9. Corvus monedula.
Corvus monedula, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 166 (1766) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 90 ; Hume, N. E. p. 414 ; id. Cut. no. 665 ; Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 77; Oates in Hume's N. $ E. 2nd ed. i, p. 12. Corvus collaris, Drummond, A. 31. N. II. xviii, p. 11 (1846). Colaeus monedula (Linn.), Horsf. 31. Cat. ii, p. 502; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 302; Hume & Henders. Lah. to York. p. 239; Scully, S. F. iv, p. 158; Sharpe, Cat. B. 31. iii, p. 26; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 572. Colaeus collaris (Drummond), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iii, p. 27 ; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 572.
Coloration. Forehead and crown glossy black; nape and hind neck dusky grey; sides of the head and neck light grey, almost white, and forming a half-collar on the posterior portion of the side of the neck; lores blackish; upper plumage, wings, and tail bluish black with a considerable amount of gloss ; chin and cheeks black with grey shaft-streaks ; throat and fore neck entirely black; remainder of lower plumage slaty black with a very small amount of gloss.
Legs and bill black; iris nearly white (Dresser).
Length about 13; tail 5.2 ; wing 9.2 ; tarsus 1.7 ; bill from gape 1.5.
Jackdaws vary much inter se in the amount and purity of the white on the sides of the neck, and I cannot distinguish the race which has been separated under the title of C. collaris. A certain number of birds can be picked out of a series with the half-collar very white and distinct, but others from the same localities are typical C. monedula, and there are intermediate specimens. The majority of Indian birds incline towards C. collaris, and that is all that can be said in favour of the retention of the name.
Distribution. Kashmir and the north-west Punjab. According to Hume the Jackdaw is in winter numerous near the foot of the hills and has been found as far east as Umballa and south to Ferozepore, Jhelum, and Kalabagh, and it extends into the Dera Ghazi Khan District. It appears to be a resident in Kashmir and as Par cast as the valley of the Beas, throughout which tract it breeds freely.
It extends into Europe.
Habits, &c. The Jackdaw is most frequently observed in the vicinity of cliffs and old buildings, in the holes of which, as well as in holes of trees, it breeds, constructing a nest of sticks lined with soft substances, and laying four to six eggs, which are green marked with various shades of brown and purple, and measure 1.4 by .98.