(870) Phylloscopus humii humii.
Reguloides humii Brooks, Str. Feath., vii, p. 131 (1878) (N.W. India) (now restricted to Srinagar, Kashmir). Phylloscopus humii. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 410.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Upper plumage rather bright olive-green; a faint coronal streak greyish green; a broad supercilium from the nostrils to the nape pale yellow; the crown above the supercilium being sometimes much darker than elsewhere; lores and a line through the eye dark brown; wing-feathers dark brown edged with olive-green and with two broad wing-bars formed by the pale yellow tips to the coverts: tail dark brown edged with greenish outwardly and, in very fresh plumage, with a narrow whitish edging on the inner webs: sides of the head mixed brown and yellow; lower plumage yellowish white, often tinged with ochre and darker on the breast; axillaries and under wing-coverts yellow.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; upper mandible dark horny-brown, lower mandible pale yellowish-horny, tipped darker; legs and feet dark horny-brown to plumbeous-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 100 mm.; wing 51 to 60 mm.; tail 38 to 44 mm.; tarsus about 19 mm.; culmen 8 to 9 mm.
Distribution. Turkestan, Tianschan, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir and Garhwal Hills. In Winter South to the greater part of Western India as far South as Travancore. To the Bast it is found regularly as far as Western Bengal and Orissa, and straggles as far as Mudderpore, Manbhum and even Calcutta, from which places there are specimens in the British Museum.
Nidification. Humes Willow-Warbler breeds over the whole of its Summer habitat between 7,000 and 12,000 feet, making a domed nest of grass which it places on the ground, preferably on a bank, in scrub-jungle or in open country. The lining is of finer grass, sometimes with a little hair mixed and is never of feathers as in the nests of so many other Willow-Warblers. The normal clutch of eggs is four, sometimes three and rarely five. The ground is pure white speckled and spotted with reddish brown, often, coalescing at the larger end to form a ring or cap. Fifty eggs average 14.3 x 11.3 mm.: maxima 15.5 X 12.0 mm.; minima 13.0 X 11.0 and 13.1 x 10.4 mm. The first few eggs are laid in early May and they continue to lay until the end of June.
Habits. Hume's Willow-Warbler is found in Summer in the open grass-lands, between 8,000 feet and the snow-line, which are surrounded with forests of fir, pine or birch. They especially affect such as have an ample supply of small streams, on the banks of which they breed. The call-note is a loud double note sounding like whee-it, constantly repeated, the song being merely this note sharply and quickly reiterated. The alarm-note of the female is said to sound like tiss-yip. They keep much to trees when hunting for insects but also maybe found in bush and scrub cover.