104. Psittiparus rufieeps ruficeps

(104) Psittiparus ruficeps ruficeps (Blyth).
Psittiparus ruficeps ruficeps, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol i, p. 116.
The breeding range of this Parrot-Bill is from Sikkim to the extreme East of Assam, North of the Brahmapootra. Gammie obtained one nest in Native Sikkim at an elevation of 2,000 feet, containing three eggs, in May. He describes the nest as being in no way different from those found by myself later in North Assam. It was found “seated among and fastened to the spray of a bamboo near its top, and is a deep compactly built cup, measuring externally 3.5 inches wide and the same in depth ; internally 2.7 wide by 2.9 deep. The material used is particularly clean and new-looking, and has none of the second hand appearance of much of the building stuffs of many birds. The outer layer is of strips torn off large grass stalks and a very few cobwebs ; the lining of fine fibrous strips, or rather threads, of bamboo stems.”
The above description of Gammie’s is excellent and would stand for practically every one of the few nests I have taken myself. The compactness, neatness and yellowness of the nest have always been conspicuous features. In Assam the Brahmapootra is the dividing line between the two races North and South but the Northern race extends East beyond the Brahmapootra to the Dihong and the Dibong, as I obtained it in Sadiya. Here the nest was placed in a fork of a branch of a small sapling growing in evergreen forest at an elevation of about 1,200 feet. Two other nests taken by myself were placed in bamboos, not in high sprays like that taken by Gammie, but in clusters of fine twigs 5 or 6 feet from the ground.
Stevens found it breeding in North Lakhimpur “in dense thickets of reeds, ‘ekra’ and ‘toia,’ or wild cardamums, in 'hoolahs’ (wet pockets of jungle) and low lying ground, and also in the mixed grasses of the wide grass plains along the banks and bed of the Subansiri and other rivers.” Two nests sent to me, with three and two eggs respectively, were taken from such places on the 8th and 25th June, fastened to stout high reeds about 4 feet from the ground.
This bird breeds from late April to the end of June and from the level of the Plains up to some 4,000 feet.
The eggs number two or three, possibly rarely four as in the next race, and are of two types. In one the ground-colour is white to very pale clay-colour or dull creamy, marked with light to dark brown and with secondary markings of lavender or yellowish-grey. In the second type the ground is blue-grey or greenish-grey and the marks are of darker brown, often with a few nearly black and others a paler reddish-brown. In both types the marks consist of smudges and ill-defined blotches with here and there one bolder and more distinct from the rest, occasionally forming short broad lines. In fact many eggs are very like those of the English Blackcap. In all eggs the blotches are more numerous at the larger end and in a few they are confined entirely to this part of the egg, forming rings. The texture is rather fine, smooth but glossless and not very close, whilst in shape the eggs are broad obtuse ovals.
Twelve eggs average 22.6 x 16.7 mm. : maxima 23.4 x 16.1 and 23.1 x 17.5 mm. ; minima 22.0 x 16.2 and 23.4 x 16.1 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: 
104. Psittiparus rufieeps ruficeps
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Sikkim Red Headed Parrot Bill
White-breasted Parrotbill
Psittiparus ruficeps
Vol. 1

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith