(989) Ampeliceps coronatus.
The Gold-crested Myna.
Ampeliceps coronatus Blyth, J. A. S.B., xi, p. 194 (1842) (Tenas¬serim) ; Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 531.
Vernacular names. Dao-maina-rajah (Cachari).
Description. Forehead, crown and crest, face, chin and throat bright golden yellow ; a patch of yellow at the base of the third to the eighth primary on the outer webs and a bigger white patch on the inner webs from the second to the eighth; remainder of the plumage glossy black with green reflections.
Colours of soft parts. Iris dark brown; bill orange, bluish at the gape, ophthalmic skin yellow, turning to orange in the breeding-season; legs and feet dull orange, claws brown.
Measurements. Total length about 210 mm.; wing 121 to 133 mm.; tail 59 to 63mm.; tarsus about 27 mm.; culmen about 14 mm.
Young birds have the whole head black but nearly always with a trace of yellow on the throat. The black seems to be discarded by degrees, streaks and patches of black remaining until the second year.
Distribution. Assam and Eastern Bengal, Cochin China, Siam and South Burma to Trang in the North Malay Peninsula, Annam. It will probably be found in the lower hills and broken country throughout Burma to Toungoo, the most Northern Burmese point yet recorded.
Nidification. This beautiful Myna places its nest, a very rough affair of fine twigs, leaves and bark, in a hole in a tree 20 to 40 feet from the ground, Davison found three young in a nest on the 13th of April. Hopwood took eggs on the 30th of the same month in Tavoy and Nagas brought Dr. Coltart and myself eggs with the parent birds in May. The eggs are like those of Acridotheres but paler and measure about 28.0x 20.0 mm. The number laid appears to be always three.
Habits. The Gold-crested Myna is as arboreal in its habits as the preceding genera, feeding almost entirely in high trees on both insects, seeds and fruits. Its flight is very rapid and its chattering notes, hardly a song even at their best, are sweet and pleasing. It collects in small parties but is not nearly so gregarious as the species of Sturnia and may often be seen in pairs or just three or four birds together. It is found in the Plains all the year round and up to about 4000 feet in Summer, though it generally breeds below 2,000 feet.