604. Rhipidura albifrontata.
The White-browed Fantail Flycatcher.
Rhipidura albofrontata, Frankl. P. Z. S. 1831, p. 116; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 145; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 655; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 338; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 412; Oates, B. B. i, p. 268; id. in Hume's N.& E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 31. Rhipidura aureola, Less. Traits, p. 390 (1831). Leucocerca albofrontata (Franhl.), Blyth, Cat. p. 206; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 452; Hume, N. & E. p. 201. Leucocerca aureola (Less.), Hume, S. F. i, p. 436, iii, p. 104; id. Cat. no. 292; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 160. Leucocerca burmanica, Hume, S. F. iX, p. 175, footnote (1880).
The White-browed Fantail, Jerd.; Macharya, Hind. in the South ; Manati, Mal.; Hasan-pitta, Tel.
Coloration. Male. Crown, lores, ear-coverts, and the feathers round the eye black; forehead and a very broad supercilium to the nape white ; upper plumage and wings ashy brown, the wing-coverts tipped with white ; tail brown, all but the median pair of feathers tipped white, progressively more and more so to the outermost feather, which is almost entirely white; cheeks, chin, and throat black, each feather broadly terminated with white, except on the lower throat, where the white is reduced to narrow margins; sides of the breast black; remainder of lower plumage white.
Female. Very similar to the male, but browner above.
The young resemble the adult, but the back and wing-coverts are margined with rufous.
Bill, legs, and feet black; iris brown.
Length about 7; tail 3.7; wing 3.2; tarsus .8; bill from gape .7.
Birds of this species from Burma are characterized by a nearly total absence of white spots on the wing-coverts and by the presence of more white on the chin and throat; to this race Hume has given the name of burmanica. I do not propose to keep it distinct, as the specimens of this species in the British Museum from Burma are very few, and the characters pointed out above may prove to be accidental or variable.
Distribution. The whole Empire, ascending the Himalayas to 4000 or 5000 feet. This species is apparently rare from Assam down to Tenasserim, but is found in suitable localities all over the tract. It occurs in Ceylon, but not, so far as is known, in the Andamans and Nicobars.
Habits, &c. Breeds from February to August, having two or more broods. The nest, composed of fine grass and coated with cobwebs, is generally placed on a stout branch of a tree, or sometimes in a fork, and is cup-shaped. The eggs, usually three in number, are white or cream-coloured, marked with greyish brown, and measure about .66 by .51.