Drymoipus inornata, Sykes.
543. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 178; 543bis. :- D. terricolor, Hume; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 481; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 407; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 153; Prinia inornata, Sykes ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 126.
THE COMMON WREN WARBLER.
Length, 5 to 5.5; wing, 1.75 to 1.8; tail, 2.75; tarsus, 0.8, bill at front, 0.4.
Bill dusky-brown above, yellowish or fleshy at the base beneath ; irides brownish-yellow; legs fleshy-yellow.
Head and back greyish-brown, with an olivaceous tinge on the head and hind-neck; wings brown, edged pale rufous; tail rufous or brownish, with a terminal dark spot, and the centre tail-feathers obsoletely banded; a whitish supercilium and whitish lores and chin ; beneath whitish, with a faint fulvescent tinge; thighs pale fulvescent-brown.
It is now generally admitted by ornithologists that the birds described by Dr. Jerdon under Nos. 543 and 544, viz., D. inornata and D. longicaudatus are the same in different phases of plumage, the principal difference being the longer tail of the latter.
The Common or Earth-brown Wren Warbler is a permanent resident throughout the distrit, breeding during July and August; it usually constructs a rather pretty nest, composed of fine strips torn from blades of green grass which are plaited together like those of the Baya, but the strips are much finer and the nest altogether neater ; it is usually fastened to the thorny twigs of acacia bushes, at no great height from the ground, and the shape depends largely on the position of these twigs. According to my experience the nest is never lined.
Another type of nest is composed of the same material, but is much coarser, and more loosely woven.
Nests of this latter description are built in clumps of sarpat, guinea, or other rank-growing grass, or even in stand¬ing corn ; they are purse-shaped, with the entrance on one side, the opposite side being prolonged and projecting over, so as to form a canopy. The eggs, four or five in number, are moderately long ovals, of a glossy pale greenish-blue color, boldly spotted and blotched with chocolate and reddish-brown, with a delicate tracery of interlaced hair-like lines at the larger end, but occasionally these lines are absent, the small end being usually spotless. The ground color is also subject to variation, eggs having been taken of a dull olive-green tint, and still more rarely of a clear reddish-white. They measure 061 inches in length by 045 in breadth. B. inornata also equals B. terricolor.