108. Argya subrufa.
The Large Rufous Babbler.
Timalia subrufa, Jerd. Madr. Journ. L. S. x, p. 259 (1844). Malacocercus subrufus (Jerd), Blyth, Cat. p. 141; Horsf. & M. Cat.i, p. 217. Layardia subrufa (Jerd.), Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 00; Hume, Cat. no. 437; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 401; Davison, 8. F. x, p. 382; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 181. Argya subrufa (Jerd), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 390; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 74. Argya hyperythra, Sharpe, t. e. p. 390.
The Rufous Babbler, Jerd.; Jungli-Khyr, Hind.
Coloration. Forehead hoary grey with black shafts ; whole upper plumage, tail, and exposed parts of the wings olive-brown with a rufous tinge, especially strong on the outer webs of the quills, on the tail, and on the upper tail-coverts ; lores brown; cheeks, sides of head and neck olive-brown tinged with rufous ; lower plumage bright rufous, somewhat paler on the abdomen and suffused with brown on the thighs and under tail-coverts ; under wing-coverts and edge of wing rufous; tail slightly cross-rayed.
Upper mandible, from gape to nostril, chrome-yellow; rest of upper mandible blackish brown; lower mandible chrome-yellow; iris creamy white or pale yellow ; legs and feet dark yellowish fleshy, pale reddish brown, greyish yellow (Davison).
Length 10 ; tail 4.5 ; wing 3.5 ; tarsus 1.3; bill from gape 1.
Argya hyperythra, a species described by Sharpe in the' Catalogue,' cannot in my opinion be kept distinct. The two specimens upon which the name was founded are certainly very rufous, but it is only a matter of degree, and I believe that Sharpe himself now doubts the validity of the species.
Distribution. The Western Ghats from Coonoor and Kotagiri on the Nilgiris to Khandala near Bombay.
Habits, &c. Davison remarks that this bird is quite a Malacocercus in habits and voice, but it keeps to much denser cover, being found far away in forests, and the voice is softer and more subdued.
The nest of this bird is of the usual form, made of leaves and bound together by grass and creepers.