113. Crateropus somervillii.
The Rufous-tailed Babbler.
Timalia somervillei, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 88. Malacocircus somervillei (Sykes), Horsf. & 31. Cat. i, p. 219; Jerd. B. 1. ii, p. 63; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 6; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. ii, p. 177 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 272; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 258 ; Hume, Cat. no. 435; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 64; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 180. Malacocercus sykesii, Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 63 (1863). Crateropus somervillii (Sykes), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 482.
Coloration. Forehead, crown, and nape dark brown, the feathers with narrow pale edges ; lores white ; sides of the head and neck, back, wing-coverts, and tertiaries paler brown tinged with rufous, the feathers of the back with white shafts; rump and upper tail-feathers ferruginous ; tail reddish brown ; both tail and tertiaries cross-rayed with blackish ; primaries and secondaries black ; chin and throat dark brown, each feather with a broad ashy margin ; breast brown with broad white shaft-streaks; abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts deep ferruginous ; tail tipped paler below.
Bill greyish white ; iris yellowish white; orbits yellow; feet and claws fleshy yellow (Hume Coll.).
Length about 10 ; tail 4 ; wing 4 ; tarsus 1.3 ; bill from gape 1.1.
This species is the best defined of the genus and can be easily identified by its rufous tail and deep ferruginous lower parts. A specimen procured by Hume at Kollachal in the extreme south of Travancore is remarkable for a number of rufous patches on the neck and back.
Distribution. The Western Ghats and the country lying between them and the sea from Goa to a short distance north of the latitude of Bombay. This Babbler occurs on Bombay Island. A specimen, as mentioned above, procured at Kollachal in Travancore, is referable to this species.
Habits, &c. In the island of Bombay this bird breeds on the date-palms growing on the hills of the east and west shores, but the nest has not been described. Near Khandala Mr. E. Aitken found a nest at the end of May with three much-incubated eggs of an intense greenish-blue colour.