(2) Corvus corax tibetanus.
THE TIBET RAVEN.
Corvus tibetanus Hodgs., Ann. Mag. N. H., (2) iii, p. 203 (1849) (Tibet;.
Corvus corax. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 14.
Vernacular names. The Tibet Raven, Jerd.; Neka-wak (Tibetan).
Description. A much bigger, more powerful bird than the Punjab Raven, with a bigger bill and the lanceolate hackles of the throat much longer and more pointed than in that bird.
Measurements. Wing from about 480 to 530 mm., nearly always between 490 and 510 mm. Culmen about 80 mm. and running up to 85 mm.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Kashmir to Eastern Tibet, including Sikkim, Bhutan and the hills north of the Brahmaputra in Assam.
Nidification. The breeding season of this fine Raven appears to be from early March to the middle of April and the eggs are generally laid whilst the whole country is still under snow. It appears to nest both in cliffs and in stunted trees and is not un¬common on the great Gyantse Plateau at 12,000 to 14,000 feet, nesting on the willows and thorn-trees. Mandelli also took its nest in Sikkim. The eggs number three to five in a clutch and taken as a series are very different from those of either laurencei or ruficollis. hi general colour they are very dull, brown eggs; the ground-colour is much less blue or green-blue and the markings are more numerous, yet smaller and less bold in character.
Twenty eggs average 49.0 x 35.6 mm. A broader, bigger egg than that laid by either of our other Indian Ravens, though we have but few to judge from.
Habits. The Tibet Raven is a bird of lofty regions, being met with up to 18,000 feet in the summer and seldom below 9,000 feet even in mid-winter. Its note is said to be a harsher, deeper croak than that of the Punjab Raven, and over most of its range it is a much shyer, wilder bird, though it is said to haunt the vicinity of villages in Tibet. It was also reported as common all along the route taken by the Military Expedition to Lhassa, frequenting the camps, feeding on the animals that died on the march and acting as regular scavengers.