(188) Turdoides somervillei.
THE BOMBAY BABBLER.
Timalia somervillei Sykes, P. Z. S., 1832, p. 88 (Bombay). Crateropus somervillii. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 113.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Forehead, crown and nape dark brown, the feathers with narrow pale edges ; lores white; sides of the head and neck, back, wing-coverts and inner secondaries paler brown tinged with rufous, the feathers of the back with white shafts; rump and upper tail-coverts ferruginous; tail reddish brown, both tail and inner secondaries cross-rayed with blackish ; primaries and outer 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.
Colours of soft parts. Iris creamy or yellowish white; orbital skin pale yellow ; bill, legs and feet pale yellow or fleshy-yellow.
Measurements. Length about 250 to 260 mm.; wing 97 to 105 mm.; tail about 100 mm.; tarsus about 32 mm.; culmen about 20 to 21 mm.
This species is easily distinguished from all others by its rufous rump and tail and deep ferruginous lower parts.
Distribution. Travancore to Bombay along the West Coast.
Nidification. This Babbler breeds throughout its range in practically every month of the year. The nest is made of grass, occasionally mixed with grass-roots, fine twigs, etc, and lined with fine roots or grass-stems. It is placed in a bush or small tree, very often in date-palms. The eggs which number two or three, very rarely four, are of the usual glossy deep blue and thirty-six average about 24.2 x 19.5 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus.