471. Pnoepyga albiventris albiventris

(471) Pnoepyga albiventris albiventris Hodgs.
Pnoepyga squamata squamata, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 458.
Pnoepyga albiventris albiventris, ibid. vol. viii, p. 618.
Now that Kinnear has separated the North-Western form of this race, the range of the present bird does not extend West of Nepal, whence Hodgson named it. Bast it extends to Assam, Manipur, Chin Hills and Western Burma to Tenasserim. Both Gammie and Mandelli took the nest and eggs in Sikkim, where they found them breeding in wet ravines in forest at about 5,000 feet, whilst Blanford records them as ascending to 10,000 feet. In Assam they breed from about 3,500 up to at least 6,000 feet, and keep entirely to deep forest, evergreen in character and pretty thick, though not necessarily with very dense undergrowth. Except that Mandelli describes his one nest as cup-shaped, neither his nor Gammie’s differ from those taken by myself, and I therefore quote theirs in full. Gammie writes :—“ I found two nests of the Scaly-breasted Wren this year within a few yards of one another. They were on a small, moist ravine in the Rishap forest, at 5,000 feet above sea-level. One was deserted before being quite finished, and the other was taken a few days after three eggs had been laid. The two nests were alike and both were built in the moss growing on the trunks of large trees, and within a yard of the ground. The only carried material was very fine roots, which were firmly inter¬woven, and the ends worked in with the natural moss. These fine roots were worked into the shape of a half-egg, cut lengthways and placed with its open side against the trunk, which thus formed one side of the nest. Near the top the side was not quite close to the trunk, and by this irregular opening the bird entered. Internally the nest measured 3 inches deep by 2 inches in width. I killed the female off the nest.”
Mandelli’s nest “was placed amongst some small bushes pro¬jecting out of a crevice of a rock about three feet from the ground. It was completely sheltered above but was not hooded or domed ; it was, for the size of the bird, a rather large cup, composed of green moss rather closely felted together and lined with fine blackish-brown roots. The cavity measured about 2 inches in diameter by 1 in depth.”
This last nest is of a very unusual character and I have seen none like it. Most of the nests taken by myself were like those taken by Gammie, whilst others have been round balls of moss, always domed, and just like those of the Brown Wren, which I describe very fully later on.
The eggs vary from three to five in number and are pure white, rather long ovals in shape, with the small end rather pointed. The texture is very fine, fragile and glossless.
Fifty-four eggs average 19.1 x 14.1 mm. : maxima 20.9 x 15.1 and 20.6 x 15.3 mm. ; minima 16.9 x 13.9 and 17.1 x 13.1 mm. ; the minima are almost pigmy eggs.
In the ‘Fauna’ there is some mistake in the dimensions given for the eggs of this bird, made by myself, I fear, in copying from my notebooks. The great difference in the size of the eggs of the typical race and Kinnear’s pallidior is very remarkable.
The breeding season is from the middle of April to the middle of June. Both sexes take part in incubation but I cannot say what part each takes in nest-construction.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
471. Pnoepyga albiventris albiventris
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Nepal Scaly Breasted Wren
Pnoepyga albiventer albiventer
Vol. 1

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