324. Sitta formosa.
The Beautiful Nuthatch.
Sitta formosa, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 933 (1843) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 189; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 387; Hume, Cat. no. 252; Gadow, Cat. B. M. viii, p. 357.
Tishe Kuyi gumbo, Lepch.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, nape, back, and the side of the neck black, streaked with cobalt-blue on the crown, nape, and lower back, with whitish blue on the upper back and sides of neck; sides of the head and chin fulvous-white, the feathers round the eye and over the ear-coverts more or less black at their bases; wings black; lesser wing-coverts, edges of the winglet, primary-coverts, primaries, and secondaries bright blue; the edges of the median and greater coverts and tertiaries white ; scapulars, back, and rump verdigris-blue; lower plumage dull chestnut; middle tail-feathers blue, with the portion near the shaft black; the next two pairs black, edged with blue; the others black, with white tips progressively larger, the margin of the tips of the exterior webs pale blue.
Bill blackish ; legs greenish horny, with yellow soles ; iris dark brown (Jerdon).
Length about 7.5; tail 2.3; wing 4; tarsus .85 ; bill from gape 1.
Distribution. Sikhim, probably not descending to a lower level than Darjiling, where Tickell, as recorded by Jerdon, procured a specimen. Mandelli's men procured a large series in Sikhim, and I note that they were killed both in summer and winter. This bird has been obtained at Asalu in the Khasi hills, and also at Toruputu Peak in the Daphla hills at 5000 feet, in both cases by Godwin-Austen.