Page:The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma (Birds Vol 1).djvu/66

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man is, there, sooner or later, it will surely be found. Probably originally purely a plains' bird it has followed rail and road routes into the hills almost everywhere, being now found in hill stations at elevations of 6,000 and 7,000 feet or even higher. Whitehead says that in the Kurram (this is probably zugmayeri) it remains in the hills all the year round except in very severe weather but in most of the higher haunts it is a winter visitor only. It is one of the boldest, yet one of the most astute of birds, and whilst on the one hand it will snatch food from the very hands of the Indian servants, a very few shots will keep every crow in the neighbourhood out of shot until the gun is put away. In many cities and towns they are so numerous as to become an actual pest and measures have to be taken to suppress them.

(12) Corvus splendens zugmayeri.

The Sind House-Crow.

Corvus zugmayeri Laubm., Orn. Monatab., xxi, p. 93 (1919) (Las Bela, S.E. Baluchistan).
Corvus splendens. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 20.

Vernacular names. Pat-Kawar (Hind.).

Description. Like C. s. splendens, but with the pale parts almost white and showing in sharp contrast to the black.

Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in the Common House-Crow.

Distribution. Baluchistan, Afghanistan, Sind, Mekran coast and S.E. Persia as far north as Fao. It is common in Kashmir, where it breeds, and wanders into the Punjab.

Nidification. The breeding season of the Sind House-Crow appears to commence in the latter half of June as soon as the monsoon breaks. It breeds in immense numbers all round and in Karachi and as nesting sites are here not too common, for trees are comparatively few, many eggs are thrown out of the nest during squabbles between the owner of the nest and other crows. Nest and eggs are like those of the other races but the nest is often placed on quite low bushes, especially if they are thorny ones.

Sixty eggs collected for me by General R. Betham average 37.5 × 25.8 mm.

Habits. These do not differ from those of the other races.

(13) Corvus splendens insolens.

The Burmese House-Crow.

Corvus insolens Hume, S. F., ii, p. 480 (1874) (Tenasserim); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 21.

Vernacular names. Kyeegan, Chegan (Burmese).