597. Oreocincla dauma imbricata

(597) Oreocincla dauma imbricata (Layard).
The Ceylon Small-billed MOuntain-Thrush.
Oreocincla dauma imbricata, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 160.
This bird breeds in the Ceylon Hills between about 2,500 feet and the highest peaks. It builds its nest both in forest, more open jungle, and in Tea gardens, placing it on trees between 8 and 25 feet from the ground. One nest, however, was found by Phillips “placed in a crack in a rock, about 15 feet up the side of a rocky gorge” running through forest at about 3000 feet elevation.
In 1922, T. E. Tunnard found a nest of this Thrush which he describes as follows (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxviii, p. 546, 1922):—“The nest is placed about ten feet from the ground in the fork of an Albizzia-tree, which trees are used as shade-trees for the tea in this district and are topped every six months. There is a strip of scrub-jungle within about 60 yards. The materials used are green moss and a few fresh fern-leaves ; the lining is composed entirely of moderately fine black roots ; there is no mud. The whole structure is neat, round and compact, and the cup is fairly deep and very wide. The birds are fearfully shy, at least the cock is, whereas the hen will let me up to the nest within about fifteen feet. The elevation is about 3,800 feet.”
One egg of the two it contained was left in the nest and the bird finally deserted this on the 3rd September and then started building another nest within 200 yards of the first. Three old nests were later found in similar positions in Albizzia-trees. The rainfall in these parts is about 200 inches. Alford was, perhaps, the first collecter to take this bird’s nest and egg. The nest with one egg, a full clutch, as the hen bird, which was shot, contained no other, was found in the Bhopat Range on the 14th August, 1911. The nest, which was built on a “small tree at the edge of a stream running from the Bhopat Range to the Boga Valley,” was “exactly like the Missel-Thrush’s except that it was lined with the same black roots or stems used by Bligh’s Whistling -Thrush." Phillips found it breeding round Gammadawa and took nests at 3,000 and 4,500 feet. He describes the nests as “deep cups about 2.1/2 inches across, lined with decayed roots and leaflets, in the centre of a large pyramidal collection of green moss with a few twigs in the foundation.” Both nests were in damp evergreen forest—one in a small tree about 12 feet from the ground, the other, as already mentioned, in a rock.
Phillips describes the country round Gammadawa, where he took his nests, as “damp, virgin forests that clothe the steep sides of the mountain ridges which rise to between 3,000 and 5,000 feet above the low country. These forests are, for the most part, rocky and precipitous, the gnarled and twisted trees overgrown with mosses and lichen and the undergrowth dense where it has not been cleared for cardamums. The sodden leaf-carpet abounds with insect-life and land-leeches and forms a great attraction for many insect-eating birds.
Nests with eggs have been taken in March, April, August and September but we do not yet know enough about the breeding to say what is the normal breeding season.
The full clutch seems to be two, one only being sometimes incubated.
The eggs are much paler than those of the typical form and are a very pale olive-green, or olive-grey, faintly freckled with very pale reddish. One egg taken by Phillips has a pinkish ground and the egg taken by Alford is more distinctly spotted sparsely with pale red and dark red-brown spots.
Six eggs average 30.5 x 21.2 mm. : maxima 35.2 x 22.0 mm. ; minima 28.3 x 20.9 mm.
In texture they are like other eggs of this species, but in shape the very few eggs so far obtained have been long, blunt ovals.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
597. Oreocincla dauma imbricata
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Ceylon Thrush
Scaly Thrush
Zoothera dauma
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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