110. Crateropus canorus.
The Jungle Babbler.
Turdus canorus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 293 (1766). Pastor terricolor, Hodgs. J. A. S. B. v, p. 771 (1836). Malacocercus bengalensis, Blyth, Cat. p. 140 (1849). Malacocercus canorus (L.), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 220. Malacocercus orientalis, Jerd. Ill. Ind. Orn. text to pl. 19 (1847). Malacocercus malabaricus, Jerd. Ill. Ind. Orn. text to pl. 19 (1847); id. B. I. ii, p. 62; Hume, N. & E. p. 272; id. Cat, no. 434 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 381; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 180. Malacocercus terricolor (Hodgs.), Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 50; Hume, N. & B. p. 269; id. S. F. i, p. 180; Cripps, S. F. vii, p. 278; Hume, Cat. no. 432 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 179; Hume. S. F. xi, p. 174. Crateropus canorus (Linn.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 478; Oates in Humes N. & E. 2nd ed i, p. 74.
The Bengal Babbler, Jerd.; The Jungle Babbler, Jerd.; Chatarhia, Beng; Pengya-maina, Hind, in the Upper Provs.; Sat bhai, Jangli-khyr, Ghonghai, Hind.; Pedda sida, Tel.
Coloration. Upper plumage, coverts, and tertiaries pale brown, cinereous on the head and rump, slightly fulvous on the upper, tail-coverts, the back with. dark brown streaks and whitish shaft-stripes ; tail brown, paler near the base and darker towards the end, which is. tipped white and cross-rayed; wings dark brown, edged with a3hy on the outer webs ; lores whitish with a narrow black line above them; sides of the head like the crown; chin and throat cinereous, faintly cross-barred darker; breast fulvous ashy with whitish shafts ; abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts fulvous, the sides tinged with brown, and with faint-white shafts.
Iris yellowish white; orbital skin pale yellow; legs and claws fleshy yellow (Cripps).
Length about 10 ; tail 4.3 ; wing 4.2 ; tarsus 1.3; bill from gape 1.2.
It is impossible for any description to cover all the changes of colour which this bird undergoes throughout the year from the fresh moult to the time when the feathers get worn down. The chief point to note about this species is that the chin and throat are pale with no bars or marks of black or dark brown, as in the others; After carefully examining a very large series of this Babbler from every part of India that it inhabits, I am unable to find that there is more than one species or even race. Jerdon recognized two species and he differentiated them precisely by those characters which are continually varying according as the plumage is fresh or old. He states also that the bill of C. terricolor, the northern race, is horny brown, but I find that this colour is the exception. Hume notes on the label of a Punjab bird that the bill was fleshy white, and of a Mount-Abu bird that it was whitish, and Bingham in the same way states that a Delhi bird had it yellowish white.
Distribution. The whole of India from Sind to the extreme east of Assam, and from the Himalayas down to the extreme south of the peninsula. This bird appears to ascend the hills to about 5000 feet of elevation or probably higher in the south.
Habits, &c. Has much the habits of Argya, but is arboreal, not confining itself to any particular sort of jungle. It is very noisy and goes about in flocks. Breeds from March to July and in the south of India even in the dry weather up to December. The nest is placed in thick low trees or in bushes or hedges, and the eggs, generally three in number, measure 1.01 by .78. One or more species of Cuckoos select the neat of this bird in which to deposit their eggs.