149. Trochalopteron erythrocephalum

(149) Trochalopteron erythrocephalum erythrolaema Hume.
THE CHIN HILLS RED-HEADED LAUGHING-THRUSH.
Trochalopterum erythrocephalum erythroloema, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 164.
This Red-headed Laughing-Thrush is confined to the Chin Hills and extreme East and South Manipur.
Hopwood and Mackenzie took a considerable number of nests of this fine Laughing-Thrush in the North of the Chin Hills between 5,000 and 6,000 feet. Unfortunately their notes are very meagre, and though their series are incorporated in my collection the informa¬tion given is not very ample. The following is a summary of their notes :—
The birds always breed in thick cover but this may consist either of deep evergreen forest or of secondary growth. The first nest ever taken, one by Hopwood on the 12th of May, 1913, was placed in a low thick bush on the summit of a hill, some 6,000 feet elevation, which had been cleared to make a survey point. After having served its purpose, it was abandoned and a dense bamboo and secondary growth soon covered it, in which the birds built their nest. Some of their other nests were built in similar jungle but most were taken from real virgin forests, some in thick bushes, but many on small trees and saplings at 6 and 10 feet from the ground. All their nests were taken in April and May.
The nests themselves seem to be of two types. Most of those taken by Hopwood were massive cups made almost solely of moss, though with this might be incorporated a few leaves, roots, scraps of grass or other material. The lining was of fine or coarse roots or, seldom, of grass and roots. Mackenzie describes his first nest as “a shallow cup of grass and twigs lined with finer twigs, moss and other roots, fairly loosely put together ; ..... they are not unlike those of Ianthocincla cineracea but perhaps neater.”
The nests placed in bushes were well concealed but, as the birds sat close and only fluttered off them when the intruder was within a few feet of them, they were easy to discover. The nests built in saplings were generally quite conspicuous.
The eggs, of course, are inseparable in colour and texture from those of the preceding bird but, taking them as a series, they are perceptibly longer, narrower eggs, a feature that seems to be constant in a rather large series.
Thirty-three eggs average 29.9 x 20.5 mm. : maxima 33.0 x 22.3 mm. ; minima 26.3 x 20.0 and 28.5 x 18.25 mm.
An usually long, abnormal pair taken by Mackenzie measure 36.0 x 18.8 mm.
Two eggs constitute a full clutch and three is quite exceptional.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
149. Trochalopteron erythrocephalum
Spp Author: 
Hume.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
149
Year: 
1932
Page No: 
124
Common name: 
Chin Hills Red Headed Laughing Thrush
M_ID: 
24965
M_CN: 
Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush
M_SN: 
Trochalopteron erythrocephalum
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
13356

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