531. Phaenicurus ochrurus phaenicuroides

(531) Phaenicurus ochrurus phaenicuroides.

The Kashmir Redstart.

Raticilla phaenicuroides Moore, P. Z. S., xxii, p. 25 (1855) (Shikarpore, Sind). Ruticilla rufiventris. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 95 (part.).

Vernacular names. Thir-thira, Thirter-Kampa (Hind.); Phir-ora, Lal-girdi (Beng.); Nune-budi-gadu (Tel.).

Description.— Adult male in Winter. Forehead, sides of head and neck, chin, throat and breast black, the feathers more or less fringed with grey; crown, nape, hind neck, back and scapulars ashy-grey often tinged with rufous 5 rump and upper tail-coverts bright chestnut; central tail-feathers brown with chestnut bases and very narrow chestnut edges; lateral tail-feathers chestnut; wing-coverts black edged with ashy ; the greater coverts and quills brown edged with rufous; abdomen, flanks, vent and under tail-coverts deep orange-brown.

Male in Summer. The broad grey edges to the feathers of the upper parts wear off leaving these" parts a deep blackish grey, occasionally a pure black; the fringes to the breast and throat entirely disappear and the rufous edges to the wing-feathers and central tail-feathers also nearly wear away. The crown is always more or less grey.

Measurements. Total length about 155 mm.; wing 81 to 88 mm.; tail 58 to 60 mm.; tarsus 24 mm.; culmen 11 mm.

* Female. Whole upper plumage pale brown, tinged with fulvous ; the forehead generally rather paler; rump, upper tail-coverts and tail as in the male but paler; a ring of pale feathers round the eye; lower surface buffy brown, darkest on the breast, palest on the abdomen and tinged with orange on the flanks and abdomen; under tail-coverts pale orange-fulvous.

Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill black; mouth yellowish; legs and feet very dark brown to black.

Measurements. Wing 78 to 83 mm.; tail 56 to 58 mm.; tarsus 24 mm.; culmen 11 mm.

Young. Have the upper parts barred with dark brown; the rufous margins to the wing-feathers very broad; rump and rail like the adult; the underparts are almost white, tinged with orange-rufous on breast and flanks and the feathers edged with blackish brown.

Distribution. Breeding in Persia, Turkestan, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir and Ladak but not, apparently, South in the Simla States and Garhwal, In Winter it is found throughout the Western plains and hills of India to Travancore, the Nilgiris and Madras. In the East its place is taken by the next bird.

Nidification. The Kashmir Redstart's nest has been taken often in Northern and North-Western Kashmir. It also breeds throughout the North-Western Frontier from Baluchistan to Gilgit above 10,000 feer. The nests are o£ the usual Redstart type, roughly put together shallow cups of roots and grasses, a little dry moss or a few leaves, with a lining of any fur, hair or wool, sometimes mixed with a few feathers. It is placed in a hole in almost any position, a bank or cliff, a roadside cutting or side of a stream, under a boulder or heap of stones, a mud or stone building or even a hole in a tree. The eggs number four to six and in colour range from almost white to a pale blue-green. They are as a whole the palest, yet. the most glossy of all the Redstarts' eggs. Thirty eggs average 19.7 x 14.2 nun.: maxima 20.2 x 15.0 and 20.1 x 15.1 mm.; minima 18.2 x 13.0 mm.

Habits. The Kashmir Redstart is a most familiar little bird in most parts of India during the cold-weather months frequenting gardens and the open surroundings of houses and cultivation just as much as bare stony hills and open wastes. Like the Chats it often perches on bushes and shrubs, flirting its tail and making little rallies to the ground after insects and its funny little croaking cry, typical of the Redstarts yet so unusual for a bird, is familiar to everyone in India. It is one of the earliest birds to commence feeding in the morning and in the fast-settling dusk of the tropical evening it may often be seen, a flitting shadow in the bed of some forest-stream feeding on the insects which emerge in the twilight. Yet, in spite of its crepuscular habits it also feeds in the blazing midday sun, perched on some half-baked stone in the hottest of deserts.
(531) Phaenicurus ochrurus phaenicuroides.

The Kashmir Redstart.

Raticilla phaenicuroides Moore, P. Z. S., xxii, p. 25 (1855) (Shikarpore, Sind). Ruticilla rufiventris. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 95 (part.).

Vernacular names. Thir-thira, Thirter-Kampa (Hind.); Phir-ora, Lal-girdi (Beng.); Nune-budi-gadu (Tel.).

Description.— Adult male in Winter. Forehead, sides of head and neck, chin, throat and breast black, the feathers more or less fringed with grey; crown, nape, hind neck, back and scapulars ashy-grey often tinged with rufous 5 rump and upper tail-coverts bright chestnut; central tail-feathers brown with chestnut bases and very narrow chestnut edges; lateral tail-feathers chestnut; wing-coverts black edged with ashy ; the greater coverts and quills brown edged with rufous; abdomen, flanks, vent and under tail-coverts deep orange-brown.

Male in Summer. The broad grey edges to the feathers of the upper parts wear off leaving these" parts a deep blackish grey, occasionally a pure black; the fringes to the breast and throat entirely disappear and the rufous edges to the wing-feathers and central tail-feathers also nearly wear away. The crown is always more or less grey.

Measurements. Total length about 155 mm.; wing 81 to 88 mm.; tail 58 to 60 mm.; tarsus 24 mm.; culmen 11 mm.

* Female. Whole upper plumage pale brown, tinged with fulvous ; the forehead generally rather paler; rump, upper tail-coverts and tail as in the male but paler; a ring of pale feathers round the eye; lower surface buffy brown, darkest on the breast, palest on the abdomen and tinged with orange on the flanks and abdomen; under tail-coverts pale orange-fulvous.

Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill black; mouth yellowish; legs and feet very dark brown to black.

Measurements. Wing 78 to 83 mm.; tail 56 to 58 mm.; tarsus 24 mm.; culmen 11 mm.

Young. Have the upper parts barred with dark brown; the rufous margins to the wing-feathers very broad; rump and rail like the adult; the underparts are almost white, tinged with orange-rufous on breast and flanks and the feathers edged with blackish brown.

Distribution. Breeding in Persia, Turkestan, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir and Ladak but not, apparently, South in the Simla States and Garhwal, In Winter it is found throughout the Western plains and hills of India to Travancore, the Nilgiris and Madras. In the East its place is taken by the next bird.

Nidification. The Kashmir Redstart's nest has been taken often in Northern and North-Western Kashmir. It also breeds throughout the North-Western Frontier from Baluchistan to Gilgit above 10,000 feer. The nests are o£ the usual Redstart type, roughly put together shallow cups of roots and grasses, a little dry moss or a few leaves, with a lining of any fur, hair or wool, sometimes mixed with a few feathers. It is placed in a hole in almost any position, a bank or cliff, a roadside cutting or side of a stream, under a boulder or heap of stones, a mud or stone building or even a hole in a tree. The eggs number four to six and in colour range from almost white to a pale blue-green. They are as a whole the palest, yet. the most glossy of all the Redstarts' eggs. Thirty eggs average 19.7 x 14.2 nun.: maxima 20.2 x 15.0 and 20.1 x 15.1 mm.; minima 18.2 x 13.0 mm.

Habits. The Kashmir Redstart is a most familiar little bird in most parts of India during the cold-weather months frequenting gardens and the open surroundings of houses and cultivation just as much as bare stony hills and open wastes. Like the Chats it often perches on bushes and shrubs, flirting its tail and making little rallies to the ground after insects and its funny little croaking cry, typical of the Redstarts yet so unusual for a bird, is familiar to everyone in India. It is one of the earliest birds to commence feeding in the morning and in the fast-settling dusk of the tropical evening it may often be seen, a flitting shadow in the bed of some forest-stream feeding on the insects which emerge in the twilight. Yet, in spite of its crepuscular habits it also feeds in the blazing midday sun, perched on some half-baked stone in the hottest of deserts.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Reference: 
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.2 1924.
Title in Book: 
531. Phaenicurus ochrurus phaenicuroides
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
531
Year: 
1924
Page No: 
76
Common name: 
Kashmir Redstart
M_ID: 
28329
M_SN: 
Phoenicurus ochruros phoenicuroides
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
3043

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