527. Calornis chalybeius.
The Glossy Calornis.
Turdus chalybeus, Horsf. Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii, p. 148 (1821). Turdus strigatus, Horsf. Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii, p. 148 (1821). Lanius insidiator, Raffles, Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii, p. 307 (1821). Calornis cantor (Gm.), apud Blyth, Cat. p. 111. Calornis-affinis, A. Hay, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, pp. 36, 369 (1846) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 111; Wald. Ibis, 1875, p. 461. Calornis chalybeus (Horsf.), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 543 ; Hume Dav. S. F. vi, p. 394; Hume, Cat. no. 690 bis; Oates, B. B. i, p. 390; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 143; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 367. Calornis tytleri, Hume. S. F. i, p. 480 (1873) ; id. N. & E. p. 434; id. S. F. ii, p. 253; id. Cat. no. 690 ter. Calornis irwim, Hume, S. F. i, p. 481 (1873).
Coloration. The lores and feathers at the base of the upper mandible black without gloss ; with this exception, the whole plumage black with a brilliant green gloss ; wings and tail black with only a faint bluish gloss.
The young have the upper plumage brown overlaid with green; the wings brown, edged paler; the lower plumage buffy white, streaked with greenish brown.
In all adults the legs, feet, and bill are black, the irides crimson scarlet. In younger birds the legs and feet are brownish or bluish black, the irides yellowish white; at a later stage the irides are pale yellow with a reddish-brown tinge ; then they become orange-vermilion, and finally scarlet-crimson (Hume & Davison).
Length 8.5 ; tail 3.2 ; wing 4.1; tarsus .9 ; bill from gape 1.
Making small allowances, the plumage and size of this species are very constant throughout its great range. Birds from the Andamans are somewhat larger on the whole, but some birds from Tipperah run very close to them in this respect. Singapore specimens are the smallest. The Andaman race, in addition to being somewhat larger, is of a much darker green, almost a black in some lights. I do not, however, propose to separate this insular form, as I have had a difficulty in separating some of the Andaman birds from others from Tipperah and Burma.
Distribution. Tipperah; Dacca; Cachar ; the Khasi hills ; Arrakan : the southern half of Tenasserim from Yay to Malewun ; the Andamans and Nicobars ; extending down the Malay peninsula to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo.
Habits, &c. This Calornis associates in large flocks and frequents trees, never descending to the ground. It breeds in holes of trees, in the recesses of old bridges and buildings, in holes in the banks of rivers, and in the tops of palm-trees. The eggs, which appear to be three in number, are pale greenish blue spotted and blotched with reddish and purple. They measure about 1 by .74.