999. Aethiopsar fuseus fuseus

(999) Aethiopsar fuscus fuscus (Wagl.).
THE INDIAN JUNGLE MYNA.
Aethiopsar fuscus fuscus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 57.
The Jungle Myna is found over practically the whole of India and Burma. It is not found in Sind, Rajputana, or the drier portions of the North-West Province and it does not occur in Ceylon. In Burma it is a resident bird at least as far South as the North of Tenasserim.
Although this Myna may be found round about villages and towns, even breeding sometimes in ruins, stables and deserted buildings, it is far more a forest and jungle bird than is the Common Myna.
In Assam we found it nesting far from any human habitations and quite common in deserted cultivation clearings, bamboo- and scrub-jungle and thin forest. On the rare occasions we found it in really deep evergreen forest it was on the outskirts and never far inside. It breeds throughout the plains and in the Himalayas up to some 5,000 feet, whilst in the Nilgiris and hills of Southern India it ascends higher still.
As a rule it makes its nest in natural hollows in the branches and trunks of trees, less often occupying deserted nest-holes of Woodpeckers and Barbets. The tree may be of any kind and, except that Hutton says in Mussoorie they prefer large Oaks, no one has detected any preference shown by this Myna for any special tree. So, too, they breed at any height from the ground. Marshall took their eggs from holes in rotten trees between 2 and 8 feet and, perhaps, as a rule, they select sites under 20 feet from the ground. I have, however, taken a nest at over 40 feet up in a Cotton-tree.
In the Nilgiris Miss Cockburn found them breeding in holes in trees and in old thatched houses, while one pair bred in her Pigeon-cote, and Wait obtained nests in the same hills from “chimneys, hollow trees, holes in stone walls etc.”
Marshall, Rattray and Buchanan only found them breeding in trees about Murree, but at Mussoorie Rattray says that they were breeding in the thatched roofs of the huts. Scully (Nepal), Vidal and Davidson (Bombay Pres.), Taylor and Bourdillon (Mysore and Travancore), and Cripps (Furreedpore) all mention trees, and trees only, as the nesting-sites occupied by the Jungle Myna.
The nest is a handful, or it may be two or three handfuls, of all kinds of materials, just like that of the Common Myna, but moss is often used in some quantities and, as a rule, there is a more definite lining of fairly soft feathers.
Hume says that they breed from March to July, but I think the great majority of birds lay in May and June and I do not think many pairs have more than one brood in the year.
The full clutch of eggs varies from four to six, occasionally three only being laid.
In shape, colour and texture they cannot be distinguished from the eggs of the tristis group, nor can I see—as Hume believed to be the case—that they seem shorter and broader. I have one clutch of three taken by Dodsworth at Jutogh which has two eggs coloured pea-green, an abnormal variation found occasionally in the eggs of most species which are normally blue.
One hundred eggs average 28.9 x 20.9 mm. : maxima 32.8 x 21.3 and 30.0x 23.0 mm. ; minima 26.0 x 19.8 and 26.8 x 19.6 mm.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
999. Aethiopsar fuseus fuseus
Spp Author: 
Wagl.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
999
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
529
Common name: 
Indian Jungle Myna
M_ID: 
26792
M_SN: 
Acridotheres fuscus fuscus
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
14089

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