226. Zosterops palpebrosa.
The Indian White-eye.
Sylvia palpebrosa, Temm. Pl. Col. 203, fig. 3 (1824). Zosterops nicobaricus, Myth, J. A. 8. B. xiv, p. 563 (1845). Zosterops palpebrosus (Temm.), Blyth, Cat. p. 220 ; Horsf. S; M. Cat. i, p. 203 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 265; Hume, N. & E. p. 307 ; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 631 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 582 ; Hume, Cat. no. 631 ; Scully, S. F. viii, p.' 322 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 308 ; Gadow, Cat. B. M. ix, p. 165 (part.) ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 247; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 253 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i. p. 140. Zosterops nicobariensis, Blyth, Hume, 8. F. ii, p. 242; iv, p. 201; id. Cat. no. 631 ter. Zosterops palpebrosa nicobariensis, Hume, S. F. iv, p. 201.
The White-eyed Tit, Jerd.
Coloration. The whole upper plumage, wing-coverts, and sides of the head golden yellow; the chin and throat bright yellow ; breast, abdomen, and flanks greyish while; under tail-coverts yellow; wings dark brown, edged with greenish yellow; a ring of feathers round the eye white; feathers in front and below the eye black ; tail brown, narrowly margined with greenish yellow.
Bill black ; base of lower mandible bluish grey; irides yellowish hazel; feet dark plumbeous; claws brownish horny (Scully).
Length 4.2 ; tail 1.7 ; wing 2.1 ; tarsus .6 ; bill from gape .55.
Varieties. The race of this species from the Andamans and Nicobars is characterized by a very large bill, and it is difficult to find any bird from the peninsula with the bill equally large. As a few, however, are found, it is not desirable to separate the insular form. On examining the Burmese Zosterops, procured by myself in Pegu and by others in Tenasserim, I find that they all belong to the closely allied but easily recognizable Z. simplex of China.
Distribution. Every portion of India from Murree in the Hazara country to Sadiya in Assam, and southwards on the one hand to Ceylon and the Nicobars, and on the other to the neighbourhood of Bhrimo in Upper Burma. Anderson's specimens from this latter district are typical Z. palpebrosa. In the Himalayas this species is found up to 7000 feet, and it occurs all over the higher hill-ranges of Southern India. It is stated by Blyth to extend to Arrakan, but at the time he wrote the other closely allied species which inhabit Burma had not been separated, and possibly Blyth was mistaken.
Habits, &c. Breeds, according to locality, from January to September, but April appears to be the month in which most nests may everywhere be found. The nest is a very delicate little cup made of vegetable fibres and cobwebs, suspended in a fork of a small branch at all heights from the ground. The eggs are generally two in number and pale blue without marks, but occasionally some eggs may be met with marked at the larger end with darker blue. The eggs measure about .62 by .47.