921. Urophlexis squameiceps

(921) Urophlexis squameiceps.

Swinhoe's Reed-Warbler.

Tribura squameiceps Swinhoe, P. Z. S., 1863, p. 292 (Canton). Urosphena squamiceps. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 442.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. The whole upper plumage, wings and tail rich hair-brown; the feathers of the crown rounded and with obsolete dark edges, giving a squamated appearance ; a broad buffy-white supercilium from the nostrils to the nape; lores and a line through the eye deep chocolate-black ; ear-coverts and cheeks mixed white, buff and dark brown; whole lower plumage pale buff, almost white on the chin, throat and centre of abdomen; under wing-coverts and axillaries brown and buff.

Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown ; bill above and at the tip dark horny-brown; base of lower mandible fleshy-yellow; legs and feet fleshy-white.

Measurements. Total length about 85 mm.; wing 52 to 56 mm.; tail 25 to 30 mm.; tarsus about 19 to 20 mm.; culmen about 10 to 11 mm.

Distribution. Summer—Eastern Siberia to Japan; Winter-China, Formosa, Hainan, Indo-Chinese countries to Burma.

Nidification. Nests taken by Alan Owston in Japan were deep cups or egg-shaped, made of grass-blades and strips of rushes, etc., placed low down in bushes in scrub-jungle. The eggs, five or six in number, are pinkish white to light pale pink, mottled or blotched all over with darker pinkish red or reddish brown, with secondary markings, hardly showing, of lavender or purple-grey. They vary in size from 15.4 x 13.0 to 17.3 x 14.0 mm. They breed on Mt. Fuji in May and June.

Habits. Mr. J. P- Cook found this bird common, in the Eastern Pegu Yomas and so little is known about its habits that I quote his remarks in full:—"They frequent the edges of densely-forested streams, but are more partial to those where ' kaing' grass grows. They feed mostly on the ground creeping about among the leaves in the thickest of scrub, but occasionally coming out into the sandy creeks, hunting for insects among the drift-wood. I ascertained that one bird I shot had been feeding on very small black beetles obtained in the sand. I found the birds singly and they are very hard to discover until they make their presence known by their note, a soft low 'chip chip.' They are by no means shy birds." (Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. Journal, xxi, p. 1086, 1912.)

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.2 1924.
Title in Book: 
921. Urophlexis squameiceps
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Swinhoes Reed Warbler
Asian Stubtail
Urosphena squameiceps
Vol. 2

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