80. DAURIAN REDSTART.
Ruticilla aurorea (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 976 (1788) ; David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 170, pl. xxvi. : Temm, and Schlegel, Fauna Jap. Aves. p. 56, pl. xxi. D : Tacz., Journ, f. Orn. 1872, p. 362, 1873, Taf. i. fig. 11 (egg) ; id. F. O. Sib. O. p. 326 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. iv. p. 345 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 93.
Male ad. (Dauria). Crown, nape, and upper back pale grey, with darker margins ; throat, sides of head, upper breast, dorsal region, and wings black, the last with a white speculum ; central tail-feathers blackish brown ; lower back, rump, tail, and under parts chestnut ; bill and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 0.6, wing, 2.9, tail 2.5, tarsus 0.9 inch. Female ; Bump and tail as in the male ; upper parts brown, wings edged with fulvous and with a white speculum ; under parts greyish brown, the throat paler ; feathers round the eye greyish white. In the winter the feathers are bordered with slaty brown, and the crown and nape in the male are dull slaty grey ; the black feathers on the throat have whitish margins. The female is also rather duller in plumage than in the summer.
Hab. Eastern and south-eastern Siberia, Mongolia, Northern China, and Japan in elevated districts ; wintering in the plains of Japan, South China, Formosa, and Hainan, Assam, Bhutan, the Khasi Hills, Cachar, Sylhet, the Naga Hills, Manipur, and Thayetmyo, and occurring as far south as the Malay Peninsula, Java, and Timor.
Frequents bush-covered localities, especially near water, fields and gardens even those in the towns, and in general habits resembles R. phoenicurus, and is by no means shy. Its call note is kekekeke quickly uttered and its song is strong and fairly good. It breeds in May ; its nest, which is constructed of moss, dried grass, and bark, and lined with hair and feathers, is placed in a hollow tree, the cleft of a rock, or amongst stones and from 5 to 7 eggs are deposited. These belong to two different forms, being either white finely spotted with red or brownish red in colouration resembling those of the Robin, or else pale blue like those of Saxicola oenanthe, or deep greenish blue like those of Ruticilla phoenicurus, finely spotted with rusty red, and in size are about similar to those of R. phoenicurus.
80. Ruticilla aurorea
80. DAURIAN REDSTART.