(596) Oreocincla dauma nilgiriensis.
The Nilgiri Thrush.
Oreocincla nilgiriensis Blyth, J. A. S. B., xvi, p. 141 (1847) (Nilgiris); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 153.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Similar to 0. d. dauma but much darker above, the golden-fulvous spots hardly apparent and the black bars in less contrast. Below, the fulvous tinge is less in evidence.
Colours of soft parts as in the Small-billed Mountain-Thrush. The legs and feet are said to be more fleshy in colour.
Measurements. Total length about 250 mm.; wing 124 to 136 mm.; tail 81 to 92 mm.; tarsus 28 to 29 mm.; culmen 27 to 29 mm.
Distribution. The Hill ranges of Southern India from the Nilgiris to Central Travancore between 2,000 feet and the highest hills.
Nidification. The Nilgiri Thrush breeds in the Nilgiris in May and June, making a very compact well-built nest of moss, roots, leaves and grass, lined with line roots and placed on trees any height between 5 and 25 feet from the ground. The site selected is always one in a well-wooded "shola." The eggs number two only and are indistinguishable from those of the last bird.
Habits. Similar to those of the Small-billed Mountain-Thrush. Its reported musical abilities seem to have been given to it by mistake, for Cardew, who knew this bird very well, says that, during a long residence in Ooty, in a house adjoining a shola in which they bred, he never heard it sing once. It seems to be an even more quiet, shy and retiring bird than the last.