875. Acanthopneuste nitidus viridanus

(875) Acanthopneuste nitidus viridanus (Blyth).
Acanthopneuste nitidus viridanus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 474.
The Greenish Willow-Warbler breeds from North-East Russia, through Western Siberia, Turkestan, Tibet, Kashmir, Ladak and Garhwal, East to the Hills of Assam.
The first nest ever taken of this bird, and the only one I have seen, was taken by me on the 24th July, 1891, on a lofty peak on the borders of the Naga Hills and North Cachar districts, at about 6,000 feet. Whilst on the march I saw a small bird fly out of a mass of stones forming the bank of a jungle-path running through lofty but open forest. On examining the bank we found the nest, a large loosely built globe of moss and dead leaves, the latter in the base only, with a dense matted Hning of pure white goats’ hair. It was of irregular shape, fitting into the hollow in which it was placed, being about 8 inches high by about 5.5 inches in breadth, the egg-cavity being about 2.1/2 inches or less each way. The three eggs were pure white and of a soft, rather fragile texture, with no gloss, and very different to the texture of other eggs of the Phylloscopi. The male bird was shot when it returned to the nest.
In the year 1902 Osmaston obtained a nest at 11,000 feet in Garh¬wal “domed, with rather a large opening, twice as broad as high, near the top, and was placed on the ground on a fairly steep hill-side near a bush. It was composed of moss and dry grass externally and roofed internally with fine grass-stalks, the egg-cavity being densely lined with a thick felting of hair. The eggs were pure white, rather broad ovals, with little gloss.
“The parent bird was shot off the nest and identified.”
Later Whymper took several nests in the Dundar and Nila Valleys in Garhwal between 11,000 and 13,000 feet and Osmaston found one above Darjiling at about 11,500 feet.
In all these nests the distinguishing feature was the thick, felted lining of hair, the nests being similar to those fully described above. All were placed on the ground, the favourite position being among the roots of a tree on a bank or sloping ground. Osmaston’s nest was taken in forest of Birch and Silver Fir.
The breeding season seems to be very late. Osmaston took the nest in Darjiling on the 25th May but most eggs are laid at the end of June or in early July, the latest date being the 24th July, on which I took my nest. In Gyantse they apparently breed in July but must be very rare, as I have only had three nests sent me from that locality. They breed on the outskirts of the Gyantse plain between 12,000 and 14,000 feet.
The eggs number three or four and are pure white, without any marking and with a soft satiny texture that differentiates them from any other eggs of Phylloscopus and Acanthopneuste that I am acquainted with. They are very fragile for their size and quite glossless.
In shape they vary from very broad to rather broad ovals.
Thirty-six eggs average 15.3 x 11.9 mm. : maxima 16.8 x 12.0 and 16.0 x 12.6 mm. ; minima 13.3 x 10.3 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: 
875. Acanthopneuste nitidus viridanus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Greenish Willow Warbler
Phylloscopus trochiloides viridanus
Vol. 2

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