15. Corvus monedula sommeringii

(15) Corvus monedula sommeringii Fischer.
THE EASTERN JACKDAW.
Corvus monedula sommeringii, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 36.
The Eastern Jackdaw breeds within our limits from Afghanistan and Baluchistan through Kashmir and Ladak to Eastern Tibet, but it seems to be rare in both the two latter countries, though Meinertzhagen found two or three pairs at Leh.
The principal breeding month is undoubtedly May, but Whymper took a full clutch of six eggs in Srinagar as early as the 26th April, whilst other birds breed on as late as the end of June.
The late Mr. J. Davidson, in his paper on the “Birds of Kashmir” (Ibis, 1898, p. 7), thus sums up the breeding habits of the Jackdaw:—
“Noticed first at Uri in the Jhelum Valley on April 23rd, where Jackdaws were building in the fort, and from there in numbers in every village from Baramulla to Srinugger. We found them in abundance in the Sind Valley as far as Gund in the beginning of May, and later they appeared in considerable numbers at Gangadgir (7,000 feet), at the foot of the gorge leading to Sonamurg. We, however, never met with any in Sonamurg, and they do not seem to enter the gorge at all. We saw some nests in holes in buildings in Srinugger, and in holes in banks along the Jhelum, but the vast majority were in holes in trees, especially of Cheenar trees, many being several feet from the mouths of the holes. The eggs were laid in the first three weeks of May and varied much, as they do in Europe. We saw a single pair of birds building on the 27th of June at Gandarbal, where there were many young flying, so that it is likely that some at least breed twice a year.” Later (1903) Col. R. H. Rattray took eggs at Sonamurg at an elevation of 8,000 feet.
It seems to be more common around the towns of Srinagar than anywhere else in Kashmir, breeding in great numbers in the Chenar- or Plane-trees, which form avenues and clumps about that town. The birds are very gregarious and General R. M. Betham records: “Very common at this season (May), breeding in holes in trees ; nearly every tree holds a nest. In some of the larger trees, in which there are many holes, nearly all are occupied by the Jackdaw.”
The nest is a mass of rubbish of all kinds : straw, grass, leaves, feathers, rags or anything else fairly soft and portable. Often there is a really bulky collection containing many handfuls of stuff but at other times there is not so much.
The eggs are like those of the English Jackdaw, a pale greenish- or bluish-white to a definite pale blue or blue-green with specks and spots of blackish and a few secondary spots of lavender or inky grey. The markings vary considerably. In some they consist of small specks scattered all over the egg, whilst in others the spots are larger, bolder and much fewer in number. Whatever the character of the egg, however, the markings stand out quite distinctly against the ground-colour, and it is this latter which dominates the general tint. In shape the eggs vary from fairly long ovals to broad blunt ovals. The texture is finer and closer than in a Crow’s egg and there is often considerable gloss.
One hundred eggs average 34.4 x 24.9 mm. : maxima 39.4 x 24.8 and 35.0 x 26.8 mm. ; minima 30.3 x 23.8 and 31.0 x 22.7.
Pica pica.
THE MAGPIE.
Since the second edition of Hume’s ‘Nests and Eggs’ was written the Magpie has been divided into several races, the nidification of all of them being well known. Three races breed within the limit of our work.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
15. Corvus monedula sommeringii
Spp Author: 
Fischer.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
15
Year: 
1932
Page No: 
20
Common name: 
Eastern Jackdaw
M_ID: 
20512
M_SN: 
Coloeus monedula soemmerringii
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
13240

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