144. Pellorneum ruficeps.
The Spotted Babbler.
Pellorneum ruficeps, Swains. Faun. Bor.-Am., Birds, p. 487 (1831); Blyth, Cat. p. 145; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 224; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 27; Hume, N. & E. p. 248; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 409; Hume, Cat. no. 399; Davison, S. F. x, p. 376 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 520; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 177 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 100.
The Spotted Wren-Babbler, Jerd.; Adavi-liku-jittu, Tel.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, and nape dull rufous ; whole upper plumage and exposed parts of wings, sides of neck and the tail olive-brown, the latter very narrowly tipped white; lores and an indistinct supercilium dull creamy white; sides of the head paler rufous than the crown, mottled with black round the eye, and the ear-coverts streaked with brown; chin, throat, and cheeks white; lower plumage white or pale fulvous white, boldly streaked with black on the breast and sides of the abdomen and suffused with olivaceous on the flanks and thighs; under tail-coverts brown edged with white.
Specimens from Coorg, the Wynaad, and Travancore are more richly coloured and have more black on the sides of the head than birds from elsewhere.
Iris in the adult crimson-lake, in the immature bird cinnamon-brown ; legs, feet, claws, and lower mandible fleshy white; upper mandible dark brown (Davison).
Length nearly 7.5 ; tail 2.8; wing 2.9 ; tarsus 1.05; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. The peninsula of India as far north as Nandurbar in Khandesh on the west and extending to Pareshnath and the Rajmehal hills on the east.
Habits, &c. Miss Cockburn, the only person who has found the nest of this bird, states that at Kotagiri it nests in March and April. The nest is a meagre structure of dry leaves and grass with a canopy over the eggs, and placed on the ground under a bush.
The eggs are greenish white, speckled with lilac and purplish grey; one egg measured .88 by .65.