730. Tephrodornis pondieeriana afflnis

(730) Tephrodornis pondiceriana affinis Blyth.
Tephrodornis pondiceriana affinis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 313.
As its name implies, this race of the Small Wood-Shrike is restricted to Ceylon, where it is “rather locally distributed, but occurs over the low country and up to about 5,000 feet in the hills” ; rarely it straggles up to the highest ridges and peaks some 1,000 feet higher.
Wait, in his ‘Birds of Ceylon,’ from which the above is taken, also says, on p. 91 : “Generally found in low spreading trees, such as kagri or sariya, round village compounds, by the roadside, on the edge of jungles, etc. It is, for instance, fairly abundant in the avenues of sariya-trees Along the roads round Puttalam.”
In notes to me he adds :—“Breeds freely in and round Puttalam from January to April, occasionally later, in the avenues of suriya-trees along the roads leading out of the town. The nest is generally placed at no great height, and is built in the fork of two smallish branches. It is a small shallow cup, the outside very cleverly stuck over with flakes of lichen so as to make it look like an excrescence of the bark rather than a nest.”
Round about Matugama, at some 2,000 to 3,000 feet, Phillips found many nests built in small rubber-trees at heights varying from 8 to 20 feet from the ground. Here they were the same neat, small saucers, but were covered outside with scraps of bark like the branches and had no lichen on them. They were nearly all taken from March 1st to May 9th.
Tunnard writes of a nest found by him on a lichen-covered small flowering tree (Singhalese Ibonia) :—“The nest was a beautiful shallow little cup composed of lichen and bark fibres, felted all over outside with cobwebs ; there was no special lining.”
Eggs have been taken from the 12th January to the 28th June, on both these dates by Wait.
The number in a full clutch is two or three, the former more often than the latter, and in appearance the eggs go through all the variations mentioned as laid by the preceding race but, as a series, they are more boldly spotted, on a whiter, cleaner ground, like the eggs of the larger Wood-Shrikes. Buffy-tinted eggs are exceptional, greenish ones common.
In texture and shape they resemble the eggs of the other races.
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.
I have no notes on the period of incubation, methods of building, or what share the male bird takes in either operation.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
730. Tephrodornis pondieeriana afflnis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Ceylon Small Wood Shrike
Sri Lanka Woodshrike
Tephrodornis affinis
Vol. 2

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