252. Pellorneum tickelli tickelli

(252) Pellorneum tickelli tickelli Blyth.
Pellorneum tickelli tickelli, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 247.
The range of this Babbler includes all the hill-tracts South of Assam but not East of the Sibsagar District. It is found all through Western Burma to Tenasserim and has been recorded from Karenni. Robinson and Kloss have separated the Malay form under the name australis and this form may enter Tenasserim in the South.
Very long ago Bingham thought he found the nest of this Babbler in Tenasserim but, since then, no one else has come across it until I found it common and took many nests in North Cachar. Bing¬ham’s reputed eggs are, however, so small that they cannot have belonged to this bird.
These Babblers are the most efficient of skulkers, haunting bamboo-jungle, scrub, bush and secondary growth as well as both open and deep forest. For breeding purposes they like best of all little open glades, by streams, which break the long stretches of forest. Here, perhaps for a length of two or three hundred yards, or even less, the banks are bereft of the big trees and bracken ; brambles and bushes cover them in patches. Sunlight and air can pour in everywhere, and insects, berries and fruit are plentiful. If bamboos are handy the nest will be placed in one of these at the edge of the glade ; if not, it will be built in one of the briars, but it is never placed on the ground. The nest varies a good deal ; most are domed, but many are semi-domed and a few are merely very deep cups. They are true Pellorneum nests but much more compact, tidy and well built than any of those of the preceding birds. The materials of which they are composed are the same, generally bamboo-leaves and grasses, but the shreds of bamboo- leaves are finer and narrower and the grasses are also finer and stronger—more stems and fewer blades. With the better materials we have better workmanship, and the grasses etc. are so well twined and interlaced that the nest stands much handling and will remain a nest long after removal. The lining is scanty, generally a few fine grasses only, but it is well and neatly arranged. Most nests are placed only two or three feet from the ground, somefour or five, seldom more, and I do not think they are as well hidden as the nests of the Spotted Babbler group.
They breed at all heights up to 7,000 feet, but are most numerous between 3,500 and 4,500 feet, while I have taken no nests below about 3,000 feet. The regular breeding season is April, May and June, but I have taken fresh eggs as late as the 29th of July, which may have been a second laying.
The eggs are of the Pellorneum type but, whilst those of the ignotum, group give one the impression of being brick-red eggs and those of the ruficeps group appear brown, these, when seen as a series, give one the impression of being dull olive-brown eggs.
The ground-colour is a very pale olive-grey or olive and they are densely covered with freckles or small blotches of reddish-brown or olive-brown, the distribution of the spots much the same as in other Pellorneum eggs, but the blotches themselves not so well defined. In a few the blotches are so faint that the eggs look almost uniform pale olive when viewed at a short distance.
Two hundred eggs average 20.3 x 15.7 mm. : maxima 22.3 x 16.3 and 21.2 x 16.6 mm. ; minima 19.0 x 15.3 and 20.3 x 15.0 mm.
Both sexes take part in incubation.

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: 
252. Pellorneum tickelli tickelli
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Tickells Babbler
Pellorneum tickelli tickelli
Vol. 1

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