(1248) Zosterops palpebrosa elwesi.
The Northern White-Eye,
Zosterops palpebrosa elwesi Stuart Baker, Ibis, 1922, p. 145 (Sikkim). Zosterops palpebrosa. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 214 (part).
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Differs from Z. p. palpebrosa in being very much brighter above, more yellow and less green as well as decidedly smaller.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 49 to 53 mm.; bill 8 to 9.5 mm. (in one 10 mm.).
Distribution. West-Central Provinces, Rajputana, North-West India and Himalayas to East Assam, North Shan States and Kauri-Kachin Hills.
Nidification. The principal breeding months of this White-Eye are May and June, but in Assam Coltart and 1 found more nests in July and August after the first heavy rains had fallen. Casual nests may also be taken in other months hut the season does not seem to be so prolonged as that of the preceding race. The nest is similar to that of the Indian While-Eye and, like that of that bird, may be found at any height from one to sixty feet from the ground but, undoubtedly, most birds build between three and five feet up in bushes. A curious nest recorded by Marshall was lined with feathers but this was quite abnormal, the usual lining being of fine grass or fibres as in the nests of the other races. The number of eggs laid is generally three, often two or four. In appearance they are indistinguishable iron, those of the other races and one hundred eggs average 15.0x 11.6 mm; maxima 17.2 x 12.0 and 15.2 x 12.3 mm.; minima 13.9 x 11.1 and 14.3 x 10.9 mm.
Thompson found this little bird feeding its young on the ripe fruit of a bush locally known as Khoda or Chumroor (Ehretia brevis), a very curious trait in an insectivorous species.
Habits. The Northern White-Eye is resident throughout the plains of Northern India and in Summer a large number of birds breed in the Himalayas up to at least 7,000 feet, both Dodsworth and Jones having taken many nests in Simla and the adjacent States. About Mussoorie they are common up to 5,000 feet and round about Murree up to 6,000 feet or over. In the Winter they collect in flocks, like the other subspecies do, and they differ in no way from them in voice, flight or food.