(196) Argya subrufa.
THE RUFOUS BABBLER.
Timalia subrufa Jerdon, Madr. Journ. L. S., p. 259 (1844) (Wynaad). Argya subrufa. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 109.
Vernacular names. Jungli-Khyr (Hind.).
Description. Forehead deep grey with black shafts; whole upper plumage, tail and exposed portions of the wings olive-brown with a rufous tinge, especially strong on the outer edge of the quills, the tail and upper tail-coverts; lores brown ; cheeks, sides of head and neck olive-brown tinged with rufous; lower plumage bright rufous, 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.
Colours of soft parts. Iris creamy-white to bright yellow; bill yellow or pale yellowish-horny, the culmen and tip dark brown; legs and feet dark fleshy-yellow, yellowish brown, reddish brown and yellowish grey.
Measurements. Length 250 to 260 mm.; wing 87 to 90 mm.; tail about 110 to 115 mm.; tarsus about 33 mm.; culmen about 18 to 19 mm.
Distribution. The Western G-hats from Coonoor and Kotagiri on the Nilgiris to Khandala near Bombay.
Nidification. The Rufous Babbler makes a nest of leaves, grass and creeper stems lined with fine grass stems, which it places in a bush or tree standing in forest. The eggs seem to be usually three in number, sometimes only two, sometimes four. They are of the typical glossy, rather dark blue and measure about 24.2 x 18.5 mm. The breeding season is February and March.
Habits. Except that it keeps much to jungle and bamboo cover away from the haunts of men, the habits of this bird are quite typical of the genus. Its voice is said to be softer and more musical than that of the common forms, but it is almost equally noisy and active: