(189) Turdoides rufescens.
THE CEYLONESE BABBLER.
Malacocercus rufescens Blyth, J. A. S. B., xvi, p. 453 (1847) (Ceylon). Crateropus rufesce?is. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 114.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Whole upper plumage and exposed parts of wings rufous-brown; lower plumage ferruginous, browner on flanks, vent and under tail-coverts ; tail faintly cross-rayed.
Measurements. Length about 250 to 260 mm.; wing about 96 to 104 mm.; tail about 115 to 120 mm.; tarsus about 32 mm.; culmen about 19 to 20 mm.
Colours of soft parts. Iris white, yellowish white or greenish white ; bill orange-yellow, deepest on the basal half; legs and feet dull chrome-yellow, claws yellowish-horn; orbital skin and eyelid pale greenish yellow (Legge).
Distribution. Ceylon, throughout the damper portions.
Nidification. According to Legge this Babbler breeds in March, April and May, making a nest similar to that of striatus but very carefully concealed. Two eggs taken by Mr. MacVicar at Bolgodole measure 24.1 x 18.0 mm. and 23.3 x 17.9 mm. Two taken for me by Mr. W. A. T. Kellow measure 24.2 x 18.1 mm. and 24.0 x 17.8 mm. They cannot be distinguished from those of striatus.
Habits. The Ceylonese Babbler seems to be a bird of the forest and jungle rather than a frequenter of village scrub and open country. Mr. W. Phillips informs me that it is not uncommon in the Matagama district but that it keeps much to forest.