463. Prinia flaviventris.
The Yellow-bellied Wren-Warbler.
Orthotomus flaviventris, Deless. Rev. Zool. 1840, p. 101. Prima flaviventris (Deless.), Blyth, Cat. p. 144 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 321; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 169 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 271; Hume, N. & E. p. 334; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 118 ; Oates, S. F. iii, p. 340; id. S. F. v, p. 158; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xlv, pt. ii, pp. 79, 202 ; Wardlaw Ramsay, Ibis, 1877, p. 466 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 347 ; Hume, Cat. no. 532 ; Doig, S. F. viii, p. 378 ; Butler, S. F. viii, p. 386; Oates, 8. F. x, p. 219 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 215; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 207; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 289. Burnesia flaviventris (Deless.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 204; Oates, B. B. i, p. 111.
Coloration. In summer the forehead and crown are dark ashy; upper plumage and wings olive-green ; a whitish ring round the eye ; sides of the head ashy ; chin, throat, and upper breast white ; remainder of the lower plumage bright yellow; tail olive-green, tipped whitish, and each feather with an obscure subterminal brown patch.
In winter the tail is longer, the feathers are obsoletely tipped paler and have no subterminal brown patches, and there is also a short white eyebrow.
The white eyebrow occurs somewhat irregularly in these birds, but is apparently seasonal.
Birds obtained in the Malay peninsula from Klang to Singapore are remarkable for the very large size of the bill.
The young resemble the adult in winter, but have the whole lower plumage pale yellow.
Mouth black ; iris reddish yellow ; eyelids plumbeous ; bill black; legs orange-fleshy ; claws yellowish. In the non-breeding season the mouth is flesh-coloured and the lower mandible is pale.
Length. In winter the Length is about 5.5 ; tail 3 ; wing 1.75 ; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .65 ; in summer the tail measures but slightly over 2 inches and the total Length is reduced to about 4.7.
Distribution. Occurs in Sind along the Eastern Kara and at Sukkur, and is found again in the Nepal Terai and the Bhutan Doars, extending up the Assam Valley to Sadiya. From the foot of the Himalayas the range of this bird extends throughout Bengal to Calcutta, and on the east to the extreme southern end of Tenasserim and on to Singapore.
Habits, &c. This species frequents swamps, the banks of rivers and canals, and grassy plains which are low and liable to inundation. It breeds from May to September, constructing an oval nest of grass with an aperture near the top and lined with the finest grass-stems.
The nest is built in low jungle, generally near water. The eggs, usually four in number, are a bright mahogany-red and measure .56 by .46.