1256. Zosterops ceylonensis

(1256) Zosterops ceylonensis Holdsworth.
THE LARGE CEYLON WHITE-EYE.
Zosterops ceylonensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p, 366.
This large form of Zosterops is confined to Ceylon, and its reported occurrence in the Nilgiris is probably due to mistaken identification.
According to Wait this bird is not obtained below 3,000 feet, but Phillips has found it breeding at 2,800 feet and Jenkins saw a nest with young at about 1,500 feet.
This is a bird of the forest and only to a lesser extent of tea and rubber-plantations, where it breeds not infrequently in the high seed-tea and sometimes on rubber-vines. Occasionally, also, it builds its nest as high up as 30 feet in a forest-tree, but generally it selects a site somewhere between 4 and 10 feet from the ground in a thick bush or small sapling. Tunnard took nests from (1) a thin branch of a Sappa-tree 20 feet from the ground, (2) several nests in low bushes in his garden, (3) in low Grevillea-trees a few feet from the ground, and (4) in forest-trees high up.
The nests are very similar to those of other White-Eyes, but Tunnard, comparing the nests of this bird with those of egregia, the small White-Eye, remarks :—“I am convinced that there is a difference between the nests of this bird and egregia. That of the latter is more solidly built, and in no case have I ever been able to see daylight through it like one can in many of those of ceylonensis ; besides, those of egregia ore not so deep.”
The materials seem to be much the same, though both Phillips and Tunnard repeatedly found moss, often a considerable amount, used in the construction of the nest, especially on the outside. Like the nests of other White-Eyes, those of the present species are almost invariably pendent from small forks or from two or three fine twigs.
The breeding season is during March, April and May, and the season seems to be a far more definite one than it is with most Ceylon birds. The only date recorded outside these months is one nest taken by Tunnard on the 8th February.
The normal complement of eggs is two or three ; no one has taken four or seen a single egg incubated.
They are quite typical Zosterops’ eggs in colour and texture, smooth and very fine hut glossless pale blue. In shape, however, they are comparatively longer and less broad.
Thirty-three eggs, which include series taken by Tunnard and Phillips, average 16.5 x 12.0 mm. : maxima 19.0 x 11.8 and 16.4 x 12.9 mm. ; minima 15.1 x 11.2 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1256. Zosterops ceylonensis
Spp Author: 
Holdsworth.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1256
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
196
Common name: 
Large Ceylon White Eye
M_ID: 
25500
M_CN: 
Sri Lanka White-eye
M_SN: 
Zosterops ceylonensis
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14339

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