542. Agropsar sturninus.
The Daurian Myna.
Gracula sturnina, Pall. Reis. Puss. Reichs, iii, p. 695 (1776). Sturnus dauricus, Pall. Acta Holm. 1778, p. 197, t. vii. Sturnia daurica (Pall.), Blyth, Cat. p. 111. Calornis dauricus (Pall.), Blyth, Cat. App. p. xx; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 544; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 91. Temenuchus dauricus (Pall.), Hume, S. F. ii, p. 249. Sturnia sturnina (Pall.), Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 393; Hume, Cat. no. 689 sex; Bingham, S. F. ix, p. 192; Oates, B. B. i, p. 383 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 71.
Coloration. The whole head, neck, under wing-coverts, and axillaries, and the whole lower plumage except the vent and under tail-coverts grey, paler beneath and darkest on the crown; chin and throat tinged with fawn; vent and under tail-coverts buff; back, rump, and lesser wing-coverts, with a large spot on the crown of the head, metallic purple; a band of buff across the rump; tail metallic green, the outer webs of the outer pair of feathers buff; median wing-coverts black, broadly tipped with white tinged with buff; greater coverts black, edged with metallic green and tipped with buffy white; primary-coverts black edged with metallic green ; the scapulars with most of their outer webs buff, and the inner webs black at base and buffy brown at the ends ; primaries brown edged and tipped with metallic green, and the first few primaries further edged mesially with buffish brown; secondaries brown, edged with metallic green; tertiaries almost wholly metallic green; the secondaries have a patch of buffish brown near the base of the outer webs.
In some birds the grey of the head and neck is produced on to the upper back and is streaked with brown.
Young birds have those parts which are metallic in the adult plain brown, the patch on the crown being indicated at an early age. The marks on the wings and the buff band across the rump are always as in the adult. Birds of every intermediate form of colouring are to be found.
Legs and feet dull earthy green; the bill varies from black to brown, and is greenish blue or whitish at the base of the lower mandible (Davison). Irides dark brown, claws horn-colour (Bingham).
Length 7.5; tail 2 ; wing 4; tarsus 1.1 ; bill from gape 1.
Distribution. The Nicobars; Lower Pegu; Tenasserim from Moulmein to Mergui and the Thoungyeen valley. This species is probably much more widely distributed than the above noted localities indicate, and in winter it may be looked for over the whole of Burma. At this period of the year it is found in the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and Cochin China. In summer it retires to Eastern Siberia and Northern China.