(981) Sturnia turdiformis.
The Chinese Myna.
Pastor turdiformis Wagler, Syst, Av., Pastor sp. 15 (1827) (China). Sturnia sinensis. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 526.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Forehead, crown, chin, lores and round the eye rosy ferruginous, deepest and purest on the lores; rump, upper tail-coverts, flanks, thighs and under tail-coverts rosy-ferruginous; neck and back ashy-grey ; scapulars and wing-coverts white at the bases grading into rosy; quills black with a metallic green gloss on the visible portions of the closed wing; tail black, broadly tipped with ferruginous and the outermost feathers edged with the same; throat, sides of neck and breast pale grey : centre of abdomen white; axillaries and under wing-coverts very ferru¬ginous.
Colours of soft parts. Iris white to bluish-white; bill slaty-grey or pale bluish-plumbeous, the mouth and base rich slaty-blue; legs and feet slaty-blue to plumbeous-grey.
Measurements. Total length about 225 mm.; wing 95 to 106 mm.; tail 54 to 59 mm.; culmen 18 to 19 mm.; tarsus 26 to 27 mm.
In Winter after the Autumn moult the rosy-ferruginous tint disappears altogether or to a great extent, the parts affected becoming grey-white or pure white, as on the flanks.
The Young bird has the head all grey, merely suffused with rufous ; the wings and tail are dark brown ; the rump, scapulars and wing-coverts are grey and the lower surface pale grey, a little deeper on the breast.
Distribution. Breeding in China, Formosa and Japan and extending in Whiter throughout the Indo-Chinese countries and Siam to Singapore and Pegu. Hume also saw it in Manipur.
Nidification. In China Messrs. Vaughan and Jones found these birds breeding during May and June, placing their nests occasion¬ally in holes in trees but more often in buildings, especially in old pagodas. The nests are large, untidy affairs of all kinds of rubbish and the birds often build in large communities, sometimes, with Sparrows and other Mynas. The eggs number four or Ave and are pale blue-green. They average 27.4 x 18.8 mm.
Habits. This Starling is almost entirely a tree-feeder but occasionally also feeds on the ground. Like the rest of the genus it is gregarious, though not assembling, even during migration, in the vast multitudes affected by the Rosy Pastor. They arrive in , their Winter quarters in September and leave again at the end of March, pairing before they arrive at their nesting-places.