638. Chimarrhornis leucocephalus.
The White-capped Redstart.
Phoenicura leucocephala, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1830, p. 35 ; Gould, Cent. pi. xxvi, fig. 1. Ruticilla leucocephala (Vig.), Blyth, Cat. p. 169; Horsf. & M. Cat, i, p. 309 ; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 51. Chaemorrornis leucocephala (Vig.), Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 143; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 44 ; A. Anders. S. F. iii, p. 355; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 214; Hume, Cat. no. 506; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 303; Oates, B. B. i, p. 24. Chimarrhornis leucocephala (Vig.), Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 613; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 47; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 197 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 63.
Gir-chaondia, Hind.; Kali-pholia at Mohun Ghat; Mati-tap-pho, Lepch.; Chubia-mati, Bhut.
Coloration. Crown and nape white; with this exception, the whole head and neck, with the breast, back, and the whole of the wings black; rump, upper tail-coverts, abdomen, flanks, and under tail-coverts chestnut; tail chestnut, broadly tipped with black.
The young have the plumage blackish brown, the feathers of the back, rump, and of the whole lower plumage fringed with rufous ; crown and nape white with black edges; tail and wings as in the adult. The rufous and black tips and fringes are soon cast off, and the adult plumage assumed in October or November.
Bill black; gape fleshy white; iris deep brown; feet blackish brown ; claws black (Scully).
Length about 7.5; tail 3.2; wing 3.9; tarsus 1.2 ; bill from gape .8.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Afghanistan and Gilgit to Assam; the Khasi hills; Manipur; the second defile, Irrawaddy river; Arrakan.
This species is found at high elevations on the Himalayas in summer, Stoliczka recording it from about 20,000 feet above the sea. In winter it descends to below 3000 feet, or probably to the plains at the foot of the hills.
This Redstart extends to China,
Habits, &c. Frequents the banks of rivers and nullahs, feeding at the edge of the water on insects, and constantly moving its tail up and down and expanding the feathers. Breeds in May, constructing a cup-shaped nest of green moss and fibres, lined with hair, in the hollow of a bank on the side of a stream. The eggs are greenish white covered with rufous spots.