847. Sylvia nana nana

(847) Sylvia nana nana.

The Desert-Warbler.

Curruca nana Hemp. & Ehr., Symb. Phys., Aves., cc (1833) (Sinai). Sylvia affinis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 396.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. Forehead to lower back, scapulars and wing-coverts fawn-brown; rump and upper tail-coverts pale rufous ; central tail-feathers rufous with black shafts, the next two pairs dark brown with rufous edges, the next pair brown with white tips and edges, the next with far more white and the outermost pair almost wholly white; lores and round the eye almost white ; wings brown, the feathers edged with rufescent-fawn; whole lower plumage pale buffy-white, whitest on the throat and chin, darkest on the posterior flanks, abdomen and under tail-coverts.

Colours of soft parts. Iris white to pale yellow; bill pale horny-brown above, yellowish-fleshy below; legs and feet straw-yellow.

Measurements. Total length about 125 mm.; wing 54 to 61.5 mm.; tail 43 to 50 mm.; tarsus 19 mm.; culmen 8 to 9 mm.

Distribution. Breeding distribution not certainly known; probably Transcaspia, Turkestan, South and East Persia, and Baluchistan. In Winter through the more arid parts of North-West India, Sind, Rajputana and Punjab.

Nidification. Nothing recorded. A clutch of eggs taken in Baluchistan on the borders of Sind which were sent to Mr. J. Stewart and given by him to me, are typical little White throats' eggs, pale cream with small grey and brown blotches chiefly at the larger end where they form indefinite caps. They measure 17.0 x 12.6; 16.9 X 13.3 and 17.5 x 13.3 mm. They were taken at the end of April but no description of the nest was sent. Doig was undoubtedly wrong in believing they bred in Sind, although they do breed in the adjoining hills of Baluchistan.

Habits. This little Warbler is essentially a bird of the most arid deserts and stony bare hills. As Ticehurst remarks: " It is found in such barren spots as no other self-respecting Sylvia would deign to haunt." It arrives in September, leaving again in March and early April. It has the usual habits of the genus and even in sandy wastes, with hardly any cover but a few scanty bushes or tufts of coarse grass, it manages to elude observation to a wonderful extent.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.2 1924.
Title in Book: 
847. Sylvia nana nana
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Desert Warbler
Asian Desert Warbler
Sylvia nana
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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