837. Sehoenieola platyura

(837) Schoenicola platyura Jerdon.
Schoenicola platyura, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 437.
This Grass-Warbler is found in the Nilgiris and Palnis, and on the West Coast from Travancore North to Belgaum and Kanara. It is possible that it should be divided into a large pale Northern race and a dark Southern race, but more material is required before this can be decided.
In the South of India this species seems to frequent much the same kind of cover as does the preceding bird in the North, such as small patches of thick grass, or grass and scrub, in cultivated areas and round villages. A favourite resort is the long thick grass which grows round rice-cultivation, or on the banks which divide the fields of the different owners.
Butler discovered it breeding in Belgaum in 1880, where he took nests, in September, built in tussocks of grass growing beside cultiva¬tion. The first nest he found he describes as “a good-sized ball of coarse blades of dry grass, with an entrance on one side, built in long grass, about a foot from the ground.” Another nest, found on the 19th September “was precisely similar to the others, but with the entrance-hole perhaps nearer the top, though still on one side. The situation in the grass was the same.”
Bell also took many nests in Belgaum in September. Two nests taken by him on the 11th and 22nd of that month, and given to me, were accompanied by a note which reads :—“The nests were balls of grass, mostly coarse blades and largo strips, with a few finer stems inside. The openings, rather large and untidy, were on one side. They were built in thick tussocks of ‘sarpat’ grass about 12" or 18" from the ground and pretty well concealed.”
The full clutch of eggs seems to be either three or four, and all Butler’s series, which were in twos only, were probably incomplete clutches, for the nest is deserted directly it is found, whether handled or not.
The eggs are white, in some specimens very faintly tinged with cream. The surface is covered with tiny specks, of reddish-brown, with equally numerous secondary specks of pale grey. They are more thickly disposed at the larger end but are nowhere sufficiently numerous to hide the ground, though in the most densely marked eggs they form small caps at the larger extremity.
In shape the eggs are broad, blunt ovals ; the texture is fine and close and many eggs are highly glossy.
The ten eggs I have been able to measure average 19.4 x 14.7 mm. : maxima 20.0 x 15.1 and 19.5 x 15.3 mm. ; minima 19.0 x 14.1 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
837. Sehoenieola platyura
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Broad Tailed Grass Warbler
Broad-tailed Grassbird
Schoenicola platyurus
Vol. 2

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