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    The Pied Bushchat



    The Pied Bushchat is a small passerine bird found ranging from West and Central Asia to South and Southeast Asia. About sixteen subspecies are recognized through its wide range with many island forms. It is a familiar bird of countryside and open scrub or grassland where it is found perched at the top of short thorn trees or other shrubs, looking out for insect prey. They pick up insects mainly from the ground, and were, like other chats, placed in the thrush family.

    They nest in cavities in stone walls or in holes in an embankment, lining the nest with grass and animal hair. The males are black with white shoulder and vent patches whose extent varies among populations. Females are predominantly brownish while juveniles are speckled.

    The Pied Bushchat is slightly smaller than the Siberian Stonechat; although it has a similar dumpy structure and upright stance. The male is black except for a white rump, wing patch and lower belly. The iris is dark brown, the bill and legs black. The female is drab brown and slightly streaked. Juveniles have a scaly appearance on the underside but dark above like the females.



    The breeding season is mainly February to August with a peak in March to June. Males sing from prominent perches. The whistling call is somewhat like that of an Indian Robin and has been transcribed as we are tea for two with tea at higher note. The nest is built in a hole in a wall or similar site lined with grass and hair, and 2-5 eggs are laid. Paired males did not reduce their dawn singing behavior when their mates where trapped and temporarily excluded from the territory. This study suggests that males use dawn chorus to mediate social relationships with neighboring males to proclaim an established territory. The eggs are small and broadly oval with pale bluish-white or pinkish ground color and speckles and blotches towards the broad end. They measure about 0.67 by 0.55 inches. Eggs are incubated chiefly by the female for 12 to 13 days.

    Brood parasitism by the Common Cuckoo (race bakeri) has been noted to be common in the Shan State of Burma, with the cuckoo visiting the nest at dusk and removing an egg before quickly laying its own. The female has dark brown upper parts and Rufus underparts and rump. She has no white wing patches. Juveniles are similar to females. Males display during the breeding season by splaying the tail, fluttering and puffing up the white scapular feathers.

    This species is insectivorous, and like other chats hunts from a prominent low perch. They have been noted to feed on Pyralid moths and whitefly..
    Source-Wikipedia

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