237. Pteruthius erythropterus.
The Red-winged Shrike-Tit.
Lanius erythropterus, Vigors, P. Z. 8. 1831, p. 22; Gould, Cent. pl. 11. Pteruthius erythropterus ( Vig.), Blyth, Cat. p. 99; Ilorsf. 8c M. Cat. i, p. 172 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 245; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 49; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 108; Cock & Marsh. S. F. i, p. 356; Hume, N. & E. p. 389; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xlv, pt. ii, p. 81; Hume, Cat. no. 609; id. S. F. xi, p. 243 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 150. Ptererythrius erythropterus (Vig.), Gadow, Cat. B. M. viii, p. 113.
Coloration. Male. Forehead, crown, nape, lores, ear-coverts, and under the eye black; a broad white supercilium from the eye to the nape; upper plumage bluish grey, some of the upper tail-coverts tipped black; tail and wing-coverts black; primaries and secondaries dark brown, edged with glossy black and tipped white ; tertiaries chestnut; lower plumage very pale greyish white, the sides of the throat, the centre of the abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts pure white; lower part of the flanks pale rusty; under wing-coverts white.
Female. The forehead, crown, nape, and sides of the head bluish grey the ear-coverts with paler shafts, the lores aud round the eye more or less dusky ; indications of a white supercilium, very ill-defined; upper plumage olive-grey; smaller wing-coverts black edged with yellowish; greater coverts yellow on the outer webs, black on the inner; primary-coverts and winglet black; the earlier primaries edged with hoary grey, the other quills edged with yellow ; tertiaries chestnut; central tail-feathers green, the others black, with the greater portion of the outer webs green and tipped - yellow ; lower plumage entirely pale buff.
The young resemble the female, and the male assumes the adult plumage in the September of the first year.
Legs and feet fleshy, in some pinker, in some whiter; claws a darker or paler brown; soles yellowish; lower mandible and edges of upper from gape to below nares pale blue or plumbeous ; rest of upper mandible black, occasionally horny black; irides greyish lavender, deep grey, deep blue-grey, greenish grey, grey-blue, pearly blue-grey, pale green speckled with white, and varying a little in every specimen (Hume). Iris amber (Godwin-Austen).
Length 6.5 to 8; tail about2.5; wing 3.3 ; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape .85.
Distribution. The Himalayas from the Hazara country to Assam ; the Khasi and Naga hills; Manipur. From 2500 (Jerdon) to 10,000 feet (Stoliczka).
Habits, &c. Breeds in May, constructing a cradle-like nest of moss and hair in a fork of a branch near the top of a high tree. The eggs, usually three in number, are whitish speckled with brownish red and purple. One egg measured .9 by .68.