282. Molpastes bengalensis.
The Bengal Red-vented Bulbul.
Ixos cafer, v. pygaeus, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 84 (descr. nulla, 1844). Pycnonotus bengalensis, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xiv, p. 566 (1845); id. Cat. p. 209. Pycnonotus pygaeus (Hodgs.), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 239; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 93 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. ii, p. 178; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vi, p. 128. Molpastes pygaeus (Hodgs.), Hume, N. & E. p. 290; Cripps, S. F. vii, p. 281; Hume, Cat. no. 461; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 296. Molpastes bengalensis (Blyth), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 174.
The Common Bulbul, Jerd.; Bulbul, Hind.; Kala Bulbul, Beng.; Mancliph-pho, Lepch.; Paklom, Bhut.
Coloration. Resembles M. haemorrhous in general appearance. Differs in having the ear-coverts chocolate-brown, and, with this exception, the whole head, neck, upper back, chin, throat, and upper breast deep glossy black ; the lower breast black, margined with white ; and the remainder of the lower plumage ashy brown, except the under tail-coverts, which are, as usual, crimson; the lower back blackish margined with grey.
Iris brown; bill and legs black (Cockburn).
Length about 9 ; tail 4.2; wing 4.2; tarsus 1; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. The lower ranges of the Himalayas from Kumaun to the head of the Assam valley; Oudh ; Northern Behar ; Bengal, east of the longitude of Burdwan; Assam and its hill-ranges; Dacca; Cachar; Tipperah. I have also seen a specimen from Manipur, where, however, M. burmanicus is the prevailing species. Jerdon asserts that this Bulbul extends to Central India, north of the Nerbudda river. This may be the case, but I have myself seen no specimen from any locality other than those above mentioned. In the Himalayas it is found up to about 7000 feet.
Habits, &c. This Bulbul appears to breed from April to June, and probably both before and after that period. Its mode of nidification appears to differ in no respect from that of M. haemorrhous. The eggs measure about .95 by .7.