347. Ixulus flavicollis harterti

(347) Ixulus flavicollis harterti Harington.
Ixulus flavicollis harterti, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 323.
This form of Ixulus has the widest range of all the subspecies of flavicollis. It is extremely common in the hills of Assam South of the Brahmapootra, and extends through Manipur and the extreme South Chin Hills into the Bhamo Hills and Trans- Salwin Shan States.
This is a bird of evergreen forest all over its range, breeding between 3,000 and 8,000 feet during May and June, some birds laying as late as the end of July, others as early as the 10th April.
Nests and sites differ just as greatly with this race of Ixulus as they do with those already described. The following situations in which I have personally taken nests give a good idea of the variety of sites chosen :—
1. A semi-domed moss-nest built of, and in among, long moss hanging from a dead Oak-stump in evergreen forest and about four feet from the ground. An interesting feature of this nest was the fact that, though the moss all round was literally dripping wet, the inside of the nest was absolutely dry. 5,500 feet.
2. Cup-shaped, placed on the ground of a steep bank in evergreen forest, All moss and placed between small boulders and well screened by Begonia plants. 4,800 feet.
3. Cup-shaped nest, entirely made of moss and built pendent between twigs of a straggling bush but partly hidden by long streamers of green moss which hung from all the branches. 4,000 feet.
4. Fully domed, made of moss and practically buried in deep moss growing on a steep, boulder-strewn bank in humid Rhodo¬dendron forest. 6,000 feet.
5. Fully domed and placed under Daphne-bush on the ground in a ravine in Pine forest. Nests of this species in Pine forests are rare. 5,000 feet.
6. Cradle-shaped, made of moss and hanging under a bough of a tree about six feet from the ground, pendent from the long hanging moss, which grew completely over it. 3,500 feet.
I think the nest is always domed unless it is well protected above from rain and, even then, it is often domed or semi-domed. I have taken no nest more than 15 feet from the ground, and anything over six feet seems to be exceptional.
Both birds take part in building the nest, though to what extent the male assists I am not sure. Both sexes also take part in incubation, for we have trapped both on the nest, though more males than females.
Incubation takes, I believe, exactly thirteen days, rarely fourteen.
In Assam the number of eggs laid is usually four, sometimes three only, while Harington found four eggs in a nest at Sinlum Kaba. The Chin Hills birds, however, of whatever race they may be, seem to lay two only, all the nests taken by Hopwood and Mackenzie holding either two eggs or young.
No description in detail is required for the eggs, which are just like all other Ixulus eggs ; I have, however, taken one variety which I have not seen represented among the others. This has a very pale pink ground and is blotched with a pretty pale pink- red, heavily at the larger end, less so elsewhere.
Sixty eggs average 19.3 x 14.2 mm. : maxima 21.3 x 14.8 and 19.4 x 15.0 mm. ; minima 18.5 x 14.0 and 18.6 x 13.8 mm.
I have seen two pigmy eggs of this species in the same nest, but the birds had been watched by me for some time and had become so friendly that I left them in peace.

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: 
347. Ixulus flavicollis harterti
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Chestnut Naped Ixulus
Whiskered Yuhina
Yuhina flavicollis
Vol. 1
Term name: 

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