(967) Lamprocorax panayensis strigatus.
The Glossy Stare.
Turdus strigatus Horsf., Trans. Linn. Soc, xiii, p. 146 (1820) (Java). Calornis chalybeius. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 514.
Vernacular names, None recorded.
Description. Whole plumage black, glossed everywhere, except on the lores and base of upper mandible, with brilliant green.
Colours of soft parts. Iris vermilion-red to deep, bright crimson; bill black ; legs and feet black.
Measurements. Total length about 230 to 240 mm.; wing 92 to 103 mm.; tail 63 to 65 mm.; tarsus 22 to 23 mm.; culmen 17 to 18 mm.
Young birds are brown above faintly glossed with green, the gloss increasing with age; lower plumage dull greyish or buffy white streaked with greenish brown, narrowly on the chin, throat and fore neck, broadly elsewhere.
Nestling. Above brown faintly streaked with black; below dull white streaked throughout with brown.
Non-adult bird. Iris yellowish white, becoming more and more suffused with red as the age advances ; the legs and feet are brownish or bluish black.
Distribution. Tenasserim South to Sumatra, Java and Borneo. Birds from the Northern areas are bigger than those from the South, the wing seldom falling as low as 100 mm., whereas the Southernmost are nearly always below 100 mm. There is, however,, much overlapping and I can see no other differences between the two. If the Northern bird were kept separate it would bear the name irwini (Hume, Str. Feath., i, p. 481, 1873).
Nidification. The breeding-season of this Stare seems to be April and May throughout its range. They nest sometimes in holes in trees but Hop wood found them breeding in colonies in Mergui, building their nests in toddy palms at the junction of the leaves with the trunk. Mackenzie also found them breeding, some 15 or 20 pairs, on a toddy palm, covered with a fern, the nests being placed between the roots of the ferns and the stem of the palm. They were also breeding in the roof of the Court-house in Mergui and in bridges and other buildings. The nest is a very rough cup-shaped affair of roots, grass, leaves, etc.
The eggs, generally three in number, are miniatures of those of Eulabes but only measure about 25.5 x 18.5 mm.
Habits. This bird is a typical Starling in all its ways except that it is principally frugivorous in its diet. It is found both in the Plains and lower hills up to some 4,000 feet but does not seem to breed in the hills above 1,000 or 1,500 feet. It is very gregarious and associates in large flocks, often with other Starlings, mostly feeding high up in tall trees unless tempted by abundant food to the lower trees and bushes. It frequents both forests and well-wooded open country.