(831) Franklinia buchanani.
The Rufous-Fronted Wren-Warbler.
Prima buchanani Blyth, J. A.S. B.. xiii,p. 376 (1844) (Bengal). Franklinia buchanani. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 378.
Vernacular names. Chiho (Sind).
Description. Whole upper plumage and exposed parts of wings pale rufescent grey-brown, the forehead and crown snore rufous ; tail brown, faintly cross-barred darker, all but the central, or two central, pairs with broad white tips and blackish sub-tips grading into the brown of the bases, the outer pairs also edged white; lores and faint supercilium whitish ; ear-coverts and sides of the head pale grey; under plumage greyish white tinged with fulvous on the vent, posterior flanks and under tail-coverts.
Colours of soft parts. Iris tan-brown to orange; upper mandible-pale horny-brown, lower mandible fleshy; legs and feet pale fleshy-brown.
Measurements. Wing 50 to 54 mm.; tail 47 to 54 mm. in Summer, oS to 60 in Winter ; tarsus about 20 mm. ; culmen about 11 mm.
Distribution. Sind, Rajputnna, Southern Punjab, N.W. Provinces, Central India and the Central Provinces, Western Bengal and Behar as far east as Ranchi and Hazaribagh. There are three specimens in the British Museum labelled Madras and Jerdon states that this bird is found throughout the Carnatic and Table-land of Southern India. Since his time, however, it has never again been found in these parts of India.
Nidification. In Southern Rajputana, the Deccan and Central India this Wren-Warbler breeds in April, May and June, and often a second time later in the year. Over the rest of its habitat it breeds in the height of the rains in July, August and September. The nest is globular or egg-shaped, more rarely a deep purse or cup-shaped; it is made of grasses and fine roots and is lined with scraps of a salmon-coloured fungus either alone or mixed with grass. It is nearly always a very untidy, roughly made structure and is almost invariably placed in a thick, low, thorny bush, one to four feet from the ground. The eggs number four or five and are a faint greenish or greyish white, finely speckled with dingy reddish brown. The mat kings are usually numerous every-where, sometimes more so at the larger end where they may form a ring or cap. One hundred eggs average 15.9 x 12.0 mm.: maxima 17.5 X 12.0 and 16.2 x 12.5 mm.; minima 14.2 x 11.9 and 15.1 x 11.0.
Habits. The Rufous-fronted Wren-Warbler is essentially a bird of the drier regions ; haunting bush and grass-clad plains and plateaus, thin deciduous Forest and actual deserts so long as these afford a scanty cover of bushes or grass. They are said to be found in small flocks in Winter, probably family parties only and to be energetic noisy little birds, the male constantly uttering its shrill chirrup. It has a pleasant little song during the breeding-season.