(578) Turdus atrogularis.
The Black-throated Thrush.
Turdus atrogularis Temm., Man. d'Orn., i, p. 80 (1790) (rarely in Austria and Silesia). Merula atrigularis. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 131.
Vernacular names. Mach-reycha (Beng.); Daokat gashim (Cachari).
Description.— Adult male. Whole upper plumage, sides of head and neck, wing-coverts and edges of wing and tail-feathers light greyish brown ; the wings and tail-quills dark brown ; the feathers of the forehead and crown have dark brown centres ; lores, an indistinct supercilium, cheeks, chin, throat and breast black; remainder of lower plumage white, the flanks lightly mottled with grey and the bases of the under tail-coverts brown; under wing-coverts dull orange-brown; axillaries rufous grey.
In Winter the black feathers are edged with pale grey.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill yellow, the tip and final quarter of the culmen black; legs pale yellowish brown.
Measurements. Wing 130 to 140 mm.; tail 101 to 105 mm.; tarsus about 35 mm.; culmen 18 to 19 mm.
Female. Above, similar to the male; below, chin, throat and fore-neck white heavily spotted with black ; breast and flanks ashy, the upper breast boldly spotted with black and the lower breast and flanks streaked with dark brown; remainder of lower plumage white.
Colours of soft parts as in the male.
Measurements. A mere trifle smaller than in the male: wing 129 to 130 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in West Siberia and Central Asia to Chitral, Kashmir and Ladak; Murree (Rattray) and Sikkim ( Captain Taylor).
In Winter it wanders South to the Plains of Northern India from Karachi through the United Provinces to Behar and Bengal. In Western Europe it has straggled as far as England and Scotland.
Nidification. Within our limits this Thrush appears to breed in May as it also does in the Altai but on the Yenisei Popham found nest and eggs in June. The nest is made of twigs, moss and grass, sometimes with an inner lining of mud, sometimes without, and with a final lining of fine grasses. It appears to always place its nest on small trees at no great height from the ground, though Rattray once took one from a pine 30 feet up. The eggs are said to vary between two extremes, one like that of the Common Blackbird, the other like that of the Missel-Thrush. All the Indian and Altai eggs I have seen are like the former. Forty-one eggs average 29.6 x 21.5 and the extremes are: maxima 31.5 x 21.0 and 31.4 x 22.l mm.; minima 27.4 x 21.6 and 31.2 x 20.0 mm.
Habits. Very similar to those of the last bird. It visits Northern India in very great numbers in Winter but very few remain to breed in the Himalayas. In the ranges between Afghanistan and India a few breed at 9,000 feet and over, and again a few remain to breed at about 10,000. feet in the Galis about Murree. Prom Sikkim I received birds aud eggs from Captain Taylor, taken at about 12,000 feet. It has a fine song, which may be heard in March and early April before the birds leave on migration to their breeding haunts.