The intrinsic muscles of the syrinx fixed to the ends of the bronchial semi-rings ; the edges of both mandibles smooth, or the upper one simply notched; hinder aspect of tarsus bilaminated, the laminae entire and smooth ; wing with ten primaries ; tongue non-tubular; nostrils always clear of the line of forehead, the space between the nostril and the edge of the mandible less than the space between the nostril and the culmen ; plumage of the nestling mottled or squamated to a greater or less extent; one moult in the year, but frequently supplemented by a seasonal change of plumage caused by the casting-off of the margins of the feathers in spring; rectrices usually twelve, very seldom fourteen.

The Turdidae, or Chats, Robins, Thrushes, Dippers, and Accentors, form a very large family of the Passeres. The only character which links all the species together is the mottled or squamated plumage of the nestling. In this character the Turdidae agree with the Muscicapidae, but they differ from this family in' having long or moderate tarsi and in having the nostrils and base of the upper mandible quite free from all hairs. The only exception to this latter feature appears to be in Zoothera, in which genus the frontal hairs are developed and reach over the nostrils. The long tarsus of the birds of this genus, however, will prevent them from being confounded with any of the Flycatchers. In some few genera, especially Ruticilla and Pratincola, the shafts of the feathers of the forehead are somewhat elongated and the webs disintegrated, but these cannot be considered hairs nor do they lie over the nostrils as is always the case with the Muscicapidae.

The Turdidae are found over nearly the whole globe and their migratory instincts are generally very strong.

The Turdidae may be divided into five subfamilies, characterized partly by habits and partly by structural characters.

Tarsus smooth ; rictal bristles present; habits Muscicapine, the insect-food captured by sallies from a fixed perch……………………. Saxicolinae, p. 57.

Tarsus smooth, with hardly an exception * ; rictal bristles present: habits terrestrial, the insect-food captured on the ground…………………….Ruticillinae, p. 81.

Tarsus smooth ; rictal bristles present: habits terrestrial and arboreal, the species being both insectivorous and frugivorous…………………….Turdina;, p. 120.

Tarsus smooth ; rictal bristles absent: habits aquatic; eggs unspotted white…………………….Cinclinae, p. 101.

Tarsus scutellated ; rictal bristles present: habits terrestrial; eggs unspotted blue…………………….Accentorinw,p.165.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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