J. F. Gmelin, 1789,
Surat, Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay), India.
Hitherto treated as race of S. chinensis, but indicated as a likely separate species#R and differs in its reddish to red iris and red eyering vs yellow to orange iris and narrow grey or blue-grey eyering (3); plumage pattern of upperparts greatly emphasizes buff tips vs dark central bars to feathers, thus appearing predominantly pale-spotted vs dark-spotted (2); song typically (and perhaps always) more protracted owing to repetition of main stressed note vs no such repetition (2); size generally smaller, albeit larger in north of range (informally 1); zone of intergradation in “Cachar, Manipur, etc.”#R (assumed to be wide: 1). Birds of Sri Lanka sometimes separated as race ceylonensis based on smaller size; in past, those of NE Assam separated as edwardi. Monotypic.
Pakistan, Nepal and India S to Sri Lanka, and E to Bhutan and Assam.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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