728. Tephrodornis gularis sylvicola

(728) Tephrodornis gularis sylvicola Jerdon.
THE MALABAR WOOD-SHRIKE.
Tephrodornis pelvica sylvicola, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 311.
Tephrodornis gularis sylvicola, ibid. vol. viii, p. 635.
This Southern race of Wood-Shrike is found on the West coast of India from the extreme South practically to the latitude of Bombay City, extending East to the Nilgiris, Nelliampathy Hills etc. How far West it extends we do not at present know, though the results of the Vernay Expedition may help to elucidate this.
This Wood-Shrike appears to be a bird of the forest, both deep and the more open, being found at all heights up to 6,000 feet.
Major Forbes Coussmaker furnished Hume with his only record of this bird’s nest, together with the following good description :— “I took the nest of this bird on April 13th, 1875. It was composed of fine roots and fibres, neatly woven into a shallow cup-like nest, secured to the fork of a horizontal bough and fixed in its place with cobweb and covered externally with lichen, corresponding to that on the bough. It measured 4.2 inches in diameter externally, and 2.4 internally and .7 deep. Both parent birds were shot.” As usual, no word is said as to the situation in which the nest was found.
Bell and Davidson took several nests, and the latter, in letters to me, describes the places in which they were found as follows :— “The nest was built on a horizontal bough—which seems to be a favourite position for the nests of this family—of a fairly large tree standing in pretty thick jungle, though not very far in. I should judge it to have been 20 feet from the ground. It was made of fibres, grass and fine elastic twigs, all very well interlaced and bound with cobwebs and scraps of lichen and spiders’ egg-bags. It was placed on a horizontal branch covered with the same kind of lichen as that on the nest.”
Of another nest he says that it was exactly like the above, and that “it was built on a tree standing in a ravine in dense forest.”
A. P. Kinloch, in sending me a nest and two eggs of this bird, remarks :—“The nest is a shallow saucer with vertical sides, made of the finest elastic twigs, roots and fine grasses, all tightly interlaced and bound to a horizontal branch with spiders’ webs. The nest was taken in forest near a tea garden.” The nest measures 4 inches externally across and a full 3 inches internally, the walls being very thin. It is possible that Coussmaker’s measurement of 2-4 inches internal measurement is a slip for 3.4 inches, as the top of the walls could hardly have been .9 inch thick.
The breeding season, so far as is at present known, is March and April.
The number of eggs in a full clutch is two only, and I have a single egg taken by Davidson which was partly incubated and certainly, therefore, all that would have been laid.
The eggs cannot be distinguished from those of the last bird, but the single egg, referred to above, has rather larger blotches of umber-brown, with more numerous secondary marks of inky grey ; the ground-colour, also, of this egg is a distinct yellowish-stone.
Five eggs in my own collection and four others taken by Davidson and Bell average 22.0 x 18.0 mm. full : maxima 23.0 x 18.0 and 21.1 x 18.2 mm. ; minima 21.1 x 18.0 and 22.4 x 17.8 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: 
728. Tephrodornis gularis sylvicola
Spp Author: 
Jerdon.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
728
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
279
Common name: 
Malabar Wood Shrike
M_ID: 
17989
M_CN: 
Malabar Woodshrike
M_SN: 
Tephrodornis sylvicola
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
13869

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