(988) Agropsar sturninus.
The Daurian Myna.
Gracula sturnina Pall., Keis. Russ. Reich., iii, p. 695 (1776) (Dauria). Agropsar sturninus. Blanf, & Oates, i, p. 530.
Vernacular names. None recorded
Description. Crown, nape, neck and upper back grey with a metallic purple patch on the nape; back, rump and wing-coverts metallic purple; median wing-coverts purple-black, broadly tipped with buffy-white, greater coverts black glossed with green and tipped with buff; primary-coverts black edged with glossy green; primaries dark brown very narrowly edged with buff and with broad buff patches on the basal halves of the inner webs; visible portions of secondaries metallic green with terminal buff spots; outer webs of scapulars buff or buffy-white ; lores and a ring round the eye white; sides of head, neck and lower plumage pale grey, the chin tinged with rufous; tail metallic green, the outermost feathers edged with huff; under tail-coverts buff ; axillaries and under wing-coverts pale grey.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill horny-brown to almost black, the base of the lower mandible bluish-white; legs and feet greenish-brown to horny-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 190 to 200 mm.; wing 104 to 109 mm.; tail 48 to 53 mm.; tarsus about 26 mm.; culmen about 14 to 16 mm.
Young birds have the metallic colours replaced by brown ; the rufous rump is hardly noticeable but the rufous edges to the primaries are more pronounced; the chin is pure grey and the buff markings on the scapulars and wings are pale and dull.
Distribution. Breeding in Eastern Siberia and Northern China; in Winter to Southern China, the Indo-Burmese countries, the whole of the Malay Peninsula and peninsular Siam and Burma. There is also a specimen in the British Museum apparently obtained by Captain Pulton in Chitral at 11,000 feet on 16.7. 1902.
Habits. This is said to be a tame and confiding bird haunting well-wooded but open country and having much the same habits as the birds of the genus Sturnia. It feeds both on the ground and on trees, has a swift straight flight arid a sweet, short song in the breeding-season.