(162) Trochalopterum variegatum variegatum.
THE EASTERN VARIEGATED LAUGHING-THRUSH.
Cinclosoma variegatum Vigors, P. Z, S., 1831, p. 56 (Himalayas, E. Nepal). Trochalopterum variegatum. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 95.
Vernacular names. Ganza (Nepalese).
Description. Forehead fulvous; crown and nape ashy-brown ; feathers of eyelid and a spot behind the eye white; lores and a line over and" below the eye to the ear-coverts black ; ear-coverts white with a black patch: chin and upper throat black; cheeks fulvous, meeting round the black throat; sides of neck and whole upper plumage olive-brown; wing-coverts the same, the greater broadly edged with rufous; winglet and primary-coverts black; the inner webs of the inner secondaries black, the outer grey tipped with white; outer webs of other quills bright golden-yellow tinged with rufous and tipped with white; a large black patch on the outer secondaries; the middle four pairs of tail-feathers black on three parts of their length, then ashy-yellow and tipped with white, the other feathers ashy-yellow on the inner webs, olive-yellow on the outer and tipped white; breast and sides of the body fulvescent ashy-brown; remainder of lower plumage bright tawny-buff.
Colours of soft parts. Bill black; legs and feet pale reddish orange-brown; iris pale yellow-green, brown, raw sienna-brown, pale yellowish brown (Hume).
Measurements. Length about 280 to 290 mm.; wing 102 to 112 mm.; tail about 130mm.: tarsus about 38mm.; culmen about 20 mm. Distribution. Himalayas from Chamba to Nepal.
Nidification. This Laughing-Thrush breeds from Simla to Nepal in April, May and June at elevations .between 4,000 and 8,000 feet. The nest is a bulky cup made principally of grass with a few roots, dead leaves, etc., mingled with it. Sometimes there is no lining, but at other times there are a few roots and grass stems. It is placed in low bushes and small trees at any height above the ground from a few inches to 10 feet. The eggs generally number three, sometimes four and very rarely five. They are a pale, rather dull blue in colour, freckled and spotted with different shades of reddish brown, and are not nearly such handsome eggs as those of the erythrocephalum group. Eight eggs average 28.5 x 20.5 mm.
Habits. Similar TO those of other Laughing-Thrushes, but perhaps they are rather more often seen frequenting low trees as well as undergrowth. It is found between 4,000 and 8,000 feet.