552. Aethiopsar fuscus.
The Jungle Myna.
Pastor fuscus, Wagler, Syst. Av., Pastor, sp. 6 (1827). Pastor mahrattensis, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 95. Acridotheres griseus (Dated.), apud Blyth, Cat. p. 108. Acridotheres fuscus (Wagl.), Horsf. & M. Cat, ii, p. 537; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 327; Hume, N. & E. p. 431; id. & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 338; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 594; Hume, Cat. no. 686; Oates, B. B. i, p. 380; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 86. Acridotheres mahrattensis (Sykes), Hume, Cat. no. 686 bis; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 255; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 80. Aethiopsar fuscus (Wagl.), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 383.
Pahari maina, Hind.; Jhonti maina, Hind, in Bengal; Jhont salik, Beng.; Tau zayet, Burm.
Coloration. Forehead, lores, nasal plumes, ear-coverts, top of the head, and nape black ; back, rump, upper tail-coverts, and scapulars cinereous brown tinged with ruddy; winglet glossy black; primary-coverts white ; primaries black tipped with bronze, each feather with a large white spot at the base; secondaries black, broadly edged with bronze on the outer webs ; tertiaries and upper wing-coverts wholly bronze-colour; tail brownish black, the middle pair of feathers slightly, the others broadly tipped with white; chin, throat, and breast dark ashy brown, becoming albescent on the middle of the abdomen ; under tail-coverts fulvescent white ; under wing-coverts black.
Iris bright yellow in Northern India and Burma, grey or pale blue in Southern India; basal half of bill bluish black, terminal half orange-yellow; mouth bluish ; legs orange-yellow; claws greenish horn-colour.
Length 9.5; tad 3; wing 4.7; tarsus 1.45; bill from gape 1.25.
Distribution. The hilly and well-wooded parts of the whole Empire except the western portion including Sind, Rajputana, and Guzerat. There are also certain tracts in Upper and Central India which appear unsuited to the habits of this species. "With these exceptions this Myna is found from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin and throughout the whole region east of the Bay of Bengal, extending some way down the Malay peninsula. It ascends the Himalayas up to about 8000 feet, and is everywhere a resident.
Some ornithologists have sought to separate this species into two races, assigning Wagler's name to the bird with yellow irides, found throughout Northern India and Burma, and Sykes's to the bird with pale blue irides, which is confined to Southern India. I can discover no other differences between these so-called races and consequently I have united them. Sharpe states that AE. mahrattensis is a much larger bird, but as he gives the wing of AS. fuscus as measuring only 4.45 inches, whereas the wing of this bird is not unusually 5 inches and seldom less than 4.7, this character cannot be considered of any value.
Habits, &c Affects forest country, feeding on the ground and having the habits of Acridotheres tristis. Breeds from March to July, depositing its eggs in the hole of a tree. The eggs measure about 1.19 by .-83.