727. Tephrodornis gularis pelvica

(727) Tephrodornis gularis pelvica (Hodgs.).
THE NEPAL WOOD-SHRIKE.
Tephrodornis pelvica pelvica, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 309.
Tephrodornis gularis pelvica, ibid. vol. viii, p. 625.
This Wood-Shrike occurs from Nepal to Eastern Assam and Manipur.
In 1924 Kinnear separated the Burmese race as Tephrodornis pelvicus vernayi (Bull. B. O. C. vol. xliv, p. 102, 1924), which is found over the greater part of Burma, in suitable localities, as far South as Northern Tenasserim, being replaced in Southern Tenasserim by Kloss’s T. p. annectens. It occurs also in Yunnan and Siam, but is replaced in the East by other races, some quite recently recognized and named.
As Mandelli’s supposed nest and eggs of this species are obviously wrong, there is no other record of its nidification than my own (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. ix, p. 3, 1894).
In the cold weather it is a social bird, collecting in small flocks and haunting more or less open country—grass-covered hills with scattered Oaks, small spinneys in hollows, open bamboo-jungle and thin secondary growth—but in the breeding season it leaves these haunts and frequents quite dense evergreen forest. While, also, it is found in all the foot-hills in Winter, in Spring it moves to the higher forests, breeding at 3,500 feet upwards, laying, so far as we know at present, in April and May.
I have only taken four nests of this bird, and all of these were taken from horizontal boughs of small or medium-sized trees standing in very wet, dense, evergreen forest at heights from 10 to 25 feet from the ground. The nests were all quite typical, and reminded one of Minivets’ nests without all the outside adornments of lichen and moss. All four nests were broad, shallow saucers, very strongly and neatly put together but by no means bulky, and with quite thin walls and base. Roughly, they measured between 3 and 3.1/2 inches in diameter by about 1.1/2 in depth on the outside ; internally the measurements are about half an inch less each way. They are made of fine grass-stems and roots, often more or less mixed with the thinnest and most pliant of twigs ; all these are beautifully inter¬wound together and then the whole of the outer wall well plastered with cobwebs. Two of the nests had a certain amount of grey lichen, a few scraps of moss and some spiders’ egg-bags fastened on, with the webs as decorations, but in the other two there was hardly anything beyond the webs and a few egg-bags.
The number of eggs laid seems to be two or three, but they must lay more sometimes, as I have seen flocks in late Summer consisting of two old and four young birds.
The few eggs I have seen are exactly like huge eggs of Peri-crocotus. The ground is white or faintly tinged with green or brown. In one clutch of three the markings consist of numerous small irregular blotches of inky brown scattered all over the surface, with similar secondary marks of inky grey distributed equally with the others. Another clutch has the markings fewer and bolder and restricted more to the larger end, where they also form indistinct rings. In this pair the primary spots are almost black and look more than ever like ink-blots. The other two clutches are inter¬mediate.
In shape the eggs are very broad ovals, very little compressed at the smaller end. The texture is not fine and there is little or no gloss.
Nine eggs average 22.0 x 17.6 mm. : maxima 23.4 x 18.1 mm. ; minima 21.1 x 17.0 mm.
The male bird certainly assists in incubation, for we once trapped one sitting on the eggs.

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: 
727. Tephrodornis gularis pelvica
Spp Author: 
Hodgs.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
727
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
277
Common name: 
Nepal Wood Shrike
M_ID: 
17979
M_SN: 
Tephrodornis virgatus pelvicus
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
13868

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