(1249) Zosterops palpebrosa egregia.
The Small Ceylon White-Eye.
Zosterops egregia Madarasz, Ann. Mus. Budapest, ix, 1911, p. 422, pl. xvi, fig. 1 (Ceylon). Zosterops palpebrosa Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 214 (part).
Vernacular names. Mall-kurraba (Cing.).
Description. Very similar to the preceding race but rather larger and much paler, almost albescent below : the upper plumage is still more yellow, the rump and forehead being practically pure yellow.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 54 to 56 mm.: culmen about 9 to 10 mm. only.
Distribution. Ceylon and the Laccadives.
Nidification. According to Wait the breeding-season of this bird is "mainly from June to August but Stewart took several nests in May also. Wait says that "The nest is a dainty little cup of tendrils, fine grass stalks, and moss, woven together with cobwebs and generally lined with a little vegetable down. It is placed in the slender fork of a small branch about six to twenty feet from the ground." It lays either two or three eggs, generally the former, which are of the usual pale blue. Wait's eggs average 15.7 x 11.6 mm. but eleven eggs in my own collection average only 15.2 x 11.4 mm.: maxima 16.1 x 12.1 and 15.5 x 12.3 mm. minima 14.1 X 11.3 and 14.6 x 10.7 mm.
Habits. Very similar to those of the other races of this species. It is a sociable little bird, feeding among the higher branches of trees in flocks of some size. Its diet is mainly insectivorous but,, according to Wait, it also feeds on buds and flowers; possibly the greater part of the latter is consumed together with the insects which infest them but some part at least of the White-Eye's food seems to be vegetarian. The Small Ceylon White-Eye is found practically throughout the plains of Ceylon, ascending the hills up to some 4,000 feet. It frequents both forest and open country ; the wildest parts of the former and gardens, compounds and villages alike.