895. Seicercus eantator

(895) Seicercus cantator (Tickell).
Seicercus cantator, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 492.
Tickell’s Warbler, as this species has hitherto been called, has a very similar range to that of the preceding bird, i. e., from Sikkim to Manipur, but is not found in the Northern Burmese Hills.
There is very little one can say of the nidification of this little Warbler that has not been said of the preceding bird. In Assam I obtained its nest in dense evergreen forest between 4,000 and 6,000 feet and in Sikkim Stevens met with it at 3,500 feet, but says that the bird is very rare.
The descriptions of its nest given in Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs,' but not considered very reliable by Hume himself, must, I think, be ignored. I have seen some twenty nests, perhaps more, of this species and none has borne any resemblance to those described. All the nests seen by me were little balls of vivid green moss, measuring roughly about 6 by 4 inches, the longer axis vertical. These were invariably placed on the ground, generally at the foot of trees in evergreen forest. Some were half buried in fallen leaves and the usual accumulations on the ground in such forest ; others were in hollows in banks, half or wholly hidden in moss, weeds, grass, or other cover. Once or twice I have seen then in a place rather unusual for Flycatcher-Warblers—in open Pine forest, nestling in among the moss and pine-needles on a bank.
The nest differs from that of the preceding bird in having a dense thick lining of some very soft vegetable-down. Where available the soft, silky down of the Bombax is used, sometimes thistle-down and at other times a sheeny white substance like the finest silk which I was unable to determine, but believe to be the inner coating of a kind of wild bean.
Cantator is a rather earlier breeder than castaneoceps and I have seen several nests completed and laid in before the end of April. May is, however, the chief laying month and a few births continue into June. Like other Flycatcher-Warblers, they are not double brooded.
They lay three or four eggs only which are typical of the genus in every way—white, highly glossed and strong in texture.
The gloss in the eggs of this genus is not so permanent as it is in the eggs of some other genera, such as the Woodpecker’s, and, after some twenty or thirty years in a collection, it is not so pro-nounced as in freshly taken eggs.
Fifty eggs average 14.5 x 11.9 mm. : maxima 15.5 x 12.3 and 14.9 x 12.7 mm. ; minima 13.1 x 10.8 mm.
Both sexes incubate and both take part in the building of the nest.
I do not know how long incubation takes but it is probably ten days, as in the other Flycatcher-Warblers of the same size.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
895. Seicercus eantator
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Yellow Breasted Flycatchee Warbler
Yellow-vented Warbler
Phylloscopus cantator
Vol. 2

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