150. Troehalopteron erythrocephalum nigrimentum

(150) Trochalopteron erythrocephalum nigrimentum (Oates).
Trochalopterum erythrocephalum nigrimentum, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 164.
This bird’s range is from Eastern Nepal to the Dafla and Miri Hills in Northern Assam. It is very common round about Darjiling, where first Gammie took many nests ; later W. P. Masson sent me several nests with eggs and birds and, finally, Osmaston collected a fine series in 1903 and 1904 between 5,700 and 9,000 feet.
Hume, referring to three nests sent to him by Gammie and six by Mandelli, writes as follows :—“ They were placed in small trees or dense bushes at heights of from three to eight feet, and contained in some cases two, and in others three, fresh or fully incubated eggs. All (nests) are of precisely the same type, all constructed with the same materials but, owing to the different proportions in which these are used, some of the nests at first sight seem to differ widely from the others. Some also are bigger than others, but all are massive, deep cups, varying from 5.25 to 6.5 inches in diameter, and from 3 to fully 4 in height externally ; the cavities vary from 3 to 3.5 in diameter and from 2 to 2.5 in depth. The body of the nest is composed of grass ; the cavity is lined first with dry leaves, and thenthickly or thinly with dry fibrous roots. Externally the nest is more or less bound together by creepers and stems of herbaceous plants. Sometimes only a few strings of moss and a few sprays of Selaginella are to be seen on the outside of the nest ; while, on the other hand, in some nests the entire outer surface is completely covered with green moss, so as to conceal completely the rest of the materials of the nest.”
Nests taken by Otto Muller in 1886 and by Masson in 1910 exactly fit the above descriptions, as do those taken by Osmaston.
The latter found the birds breeding in open forest but Masson obtained two from real damp virgin forest. Nests with fresh eggs have been taken from the first week in May until the third week in July.
Two seems to be the almost invariable full clutch, for, though both Gammie and Mandelli occasionally found three in a nest, none of my collectors or other observers have ever seen more than two, except for one three taken by Osmaston.
The eggs are typical of the species and 32 average 28.5 x 20.9 mm. : maxima 32.3 x 20.0 and 29.0 x 22.0 mm. ; minima 24.0 x 18.7 mm.
It will be noticed that these measurements make out the eggs to be much the same as those of the typical race and not prolonged ovals, as in the Chin Hills birds, which seem to stand alone in this respect.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
150. Troehalopteron erythrocephalum nigrimentum
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Sikkim Red Headed Laughing Thrush
Trochalopteron erythrocephalum nigrimentum
Vol. 1

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