bis; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 518. Pellorneum pectoralis, Godwin-Aust. J. A. S. B. xlvi, pt. ii, p. 41 (1877); Hume, S. F. v, p. 340; id. Cat. no. 399 sept.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, and nape rufous-brown; the feathers of the forehead with black shaft-streaks ; a line from the forehead over the eye white, with the tips of the feathers black ; this line produced to the nape and uniform creamy-white behind; ear-coverts rufous, margined below by a narrow dusky line ; chin, throat, and cheeks white; the feathers of the hind neck and sides of the neck with the outer webs blackish, the inner creamy yellow; back, wing- and tail-coverts and tertiaries olive-brown with paler margins; rump and tail plain olive-brown, the latter very delicately tipped with whitish; wing-feathers dark brown, the outer webs the colour of the back, and those of the earlier primaries tinged with grey; lower plumage fulvous, the breast, sides of body, and under tail-coverts with large black streaks; centre of abdomen streakless; sides of body and flanks olivaceous.
Legs and feet fleshy creamy-white; upper mandible brown; lower mandible greenish-horny, yellow at base; iris dull hazel (Hume).
Length about 6.5; tail 2.6 ; wing 2.7 ; tarsus 1; bill from gape .8.
Distribution. The lower hills of Nepal and Sikhim ; the Bhutan and Buxa doars ; Dibrugarh district, Assam ; Khasi, G-aro, and N. Cachar hills; Manipur. In the British Museum there is a specimen labelled ' Gurwhal,' but this locality I think requires confirmation.
Habits, &c. Breeds from April to July, constructing a loose domed nest of moss, leaves, and fibres on the ground. The eggs, three in number, are White speckled with chocolate or purplish brown and measure .87 by .67.