331. Staphida striata striata

(331) Staphida striata striata (Blyth).
Staphidia striata striata, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 311.
This little Babbler is found from the Bhamo Hills, through Karenni and the mountains of Eastern Burma, to Tenasserim. Messrs. Robinson and Cook found it very common at Thandoung. The latter, writing of Tickell’s Babbler, this bird’s previous name, remarks :—“ I did not realize how common it was until Mr. Justice Robinson and I had found about a dozen nests. Robinson set all doubt at rest by shooting a parent bird, and later I caught a bird in my landing-net on her nest.
“This species in Thandoung invariably chose for nesting place the banks of paths cut through the jungle, or in one instance I found a nest about four feet from the ground in a hole on the face of a deep road-cutting. The nests are usually cunningly concealed, though at times very conspicuous ; generally we found them partially concealed behind a clod or a tuft of moss or grass and built into any hole or shelf in the bank, but usually holes near the top of the bank were chosen, so that the overhanging moss, clods etc. partially concealed it.
“The nest is rather massive for such a small bird, being thickly walled with moss and rather loosely packed. The inside is a neat cup, lined with very fine grasses and thin black stalks, so very thin that they have the appearance of horse-hair, obtained, I fancy, from the smaller dried ferns.
“None of the seven nests I found between May 14th and 29th contained more than three eggs, and the eggs in all were fresh. One bird began laying on the 27th May.”
In Tenasserim Hopwood found them breeding on Mount Nwalabo, at 4,000 feet elevation. Here also he notes :—“ Nests always placed in small holes in the banks of road-side cuttings. Nests open and very exposed.”
As noted above, Robinson and Cook took all their nests in April, but Hopwood and Mackenzie in Southern Burma found theirs in May. The earliest date I can find for any nest with eggs is the 5th April, a nest taken by Robinson at Thandoung, but I understand that he had taken other nests even earlier than this.
The normal clutch of eggs of this race is three and I have no records of a four and none of two showing that incubation had commenced.
The description already given for the eggs of the Chestnut-headed Staphida fully suffices for those of this bird and, in the small series in my collection, there are no clutches calling for remark.
Twenty eggs average 17.7 x 13.7 mm. : maxima 20.7 x 15.4 mm. (an egg measured by Mackenzie); minima 16.2 x 14.4 and 18.5 x 12.0 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
331. Staphida striata striata
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Brown Headed Staphida
Yuhina castaniceps striata
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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