698. Oreocincla dauma.
The Small-billed Mountain-Thrush.
Turdus dauma, Lath. Ind. Orn. i, p. 362 (1790). Oreocincla dauma (Lath.), Blyth, Cat. p. 160; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 193 ; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 533; Hume, N. & E. p. 236; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 408; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 115; id. & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 256; Ball. S. F. vii, p. 213; Hume, Cat. no. 371; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 107. Geocichla dauma (Lath.), Seebohm, Cat. B. M. v, p. 154 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 6.
Coloration. After the autumn moult the whole upper plumage is ochraceous brown, each feather with a crescentic black bar at the tip, preceded by a fulvous patch; wing-coverts with large bright fulvous tips, the median series blackish above the tips ; primary-coverts black, with a broad band of fulvous on the outer webs ; quills dark brown, margined on the outer web with fulvous; the four middle tail-feathers olive-brown, the next three pairs blackish with white tips, the outermost feathers blackish, with the terminal third fulvous; sides of the head pale fulvous variegated with black; chin, middle of throat, and middle of abdomen white; remainder of lower plumage white, tinged with fulvous, each feather with a terminal band of black, and with a subterminal lighter patch ; under tail-coverts white, some of the feathers tipped with black; axillaries with basal half white and terminal half black ; under wing-coverts black and terminally white.
In summer the plumage becomes very dull, the fulvous parts fading to olive-brown.
Upper mandible and middle of lower dark brown, remainder of bill pale brown, the gape tinged with orange; inside of mouth yellowish; eyelid and ocular region plumbeous; iris dark hazel-brown ; legs and claws fleshy white.
Length about 10.5 ; tail 3.8; wing 5.6; tarsus 1.3; bill from gape 1.2.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Hazara and Kashmir to Assam, and thence down to the central parts of Tenasserim. This Thrush is also found in the plains of India, where it has been recorded from the North-West Provinces, Behar, Bengal, Chutia Nagpur, Orissa, and Central India, extending, according to Jerdon, as far south as the Wynaad.
It is doubtful to what extent this Thrush is migratory. It breeds throughout the Himalayas, and also occurs in those mountains in winter, and it is found throughout the year in the Dhoon. Prom the plains of India and from Assam to Tenasserim I have seen no specimens that were killed in the summer months ; but this is not improbably due to the inactivity of collectors during the latter part of the hot season and during the rains. On the whole I am inclined to think that this bird is resident on all the hill-ranges within its area of distribution, and merely descends to the adjoining plains in the winter.
Habits, &c. Breeds in the Himalayas in May and June up to 7000 feet at least. The nest is a cup, constructed of moss and lined with fern-leaves, placed in a tree. The eggs, probably three in number as a rule, are greenish white, marked with brownish and reddish purple, and measure about 1.23 by .91.*