(405) Molpastes leucogenys leucogenys.
THE WHITE-CHEEKED BULBUL.
Brachypus leucogenys Gray, Hardw. 111. Ind. ZooL, ii, p. 35 (1830) (Darjiling). Molpastes leucogenys. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 272.
Vernacular names. Manglio-kur or Mankliph-kur (Lepcha); Kundghara (Beng.) ; Painju (Chamba).
Description. Forehead and crest hair-brown, each feather narrowly edged with greyish white; lores black, with a white line above them ; cheeks, round the eye, chin and throat black ; ear-coverts white, with a black patch behind them and another patch below them striped white and brown; upper plumage olive-brown, the hinder part and sides of the neck barred with blackish, and the centres of the feathers brown; wings brown, the feathers edged with olive-brown ; tail brown on the basal half, black on the terminal half and all the feathers except the two middle ones tipped with white; lower plumage pale earthy-brown, whitish on the ab¬domen; lower tail-coverts bright sulphur-yellow; edge of wing white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown or hazel; bill black ; legs and feet brown to blackish brown, occasionally with a plumbeous shade.
Measurements. Length about 200 mm.; wing 80 to 93 mm.; tail about 85 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm,; culmen about 14 to 16 mm.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Afghanistan and the extreme North-West to Bhutan and the hills of Assam, North of the Brahmaputra as far East as the Dihang River, whence I have had specimens sent me for identification.
Nidification. The White-cheeked Bulbul breeds from May to July at all heights from 2,500 to 7,000 feet, making a nest very similar to that of the Red-vented birds but generally less solid and well-built and decidedly smaller. It is made of the usual materials, grass, leaves, fine twigs and stems of plants mixed with odd scraps of moss, lichen and roots and lined either with fine roots or grass. It is placed low down in a bush or small tree, seldom more than 5 or 6 feet above the ground and sometimes within a foot of it. The site selected may be either in a garden or a compound or in light jungle and low scrub.
The eggs are similar to those of the List species but, perhaps, average longer in shape and duller in tint and markings. 100 average 21.6 x 16.1 mm. and the extremes in length and breadth are 24.6 x 10.8, 24.0 x 18.0 and 19.0 x 15.2 mm. The full clutch is either three or four eggs, more often the former.
Habits. Though found constantly wherever there are villages and cultivation, this Bulbul is occasionally found haunting nullahs and ravines which are comparatively well-wooded. This is especially the case round about Mussoorie. It is found at all heights from 2,500 up to 7,500 feet and even higher than this near Simla, where Mr. P. Dodsworth took many nests.