105. Argya caudata.
The Common Babbler.
Cossyphus caudatus, Dumeril, Drapiez, Dict. Class, d'Hist. Nat. x, p. 219 (1826). Malacocercus huttoni, Blyth. J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 476 (1847); id. Ibis, 1867, p. 6; Jerd. Ibis,1872, p. 310. Malacocercus caudatus (Dumeril), Blyth, Cat. p. 141; Horsf. & 31. Cat. i, p. 223. Chatarrhoea caudata (Dum.), Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 67; Hume, N.& E. p. 274; Hume & Henders. Bah. to York. p. 197, pl. ix ; Hume, Cat. no. 438; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 181. Crateropus huttoni (Blyth), Blanf. Ibis, 1874, p. 75; id. S. F. ii, p. 329; id. E. Pers. ii, p. 203, pl. xiii, fig. 1. Chatorhea eclipes, Hume, S. F. v, p. 337 (1877); id. Cat. no. 438 ter. Chatarrhaea huttoni (Blyth), Hume, Cat. no. 438 bis. Argya caudata (Drap.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 393; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 70. Argya eclipes (Hume), Sharpe, t. c. p. 394. Argya huttoni (Blyth), Sharpe, t. c. p. 394. Crateropus caudatus (Dum.), Oates, B. B. i, p. 32.
The Striated Bush-Babbler, Jerd.; Dumri, Hind, in the South ; Huni, Tam. ; Hedo and Lailo, Sind ; Chilchil, Hind, in the N. W. P.; Peng or Chota-penga, Hindi; Sor in the N.W.; Chinna sida, Tel.
Coloration. Whole upper plumage brown tinged with fulvous, each feather with a dark brown shaft-streak ; wing- and tail-coverts with only the shaft dark; quills brown, lighter on the outer webs; tail olive-brown, cross-rayed, and the shafts very dark; chin and throat fulvous white; lores brown ; ear-coverts rufescent; lower plumage pale fulvous, albescent on the abdomen, and the sides of the breast faintly striated.
Bill light brown, yellow at base below; legs and feet yellow ; claws fleshy brown; iris brown or yellow (Bingham); iris red-brown (Jerdon).
Length about 9; tail 4.7 ; wing 3.2 ; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 1.
With the large series of these birds now available in the British Museum it is impossible to separate the bird into three races, and it will be seen from Hume's Catalogue that this gentleman no longer thinks it possible to do so.
Distribution. Every portion of India proper, from Sind to Bengal and from the foot of the Himalayas to the extreme south of the peninsula as far at least as the base of the Palni hills. This bird also occurs in the Laccadives and in Ramesvaram Island. In the north of India I have been able to trace it no further east than Behar, but it is probably found as far as the longitude of Calcutta. Blyth records it from Arakan and Thayetmyo, but it is probable that he did so by some mistake.
To the west it extends into Persia.
Habits, &c. This Babbler is not addicted to grass jungle, but is found in all sorts of country, even in gardens. It associates in small flocks and has the habits of A. earlii. It breeds throughout the greater part of the year, constructing its nest in bushes and laying three eggs, which measure .82 by .64.