(64) Lophophanes ater aemodius.
THE HIMALAYAN COLE-TIT.
Parus aemodius Hodgs., Blyth, J. A. S. B., xiii, p. 943 (1844) (Nepal). Lophophanes aemodius. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 58.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Forehead, crown, crest, lores, sides of the head and nape, chin, throat and sides of the neck black; cheeks, ear-coverts and a nape-patch white; upper plumage and exposed parts of wings and tail bluish ashy; the rump tinged with ferruginous ; the median and greater coverts tipped with white, forming two wing-bars ; the inner and a few of the outer secondaries minutely tipped with white; lower plumage, axillaries and under wing-coverts ferruginous.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown ; legs leaden grey ; bill black (Blanford).
Measurements. Total length about 105 mm., wing 59 to 61 mm.; tail about 40 mm.; tarsus about 17 mm.; culmen about 6 mm.
Distribution. Nepal and Sikkim. It extends into the South of Tibet as I have had a skin sent me of a bird caught on the nest in the Chambi Valley.
Nidification. A bird sent me with "some eggs was caught on its nest in a hole of an oak-tree at between 10,000 and 11,000 feet elevation. The nest was all of rat fur, a well matted pad fitting into the bottom of the hollow. The eggs are indistinguishable from those of the European Cole-Tit and measure about 17.9 x 12.9 mm. The nest was taken on the 13th June.
Habits. This is a bird of high elevation from 6,000 feet upwards, ascending as high as 12,000 feet at least.