(5) Corvus coronoides levaillanti.
THE INDIAN JUNGLE-CROW.
Corvus levaillanti Less., Traite d'Orn., p. 328 (1831) (Bengal). Corvus macrorhynchus. Blanf, & Oates, i, p. 17.
Vernacular names. The Indian Corby, the Slender-billed Crow, Jerdon; Dharor Dhal-Kawa (Hindi in the North); Karrial(Hindi); Dad-Kawa, Jungli-Kawa (Bengali).
Description. Upper plumage glossy black, except the hind neck and sides of neck, which are almost glossless, and of which the feathers are disintegrated and silky, not of the intense black of the other parts, and with the shafts not conspicuously different from the webs.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown, or very dark almost black-brown ; legs, feet and bill black.
Measurements. Length from about 430 to 510 mm. (about 17 to 20 inches); tail about 170 to 200 mm.; wing about 304 mm., but varying from about 290 to 330 mm.; culmen about 60 mm.
Distribution. The Common Indian Jungle-Crow extends over the whole of India south of the Himalayas, as far South as the Deccan and on the East to about the latitude of the Madras Presidency. To the North-east it is found up to the Bay of Bengal, but east of the Brahmaputra its place is taken by the Burmese form.
Nidification. The breeding season of this race of Jungle-Crow over the greater portion of its habitat is from the middle of December to the middle of January but in the north-eastern portion of its range, such as Behar, Oudh, etc., it appears to lay in March and April. The nest is a very well-made neat cup of small and pliant twigs, much and compactly intermixed with leaves, moss, etc., and well lined with hair, grass or wool. It is generally placed high up in some tree away from villages and towns but may occasionally also be found building right inside the streets of big cities.
The eggs number four or five, rarely six, and are quite typical Crows' eggs, but, compared with those of the hill races, are much smaller and much paler in general tint. In shape also they average longer in proportion. One hundred eggs average 39.6 x 28.9 mm.
Habits. Normally the Jungle-Crow is, as its name implies, a bird of the forests and jungles rather than of cities and civilization : at the same time this particular race has taken to emulating the Indian House-Crow in haunting the abodes of men and, even where it still keeps to the jungles, generally selects places within easy distance of some village, possibly for the sake of the food it is able to scavenge from it. It is not nearly so gregarious as the House-Crow, and, except in the towns, each pair has its own special territory, from which it excludes all others of its own kind.