345. Ixulus flavicollis flavicollis

(345)Ixulus flavicollis flavicollis Hodgs.
Ixulus flavieollis flavieollis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 322 (part.).
Ticehurst having separated the pale North-Western race, I. f. albicollis (Bull. B.O.C. vol. xliv, p. 71, 1924), the range of the typical form is restricted to Nepal East to Bhutan. It breeds in the Outer Himalayas from 5,000 feet upwards ; Blanford obtained it at Lachen, 9,000 feet, in June and Stevens records it “from the foot of the Hills up to 7,800 feet,” but its occurrence at the lower elevations must surely refer to Winter months only.
Like the preceding species of Ixulus, this bird makes more than one type of nest in situations varying greatly in character. The one and only nest foundly by Gammie was cup-shaped, “composed of moss and fine root-fibres and thickly lined with the latter, and was suspended at a height of about six feet in the natural moss hanging from a horizontal branch of a small tree, in which it was entirely enveloped. A more beautiful and more completely invisible nest it is impossible to conceive.”
Then we have Hodgson’s nests, taken in Central Nepal and the vicinity of Darjiling, where, according to Hodgson, “it builds on the ground in tufts of grass, constructing its nest of moss and moss-roots, sometimes open and cup-like and sometimes globular, and lining it with sheep’s wool.”
One of Hodgson’s paintings figures a nest suspended from a branch, and Osmaston obtained a nest in exactly the same position, hanging among the moss of a branch about 15 feet from the ground. Other nests taken by W. P. Masson were also pendent from mossy branches or trunks, and these were all domed moss-nests lined with moss-roots.
Hume also says that “the bird very commonly suspends its nest to one or two twigs, making it a complete cylinder or egg in shape, with the entrance at one side, but always using moss, in some cases fine, in some coarse, according to the nature of the moss growing where the nest is placed, as the sole material, and lining the cavity thickly with fine black moss and fern-roots.”
Jerdon’s nests referred to in Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs’ we may definitely ignore as wrongly identified.
So far nests with eggs have only been taken during May and June. The full clutch of eggs is four, though three only seems to be more often laid by this species than by the preceding, and Masson and Osmaston both took clutches of this number which were apparently complete. I do not think it would be possible to distinguish between the eggs of the Chestnut-headed Ixulus and the Yellow-naped Ixulus except that the latter average bigger and are, perhaps, even longer in proportion to their breadth, while some are more pointed. Hume’s eggs covered all the varieties already described under I. occipitalis but, curiously enough, the only two clutches in my own collection seem to be the two extremes of variation. A clutch of three taken by Osmaston on the 14th May is white of the purest in ground ; one egg is almost immaculate, one is lightly freckled with pale red, and the third is rather more definitely marked with the same. The other clutch, taken by Masson, has a pale cream or buff ground with dense rings of deep red-brown at the larger end and other freckles of reddish- brown elsewhere, least numerous at the small end.
Including Hume’s eggs, the average of twenty-eight eggs is 19.8 x 14.2 mm. : maxima 21.1 x 14.2 and 20.9 x 14.8 mm. ; minima 19.3 x 13.9 and 19.7 x 13.7 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: 
345. Ixulus flavicollis flavicollis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Yellow Headed Ixulus
Yuhina flavicollis flavicollis
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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