(730) Tephrodornis pondiceriana affinis.
The Ceylon Wood-Shrike.
Tephrodornis affinis Blyth, J. A. S. B., xvi, p. 473 (1847) (Ceylon). Tephrodornis pondicerianus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 475 (part.).
Vernacular names. Ula pitta (Tel.)
Description. Differs from the Indian form in being much more grey and in having the white supercilium smaller. The tail is very short.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. "Wing 84 to 87 mm.; tail 49 to 56 mm.; tarsus about 18 mm.; culmen 16 to 19 mm.
Distribution. Ceylon only.
Nidification. Very similar to that of the preceding race. Messrs. W. E. Waite and W. A. A. Phillips describe the nest as a shallow cup of fibres decorated outside with chips of bark and lichen, and well bound with cobwebs to the fork of the tree in which it is placed. The eggs are quite indistinguishable from those of the other races, but only number two or three. Fifty eggs average 19.0 x 15.1 mm. : maxima 21.0 x 16.0 mm. ; minima 18.1 x 15.0 and 18.5 X 14.3 mm.
The breeding-season lasts from January to July.
Habits. This Wood-Shrike is found from the level of the Plains up to 5,000 feet and occasionally up to 6,000 feet. According to Legge, its habits are very different to those of its more northern cousins. It is less gregarious, being generally found in pairs and it often sallies after insects, catching them on the wing as Flycatchers do. It is said to have a pretty song constantly indulged in and to be very tame and confiding.