120. Pomatorhinus horsfieldii.
The Southern Scimitar Babbler.
Pomatorhinus horsfieldii, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 89; Blyth, Cat. p. 146; Horsf. & M, Cat. i, p. 234; Jerd. B. I. if, p. 31 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 250 ; Morgan, Ibis, 1875, p. 320; Wardlaw Ramsay, Ibis, 1878, p. 136; Hume, Cat. no. 404; Davison, S. F. x, p. 370 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 415; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 178; Oates in Hume's N. 8; E. 2nd ed. i, p. 84.
Namala-pitta or Dasari-pitta, Tel.
Coloration. The upper plumage dark olive-brown with a tinge of rufous, the head darker and frequently mottled with black ; a white supercilium from the nostril to the nape, edged with black above; chin, throat, breast, and the centre of the abdomen white; lores, under the eye, the ear-coverts, the sides of the neck, and a band bordering the breast and abdomen black; sides of the body, vent, and under tail-coverts slaty brown ; tail and wings dark brown, washed on the outer webs with the colour of the back.
Iris dark maroon-brown; legs and feet greenish plumbeous ; bill yellow, dusky at base of the lower mandible (Butler); iris crimson (Davison).
Length about 10; tail 4 ; wing 4 ; tarsus 1.3 ; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. Travancore, the Palni hills, the Nilgiris, Coorg, and the hill-ranges of the western coast as far as Mahableshwar, the most northern locality from which I have seen a specimen. This bird is found up to 8000 feet. It, however, occurs at lower levels, being found at Belgaum and even at Malwan on the sea-coast.
Blyth records this species from Cuttack and Ball from Orissa south of the Mahanadi, and Goomsur. Jerdon states that it is found in the Eastern Ghats and in the heavy jungles of Central India.
Habits, &c. Breeds from December to May, constructing a globular nest of grass and leaves on the ground among the roots of bushes or on the side of a bank, laying from three to five eggs which measure 1.08 by .77.