(845) Sylvia communis icterops.
The Indian White-throat,
Sylvia icterops Menetr., Cat. rata. Caucas., i, p. 34 (1832) (Tabysch). Sylvia cinerea. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 395.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Whole upper plumage rather grey russet-brown, wing-feathers edged with pale rufous-fulvous; a ring round the eye white; tail dark brown, edged paler and the outermost pair almost all white, more or less faintly mottled with brown; lores and ear-coverts like the back ; under surface white suffused with vinous-buff on breast and flanks; under tail-coverts very pale fawn.
In Summer birds are more grey and less russet than in Winter.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; bill yellowish-horny or dusky horny-brown above, paler and fleshy below; legs and feet yellowish brown.
Measurements. Wing 72 to 78 mm.; tail 52 to 62 mm.; tarsus 28 to 29 mm.; culmen 10 to 11 mm.
The Indian White-throat is much less russet-brown than is S. c. communis with less rufous on the wings.
Distribution. Caucasus to Persia, Transcaspia, Turkestan, West Siberia to the Altai Mts. and Yenesei, in Winter to South Arabia and India. In the latter country it wanders as far South as Mt. Aboo and Deesa and as far East as Cawnpore. Ticehurst writes of it as a common migrant through Sind in September and October.
Nidification. The nest is like that of the Common White-throat, a flimsy untidy little cup made of grass-stems, roots, weed-stems, and a few scraps of dead leaves, lined with the finest grass-stems, It is placed in low bushes or hedges in gardens or in tangles of roses and weeds. The eggs seem to be always four in number and cannot be separated from those of the typical form. The groundcolour of the few I have seen is white to olive-grey, and they are stippled and spotted all over with darker grey-brown, in some cases with larger blotches. The markings often form a ring at the larger end. Thirty-nine eggs average 18.5 x 14.5 mm.: maxima 20.0 X 14.1 and 18.6 x 15.3 mm.; minima 17.2 x14.3 and 18.6 x 13.8 mm.
Habits. Apparently very much the same as those of the European race, haunting gardens, brushwood, etc., and singing from the tops of bushes.