599. Terpsiphone affinis.
The Burmese Paradise Flycatcher.
Tchitrea affinis, Hay, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 292 (1846); id. Cat. p. 203; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 134; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 448. Tchitrea paradisi (Linn.), Hume, S. F. iii, p. 102. Muscipeta affinis (Hay), Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 223; Hume, Cat. no. 289. Terpsiphone affinis (Hay), Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 654; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 349 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 261 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 20.
Coloration. Up to the second autumn both sexes are alike. The forehead, crown, nape, and a short blunt crest are metallic black; sides of the head, chin, throat, and neck all round with the breast dark bluish ashy; remainder of the lower plumage white; back, rump, upper tail- and wing-coverts, and tail deep chestnut; wings black, broadly margined with chestnut.
The female undergoes no further change of plumage.
The male after the moult of the second autumn acquires two long median tail-feathers, but probably sheds them at the end of the breeding-season.
At the moult of the third autumn the white plumage is assumed in its entirety, and in this state resembles the white phase of T. paradisi, differing only in the shaft-stripes of the upper plumage being much broader, the tail more broadly edged with black, and the shafts of the median pair of tail-feathers being black for a greater length (for three quarters of their length and at the tip), and in having a short rounded crest.
The nestling is rich chestnut above, with darker tips to some of the feathers ; the lower plumage white, the breast mottled with rufous.
Iris hazel-brown; eyelids plumbeous, the edges tumid and rich blue; mouth yellow ; bill blue, the tip and anterior half of the margins black ; legs plumbeous blue ; claws dark horn-colour.
Length 8 to 18; tail 4 to 14; wing 3.6 ; tarsus .7 ; bill from gape 1.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Sikhim to Dibrugarh in Assam, and thence south throughout the hill-tracts and Burma to the extreme southern part of Tenasserim. This species extends east of Burma and down the Malay peninsula, where it meets T. incii, and owing to the similarity of T. affinis and T. incii in certain stages of plumage the respective limits of these two species have not been determined with any great exactness.
T. incii resembles T. affinis very closely, but the large series of the former in the British Museum appears to prove beyond doubt that the male never assumes the white plumage.
Habits, &c. I found the nest of this bird in Burma at the end of April. It was cup-shaped, and composed of dry bamboo-leaves and fibres, and it was placed near the summit of a small tree. The eggs are similar to those of T. paradisi, and measure about .85 by .6.