382. Franklinia gracilis.
Franklin's Wren- Warbler.
Prinia gracilis, Frankl. P. Z. S. 1831, p. 119; Blyth, Cat. p. 143; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 172 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 341; id. S. F. iii, p. 136 ; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 641; Hume, Cat. no. 536; Brooks, S. F. viii, p. 476; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 216. Prinia hodgsoni, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiii, p. 376 (1844) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 143; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 322 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 173; Hume, N. & E. p. 342; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 136; Legge, S. F. iii, p. 203 ; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 641; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 348; Oates, S. F. vii, p. 48; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 523; Hume, Cat. no. 538; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 217 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 208. Prinia rufula, Godw.-Aust. P. Z. S. 1874, p. 47 ; id. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. ii, p. 165, pl. ix, fig. 2; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 397 ; id. Cat. no. 536 ter. Cisticola gracilis (Frankl.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 253; Oates, B. B. i, p. 119. Franklinia gracilis (Frankl.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd cd. i, p. 240.
Franklin's Wren- Warbler; the Malabar Wren- Warbler, Jerd.
Coloration. In summer the upper plumage, sides of the head, wings, and tail are ashy grey, the wings edged with pale rufous, the tail with a subterminal patch of brown on each feather and tipped with whitish; ear-coverts whitish in front, greyish behind; cheeks, chin, throat, abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts white; breast ashy; under wing-coverts and axillaries white.
In winter the upper plumage and tail are rufous-brown ; the wings brown, broadly edged with rufous; the tail with subterminal dark patches and white tips; under plumage white, tinged with fulvous ; a whitish line over the lores reaching to the eye.
Iris hazel-red; edges of eyelids orange; legs yellowish orange ; claws horn-colour; bill dark brownish black; mouth black. After the breeding-season the mouth becomes flesh-coloured and the edges of the eyelids change to plumbeous.
Length 4.5; tail 1.9; wing 1.8; tarsus .7; bill from gape .55; in winter the tail is longer, measuring about 2'4 inches, and the total Length of the bird is correspondingly increased.
Distribution. The whole of the Empire and Ceylon, except Sind and the more desert portions of Rajputana. This species is also absent apparently from Central and Southern Tenasserim. With these exceptions it is generally spread over the whole country. It ascends the Himalayas and other mountains to a considerable elevation, for I have seen specimens collected in Kashmir, at Murree, and Darjiling, in Native Sikkim, and at Shillong. It is everywhere a constant resident except on the higher parts of the hills, which it probably abandons on the approach of winter.
Habits, &c. F. gracilis frequents forests and wooded parts of the country, as well as grass-lands. It breeds throughout the rains, constructing a nest of grass in the cavity formed by a leaf, the edges of which are skilfully stitched together. The eggs, three in number, are pale blue, spotted with reddish brown, or sometimes entirely unspotted, and measure .58 by .42.