163. Trochalopteron variegatum

(163) Trochalopteron variegatum simile Hume.
Trochalopterum variegatum simile, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 174.
The Western form of Variegated Laughing-Thrush is found resident from the Afghan frontier and Gilgit through the Western parts of Kashmir to the Murree Hills. How far East it extends and where it meets true variegatum has never been defined. Probably the Ravi or the Beas River will be found to be the South¬-Eastern limit. It does not, of course, occur at Naini Tal, where variegatum is common. In the ‘Fauna’ Naini Tal is a mistake for Nang Tiba.
In Chitral Fulton records this Laughing-Thrush as very common in the lower valleys up to 6,000 feet, whilst Whitehead met with a flock at Samana at 5,600 feet in December. Round Murree Rattray records it breeding in numbers from about 7,000 feet in the Galis to 10,000 on Miranjani. Unfortunately, though he took beautiful photographs, he wrote very short notes, and merely re¬marks : "Very common round Murree and the Galis up to 10,000 feet. Nests generally from 15 to 20 feet up in a fir tree, often quite at the end of a bough. Eggs generally 3 but I have found 5.”
From his notes sent to me with the eggs the above may be amplified by the following summary :—
The nest is a deep cup made principally of grass but with leaves, roots and sometimes a little moss intermixed ; there is a meagre true lining of roots or rhizomorph under which there are nearly always dry leaves. It is neither a well-made nor a compact nest and is sometimes held together outside with a few weed-stems, bits of creeper or long roots. In a few nests there are bits of moss on the outside but never enough to make the nests look as if made of moss. They breed all through May and June, keeping at this time entirely to forest and frequenting the heavily wooded ravines on the sides of the hills.
In Kashmir Ward records eggs as having been taken up to the 8th of August. The eggs, individually, cannot be distinguished from those of the preceding bird’s but, as a series, they are paler eggs with bigger blotches more sparingly scattered over the egg.
As already recorded, Rattray once took a clutch of five eggs and I have also a clutch of four taken by him and another of four taken by Buchanan at Changla Gali. The normal clutch, however, is undoubtedly three only.
Sixty eggs average 27.8 x 21.0 mm. : maxima 29.3 x 20.2 and 28.0 x 21.5 mm. ; minima 25.9 x 20.4 and 26.4 x 19.7 mm.
There is no difference in texture and shape between the eggs of the Eastern and Western forms of Variegated Laughing-Thrushes.

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: 
163. Trochalopteron variegatum
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Western Variegated Laughing Thrush
Variegated Laughingthrush
Trochalopteron variegatum
Vol. 1

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