(1) Corvus corax laurencei.
THE PUNJAB RAVEN.
Corvus laurencei Hume, Lah. to Yark., p. 235 (1873) (Punjab). Corvus corax. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 14 (1889).
Vernacular names. The European Raven; Domkak, Doda (Hind, in the N.W.); Kargh (Candahar).
Description. Entirely black, glossed with steel-blue, purple and lilac; the throat-hackles short and not very conspicuous.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown ; bill and legs shining black.
Measurements. Length from about 600 to 620 mm.; wing from 400 to 440 mm.; tail about 240 mm.; tarsus about 60 mm.; culmen about 64 mm. to 75 mm.
Distribution. Punjab, Bombay, United Provinces and N.W. Provinces, and a rare straggler into Kashmir and Central India. It occurs also in Sind, but in the N.E. of that province the Brown-necked Raven takes its place.
Outside of India the Punjab Raven is found through Baluchistan, S. Persia, Mesopotamia, Southern Asia Minor and Northern Palestine. It is not easy to separate the breeding ranges of ruficollis and laurencei, but the former appears to be essentially a bird of deserts and bare hills whilst the Punjab Raven is more a bird of wooded country, though both are great wanderers and overlap one another constantly in their non-breeding haunts.
Nidification. This Raven makes a large nest of sticks, sometimes lined with a little wool, leaves or smaller, softer twigs and places it near the top of a tree either in the open or in thin forest. The eggs number from four to six, generally four or five and are a pale blue-green marked with deep brown and with underlying marks of pale grey and neutral tint, The markings are usually thickly distributed over the whole surface but are sometimes bolder and blacker and more sparse, making the eggs very handsome in appearance. They are typically rather long ovals. They average about 50.7x33.6 mm." The breeding season is from the end of December to early March.
Habits. The Punjab Raven is a very bold, confiding bird and has all the habits of the Common Crow, attending camps and villages and going about without fear but with the wariness of his tribe. Hume has noticed how a large number of Ravens die annually in the autumn on their first arrival in Sind from no apparent cause. This form of Raven will not be found far from trees in the breeding season, nor does it haunt hills and mountains of any great elevation, though it has been found at about 6,000 feet in the Simla Hills by Mr. P. Dodsworth.