Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/59

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CORVUS.

haunts keeping to very restricted areas, the races which have taken to scavenging cities and villages for food probably travel over very wide areas in the non-breeding season and the result of this habit is that we are often faced with conflicting measurements from the same locality.

It is most noticeable in the geographical races of this Crow that the eggs are more easily differentiated than the birds themselves.

(5) Corvus coronoides levaillanti.

The Indian Jungle-Crow.

Corvus levaillanti Less., Traité d'Orn., p. 328 (1831) (Bengal).
Corvus macrorhynchus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p, 17.

Vernacular names. The Indian Corby, the Slender-billed Crow, Jerdon; Dhar or Dhal-Kawa (Hindi in the North); Karrial (Hindi); Dad-Kawa, Jungli-Kawa (Bengali).

Description. Upper plumage glossy black, except the hind neck and sides of neck, which are almost glossless, and of which the feathers are disintegrated and silky, not of the intense black of the other parts, and with the shafts not conspicuously different from the webs.

Colours of soft parts. Iris brown, or very dark almost black-brown; legs, feet and bill black.

Measurements. Length from about 430 to 510 mm. (about 17 to 20 inches); tail about 170 to 200 mm.; wing about 304 mm., but varying from about 290 to 330 mm.; culmen about 60 mm.

Distribution. The Common Indian Jungle-Crow extends over the whole of India south of the Himalayas, as far South as the Deccan and on the East to about the latitude of the Madras Presidency. To the North-east it is found up to the Bay of Bengal, but east of the Brahmaputra its place is taken by the Burmese form.

Nidification. The breeding season of this race of Jungle-Crow over the greater portion of its habitat is from the middle of December to the middle of January but in the north-eastern portion of its range, such as Behar, Oudh, etc., it appears to lay in March and April, The nest is a very well-made neat cup of small and pliant twigs, much and compactly intermixed with leaves, moss, etc., and well lined with hair, grass or wool. It is generally placed high up in some tree away from villages and towns but may occasionally also be found building right inside the streets of big cities.

The eggs number four or five, rarely six, and are quite typical Crows' eggs, but, compared with those of the hill races, are much smaller and much paler in general tint. In shape also they average longer in proportion. One hundred eggs average 39⋅6 × 28⋅9 mm.