(186) Turdoides griseus griseus.
THE WHITE-HEADED BABBLER.
Turdus griseus Gmel., Syst. Nat., i, p. 824 (1788) (Carnatic). Crateropus griseus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 112.
Vernacular names. Khyr (Hindi) ; Chinda or Sida and Kalli-Karavi (Tel.).
Description. Whole upper part of head dingy greyish white ; cheeks and ear-coverts brown; upper plumage ashy-brown, the feathers of the back with white shaft-stripes and a black streak on either web; quills black, narrowly edged on the outer webs with ashy ; tail ashy-brown on the basal and dark brown on the terminal half, which is tipped with whitish; tail and inner secondaries cross-rayed with blackish; chin, throat and breast dull blackish, the feathers edged ashy; middle of abdomen fulvous; remainder of lower plumage brown.
The colour of the head varies greatly; in some specimens, obviously young, the head hardly differs from the back, and it varies from this colour to a dirty or creamy white.
Here and there very pale individuals are met with which have a strong erythristic tendency both above and below, two such from Travancore having bright rust-red patches on the back and breast; a third from Mysore and yet another from the Wynaad show similar but less red markings.
Colours of soft parts. Iris creamy or yellowish white; orbital skin, bill, legs and feet yellowish white to almost chrome-yellow.
Measurements. Length about 230 to 235 mm.; wing about 98 to 104 mm.; tail about 100 mm.; tarsus about 32 mm.; culmen about 17 mm.
Distribution. Southern India up to a line from Ellore, Secunderabad and Belgaum.Nidification. Breeds all over South India in the plains and lower hills up to some 2,000 feet, having two broods, the first in April to June and the second in September to November, odd birds laying at other times throughout the year. Nest and eggs are typical of the genus, the latter numbering three or four, whilst sixty eggs average 24.0 x 18.8 mm.
Habits. Those of the genus.