608. Pratincola caprata.
The Common Pied Bush-Chat.
Motacilla caprata, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 335 (1766). Saxicola bicolor, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 92. Pratincola caprata (Linn.), Blyth, Cat. p. 169; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 284 ; Jerd. B. 1. ii, p. 123 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 312 ; Anders. Yunnan Expsd., Aces, p. 617; Hume, Cat. no. 481; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 195 (part.) ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 281; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 199; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 41.
The White-winged Black Robin, Jerd.; Pidha, Kala pidha, Hind.; Kumpa nalanchi, Tel.
Coloration. Male. In the summer the whole plumage is black, except the lower part of the rump, the upper and lower tail-coverts, and those feathers of the wing nearest the body, which are white, the latter forming a very conspicuous patch on the wing.
In the autumn the black feathers are more or less fringed with rufous-brown.
Female. The upper plumage grey, with dark brown mesial streaks, the back tinged with rufous ; upper tail-coverts ferruginous ; tail black; chin and throat brownish grey; breast, upper part of the abdomen, and sides wood-brown with dark streaks ; lower part of the abdomen the same but without streaks; under tail-coverts rufescent; lores and feathers in front of the eye mixed with white ; quills and the larger coverts brown narrowly edged with rufescent, the other coverts brown broadly edged with light buff ; under wing-coverts bright buff with dark centres. In the winter the grey margins on the upper plumage are so ample that hardly any of the dark brown centres are visible ; otherwise there is no change.
The young are fulvous -brown, mottled all over with dusky ; in the young male the white patch on the wing makes its appearance from the earliest period.
Iris brown; eyelids plumbeous; bill black ; mouth dusky; legs and claws black.
Length about 5.5 ; tail 2.2 ; wing 2.8 ; tarsus .85 ; bill from gape .7.
Distribution. A resident species throughout the whole of India and Burma, except the southernmost part of the peninsula of India and portions of Tenasserim. This bird ascends the Himalayas np to 8000 feet, probably in summer only. It is found in the south as far at least as Maddur in Mysore. It is more or less abundant throughout the peninsula and through Assam and the Burmese provinces to Pegu. In Tenasserim Davison observed this bird in the northern and central portions, but not in the extreme south, and Wardlaw Ramsay procured it in Karennee.
Outside Indian limits this species extends to Persia on the west, and on the east and south to the Philippines and Java.
Habits, &c. Breeds from March to June, constructing a flat, and frequently shapeless, nest in a hole in the ground, in a bank or in a well, composed of grass, roots, and hair. The eggs, usually four in number, are pale bluish green, marked in various ways with brownish red, and measure about .67 by .55.