107. Psittiparus gularis transfluvialis

(107) Psittiparus gularis transfluvialis Hartert.
Psittiparus gularis transfluvialis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 118.
This Southern race of Grey-headed Parrot-Bill breeds throughout the hills of Assam South of the Brahmapootra ; the Chin, Kachin and other hills to Central Burma. They are very common in Assam between 2,500 and 7,000 feet, when once you know their habits and how and where to look for them. In the Chin Hills also Mackenzie obtained a wonderful series of their nests and eggs between 2,000 and 5,000 feet. In Burma Mackenzie and Hopwood found them breeding almost entirely in the last week of April and the first two weeks of May but in Assam, though most eggs may have been laid during those three weeks, I continued to find nests with fresh eggs, incubated eggs or young until the end of June and I have one set marked “ 9. 7. 08.”
The principal differences between this bird’s nidification and that of the Red-headed Parrot-Bill are that the latter breeds at lower elevations and perhaps keeps more exclusively to reeds and bamboos on which to fasten its nest.
Most of the nests of the present bird which I found personally were taken in evergreen forest at an elevation of about 4,000 feet and nearly all of them were built on small saplings between 6 and 10 feet up ; the saplings themselves rather bare but with dense vegetation surrounding them. A specially favoured stretch of virgin forest was one which grew on the very steep side of a hill, much broken up with rocky ravines and huge jutting boulders. Here every year we found two or three nests within a space of a few hundred yards. Although within the area of short rainfall, some¬thing between 25 and 50 inches a year, the forest was always cool and damp and the birds haunted the most cool and shady spots. The nests were like that described by Gammie, very neat, compact cups of grass, well bound with wild silk and cobwebs and often having a fluffy substance outside, probably taken from the pith of coarse grasses. Once or twice I found dark moss-roots or very fine black rhizomorph used for the lining but in the great majority of cases the lining was of the very finest grass-stems and shreds of grass-bark, yellowish in colour like the outside.
The parent birds were very shy, nearly always slipping off the nest before we could spot them but, if we hid and kept quiet, they would return very quickly and it was usually only the work of a few minutes to trap both parents and, after examination, release them. I have known a pair of these birds lay a second time in a nest on which they had been caught and the eggs removed, but generally after the loss of their first clutch they build a new nest within a few yards of the old one.PSITTIPARUS GULARIS TRANSFLUVIALIS.
The Burmese Grey-headed Parrot-Bill. (North Cachar, 26.4.91.)
The description of the eggs of the three preceding Parrot-Bills suffices for this also.
The average of seventy-one eggs is 21.1 x 15.9 mm. : maxima.23.0 x 17.0 and 22.0 x 17.3 mm. ; minima 19.3 x 14.9 and 20.7 x 14.3 mm.
It is curious that eggs taken in Burma average longer yet more narrow than those taken in Assam, of which forty average 20.7 x 16-2 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
107. Psittiparus gularis transfluvialis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Harterts Parrot Bill
Psittiparus gularis transfluvialis
Vol. 1

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