(218) Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps stenorhynchus.
Pomatorhinus stenorhynchus Blyth, J. A. S. B., xlvi, p. 43 (1877) (Sadiya); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 123.
Vernacular names. Inrui-gna (Kacha Naga).
Description. Differs from P. o. ochraceiceps in being much paler and less richly coloured throughout. The flanks and abdomen are tinged with rufous-buff.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in the last.
Distribution. Hills South of the Brahmaputra from N.E. Cachar and Naga Hills to extreme East Assam and Sadiya North of the Brahmaputra.
Nidification. Similar to that of other Scimitar-Babblers. Of the few nests taken in N. Cachar some were placed on the ground and some on bushes or tangles of vines and creepers a few feet above it. The eggs numbered three or four, generally the latter,, and rarely five, and were, like those of P. o. austeni, longer in proportion to their size than those of most of the genus, thirty eggs averaging 25.2 x 18.3 mm. They are also rather more fragile in texture. All the nests were found in forest, but generally close-to a jungle-path, stream or open glade. The breeding season appears to be from the middle of May to early July.
Habits. I found this Scimitar-Babbler in pairs only, haunting wet, cool forests with a fair amount of undergrowth, but not the dense scrub and grass so beloved by some of its nearest relations. It was, comparatively speaking, a very quiet bird, each of the pair uttering from time to time its soft, full" hoot hoot" or a pleasant whistling chuckle. Like the rest of their tribe, they spend most of the time on the ground turning over the leaves and debris in search of food but, according to the Nagas, when the various figs are ripe they work high up into these trees in quest of the insects which infest the fruit. It is a bird of high levels, from 5,000 feet upwards to at least 9,000 feet in the Naga Hills.
Key to Subspecies.
A. Flanks deep rufous.
a. Breast almost pure white.
a1. Wing over 89 mm P. e. erythrogenys, p. 220.
b1. Wing under 89 mm P. e. imberbis, p. 222.
b. Breast pale grey, streaked with white. P. e. haringtoni, p. 220.
c. Breast white, streaked with black .. P. e. gravixox, p. 221.
B. Flanks olivaceous P. e. macclellandi, p. 221.