(172) Trochalopterum lineatum griseicentior.
THE SIMLA STREAKED LAUGHING-THRUSH.
Ianthocincla lineatum griseicentior Hartert, Vog. Pal., i, p. 636 (1910) (Simla).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. A paler bird than the preceding, both above and below, with much broader grey edges to the feathers of the underpays.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in T. l. lineatum.
Distribution. Garhwal, Kumaon, Simla and S. Kashmir.
Nidification. The Simla Streaked Laughing-Thrush breeds in great numbers throughout its range between 5,000 and 8,000 feet. The breeding season is very extended and eggs have been taken in every month from March to September, though probably those laid in July to September are second broods. The nests are made of dry grass, leaves, small pliant twigs and stems of plants, scraps of bracken and roots and they are lined with either roots or grass steins, generally the latter. They are bulky nests measuring roughly anything from 6" to 10" in outward diameter -by some 3" to 5" in depth, the egg-cavity being about 3'' x 2 1/2" or rather more. It is placed either in some thick bush in undergrowth or on a branch low down in a big tree, the Deodar being a special favourite and, though so big a nest, is always well concealed. The normal full clutch of eggs is three, rarely four and not seldom two only. They are unspotted blue-green in colour and have a smooth satiny surface with but little gloss. 100 eggs average 25.6 x 18.4 mm.
Habits. This Laughing-Thrush is one of the most common birds about nearly all our North-West hill-stations in every kind of forest and jungle where there is sufficient undergrowth. It wanders about in pairs or small parties of four or five, constantly chattering and calling but, though not shy or wild, keeping much out of view in the thick undergrowth, where it hunts for seeds and insects. It is loth to take to flight but when forced to do so, the flock takes wing one by one, fluttering feebly to the next piece of cover much in the same way as do the birds of the genera Argya and Turdoides.