865. Phylloscopus pulcher kangrae

(865) Phylloscopus pulcher kangrae Ticehurst.
Phylloscopus pulcher kangroe, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 465.
This pale form of the species occurs in the North-West Himalayas from Afghanistan and Gilgit to the Simla States and Garhwal.
Whymper has taken several nests of this little bird in Garhwal, and Buchanan took another in Kashmir, but the former only has recorded the results of his finds. He writes (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xvii, p. 818, 1907):—“They were all taken in Tehri Garhwal this year (1906), mostly at an elevation of from 11,000 to 13,000 feet. Two nests only were found of this bird, with four and three fresh eggs, on June 23rd and 26th. They were very untidy round balls, made of old-man’s beard, moss and dry grass, and lined with feathers, some of which were left sticking out of the entrance-hole, and were placed about ten feet up in the fork of willows. The nests were so ragged that I was doubtful of their being new, and no birds were about when first found ; however, I went after some days from a long distance to look them up again and was well rewarded, as I do not think the nesting of P. pulcher has been recorded before. These were the only birds of the species positively identified, but I am inclined to think that they were only just beginning to breed and probably more nests would have been found later. The eggs are spotted and do not differ much from those of P. proregulus.”
In 1909 he took two other nests (ibid. vol, xix, p. 991, 1910) which he describes in a letter to me as similar to those of 1906. Of the eggs he writes :—“Only two clutches were secured. In one of these clutches three eggs were unspotted white and the fourth had one single blotch of pale brown only, so it would seem that pulcher occasionally lays white eggs. The birds were breeding in the Bhagirathi Valley.”
All the above eggs are now in my own collection and I can add nothing to what Whymper has recorded. A. E. Osmaston, however, gives more information in a note in the Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. (vol. xxviii, p. 145, 1921). He says :—“Tins bird breeds in con¬siderable numbers in the birch (Betula utilis) forests of the interior, at elevations between 11,000' and 12,000', situated in the Dhauli Valley. The only nest I succeeded in finding was placed against the trunk of a birch, where it had been securely wedged between the trunk itself and some loosely attached pieces of the bark. The tree was in the middle of fairly dense birch forest and the nest was placed about ten feet from the ground. It was domed and com¬posed externally of a few strips of birch bark, a little moss and grass and lined with monal feathers.”
The breeding season, so far as is known at present, seems to be from the middle of June to the middle of July, though this is sure to be extended when we have learned more of their habits.
The eggs, apparently three or four in a full clutch, vary from pure white to white quite densely speckled with red ; in three clutches these form well-defined rings at the larger end, in the other clutch the rings are not defined and the spots are numerous everywhere.
The shape is a broad oval, rather pointed at the small end ; the texture is fine but the surface glossless.
Sixteen eggs average 14.9 x 11.4 mm. : maxima 16.1 x 11.4 and 15.3 x 12.0 mm. ; minima 14.2 x 11.1 and 16.0 x 10.9 mm.

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: 
865. Phylloscopus pulcher kangrae
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
North West Orange Barred Willow Warbler
Phylloscopus pulcher kangrae
Vol. 2

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