125. Pomatorhinus ruficollis.
The Rufous-necked -Scimitar Babbler.
Pomatorhinus ruficollis, Hodgs. As. Res. xix, p. 182 (1836); Blyth, Cat. p. 147 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 236; Jerd. B. L. ii, p. 29: Hume, N. & E. p. 249; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. ii, p. 160; xlv, pt. ii, p. 76 ; Wardlaw Ramsay, Ibis, 1878, p. 138 ; Hume, Cat. no. 400; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 287; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 426; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 146; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 87, Pomatorhinus stridulus, Swinh. Ibis, 1861, p. 265.
Moh-mera, Angami Naga; Bhiakuroh of the Parbuttiahs.
Coloration. Upper plumage, tail, and visible portions of closed wings rufescent olive-brown; a broad white supercilium from the nostrils to the nape; lores, under the eye, and the ear-coverts black; sides of the neck bright ferruginous, this colour frequently passing round the hind neck and forming a collar ; chin, throat, and cheeks white; lower throat, breast, and centre of abdomen white, streaked with olive-brown; sides of the abdomen and breast, the vent, and the under tail-coverts plain olive-brown.
In some birds the streaks on the breast are rufous, and this is especially the case in specimens from China; also, but in a less degree, in specimens from the Himalayas. Young nestlings have the whole breast rusty.
Bill horny yellow, paler at the tip, and the base of the maxilla and basal three fourths of culmen brownish black ; iris varies from pale red to crimson; eyelid plumbeous ; feet grey or greenish plumbeous; claws brownish horny (Scully).
Length about 7.5; tail 3.5 ; wing 3.1; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape .9 to 1.2.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Nepal to Assam (where Godwin-Austen obtained it in the Daphla and Naga hills); Shillong; Manipur. This species also occurs in China.
Habits, &c. Breeds in April and May, constructing a domed nest of grass, fern, and bamboo-leaves on the ground and laying five eggs, which measure .95 by .68.
The next three species are very closely allied, but may be known by their longer, very slender, and more curved bill (fig. 32).