(10) Corvus cornix sharpii.
THE EASTERN HOODED CROW.
Corvus sharpii Oates, Avifauna of B. I., i, p. 20 (1889) (Siberia). Corvus cornix. Blanf. & Oates, i. p. 19.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Entire head and neck, the central part of the upper breast, the wings, tail and thighs glossy black ; remainder of the plumage drab-grey ; the shafts of the upper parts black, those of the lower brown.
The light parts in the Common Hooded Crow are ashy-grey of quite a different tint and the races are easily separable.
Colours of soft parts. Legs and bill black : irides dark brown.
Measurements. Total length about 480 mm.; wing about 320 to 340 mm.; tail about 200 mm.; culmen 47 to 54 mm.; tarsus about 55 mm.
Distribution. Breeding in West Siberia, Turkestan and Afghanistan, and migrating south to the extreme north-west of India, Punjab, Gilgit and the North-West Frontier. Rare visitor to Kashmir, where Mr. T. R. Livesey records seeing it; this was on Jan. 10th near the Hokra Jheel. The birds of S.E. Persia seem to be nearer to this race than to G. c. capellanus.
Nidification. Mr. A. J. Gurrie obtained what he considered to be this form of Hooded Crow breeding in great numbers in and about Kerinan, S.E. Persia, at considerable elevations. The nests were of sticks, twigs, roots, etc, lined with somewhat finer material and placed in trees both evergreen and deciduous. The eggs number four or five and are laid in early April. They crow quite indistinguishable from those of the Common Hooded Grow and measure about 42.2 x 29.6 mm. They vary in coloration to the same extent as all Crows' eggs do.
Habits. The Hooded Grow has much the same habits as the Carrion-Crow, being shy and frequenting the more barren parts of the countries it inhabits. In addition to eating the usual food of: its ally, it is said to feed on grain and to be found in fields searching the ground like the Rook.
A common winter visitor to the extreme North-west of India.
This form of Hooded Grow as well as the European form seems to interbreed freely over part of their northern habitat with the Carrion-Crow.
Key to Subspecies,
A. Difference between grey and black portion
of plumage well defined C. s. splendens, p. 33.
B, Pale portions of plumage very pale contrast-
ing strongly with dark C. s. zugmayeri, p. 34.
C. Contrast between pale and dark plumage
very slight and ill-defined C.s. insolens, p. 34.
D. Contrast between pale and dark plumage
slight, yet easy to define C. s. protegatus, p. 35.