(332) Staphidia striata rufigenis.
Ixulus rufigenis Hume, S. F., v,p. 108(1877)(Himalayas, Darjeeling). Staphidia rufigenis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 206.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Similar to the last but with the head lighter and more grey and with a distinct white supercilium from eye to back of ear-coverts, above which there is a rufous band.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in the last bird.
Distribution. Sikkim to Assam North and East of the Brahmaputra, Abor and Miri Hills. The eastern limits are not yet known, but Harington obtained it in the Kachin Hills.
Nidification. Similar to that of the previous two birds. Round about Margherita we found its nests on banks and sides of cuttings through the jungle, made of soft tow-like material mixed with moss, leaves and rubbish, more or less filling the base of the hole in which it was placed. The eggs were generally three only, rarely four and they differed from those of the Chestnut-headed Staphidia only in being a little more richly marked. One hundred eggs measured on an average 16.6 x 13.3 mm. and the extremes were 18.0 x 13.2 mm., 16.2 x 13.7 mm. and 14.7 x 12.4 mm. The breeding season lasts from March to June.
Habits. This little Staphidia is found in parties throughout the cold weather, according to Stevens sometimes numbering as many as thirty individuals. It haunts trees and brushwood alike both in forest and in the secondary growth and has the usual restless habits of its tribe. It is not a shy bird. It probably ascends as high as 4,000 feet in summer but is more a low-level bird, keeping for the most part from the foot-hills up to about 2,000 feet.