(728) Tephrodornis pelvica sylvicola.
The Malabar Wood-Shrike.
Tephrodornis sylvicola Jerdon, Madr. Journ. L. S., x, p. 236 (1830) (Malabar Coast"); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 474.
Vernacular names. Phari latora (Hind.).
Description.— Adult male. Differs from the male T. p. pelvica in being dark bluish ashy on the crown, changing to dark ashy-brown on the other upper parts; below it is also much darker vinous ashy on the breast and flanks.
Colours of soft parts. Iris oil-yellow to bright golden-yellow; bill black; legs and feet dark plumbeous or bluish plumbeous.
Measurements. Whig 111 to 119 mm.; tail 76 to 85 mm.; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen about 20 mm.
Female. Upper parts dark brown, the head and back con-colorous; the eye-baud brown and the breast fulvous ashy or brownish ashy.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dull pale blue-grey; bill brown ; legs and feet dark plumbeous.
Distribution. The West Coast of India from the extreme South almost to Bombay City, Nilgiris and adjoining Hills, Nelliampathy Hills etc. up to nearly 6,000 feet.
Nidification. The Malabar Wood-Shrike breeds from March to June, during which months nests with eggs have been found by Messrs. Bell and Davidson (Bombay Pres.), Kinloch (Nelliampathy Hills), and Mr. J. Stewart (Travancore). The nest is exactly like that of T. p. pelvica and is apparently always placed in a tree in thick forest, often in one growing in a densely wooded ravine running through lighter forest. The eggs seem invariably to be two only, and are like the first type described as those of the preceding race. They measure about 22.0 x 18.1 mm.
Habits. Much the same as those of the Nepal Wood-Shrike, but unlike that bird they prefer dense forest to bamboo-jungle and light scrub, even in Winter.