695. Turdus viscivorus.
Turdus viscivorus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 291 (1766); Blyth, Cat. p. 160; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 104; Hume, Cat. no.368; Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 194 ; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 53; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 439; Oates in Hume's N. & F. 2nd ed. ii, p, 106, Turdus hodgsoni, Homeyer, Rhea, ii, p. 150 (1849); Jerd. B. I. i, p. 531; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. ii, p. 36; Hume, N. & E. p. 236 ; Brooks, S. F. iii, p. 237, viii, p. 471.
The Himalayan Missel-Thrush
Coloration. Upper plumage greyish brown, the edges of the feathers paler, a tinge of. ochraceous running through the rump and upper tail-coverts ; tail ashy brown, the exterior webs narrowly edged with white, and all the feathers tipped whitish, the middle pair narrowly, the others more and more; wings brown, all the quills and coverts edged and tipped with fulvous white ; lores pale fulvous ; a whitish ring round the eye; ear-coverts brown streaked with fulvous ; lower plumage pale buff, the chin and middle of the throat nearly spotless, the sides of the throat and the whole breast with triangular black spots, the abdomen and sides of the body with roundish spots; the under tail-coverts broadly margined at the base with brown; axillaries and under wing-coverts pure white. Birds in the summer with worn plumage are paler and greyer.
Bill dark horny brown, paler on lower mandible, which is yellowish along the margins ; iris deep brown ; legs and feet pale yellowish brown; claws dark horny brown (Hume).
Length nearly 12; tail 4.8; wing 6.4 to 6.8 ; tarsus 1.4; bill from gape 1.2.
Birds from Europe have the wing generally under 6 inches and the bill slightly smaller, but do not otherwise differ from Himalayan examples.
Distribution. Occurs in the Himalayas from Kashmir to Nepal. All the dated specimens that I have seen from India were killed in the summer months. Scully states that this species is met with in the Gilgit district in summer at elevations of over 9000 feet, where it breeds ; and Biddulph writes that it was tolerably common in Gilgit during the severe winter of 1877-78, but seldom comes so low down, keeping generally to the higher valleys, where he found it in July at 10,000 feet. The Missel-Thrush occurs in Europe, North Africa, and a considerable part of Asia.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Himalayas from April to June above 6000 feet. The nest is a large deep cup made of grass and dry leaves, with clay and mud, placed in trees. The eggs vary from pink to greenish grey; they are marked with brownish red and purplish pink, and measure about 1.2 by .9.