Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/57

This page has been validated.
25
CORVUS.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. The whole plumage very glossy black, the feathers of the hind neck firm and with glistening shafts.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown; legs and bill shining black.

Measurements. Length about 500 mm.; wing about 330 to 350 mm.; tail about 190 mm.; culmen about 58 to 60 mm.; tarsus about the same.

The Eastern Carrion-Crow differs from the Common Carrion-Crow in being decidedly bigger, a more glossy blue-black in colour and in having the outer tail-feathers more graduated.

Distribution. Siberia from the Yenesei to Japan, south to Central Asia, Afghanistan, Eastern Persia, Kashmir, Tibet and N. China. Whitehead found it common in the Upper Kurram Valley.

Nidification. The Eastern Carrion-Crow is resident where found, but within Indian limits very little has been recorded about its history. It nests in the Kurram Valley, whence Whitehead sent me eggs, and also in Kashmir, from which State I have received others. It builds in trees and very often near villages or buildings, laying three to five eggs, which cannot be distinguished from those of the Common Carrion-Crow.

Habits. The Carrion-Crow is found up to 1,400 feet and higher during the hot weather but certainly breeds as low as 5,000 feet. In the winter it descends much lower and it was obtained by Magrath at Bannu. From its superficial resemblance to the Common Jungle-Crow it is possibly often overlooked and it may prove to be not uncommon in the plains in the extreme north-west of India. In Kashmir it is not rare but haunts the wilder parts of the country, though on the Afghanistan and Baluchistan frontier it is, according to Whitehead, generally found in the neighbourhood of villages and mankind.

Its voice is the usual croak of its tribe and its food is as omnivorous as that of the western bird.

Corvus coronoides.

The Jungle-Crow.

Our Indian Jungle-Crows have hitherto been known by the name of macrorhynchus, a name which really applies to their Javan cousin, but they are merely races of the Australian Jungle-Crow, and must therefore be known specifically by the name coronoides, though they form several well-defined subspecies.

Key to Subspecies.

A.
Wing about 305 mm., bill about 60 mm.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
C. c. levaillanti, p. 27.
B.
Wing about 290 mm., bill about 56 mm.
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
C. c. culminatus, p. 28.
C.
Wing about 330 mm.
a.
Bill about 60 mm., more slender
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
C. c. intermedius, p. 28.
b.
Bill about 65 mm., more slender
....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
C. c. andamanensis, p. 29.