(224) Pomatorhinus hypoleucus hypoleucus.
THE AERAKAN SCIMITAR-BABBLER.
Othorhinus hypoleucus Blyth, J. A. S. B., xxiv, p. 273 (1875) (Arrakan).Pomatorhinus hypoleucus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 126.
Vernacular names. Dao-hoot (Cachari).
Description. Upper plumage olive-brown, deeply tinged with Tufous on the tail and exposed parts of closed wing; ear-coverts and cheeks greyish brown ; lores grey; a line commencing above the eye, passing over the ear-coverts and terminating in a broad patch behind them bright rusty; chin, throat, breast, and abdomen white ; sides of breast deep slaty streaked with white, the breast with a few small spots of slaty-grey; sides of body and thighs rufous-ashy ; under tail-coverts ferruginous.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown to deep red-brown ; the naked patch behind the eye is a dull livid, or bluish flesh-colour; bill pale horny with a yellow, grey or green tinge in it; legs and feet pale plumbeous or slaty-grey.
Measurements. Length about 300 mm.; wing 105 to 112 mm.; tail about 110 to 120 nun.; tarsus about 3S mm.; culmen about 40 mm.
Distribution. Assam, North and South of the Brahmaputra, Chittagong, Manipur, Lushai, Arrakan and the Chin Hills.
Nidification. This Babbler breeds principally at quite low levels throughout its range, but may be found nearly up to 4,000 feet. It breeds in the end of March to early May, making a huge oval nest about a foot or more in length by nearly as much in breadth. It is composed of leaves, grass and bamboo spathes very roughly and loosely put together, nearly always on the ground, rarely on a bush or tangle of creepers. Twelve eggs average 30.6 x 22.1 mm.
Habits. The Arrakan Scimitar-Babbler is always found in pairs, hopping about on the ground in the thickest of undergrowth, and it is particularly partial to the most impenetrable cane-brakes in swampy places. Its voice is the triple "hoot" of the genus, but can be distinguished from that of the previous birds by its deep mellowness, Inglis says that the male has a deeper hoot than the female. This species eats small shells, snails, etc., as well as the usual insect food of the other species.