196. Argya subrufa

(196) Argya subrufa (Jerdon).
Argya subrufa, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 201.
There is very little on record about the breeding of this Babbler, though it is a common resident bird in the South-West of India from Travancore nearly to Bombay City.
In Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs’ there is only an isolated note describing the nest and, as this description, agrees well with that of Bourdillon, I quote it in full:—
“The nest is a deep massive cup, placed in the fork of twigs, coarsely and roughly but still strongly built. The body of the nest is chiefly composed of leaves, some of which must have been green when used. Outside, the leaves are held in position by blades of grass, creepers, and stems of herbaceous plants, carelessly and roughly wound about the exterior. The cavity is rather more neatly lined with tolerably fine grass-roots. Exteriorly the nest is about 7 inches in height by about 5 inches in diameter. The cavity is about 3.1/2 inches deep by 3 in diameter.”
In Travancore, according to Bourdillon, it is fairly common in forest but is especially fond of the dense secondary growth which springs up so quickly in abandoned coffee clearings, placing its nest, a rough bulky cup of leaves and grass, in bushes and small trees. The usual nesting season is March and April but he also took one clutch of eggs on the 23rd February. From Kanara I have one clutch of four eggs taken on the 20th May and two, of four each, from Khandalla, which were taken on the 11th August and 2nd November.
The normal eggs of this species are much the same as those of Argya malcolmi and nearly as dark, but I have two very pale clutches taken by Bourdillon which are almost a skim-milk blue in colour, whilst in shape they are rather long pointed ovals. They were taken in the same place at an interval of six weeks and are probably the product of the same pair of birds.
Seventeen eggs average 25.0 x 18.1 mm. : maxima 27.1 x 20.0 mm. ; minima 23.0 x 18.5 and 24.5 x 16.2 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
196. Argya subrufa
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Rufous Babbler
Rufous Babbler
Turdoides subrufa
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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