Anthocincla phayrei Blyth, J. A.S. B., xxxi, p. 343 (1862) (Toung-hoo). Anthocincla phayrii. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 387.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. - Male. A black coronal band from the forehead and a second from the lores and through the eye meeting on, and covering the whole of the nape and sides of the neck; forehead and sides of the crown fulvous, each feather edged with black; feathers above the eye more white, changing to pure white on the longest feathers of the aigrettes, which are barred with black, and more fulvous on the concealed bases; upper plumage rufous-brown; wing-coverts broadly tipped with rufous-fulvous and with lunar black bars on each web; primaries and outer secondaries dark brown, edged with rufous and with a fulvous patch at the base ; innermost secondaries like the back; ear-coverts black with rufous shafts ; sides of the head fulvous, each feather very narrowly edged with blackish; the edges of the feathers at the sides of the throat black, forming two moustachial streaks; chin white, changing to fulvous on" the lower throat and to deeper rufescent fulvous on the breast and abdomen, the breast and anterior flanks more or less spotted with black; under tail-coverts dark pink.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill black; legs and feet dark fleshy. In the non-breeding season the bill is dark horny-brown rather than black.
Measurements. Total length about 220 mm.; wing 101 to 107 mm. ; tail 55 to 58 mm.; tarsus 30 to- 31 mm,; culmen 25 to 28 mm.
Female. Has the black on the crown, nape, neck, lores and sides of the head replaced by rufous-brown ; the rufous of the lower parts is duller and paler and much more boldly and freely spotted with black ; the under rail-coverts are generally a duller pink. The bill of the female is a dark horny-brown, paler on the lower mandible.
Distribution. Burma East of the Sittoung River, Shan States, Siam and Tenasserim.
Nidification. Bingham found a nest of this species on the 27th April at about 5,000 feet in the Karen Hills. The nest is described as oven-shaped, made of leaves, roots and grasses and lined with fine black roots. The entrance was on one side, low down, with a little raised platform of twigs leading up to it. It was built on a bank covered with evergreen bushes inside a deep forest. The nest contained four eggs, broad ellipses in shape, china-white with a few minute spots and specks of purple-black at the larger end. The shell, like that of all Pittas' eggs, is very hard with a high gloss. The four eggs measure between 27.9 x 23.3 and 27.4 x 21.6 mm.
Habits. Very little is known about this rare Pitta but it is apparently a frequenter of both thin and dense forest between some 1,500 and 6,000 feet. It keeps entirely to the ground and Davison never saw it on trees at any time.