(460) Troglodytes troglodytes neglectus.
The Kashmir Wren.
Troglodytes neglectus Brooks, J, A. S, B., xii, p. 328 (1872) (Kashmir), Anorthura neglecta. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 338.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Like T. t. nipalensis but very much paler all over. The brown is not nearly so deep, less rufous and in some cases with almost a grey tint.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown or hazel-brown; bill horny-brown or fleshy-brown.
Measurements. I cannot make out this bird to be smaller than T. t. nipalensis or to have visibly smaller or weaker feet and legs than that bird. "Wing 47 to 51 mm.; tail 26 to 30 mm.; tarsus 19 to 20 mm.; culmen 11 to 115 mm.
Troglodytes magrathi (Whitehead, Bull. B. O. C, xxi, p. 19, 1907 : Safed Koh) cannot be separated from neglectus.
Distribution. From the border hills of -Afghanistan and Balu¬chistan throughout the whole of Kashmir to the Simla Hills.
Nidification. Whitehead found the Kashmir Wren breeding on the Safed Koh between 8,500 and 12,000 feet and it breeds freely throughout Kashmir between 6,000 and 10,000 feet. The most usual form of nest is a large domed affair, constructed principally of moss and densely lined with feathers, which is placed on the ground on a bank between the roots of a pine or under a boulder; more rarely they may be placed among creepers on a tree or in a specially dense bunch of foliage. Davidson, however, also took eggs from holes both in banks and trees in which the nests consisted merely of a few feathers and a few odd scraps of other materials.* The. eggs number four or five and are a pure white in ground-colour with a few specks and spots of pde red, never numerous and sometimes altogether wanting. The shell is frail and the texture fine but glossless. In shape they are ovals, often inclined lo be pointed at the smaller end. Fifty eggs average 16.8 x l2.3 mm. and the extremes are: maxima 18.1x 12.1 and 17.6 x 13.2 mm.: minima 14.6 x 10.3 mm.
The breeding season is from the end of May to the end of June or early July.
Habits. The habits" of the Kashmir "Wren differ but little from those of its European relation but it is more of a forest bird than a haunter of the immediate neighbourhood of man. It is the same restless but secretive little bird, hopping about the undergrowth or hunting rocks and boulders for spiders and other insects. Sometimes it may be seen scrambling among the creepers, moss and orchids on some fallen tree or mass of boulders, sometimes it flits in little jerky flights from one tangle of bushes to another, whilst yet again it may be noticed making occasional visits to the lower branches of trees with ample foliage cover. Its note and song are said to very closely resemble those of the English Wren and, like that bird, it subsists almost entirely on an insect diet.