271. Stachyris nigriceps coltarti

(271) Stachyris nigriceps coltarti Harington.
THE ASSAM BLACK-THROATED BABBLER.
Stachyris nigriceps coltarti, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 265.
This subspecies is extremely common throughout all the hills South of the Brahmapootra between 1,000 and 3,000 feet, descending in small numbers to the plains, though not breeding there, and ascending to 4,000 feet. From Assam it stretches through the Chin and Kachin Hills to the Northern Shan States but not to the Southern, where it is replaced by S. n. davisoni. It has also been recorded from Yunnan.
All the time I was in Assam I annually saw dozens of nests of this little Babbler, and so invariably are the nests- domed that I do not think that all this time a half-dozen cup-shaped nests were seen. In appearance, nature of site and jungle selected there is nothing to add to what has already been written about the Sikkim form. Among the more unusual nests which have been seen reference might be made to two made entirely, in their outer parts, of scraps of green bracken-fronds, really very beautiful nests and, because the edges of the fronds worked into one another, very compact little nests as well as beautiful.
The usual breeding season is April to June but I have taken nests in the end of March and others as late as the third week in August. Probably most pairs of birds have two broods.
The female seems to do most of the work of building the nest except the carriage of materials. The male constantly fusses round and looks very busy but, even when carrying the material, he drops two-thirds of his scraps before he gets them to her. Both birds incubate and I have trapped both sexes on the eggs.
Incubation, I believe, takes twelve days. In one nest the last of four eggs was laid on the 13th May and, when revisited on the 26th, all were hatched and looked some hours old. Another nest containing four eggs, the last laid 31st May or 1st June, had one egg hatching on the 12th June and the others chipping.
The eggs number four and rarely five. They are just like those of the preceding bird, and two hundred average 19.1 x 14.7 mm. : maxima 20.1 x 15.3 and 19.9 x 15.5 mm. ; minima 17.2 x 14.2 and 18.0 x 14.0 mm.
* Oberholser (1922) has separated the Burmese bird from the Malay under the name of Stachyris nigriceps dipera. I cannot distinguish between them.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
271. Stachyris nigriceps coltarti
Spp Author: 
Harington.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
271
Year: 
1932
Page No: 
226
Common name: 
Assam Black Throated Babbler
M_ID: 
24268
M_SN: 
Stachyris nigriceps coltarti
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
13469

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