(925) Suya crinigera assamica.
The Assam Brown Hill-Warbler.
Suya crinigera assamica Stuart Baker, Bull. B. O. C, xliv, May
Vernacular names. Daotisha dedao (Cachari).
Description. Very much darker than either of the preceding races but differing from S. c. yunnanensis in having the head strongly striated in Summer, not almost unicoloured blackish. It is also less dark generally than this latter bird.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 53 to 63 mm.; tail 85 to 104 mm.; tarsus about 22 mm.; culmen 12 to 13 mm.
Distribution. Assam, South and East of the Brahmaputra; Chin Hills. How far East this bird extends is not known; Rippon obtained it at Myingyan.
Nidification. The Assam Brown Hill-Warbler breeds in great numbers in the Khasia Hills between 2,000 and 6,000 feet, and in the Cachar and Naga Hills between 4,500 and 6,000 feet. The principal breeding-mouths are April. May and June but numerous nests may be found a month earlier and later, right on into August and September, many birds having two or even three broods. The nest is an oval-shaped affair, made of fine grasses and a few grass-stems, without lining or with a few additional grass-stems. It is placed low clown, between three feet and a few inches from the ground, in grass, weeds, bracken or, rarely, in a low bush and is firmly fixed to the supporting stems. The site selected is one in open spaces in forest, grass-covered hills at the edge of forest, or in the wide roiling expanses of grass-covered plateaux. The eggs generally number four, but vary from three to seven; in colour the ground varies from pure white to deep pink, pale greenish or greenish blue or pale salmon. The markings vary greatly. In colour they range from pale reddish to deep blood-red, red-brown or almost black. In distribution they vary just as widely ; many eggs are covered all ever with dense specks, blotches or freckles; others, a very common type, have infinitely small stipplings. which at the larger end coalesce into a deep ring or cap; others, again, have numerous markings at the larger end though the smaller end is sparsely marked. Intermediate forms between all these types are common. Two hundred eggs average 16.7 X 12.8 mm,: maxima 18.3 x 13.3 and 18.0 x 14.1 mm.; minima 15.6 x 11.9 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of Suya c. crinigera. In Summer it may be found in suitable localities in the Hills anywhere above 2,500 feet, but is not really common below 3,500 or 4,000 feet except in Winter. In extreme Eastern Assam, Dr. Coltart and I found it not uncommon at a much lower level, but here the nearness of the surrounding snow-line gives a much lower elevation to both the Flora and Fauna.