(998) Acridotheres ginginianus.
The Bank Myna.
Turdus ginginianus Lath., Ind. Orn., i, p. 362 (1790) (India) (Nadia). Acridotheres ginginianus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 538.
Vernacular names. Ganga-maina (Hind.); Gang-Salik, Ram-Salik (Beng.); Bardi-maina (Nep.) ; Lali (Sind); Gilgila (Upper Prov.); Daryta-maina (Lucknow).
Description. Sides of head and crown black; upper plumage grey, generally palest next the black crown; edge of wing and primary coverts pinkish buff; remainder of wing black with bronze-green reflections on the inner secondaries; primaries with a patch at their base, white on the outer, buff on the inner; tail black tipped with bun2, broadest on the outer feathers where it extends to half of the inner and two-thirds of the outer web ; below grey, darkest on the throat and chin; centre of abdomen, vent, and under tail-coverts, axillaries and under wing-coverts pinkish buff.
Colours of soft parts. Iris deep blood-red in the adult, bluish grey in the young; naked orbital skin brick-red; bill yellow; legs and feet pale yellow.
Measurements. Total length about 250 mm.; wing 119 to 125 mm.; tail 68 to 73 mm.; tarsus 37 to 38 mm.; culmen 18 to 21 mm.
Young birds have the head and neck brown; the upper parts much more brown than in the adult; the wings brown with no gloss and the grey flanks and breast-feat hers edged with buff.
Birds from N.E. India, from Nepal and Bengal eastwards, seem very dark, but the material available for examination is poor and I do not separate them pending further examination of more skins.
Distribution. Northern India from Sind and Mussorie to Eastern Bengal and Western Assam, where it occurs in Kamrup. It has not been found anywhere East of Bengal.
Nidification. The Bank Myna breeds wherever found, except perhaps in the higher hills, during June and July, sometimes in May and occasionally in August. It breeds in colonies of a dozen to forty pairs, making holes in the banks of rivers, wells, cliffs and even borrow pits beside roadways. In soft soil these may be as much as six or even seven feet long, but in harder soil anything from* two to four, of which the chamber takes up eight to twelve inches. The nest is merely a rough pad of grass, leaves and rubbish, but very often has one or more cast snake-skins mixed with the rest. The eggs number three to five, nearly always four, and are just like those of A. tristis but on an average shorter, stouter and more glossy.
Habits. Very like those of A. tristis but not nearly so confiding, nor does it exclusively haunt the vicinity of man as that bird does. It keeps to open country and to cultivated land but, generally, away from villages and dwellings.