510. Graucalus macii.
The Large Cuckoo-Shrike.
Graucalus macei, Less. Traite, p. 349 (1831) ; Blyth, Cat. p. 190; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 173; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 417 ; Blanf. J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 156; Hume, N. & E. p. 181; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 204 ; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 400 ; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 647 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 360 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iv, p. 34 ; Hume, Cat. no. 270; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 267; Oates, B. B. i, p. 228; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 150; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 348. Graucalus layardi, Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 368; Jerd. Ibis, 1872, p. 117 ; Hume, Cat. no. 270 bis.
Kasya, Hind. ; Kabasi, Beng. ; Pedda akurai, Tel. ; Talling-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. Male. Upper plumage grey, paler on the rump and upper tail-coverts; the region of the nostrils, the lores, and the feathers about the gape black ; sides of the face and of the neck similar to the upper plumage; ear-coverts dusky; chin, throat, breast, and upper abdomen grey, rather lighter than the upper parts; remainder of lower plumage greyish white; wing-coverts like the back ; bastard wing black ; primaries and primary-coverts dark brown, very narrowly edged with grey; secondaries more broadly edged with the same; tertiaries grey on the whole outer web and brown on the inner; middle tail-feathers ashy, tipped paler ; the others blackish, all tipped with greyish white, increasing in extent outwardly, with the bases grey, this colour decreasing in extent outwardly and being absent on the outer ones.
Female. The black on the face is paler, and this part as well as the ear-coverts are of much the same grey as the head; the general tone of the plumage is lighter. The female is seldom without a few indications of immaturity, these signs being visible chiefly in the shape of obsolete bars.
The young have most of the upper plumage tipped and margined with pale ferruginous, and the lower parts nearly pure white.
Iris hazel-brown to lake; eyelids grey; inside of mouth flesh-colour ; bill, legs, and claws black.
This bird varies excessively in plumage and in size ; the plumage varies according to age and sex, and the size according to locality. The largest birds occur, as a rule, in Burma and Northern India, and the smallest in Ceylon, where some birds have the wing less than 6 inches in Length. G. layardi appears to have been based on one stage of the immature plumage.
Length 10 to 12; tail 4.3 to 5.8; wing 5.8 to 7 ; tarsus 1 to 1.1; bill from gape 1.3 to 1.5.
Distribution, The whole Empire and Ceylon, except in the Himalayas west of the Sutlej river, and in portions of Sind, Rajputana, and the Punjab.
Habits, &c. Breeds from May to October, constructing a shallow nest of slender twigs in a lofty branch of a tree and laying three eggs, which are pale green with brown and purple marks, and measure about 1.26 by .9.