611. Pratincola leucura.
The White-tailed Bush-Chat.
Pratincola leucura, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 474 (1817) ; id. Cat. p. 170; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 126; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 270 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 183, iii, p. 135, v, p. 241; id. Cat. no. 484; Brooks, S. F. viii, p. 473; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 194; Oates, B. B. i, p. 280; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 200; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 191.
Khar-pidda, Hind, at Monghyr.
Coloration. Resembles P. maura very closely. The male P. leucura differs from the male P. maura in having the inner webs and the basal half of the outer webs of all the tail-feathers, except the middle pair, white, and the abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts also white.
The females, although indistinguishable from each other by mere description, may perhaps be separable by actual comparison of specimens if the plumage be in good order. In P. leucura the rufous of the upper tail-coverts and the lower plumage is much paler, in P. maura much darker ; P. leucura is also somewhat greyer and less rufous on the back.
Legs and feet black; bill black; iris brown (Hume).
Length about 5; tail 1.9; wing 2.6; tarsus .7; bill from gape .7.
Hume draws attention to the great difference in plumage between birds of this species from Sind and from Manipur. Considering, however, how very irregular the changes and tints of the plumage of these birds are, I do not think that there are any grounds for separating the Manipur from the Sind race.
Distribution. Sind ; the Terai and lower hills of Nepal and Sikhim; Eastern Bengal; Dacca; Tipperah; Mymensing; Manipur; Thayetmyo and the valley of the Irrawaddy immediately below this town ; Toungngoo ; Pahpoon in Tenasserim. There is little doubt that this species is a permanent resident in those places.
Habits, &c. This Bush-Chat is found invariably in or near swamps where there are reeds and grass.