134. Timelia pileata.
The Red-capped Babbler.
Timelia pileata, Horsf. Tram. Linn. Soe. xiii, p. 151 (1821) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 140; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 227; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 24; Hume, N. & E. p. 246; id. S. F. iii, p. 118; Oates, S. F. v, p. 152 ; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 634; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 267 ; Oates, B. B. p. 44 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 507; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 90. Timelia bengalensis, Godwin-Austen, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 143 (1872); Oates, S. F. vii, p. 41 ; Cripps, S. F. vii, p. 277 ; Hume, Cat. no. 396; id. S. F. xi, p. 143. Timelia jerdoni, Wald. A. M. N. II. (4), x, p. 61 (1872); Bl. & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 114.
The Red-capped Wren-Babbler, Jerd.
Coloration. Forehead and a streak on each side over and past the eye white ; lores black ; crown deep rufous ; ear-coverts white in front, ashy behind ; upper plumage and exposed parts of wings olive-brown, tinged with fulvous, the mantle suffused with ashy and with blackish shafts; tail dark brown, cross-rayed; cheeks, chin, and throat white; breast white, with distinct narrow black shaft-lines ; sides of neck deep grey, produced down the sides of the breast; remainder of lower parts ferruginous, tinged with olivaceous on the sides of the abdomen.
Birds from the Himalayas, Assam, and Manipur have the lower parts more olivaceous and less ferruginous than those from other parts.
Javan birds have a very narrow white forehead, but differ in no other respect from Indian and Burmese specimens.
Bill black; iris dark red; eyelids dark bluish grey; mouth black ; legs purpurescent-brown; claws horn-colour.
Length 7 ; tail 3.2 ; wing 2.5; tarsus 1; bill from gape .75.
Distribution. The plains and lower hills along the border of Nepal, Sikhim, and Bhutan, extending up the Assam valley to Sadiya. This bird is found over a considerable portion of Bengal. Thence it occurs in all the countries to the east and southwards throughout Burma as far as the central portion of Tenasserim. It is found in Siam and Cochin China, and although not known to occur in the Malay peninsula it reappears in Java.
Habits, &c. This Babbler inhabits by preference extensive grass plains, but it is also found, though in fewer numbers, in bush-jungle and in the vicinity of villages. It is an active, bright bird, creeping about grass near the ground, and seldom showing itself but frequently uttering its pleasant notes. It breeds in May and June, constructing a domed nest of grass either on the ground or in a fork of a bush near the ground. The eggs, three in number, are white, speckled with brown, and measure .71 by .58.