81. Ianthocincla austeni.
The Cachar Laughing-Thrush.
Trochalopteron austeni, Jerd., Godw.-Aust. J. A. 8. B. xxxix, pt. ii, p. 105 (1870); xliii, pt. ii, p. 180; Jerd. Ibis, 1872, p. 304 ; Hume, 8. F. iii, p. 414; id. Cat. no. 417 bis; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 309 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 105.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, nape, hind neck, sides of the neck, and the whole back reddish brown, with pale shafts ; rump paler, without pale shafts ; upper tail-coverts and the middle pair of tail-feathers rufous ; remainder of the tail black, tipped with white, the basal portions of the outer webs suffused with rufous; wing-coverts and tertiaries reddish-brown, the longer coverts and the tertiaries tipped with white arid with a subterminal dusky mark ; outer webs of the earlier primaries grey, those of the other quills reddish brown ; lores dusky ; ear-coverts dark rufous-brown, with pale shafts; chin, throat, and breast rufous-brown, indistinctly barred with dusky and whitish; remainder of lower plumage rufous-brown, with broad and distinct white bars preceded by a dusky line; under tail-coverts narrowly tipped with white.
In the dry skin the bill is black and the legs brown.
Length about 10; tail 4.8; wing 4; tarsus 1.45; bill from gape 1.05.
Distribution. A very rare bird, which has hitherto been obtained only by Godwin-Austen in the hill-ranges of Assam. He obtained it on the first occasion on Hengdan Peak, Khasi hills, at the head of the Jhiri river at 7000 feet; on the second occasion on the Kopamedza peak, Naga hills, at the same altitude. Hume is pretty certain that he caught a glimpse of it in Manipur above Aimole.
Habits, &c. Godwin-Austen observes that these birds were generally in pairs, uttering a harsh, croaking call and answering each other from time to time.