170. Trochalopteron virgatum

(170) Trochalopteron virgatum Godw.-Aust.
Trochalopterum virgatum, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 179.
The habitat of this Laughing-Thrush includes the whole of the hill-ranges South of the Brahmapootra down to the Chin Hills, where it breeds between 3,000 and 8,000 feet and is, apparently, common at these elevations wherever it occurs at all.
It frequents forest and, in Assam, undoubtedly prefers damp evergreen forest with dense tree-growth and heavy undergrowth. It was, however, almost equally common at 4,500 to 5,000 feet elevation in the more open stunted Oak forest, where the undergrowth consisted of Caladiums, Balsalms, Jasmine and an endless wealth of bracken, with ferns of many descriptions. Here, too, the forest was more or less humid and each tree bore its own heavy crops of long hanging moss and masses of orchids. In the Chin Hills, Mackenzie found it “building in thick bushes in open jungle, or in the grass round the base of a bush.” All the nests found by me—and they were many—were either in thick low bushes or, rarely, in high bushes or in thickly foliaged Rhododendrons up to about 8 feet from from the ground. Wherever placed they were well concealed and quite inconspicuous.
The nest itself is a deep, stoutly built cup, the principal materials used in its construction being tendrils, dead leaves, grasses, roots and fine bents, sometimes a few bamboo-leaves, bracken or fern-fronds and generally a good deal of moss. The nests vary a good deal in shape, materials and other details. One found in a thick growth of weeds and brambles, resting almost, if not quite, on the ground, had the main body of the nest built of bamboo- leaves and other leaves, intermixed with moss and tendrils and also bound outside with the latter and a few weed-stems, the moss projecting through and giving a dull brownish-green tint to the whole nest. This was a very deep nest, the egg-cavity measuring about 3.2 inches in diameter by 3.5 deep. Another nest, taken from a fork, of a small sapling, was more compact and neat, the outer sizes being about 6 by 4 inches and the inner 4 by 2.1/2 inches. In this nest there were no bamboo-leaves but more tendrils. In many nests the lining is a deep red, fern and lichen roots of this colour only being used.
A few birds begin to breed in April and I have seen fresh eggs on the 15th of that month. They lay throughout May and in smaller numbers through June, whilst my latest date for eggs is the 19th July.
They lay two or three eggs only, more often two than three, which are in colour a beautiful clear blue with only a slight greenish tint, not always present. In shape they are broad ovals, the smaller end blunt. The texture is fine and smooth but not—I wrote in ‘The Ibis' some 37 years ago—like that of Dryonastes sannio. The egg of this latter bird is much more glossy, hard and close. The grain of the Streaked Laughing-Thrushes’ eggs is not very close or hard and the surface is more like the sheen of satin than a china gloss.
One hundred eggs, including 36 measured by Mackenzie, average 26.0 x 19.2 mm. : maxima 29.2 x 20.7 mm. ; minima 23.1 x 18.0 and 24.5 x 17.5 mm.

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: 
170. Trochalopteron virgatum
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Manipur Streaked Laughing-thrush
Striped Laughingthrush
Trochalopteron virgatum
Vol. 1

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