316. Sitta cinnamomeiventris.
The Cinnamon-bellied Nuthatch.
Sitta cinnamoventris, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xi, p. 459; id. Cat. p. 189; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii,V 722. Sitta cinnamomeoventris, Jerd. B. I. i, p. 387; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt, ii, p. 99, xiv, pt. ii, p. 71 ; Hume, Cat. no. 251; Gadow, Cut. B. M. viii, p. 351; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 263; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 86 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 193.
Sisi, Hind. ; Sidhyi-phip, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. The lores, cheeks, ear-coverts, and chin white, delicately barred with brown ; a broad black band from the nostrils through the eyes to the shoulders ; upper plumage and wing-coverts' ashy blue; quills black edged with ashy blue, the edgings on the primaries being confined to the median part of the web ; the secondaries more broadly margined, the tertiaries almost wholly ashy blue; middle tail-feathers ashy blue, the next two black, edged and tipped with ashy blue, the others with a subterminal white patch on the inner webs, and generally with a white band on the outer web of the outermost; sides of neck and the lower plumage intensely deep cinnamon-chestnut; under tail-coverts white, narrowly tipped with chestnut, the bases of the feathers ashy; under wing-coverts black, followed by a white patch at the base of the primaries only visible from below.
Female. Similar to the male, except that the lower plumage is dull pale chestnut.
Bill black; base of lower mandible and of culmen bluish grey-horny ; iris hazel-brown; feet dingy plumbeous (Scully).
Length about 6; tail 1.8; wing 3.2 ; tarsus .7; bill from gape 1.
Distribution. Throughout the Himalayas from Murree to Dibrugarh at moderate altitudes. Jerdon found this species in Sikhim from 2000 to 6000 feet; Scully states that it is common in the central woods of the Nepal valley, and Brooks says that in the lower hills between Mussooree and Gangotri it is the prevailing Nuthatch. Godwin-Austen procured it in the Khasi hills, Hume on the Eastern hills of Manipur, and my men got it at Bhamo in Upper Burma.
Habits, &c. Gammie found the nest in Sikhim at 2000 feet elevation. It was in a hole of a decaying bamboo about twenty feet from the ground, and contained four eggs, which were not preserved. The joint of the bamboo which contained the nest was filled up with alternate layers of green moss and bark. The nest, which was placed on the top of this, was a small pad composed of fine moss and fur mixed with a few feathers and the wings of insects.