678. Merula unicolor.
Turdus unicolor, Tick. J. A. S. B. ii, p. 577 (1833). Petrocincla homochroa, Hodgs. in Gray's Zool. Misc. p. 83 (1844). Turdus dissimilis, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 144, part. (1847). Geocichla dissimilis, Blyth, Cat. p. 163; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 191. Geocichla unicolor (Tick.), Blyth, Cat. p. 163; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 519; Hume & Headers. Lah. to Yark. p. 192 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 230; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 408, vii, p. 213 ; Hume, Cat. no. 356; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 283 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 171, Merula unicolor (Tick.), Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 271; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 96.
The Dusky Ground-Thrush, Jerd.; Desi pawai, Hind.; Machasah, Beng.; Poda palisa, Tel.
Coloration. Male. The upper plumage, sides of head and neck, and the visible portions of the closed wings and tail ashy grey; lower plumage slaty grey, paler on the chin and becoming white on the abdomen, rent, and under tail-coverts ; axillaries ashy grey, generally tinged with buff; under wing-coverts chestnut-brown.
Female. Upper plumage and sides of neck olive-brown; wings and tail dark brown, the outer webs suffused with olive-brown; lores blackish with a pale band above; sides of the head mixed brown and fulvous; chin and throat white, the sides streaked with black; breast olivaceous, the upper part spotted with black ; sides of the body pale ochraceous ; abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts white; axillaries and under wing-coverts chestnut-brown.
In the male the iris is reddish, legs and feet light brownish (Hume Coll.); in the female the bill is yellow with a few dusky cloudings ; iris brown; eyelid greenish yellow ; feet vivid orange-yellow ; claws yellowish horny (Scully).
Length about 9; tail 3.4; wing 4.7; tarsus 1.2; bill from gape 1.1.
Distribution. Found in summer throughout the Himalayas from Murree to Sikhim up to about 7000 feet. In the winter this species occurs throughout the plains of Northern India from Sind to Bengal. So far as is known it extends at this season to Khandala, Raipur, and Orissa, and Jerdon records it even from the Eastern Ghats, a specimen from this latter locality being now in the British Museum. An Ouzel obtained at Belgaum in March, now in the Hume Collection, and referred to M. unicolor, is undoubtedly a specimen of M. obscura.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Himalayas in May and June, constructing a nest of moss and fibres in trees. The eggs, three or four in number, are greenish white, spotted and freckled with rufous and measure 1.06 by .78.