720. Ploceus baya *.
? Loxia philippina, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 305 (1766). Ploceus baya, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiii, p. 945 (1844); Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 515 (part.) ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 343 (part.); Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 167; Hume, N. & E. p. 436 (part.) ; id. & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 399 ; Sharpe, Cat. D. M. xiii, p. 488; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 114. Ploceus philippinus (Linn.), Blyth, Cat. p. 115 (part.) ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 641; Hume, Cat. no. 694; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 259.
The Common Weaver-bird (Jerdon); Baya, Hind.; Chindora, Hind, in Bengal; Bawi, Talbabi, Bong.; Parsupu-pitta, Tel.; Manja-kuravi, Tam.; Thuckenam kuruvi, Tam, in Ceyl.; Tatta kurula, Wada kurulla, Ceyl.
Coloration. Male. After the autumn moult the whole upper plumage is fulvous streaked with blackish brown, the streaks becoming obsolete on the lower rump and upper tail-coverts ; wing-coverts, quills, and tail dark brown, each feather edged with fulvous, the edges of the primaries and tail-feathers also being tinged with greenish; a clear fulvous supercilium; sides of the head pale fulvous-brown; the whole lower plumage fulvous, darker on the breast and flanks, the feathers of which parts are frequently streaked with narrow shaft-lines of brown. After the spring moult the appearance of the bird is much changed: the forehead, crown, and nape become bright yellow; the back and scapulars are black, each feather broadly margined with bright yellow ; the sides of the head, the chin, and throat dark blackish brown, and the breast bright yellow; the other parts of the plumage remain unchanged.
Female. At all times resembles the male in winter plumage so closely as to require no separate description.
The intensity of the fulvous tinge on these birds varies much according to age, and in some degree according to the time which has elapsed since the moult.
In the male in summer the bill is dark horny brown, yellowish at gape and base of lower mandible; legs and feet flesh-colour; iris brown. The female in summer and both sexes in winter have the bill yellowish horn-colour.
Length about 6; tail 2; wing 2.9 ; tarsus .8; bill from gape .65.
Distribution. Ceylon and the whole of India proper from the extreme south to the base of the Himalayas as far east as the 85th degree of longitude, about which boundary this species meets the next.
Habits, &c. Breeds from April to September, constructing a hanging flask-shaped nest of grass, strongly woven, suspended from a branch of a tree generally growing over water. The nest terminates in a long funnel of grass, sometimes nearly two feet in length, through which the bird enters the nest proper. The eggs, either two or three in number, measure about .82 by .59.
* Linnaeus's name, even if it applied to the Continental race of Weaver-bird, which is very doubtful, is inappropriate, as no bird of this genus is known to occur in the Philippine Islands. I prefer, therefore, to follow Sharpe in adopting Blyth's well-known name for this species.