549. Acridotheres tristis.
The Common Myna.
Paradisea tristis, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 167 (1766). Acridotheres tristis (L.), Myth, Cat. p. 108; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 532 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 325 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 428; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 388; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 593; Hume, Cat. no. 684 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 379; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 254; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 80; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 377.
Maina, Desi-maina, Hind.; Salik, Bhat-salik, Beng.; Bemni, Saloo, Chutia Nagpur; Salonka, Mahr.; Gorwantera, Can.; Goranka, Gorinka, Tel.; Zayet, Burm.
Coloration. Whole head, neck, and upper breast black; lower breast, flanks, sides of abdomen, and thighs rich vinous brown ; upper plumage, with wing-coverts, secondaries, and tertiaries brown, tinged with vinous; primaries dark brown, with the bases white; primary-coverts white; tail blackish, all but the median pair of feathers broadly tipped with white.
The young resemble the adult very closely.
Eyelids, the bill, and skin about the eyes yellow; edges of the eyelids black ; mouth bluish black; iris reddish brown, mottled with white ; legs yellow ; claws horn-colour.
Length 10 ; tail 3.3 ; wing 5.2 ; tarsus 1.55 ; bill from gape 1.3.
Distribution. The whole of the Indian Empire except the northern parts of Kashmir and Tenasserim south of Mergui. This species ascends the Himalayas up to about 8000 feet. It has been introduced into the Andamans, but does not extend to the Nicobars. It is found in Afghanistan.
Habits, &c. Breeds from March to August, constructing its nest in houses or in holes of trees. The nest is an accumulation of straw, feathers, and other materials, either without shape or slightly cup-shaped. At times this Myna constructs a nest in the branch of a tree. The eggs, frequently five in number, measure about 1.19 by .86.