(1010) Ploceus passerinus passerinus.
The Eastern Baya.
Ploceus passerinus Reich enow, Zool. Jahrb. i, 1886, p. 156 (Nepal). Ploceus megarhynchus. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 176 (part).
Vernacular names. Tookra, Baya-Sorai (Assam); Dao-tiri-bhai (Cachari).
Description. Forehead, crown and nape golden yellow; hind neck also suffused with this colour; upper plumage blackish brown the feathers edged with fulvous-rufous and the dark centres almost obsolete on the rump and upper tail-coverts; wing-coverts, quills and tail deep brown edged with fulvous-rufous; lower plumage tawny fulvous, darkest on breast and flanks and vinous grey on skin and throat; sides of head vinous brown.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark hazel, eyelid fleshy-grey; bill black, the inside of the mouth flesh-colour; legs and feet flesh-colour, the claws a little darker.
Measurements. Total length about 150 mm.; wing 69 to 78 mm., very few being below 72 mm.; tail 46 to 50 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen 16 to 18 mm.
Male in Summer and all Females. Very similar to P. philippinus but generally darker and more richly coloured, especially below. The bill is pale horny in Winter.
Young birds are streaked below, these streaks being retained to some extent in the first Summer plumage.
Distribution. Sub-Himalayas from Nepal and possibly G-arhwal, to Assam, Eastern Bengal, Chin and Kachin Hills, Shan States and Burma North of Thaunghoo and Karenni.
Hartert includes all Burmese Birds in the next race " infortunatus." The differences between the two forms are practically only those of measurements and the North Burmese birds seem nearer to those from Nepal than to those from the Malay States.
One hundred and six birds from the Malay States and Peninsular Burma and Siam have wings between 64 and 72 mm., very few being as much as 70 mm. From Central and North Burma 42 specimens vary between 69 and 76 mm., whilst from Bengal, Assam, Sikkim and Nepal 118 specimens vary between 70 and 78 mm., very few either in Northern Burma or the more Western regions being below 72 mm.
Nidification. Exactly like that of Ploceus philippinus but this is an even more familiar bird, often breeding in verandahs, attaching its nest to trellis-work or to the thatch of the roof. The eggs number two to five, perhaps most often three. One hundred eggs average 21.6 x 14.7mm.: maxima 23.1 x 14.9 and 27.1 x 16.1 mm.; minima 20.2 x 14.7 mm. and 21.3 x 14.2 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of P. philippinus.