(703) Rhipidura albicollis albicollis.
The White-throated Fantail Flycatcher.
Platyrhynchus albicollis Vieill., Nouv. Diet. d'Hist. Nat., xxvii, p. 13 (1818) (Bengal). Rhipidura albicollis. Blanf. & Oates, ii. p. 53.
Vernacular names. Chok-dayal (Beng.); Chak-dil (N.W. Provinces); Nam-dit-nom (Lepcha).
Description. Forehead, fore crown, lores, o\er and under the eye, ear-coverts and front of chin black; a short supercilium white; the crown of the head changes gradually into the sooty-brown of the rest of the plumage, slightly lighter and more ashy below; throat white, the feathers with black bases, the white produced as a semi-collar up the sides of the neck; all but the central pair of tail-feathers are tipped with white.
Colours of soft parts. Iris deep brown; the eyelids grey; bill, legs and feet black.
Measurements. Total length about 185 to 195 mm.; wing 73 to 87 mm.; tail 95 to 115 mm.; tarsus about 175 to 185 mm.; culmen about 10 mm.
Young Dark brown above and below, the feathers edged and barred above with rufous and edged below with the same ; the wing-coverts are edged with. rufous; the white chin is absent in the very young and the white supercilium is small and broken.
Young birds in otherwise adult plumage are generally rather pale and rusty below.
Birds from the Southern Punjab, Central Provinces and Chota Nagpur are very pale and very rusty below, probably because they are all young birds. My JR. a. stanleyi from the Abor Hills cannot be maintained, the supposed differences in its plumage being due partly to make up and partly to individual variation.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Murree to Eastern Assam, Burma, Shan States, Yunnan, Annam, Siam, Cochin Chin, Hainan and Malay States. Birds from Sumatra have been separated as R. a. atrata and Bornean birds seem to agree with these.
Nidification. Differs in no way from that of the species' R. aureola. The nest is the same beautiful little compact cone or cup of fine, cobweb-covered grass placed in similar positions but perhaps more often found in open forest or on the extreme outskirts of evergreen forest. In the Khasia Hills and Chin Hills it also breeds in the lowest ranges of pine-forests between 4,000 and 5,000 feet. Eggs are laid from March to July, but the greatest number in May. They number three or four and are quite indistinguishable from those of the other species. One hundred eggs average 17.3 x 13.0 mm.: maxima 18.2 x 13.5 mm.; minima 16.1 X 13.0 and 16.9 x 12.0 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus, but it ascends the Himalayas to a greater height than does It. aureola. It is found near Murree, Simla States and in Garhwal constantly up to 7,000 feet and more rarely up to 9,000 feet.