(408) Xanthixus flavescens flavescens.
Pycnonotus flavescens Blyth, J. A. S. B., xiv, p. 568 (1845) (Arrakan). Xanthixus flavescens. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 275.
Vernacular names. Dao bulip-gurrmo (Cachari).
Description. Forehead and crown dark brown, the feathers of the front half of the crown edged with grey, those of the hinder half with olive-green; upper plumage olive-brown tinged with flavescent on the rump ; wings olive-brown; edges of quill-feathers olive-green; tail olive-brown, shafts rather darker brown, the three outer pairs of tail-feathers faintly tipped with yellowish white; lores black; a short supercilium from base of upper mandible yellowish white; cheeks and ear-coverts greenish grey; chin pale grey; throat, breast and flanks grey, slightly suffused with yellow on the lower breast; abdomen dull yellowish; rent and under tail-coverts bright yellow; edge of wing and under wing-coverts fulvous yellow.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill, legs and feet black.
Measurements. Total length about 205 mm.; wing 81 to 87 mm.; tail about 100 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen about 10 mm.
Distribution. Assam, South of the Brahmaputra as far East as the Naga Hills, Manipur, Lushai, Chin Hills and Arrakan.
Nidification. In Assam and the Chin Hills Blyth's Bulbul breeds between 3,500 and 7,000 feet in April, May and June, but nests and birds sent me from the Arrakan Yomas were taken at about. 3,000 feet in February and March.
They are forest birds, their nests being generally placed in quite low bushes and carefully concealed and as the bird slips out very silently when disturbed, the nests are hard to find. In shape they are shallow cups very neatly made of grass, fine twigs, weed steins, an odd leaf, scraps of moss or lichen and a few coarse roots. The lining is nearly always the flowering end of a coarse grass, bright tan in colour. The bush selected is always one in forest or thick scrub, the rare exceptions being in mixed scrub- and bamboo-jungle.
They lay either two or three eggs, most often the former. These are typical Bulbul's eggs but very finely freckled or stippled instead of blotched, and, whilst the markings are generally very profuse everywhere, they are often much paler and pinker than they are in Molpastes. There are sometimes about the larger end a few short lines of darker reddish brown or purplish black. In shape they are long, rather blunt ovals with fragile, glossless shells. 100 eggs average 23.8x16.4 mm., the greatest and least lengths being 26.8 x 17.4 and 18.7 X 15.2 mm. and the broadest and most narrow 26.8xl7.4 and 21.8 x 15.0 mm. respectively.
Habits. Blyth's Bulbul may rarely be found in valleys of the higher ranges as low down as 1,500 feet but normally they are birds of the higher hills between 3,500 and 7,500 feet. In winter they frequent more open country, such as patches of cultivation, light forest, bamboo- and scrub-jungle round cultivation, open glades and light forest near streams and tracks but in the breeding season they retire to the deeper forests. They may be found in flocks of anything from half-a-dozen to over thirty and resent other birds feeding with or near them, often quarrelling even amongst themselves over food and other matters of interest. They are not noisy birds and seem to have no song, most of their conversational notes being much like those of the last genus. They feed on both insects and fruit and frequent bushes, low-trees and high trees alike in their quest for them.