(7) Corvus coronoides intermedins.
THE HIMALAYAN JUNGLE-CROW.
Corvus intermedius Adams, P. Z. S., 1859, p. 171 (Kashmir). Corvus macrorhynchus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 17.
Vernacular names. Ulakpho (Lepcha); Ulak (Bhutea). Description. A very large bird with a bill little if anything larger than that of the Northern Indian race. In adults the bases of the feathers are generally pale and in some pure white.
Colours of soft parts as in levaillanti.
Measurements. Wing averaging over 330 mm. and running up to as much as 368 in two birds, one from Simla and one from Sikkiin.
If birds from only the higher portions of their habitat were taken, the wing average would probably be well over 340 mm., but the average is greatly decreased by late summer birds, which may well be visitors from the plains wandering into the hills after breeding. Thus both in Murree and Mussoorie individuals occur with wings of about 290 mm. and there is a specimen in the British Museum from Gilgit with a wing of only 285 mm.
Distribution. The Himalayas from Afghanistan to Bhutan and ? Dafla Hills.
Nidification. This form is essentially a jungle-breeder, though it may place its nest in forest not far from habitations. Round about Simla the deodar is a favourite nesting site, the nest being placed very high up and even better and more compactly built than that of the plains' birds. The clutch is bigger also, five being not uncommon and six sometimes met with. The eggs average 44.8x30.0 mm. and are much more richly and brightly coloured than are the eggs of the plains' birds. The breeding season lasts from the middle of March to the end of May.
Habits. The Himalayan Jungle-Crow is found from the foothills up to at least 10,000 feet, though it may not be common at this elevation. Birds from the hot country below 1,000 or even 2,000 feet elevation are intermediate between the plains and the mountain forms and cannot be correctly assigned to either. This is, of course, the case in intermediate areas between geographical races of all species.
The Himalayan bird is not so much addicted to haunting the vicinity of human habitations as is the Common Jungle-Crow and pairs may be found inhabiting stretches of forest far from any camp or village. Its voice is notably louder and deeper than that of the plains' bird.