(397) Alcurus striatus.
THE STRIATED GREEN BULBUL.
Trichophorus striatus Blyth, J. A. S.B., xi, p. 184 (1842) (Nepal). Alcurus striatus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 266.
Vernacular names. Senim-plek-pho (Lepcha); Ghichiam(Bhutea).
Description. Whole upper plumage and closed wings and tail olive-green, brownish on the crest, which in some specimens is almost a hair-brown; the feathers of the crown have white striae which are broadest and often yellowish on the forehead, narrowest on the longer crest-feathers, where they become little more than shaft-stripes; nape, upper back and scapulars broadly striated white, the striations becoming narrower towards the rump and ceasing altogether on the upper tail-coverts ; lores and chin yellow or orange-yellow; throat paler and duller yellow, the feathers tipped with dusky-brown; ear-coverts dark brown narrowly streaked with yellowish white; breast, sides of neck and flanks dark grey-brown broadly striated with yellow towards the abdomen, which is wholly of this colour; under tail-coverts yellow; under surface of the tail yellowish green; the greater wing-coverts are broadly margined with yellowish on the outer webs.
Colours of soft parts. Iris reddish brown to Indian-red or bright brick-red; bill dark horny, almost black; legs dark clear plumbeous, according to Davison sometimes dark brown.
Measurements. Length about 220 mm.; wing 102 to 112 mm.; tail 96 to 108 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen about 15 to 16 mm.
Distribution. Himalayas, Nepal to Assam both North and South of the Brahmaputra, Chin Hills, Kachin Hills to Yunnan, Manipur and hills of Central Burma to Tenasserim.
Rothschild has recently shown that Alcurus striates paulus described from Yunnan cannot stand as it is no smaller than those from Sikkim and elsewhere. The birds from Tenasserim possibly average 1 or 2 mm. less in wing measurement but the extremes are much the same, and as I can trace no difference in plumage there seems to be no sufficient ground for separating them. Birds of this species in abraded plumage differ from freshly plumaged birds far more than is generally the case and this must always be borne in mind when comparing specimens from different areas.
Nidification. The Striated Green Bulbul breeds between 4,000 and 8,000 feet, perhaps higher still, over the greater part of its known range, building a cup-shaped nest of roots and fine elastic twigs with a lining of fine grass stems. In some eases a few scraps of moss, spiders' egg-bags and a cobweb or two may be added but in dl roots and twigs form the main materials. The site selected is a thick bush or clump of the small bamboo which grows in amongst other trees and scrub and in all eases the nests are very well hidden, generally 3 or 4 feet only from the ground.
The tew eggs which have been found are of two types—the one like very exceptionally brown eggs of the Common Bengal Bulbul, the other with a white ground marked with numerous small freckles and blotches of pinkish red, more sparse towards the smaller end. They measure about 22*4 x 16*3 mm. It appears to be a late breeder, no eggs having been taken earlier than June except one by Mandelli in May.
Habits. The Striated Green Bulbul is a bird of high elevations only, not descending below 4,000 feet even in the cold weather. Jerdon says that it keeps much to the tops of high trees but in N. Cachar we found it frequenting smaller trees and scrub-jungle. Here it was restlessly moving about from one bush to another and when disturbed made its way into safety by short flights of a few yards at a time, although they are good flyers when really forced to take wing into the open, with a faster, more direct flight than most Bulbuls. Their principal note is " a loud, mellow whistle," as referred to by Jerdon but they are really rather silent birds on the whole. They consort in small flocks in the non-breeding season and eat fruits, seeds and insects.