(604) Zoothera marginata.
The Lesser Brown Thrush.
Zoothera marginata Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 141 (1847) (Arakan) ; Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 157.
Vernacular names. Daokat-buku-lowia (Cachari).
Description. "Whole upper plumage and tail rufous olive-brown, the feathers very faintly margined darker ; wing-quills, primary-coverts and greater coverts edged paler, rather a brick-red; tips of the median and greater coverts tipped to a varying extent with the same ; the tail is cross-rayed and the outer feathers are a little paler than the central ones; sides of the head and ear-coverts mixed fulvous and dark brown; chin and centre, of throat white, irregularly barred with dark brown; breast, flanks and sides of throat dark olive-brown, the pale centres obsolete, but increasing on the lower breast and on the centre of the abdomen, taking up all but a narrow fringe of light olive-brown. Axillaries and under wing-coverts as in the Large Brown Thrush.
Colours of soft parts as in Z. monticola.
Measurements. Wing 121 to 129 mm.; tail 75 to 79 mm.; tarsus 29 to 30 mm.; culmen 28 to 29 mm.
The Young bird has the upper parts darker and streaked with fulvous and the under parts more definitely barred.
Distribution. Sikkim to Eastern Assam, Chin and Kachin Hills, the whole of the hills of Burma to Tenasserim, Siam, Yunnan and Annam.
Nidification. The Lesser Brown Thrush breeds between 3,000 and 9,000 but, perhaps, more often below than above 6,000 feet. In the hills South of the Brahmaputra it is almost common, breeding during May, June and July in the densest and most humid forests and nearly always placing its nest on a tall bush or small tree near water. The nest is like that of the Brown Thrush but often has a few twigs, scraps of dead moss or roots woven in with the lining moss. The eggs are small replicas of those of the Large Brown Thrush but are often even brighter and bolder in coloration. These eggs would be difficult to distinguish from those of Geocichla citrina but for their texture which is soft and almost glossless, never with the hard shiny texture of those of that bird. They number three or four, and fifty average 27.0 x 20.0 mm.: maxima 30.1 x 20.1 and 28.0 x 21.3 mm.; minima 24.8 x 19.0 mm.
Habits. Those of the last bird, but this Thrush inhabits lower levels and in the Winter descends almost to the foot-hills under 1,000 feet. Both the Brown Thrushes are very crepuscular in their Habits.