(281) Stachyridopsis pyrrhops.
THE RED-BILLED BABBLER.
Stachyris pyrrhops Blyth, J. A. S. B., xiii, p. 379 (1844) (Nepal). Stachyrhidopsis pyrrhops. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 165.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Forehead and anterior half of crown fulvous, blending into the olive-brown of the upper plumage; the feathers of the forehead, crown and mantle dark-shafted; lores and chin black, the lower portion of the latter barred with white ; sides of the head fulvous; lower plumage rather brighter fulvous ; the sides of the body, flanks, thighs and under tail-coverts tinged with olivaceous.
Colours of soft parts. Iris red to blood-red; upper mandible brown, sometimes, probably in the breeding season, tinged with red, lower mandible fleshy-pink, reddish-fleshy or fleshy tinged with slate ; legs, feet and claws pale brownish-fleshy.
Measurements. Total length about 120 mm.; wing 50 to 53 mm.; tail about 55 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen about 10 to 11 mm.
Distribution. Himalayas, from Murree to Nepal.
Nidification. The Red-billed Babbler breeds from 3,000 to 6,000 feet or higher in Kashmir, making a nest of grass and reed leaves, either cup-shaped, semi-domed or completely covered in. It is nearly always placed low down in bushes in scrub-land or more or less open forest. The eggs are like those of the rest of the genus, three or four in number and measure on an average about 16.5 x 13.0 nun. The breeding reason is from the middle of April to the end of June.
Habits. These appear to be much the same as those of the last bird but they are never found below 3,000 feet and between 4,000 and 6,000 feet is their more usual elevation. They are said in winter to mix much with flocks of other birds and to have " a clear and musical note like the ringing of a tiny bell."