(546) Tarsiger chrysaeus chrysaeus.
The Golden- Bush-Robin.
Tarsiger chrysaeus Hodgs., P. Z. S , 1845, p. 28 (Nepal); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 104.
Vernacular names. Manshil-pho (Lepcha).
Description.— Adult male. Forehead to lower back olive-green ; lores, a line on the forehead, cheeks and ear-coverts black; a narrow supercilium, lesser wing-coverts, scapulars and sides of the back, rump, upper tail-coverts and whole lower plumage bright orange, the feathers with very narrow edges of brown, sometimes obsolete or absent; central tail-feathers black occasionally with narrow orange edges, lateral feathers orange with broad black tips, greater coverts and inner secondaries black broadly edged with orange, other quills narrowly edged with the same.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown or black; bill dark horny-brown, commissure and lower mandible yellow; legs and feet pale fleshy, fleshy-yellow or olive-yellow.
Measurements. Total length about 155 mm.; wing 65 to 69 mm.; tail 49 to 53 mm.; tarsus 29 to 30 mm.; culmen 11 mm.
Female. "Whole upper plumage and visible portions of wing olive-green ; median pair of tail-feathers olive-brown ; the lateral feathers golden-yellow tipped with brown and the outermost pair edged with brown on the outer web; forehead, lores and a line round eye mixed olive-green and yellow; cheeks and ear-coverts olive-brown with pale shafts; whole lower plumage yellow, orange and darker on breast, fore-neck and flanks.
Colours of soft parts as in male.
Measurements. Wing 62 to 68 mm.; tail 46 to 50 mm.-
Nestling. Whole plumage dark olive-brown; above, each feather has a narrow central streak of golden-fulvous; below, the brown is reduced to a marginal band and the golden-yellow occupies the whole of the centre of the feather; the abdomen, vent and under tail-coverts are almost wholly yellow.
Distribution. Nepal, Sikkim to Eastern Assam North of the Brahmaputra; Khasia Hills and Cachar Hills South of that river, Manipur, Chin Hills, Yunnan, Annam and W. China.
Nidification. The Golden Bush-Robin breeds from May (Chin Hills) to the beginning of July (Sikkim) and on into August in Nepal. The nest is made principally of moss and moss-roots but at times a good deal of other material such as grass, leaves, etc., is incorporated with it. The lining is of fur, hair or wool. The nest may be placed in any kind of hollow, in a bank among overhanging moss, ferns or other cover, in a hole in rocky wall or between boulders or in among the roots of a tree. The eggs, four in number, are a beautiful skim-milk blue, the texture is fine and close but not hard or glossy and in shape they are broad ovals measuring about 20.5 x 15.1 mm. The eggs are not in the least like in character or in colour those of the last genus.
Habits. This is a quiet, retiring little bird so that in spite of its striking plumage it is very seldom seen. It keeps almost entirely to rather thick bush-jungle or evergreen forest, hopping quietly about on the ground occasionally uttering a soft little "chic chic." It is said to have a short sweet song in the breeding-season which it utters from the upper twigs of some low bush.