731. Tephrodornis pondiceriana pallida

(731) Tephrodornis pondiceriana pallida Ticehurst.
THE SIND SMALL WOOD-SHRIKE.
Tephrodornis pondiceriana pallida, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 314.
Ticehurst gives the range of this Shrike as “Sind, Punjab, Simla, Rajputana, western parts of United and Central Provinces (Bull. B. O. C. vol. xli, p. 56, 1920) ; to this he adds (Ibis, 1922, p. 612) :— “It extends to Jodhpur, Mt. Aboo (Rajputana), south to Khandeish.” This Wood-Shrike appears to be rather more of a jungle bird than the other races. Ticehurst writes (vide supra):—“In the better culti¬vated parts of this province (Sind), especially in the ‘babool’ forests, the Wood-Shrike is tolerably common ; elsewhere it is hardly met with, though everywhere in the desert where ‘babool’ groves occur a few pairs may be found. It is quite resident, and is found throughout Sind right up to the Beluchi boundary, which seems to be the limit of its distribution westwards. The nesting season extends beyond the end of March to the end of June.”
Osmaston took a nest near Dehra Dun at 1,500 feet in May “in thin forest,” and again near Pachmarhi in April at 3,100 feet “in open dry hill forest.” Jesse, however, in the United Provinces, found them breeding in small trees in open country and round villages.
The nest is, of course, just the same as that built by the other races. Hume describes the only one he ever took as follows :— “The nest was in a fork of a ber tree (Zizyphus jujuba), on a small horizontal branch, about 5 feet from the ground. It was a broad shallow cup, somewhat oval interiorly, with the materials very compactly and closely put together. The basal portion and frame¬work of the sides consisted of very fine steins of some herbaceous plant, about the thickness of an ordinary pin. It was lined with a little wool and a quantity of silky fibre ; exteriorly it was bound round with a good deal of the same fibre and pretty thickly felted with cobwebs. The egg-cavity measured 2.5 inches in diameter one way and only 2 the other way ; while in depth it was barely .86. The exterior diameter of the nest was about 4 inches and the height nearly 2 inches.”
In Sind the principal breeding months are March and April, but in the Punjab and United Provinces the birds continue to lay throughout May and into June, while Col. Sparrow also took a nest on the 6th June in the Central Provinces.
The eggs laid vary from two to four, Davidson having taken the latter number very hard set. Four is, perhaps, rather exceptional.
They are quite typical of the species but, examined as a series, are darker and duller than in either of the two preceding races, and often have a distinctly brownish-buff ground. A very curious pair taken by Davidson has one egg almost uniform dark clay-brown, smeared with ill-defined grey markings and a few specks of dark brown ; the other egg has a pale stone-grey ground-colour, speckled sparsely with rich brown and with two or three very large blotches of rich chocolate-brown.
Thirty eggs average 18.9 x 15.1 mm. : maxima 21.0 x 15.6 and 20.2 x 16.0 mm. ; minima 16.8 x 14.2 and 17.0 x 14.0 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
731. Tephrodornis pondiceriana pallida
Spp Author: 
Ticehurst.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
731
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
283
Common name: 
Sind Wood Shrink
M_ID: 
17991
M_SN: 
Tephrodornis pondicerianus pallidus
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
13874

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