722. Ploceus bengalensis

722. Ploceus bengalensis.

The Black-throated Weaver-bird.

Loxia benghalensis, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 305 (1766). Ploceus bengalensis {Linn), Blyth, Cat. p. 115; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 515; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 349; Hume, N. & E. p. 441; id. Cat. no. 696; Oates, B. B. i, p. 361; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 493 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 261; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 270; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 120.

Sarbo baya, Hind.; Shor baya, Kantawala baya, Beng.

Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the forehead, crown, and nape are dark brown, each feather narrowly margined with fulvous-brown ; back, scapulars, and all the feathers of the wings dark blackish brown, each feather broadly margined with fulvous; rump and upper tail-coverts dull fulvous, streaked with pale brown; tail brown, narrowly margined paler; a distinct supercilium, widening and becoming paler at the nape, yellow; a large yellow patch on the side of the neck; a pale yellow patch under the eye ; remainder of side of the head brown; cheeks, chin, and throat pale yellow; a narrow moustachial streak black; fore neck and upper breast black, each feather very broadly margined with fulvous; remainder of lower plumage fulvous, paler on the abdomen, and the sides of the body narrowly streaked with brown. Soon after the moult the broad fulvous margins on the fore neck and upper breast commence to wear away, and by February and March these parts are almost uniform black.

After the partial spring moult the forehead and crown become bright golden yellow surrounded by a black band; the chin and throat become whitish or whity brown, and the entire side of the head and neck become uniform brown; the other parts of the plumage remain unchanged, except that the pale margins to the feathers of the back and wings get worn away, causing those parts to become very dark and more uniform brown.

Female. Very similar to the male in winter plumage, but with all the yellow marks on the head paler, and with much less black on the fore neck and upper breast. The pale margins on these parts wear away as in the male, but these parts apparently never become quite so black in the breeding-season as in the male.

Bill pearly white or pale plumbeous at all seasons and in both sexes ; iris light brown ; legs flesh-colour.

Length about 5.5; tail 1.8; wing 2.8; tarsus .8; bill from gape .65.

Distribution. Occurs sparingly throughout Northern India from Sind to Bengal, and up to the foot of the Himalayas. The Southern limit appears to be a line drawn from Bombay to Bastar, south of which line this species does not appear to have been recorded. Eastwards it occurs throughout Assam, and it is found commonly as far south as Manipur. Blanford records this "Weaver-bird from Ava and Thayetmyo, but its occurrence' in Burma has not been confirmed.

Habits, &c. Breeds in the rains. The nest resembles that of P. baya in general shape, but the funnel is very short. The nest is invariably attached to the leaves of elephant-grass, with which it is well incorporated and by which it is more or less supported. The eggs measure about .83 by .58.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
722. Ploceus bengalensis
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Black Throated Weaver Bird
Black-breasted Weaver
Ploceus benghalensis
Vol. 2

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