121. Pomatorhinus obscurus.
Hume's Scimitar Babbler.
Pomatorhinus obscurus, Hume, S. F. i, p. 7 (1873) ; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 471; Wardlaw Ramsay, Ibis, 1878, p. 137 ; Hume, Cat. no. 404 ter ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 416; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 178.
Coloration. Resembles P. horsfieldii. Differs in being everywhere of a much paler colour, a sort of earthy brown, with the sides of the head slightly darker than the other parts, and in being without the black band which in the other species borders the white breast and abdomen.
Legs and feet greenish plumbeous; iris dark red; bill dirty yellow, black at base above (Hume).
Length about 10; tail 4.1; wing 4; tarsus 1.3; bill from gape 1.2.
Prom the examination of a large series of specimens of both species in the British Museum it is quite certain that P. obscurus is not a larger bird than P. horsfieldii, as was asserted by Hume when he described the former species. The bill of P. obscurus is perhaps the larger of the two if an average is taken, but it is by no means a feature to be depended on. The chief point to rely on in dis¬criminating this bird is the absence of the black border to the white of the lower parts.
Distribution. I have examined specimens of this species from Khandala, Matheran, Bombay, Khandesh, Abu, and Seoni. At Abu it is found only on the mount and not in the plains, and its true home appears to be the Vindhya and Satpura ranges as far east as Seoni.
Habits, &c. Butler remarks that this species, unlike P. horsfieldii, is not gregarious, but occurs singly or in pairs. The notes of the two species appear to be alike.